Why are sales pages super long?

by Ben Roy 7 replies
I don't understand why IM sales pages are the way they are. Why does everyone build one-page sales processes with a page that stretches from here to infinity? On a personal level, I know it turns me off. Web pages are just plain hard to consume in that format; on top of that, people selling ebooks or the like (aka, Warriors) are the ONLY ones that make pages this way. The rest of the modern web breaks content up into screen-size bits, but not IMers. They keep making those sales pages longer and longer and longer.

From a less personal stand point, I work with a lot of local and national web design agencies, the type that work with Fortune 500s. None of them would ever deliver pages that looked like these sales pages (specifically the longness of them). How did we get here, and has anyone verified that it's actually the best way to do things?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #long #pages #sales #super
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
    Originally Posted by hummusx View Post

    I don't understand why IM sales pages are the way they are. Why does everyone build one-page sales processes with a page that stretches from here to infinity? On a personal level, I know it turns me off. Web pages are just plain hard to consume in that format; on top of that, people selling ebooks or the like (aka, Warriors) are the ONLY ones that make pages this way. The rest of the modern web breaks content up into screen-size bits, but not IMers. They keep making those sales pages longer and longer and longer.

    From a less personal stand point, I work with a lot of local and national web design agencies, the type that work with Fortune 500s. None of them would ever deliver pages that looked like these sales pages (specifically the longness of them). How did we get here, and has anyone verified that it's actually the best way to do things?

    Well, I was wondering how long it would be before this question was asked
    again. Seems it comes up once a week.

    Here's the short answer.

    They work. That's why. If they didn't, top copywriters wouldn't write them
    and the top marketers wouldn't make a fortune from them.

    They work...It's that simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris W. Sutton
    Well, according to Joe Sugarman, who I highly admire, the copy needs to be as long as necessary to get your point across. Typically, the higher the price, the longer it may take to make someone see the value in your product.

    Also, if it is something very unusual, it may take longer to make your market see the value of the product!

    Hope that helps!

    Take care!
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Million
      I do outside sales for a living and it's really no different from online sales; however, with outside sales you have the opportunity to hear and address your lead's objection(s) and then tailor your response to not only diffuse the objection but build the emotion and value of the product to a point where you can reach out your hand and make the close...

      For online sales you don't have that luxery. Sales letters have to address all potential objections (or at least the major ones) while building enough emotion (want) so that when the customer hits the bottom of the page they're already 'sold' and pay without hesitation.

      There's a lot I left out, but hopefully that helps? ...
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  • Fortune 500s aren't directly selling from their website, they're more about info. For products under $2000, I'm sure enough people have done the research to know that it works. I'm not knowledgable, I am just theorizing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ben Roy
      Originally Posted by see-you-at-the-top View Post

      Fortune 500s aren't directly selling from their website, they're more about info. For products under $2000, I'm sure enough people have done the research to know that it works. I'm not knowledgable, I am just theorizing.
      Here are a few of the fortune 500s:

      Wal-Mart Stores
      Hewlett-Packard
      Verizon Communications
      Goldman Sachs Group
      Morgan Stanley
      Home Depot
      Costco Wholesale
      Merrill Lynch
      Target
      State Farm Insurance Cos.
      Dell

      These are just out of the top FIFTY of the 500. They all either sell products, services, or some other type of goods on their website. And I'm willing to bet you won't find an IM-style squeeze page on any one of them. Or more to my point, on any page in any site designed by a medium-large design agency.

      Do they just not know? Is there a massive untapped business opportunity here to take what all IMers know and package it up for the Big Guys?
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      • Profile picture of the author sknollii
        Guys and girls!

        We've hashed this one out too many times.

        Let's review Fortin's and Carlton's info on the subject (among many others) and move on.

        Long copy works in some settings and in others they MAY not.

        One cannot draw a clear comparison on surface level alone between most big companies and their marketing tactics/materials vs. the efforts of the "little guys".

        Apples, oranges, steaks, and lobsters... Oh my!

        Please forgive me... I am on a roll tonight!

        Sam
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      • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
        Originally Posted by hummusx View Post

        Here are a few of the fortune 500s:

        Wal-Mart Stores
        Hewlett-Packard
        Verizon Communications
        Goldman Sachs Group
        Morgan Stanley
        Home Depot
        Costco Wholesale
        Merrill Lynch
        Target
        State Farm Insurance Cos.
        Dell

        These are just out of the top FIFTY of the 500. They all either sell products, services, or some other type of goods on their website. And I'm willing to bet you won't find an IM-style squeeze page on any one of them. Or more to my point, on any page in any site designed by a medium-large design agency.

        Do they just not know? Is there a massive untapped business opportunity here to take what all IMers know and package it up for the Big Guys?
        Yes they don't know.

        For many many years the few leading advertising agencies who understand the concept of "direct response" advertising...testing the actual sales you get from your advertising...have repeated over and over that the prevalant image advertising in the world falls just short of an elaborate scam.

        If you don't test your results you don't know whether long copy will outpull a tiny space ad.

        In many cases with a whole pile of products these companies are selling they could create a flood of customers by describing a product and its benefits to the end user in depth with long copy.

        Pioneers like David Ogilvy who tested everything he did actually proved this was true with multiple products.

        But if most major advertising agencies relied on getting real results for the advertising they created they would be out of business very quickly.

        Their income depends on perpetuating their own theories of advertising instead of making sales for their clients.

        Put simply they're thieves but they don't know they're thieves.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    Originally Posted by hummusx View Post

    How did we get here, and has anyone verified that it's actually the best way to do things?

    Yes there has been a boat load of split testing in the past and this split testing continues now.

    At present for the sale of most information products online well written long sales copy gets a higher percentage of sales than shorter sales copy.

    Of course using a combination of video and a sales letter is getting a better response than a plain sales letter in some cases.

    But the key you want to keep in mind is that many of the leading marketers do split test.

    Other models will almost certainly appear and evolve but their unlikely to be pioneered by fortune 500 companies who are overly concerned with image and branding instead of making the maximum number of sales and delivering exceptional content to their clients.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
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