Why do IM'ers think that people want to read thousands of words on their squeeze page?

113 replies
I know I don't! Once I see a ton of text and a super long landing or squeeze page I say forget it.

Don't IM'ers know that people ready significantly less and have shorter attention spans on the Internet? This is usability 101 from like 1996 here.

I mean just look at the popularity of twitter.
#imers #page #people #read #squeeze #thousands #words
  • Profile picture of the author TerryTelford
    Hi David

    If your hypothesis was true, there wouldn't be so many long sales pages. I do tend to agree with your thinking, but when you test it, some products work better with long sales copy some with short. I use both long and short copy depending on the complexity of the product. When I say sales copy, I'm referring to sales copy for a give away or for a product people pay for.

    Rule of thumb for copy is you write as much as it takes.

    Enjoy your day1
    Terry
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    • Profile picture of the author DavidTheMavin
      Originally Posted by TerryTelford View Post

      Hi David

      If your hypothesis was true, there wouldn't be so many long sales pages. I do tend to agree with your thinking, but when you test it, some products work better with long sales copy some with short.
      I don't know, maybe it does work with IM, but I've done marketing in tons (hundreds?) of other markets over the years and no other industry I've ever seen uses these crazy long landing page as the norm.

      If you jump back to the early days of SEO then it worked like a charm for baiting the SE's to list that page for everything under the sun, but those days are gone with the dinosaurs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adaptive
    David, sometimes I see a long, long, long pitch for a free newsletter.

    If I like what I see from the start of the letter... skim through and nothing really shouts "NO" at me... then I might sign up, without having read the whole thing.

    There must be enough other people who do this to make it worthwhile for the long signup letters to keep running.

    Regards,
    Allen
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  • Profile picture of the author mschmalenbach
    Hi David

    A good point, well made!

    I struggle with this at times - I don't like to read long squeeze pages, yet find myself wanting to write long squeeze pafes of my own - something about wanting to furnish the reader with the info needed so they can make an informed decision about my offering.

    Now, I'm no saint at this, but I am (too slowly) beginning to edit my squeeze pages to make use of a couple of things:

    1 - Active voice - it generally leads to shorter sentences - Google this for more info - my fave resource is at Active and Passive Verbs

    2 - 4-MAT system by Bernice MacCarthy - see Bernice McCarthy - The 4-mat System

    Basically with 4-MAT you provide an overall '4-MAT' of the product or service up front so to speak, and then do mini 4-MATs for each major section or aspect of the product or service.

    So, you provide a 'WHAT' - what is the product or service.
    You provide a 'WHY' - why should the reader be interested, a WIIFM if you like
    Also you provide some essence of 'HOW' - not too much as you'll want to keep much of the HOW for your product or service - you don't want to give it ALL away!
    Finally provide a 'WHAT IF' - an upside and a downside [or maybe just an upsaide... ]

    And then if the reader wants to learn more specifics, they can dive off to a secondary page (open in new window or tab) if necessary...

    It's all to do with thinking preferences and how people learn & communicate. We all have a preference for 1 or 2 of the 4-MAT elements and if these aren't answered very quickly, at the start almost of the page, then we struggle to stay attentive to the rest of the page and it's content, and so any further sales 'blurb' is wasted on some - perhaps on too many...

    After all, who can afford to lose ANY visitors?

    Cheers

    Martin
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    • Profile picture of the author Wakunahum
      Usability 101: You can scroll past the text you don't want to read.
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      • Profile picture of the author DavidTheMavin
        Originally Posted by Wakunahum View Post

        Usability 101: You can scroll past the text you don't want to read.
        Not when the text, demonstration or free account link is hidden within a bunch of salesy copy.

        I've found some of the "leaders" in kw software don't even have a simple link to bring you to an order form. There will be a # link that brings you to another link (and in one case you still have to scroll to the order link), then that link brings you to a cart page (not even the actual order page) and then a third click brings you to the "Join Page". That's THREE clicks just to order something, not good from my years of analyzing conversions and drop off rates. Look at any p r o n site and you'll see there's usually a "Join Here" link that will bring you directly to the page that you enter your CC info and that's it, and that's the way it's been for years.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rachel Rofe
    Agreed.

    This video was PHENOMENAL in proving this even more (it's from the guy who created Frank Kern's landing pages, Matt Trainer):

    Internet Business Blog, Internet Marketing Advice Blog Archive Conversion secrets for 2009 revealed…
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  • Profile picture of the author TrafficWhizz
    there has been research done to say taht long sales page are better. The resaon being is psychological in that people feel they are getting more value when they are reading a long sales page. It has been shown that people do tend to read the first few hundred words and then scroll down all the way to the P.S's at the bottom.

    With the rise and easiness of video on the internet it seem sthat alot more people will soon be using video as a means of sales page. It would be a hell of a lot easier, plus people seem to be able to sell themselves better in person than in writing, so it might see a sharp drop in copywriters, or maybe even a new breed of video copywriters... creepy!
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel E Taylor
    I recently converted to all video and ditched the long sales letters. I use to write long sales letters and use them for all my products. It's 2009, with it being as easy as it is to use video I see long sales letters dying out soon.

    Video is the way to go.
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    • Profile picture of the author stevenh512
      Originally Posted by Daniel E Taylor View Post

      I recently converted to all video and ditched the long sales letters.
      It's important to remember that high speed internet is still far from a "worldwide" thing. In some areas, it's simply not available for any price and won't be any time in the near future. If you want to convert to all video sales pages that's certainly your choice, and I can see how it would convert better for those who do have "modern" conveniences like high speed internet, but keep in mind that you're also losing potential customers. Some of us will never buy from you simply because your sales message will never "reach" us.

      I'm stuck with dialup, nothing I can do about it. When I see an all video sales page I don't care what the product is or who's selling it, it's an instant "bounce" because I'm not going to wait half an hour for a video to buffer just so somebody can try to sell me something.

      edit: Of course, there are a few exceptions to that.. for example I did take advantage of Mike Filsaime's "free" Butterfly Marketing 2.0 offer even though the sales page was all video.. but in that case, I was already "sold" on the product 3 years ago, I just couldn't afford it at the time.
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  • Profile picture of the author nanexist
    Personally, I agree. I hate it. I hate those long friggin pages. So annoying. How can anyone prefer that?
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    • Profile picture of the author vicone
      My understanding is that the subject is about long Squeeze (Optin) pages rather than long sales letters.

      Designers of these pages may have several reasons for the way they structure the page.

      * Naturally, obtaining a high optin rate is important.

      * Establishing credibility. The designer may consider it important to spend time building 'social proof' (testimonials) for their freebie, especially if it is an 'ecourse', to show that it has perceived value.

      * Getting indexed by the search engines. The designer may want this page to receive a high ranking in the SERP (search engine results pages) to increase free traffic to that page. To enable this, enough content with relevant keywords will need to be on that page for the search engines to consider the page has value beyond capturing addresses.

      If a long optin page is produced, a canny designer will have at least two optin forms - one high up, preferably above the fold (before scrolling), to capture the addresses of those who don't need a lot of persuasion and are ready to roll! The other optin form will be placed towards the bottom for those who've had the stamina to read the whole damn thing.

      The following landing page has been designed with those factors in mind and has proven to be successful at it. It has an optin rate of 30% without using popups. I've had similar success with a somewhat shorter version (fewer testimonials) but it demonstrates the point that much of the content is for indexing purposes (search engines). The graphics are for human readers.

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      Ivan
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      • Profile picture of the author Midas3 Consulting
        Video over long copy anyday..

        However where people go wrong is they seem to think video is an en excuse for poor copy.

        The video should have as much time and equally as good a script as the copy it replaced.

        For the record I think most IM'ers are bored silly with IM stuff and either skim or leave within 20-30 seconds, but that's IM'ers, people are still making insane money in niches with long copy...
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  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    In my experience ambiguity is great for getting people to sign up to squeeze page. Raise lots of interesting points that arouse curiosity but to actually get the info they have to sign up.

    I have seen boost in my conversions by putting lots of questions on the squeeze page and then saying to get the answers they have to sign up.
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  • Profile picture of the author Roca
    I've seen both work, short and long copy. My guess is that it depends on how you segment and reach visitors...if one targets teens with a short attention span for a non-complicated or cheap product, then short copy will work. If the product is relatively expensive, or the target market is a bit more left-brain, then longer copy will work.
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  • Profile picture of the author ElectricChili
    I do a search for $ to find out what the price is. I don't have time to read a long sales page only to find out that it's overpriced. Some people want you to optin to find out the price. I'll never buy anything from someone who does that.

    Rich Scherlitz
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  • Profile picture of the author Marketing Donut
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas
    Originally Posted by DavidTheMavin View Post

    I know I don't! Once I see a ton of text and a super long landing or squeeze page I say forget it.
    Personally, I hate video... why do you and others think everyone wants to watch it? (If they even can... a lot of people are STILL confined to dial-up, even in 2009).

    But I know that I (like you) am not everybody; The fact that I (or you) don't like something doesn't mean it isn't viable, appropriate, or effective.

    Tommy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Thomas View Post

      Personally, I hate video...

      Tommy.
      So do I. Any properly written sale page/squeeze page has bullet points that I can absorb in about a minute. Why would I want to sit through a 30 minute video instead? Answer: I wouldn't. And I don't.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    For me Video sales letter is part of the qualifying process.

    If you can't see the sale letter, you wouldn't be able to use the product.

    Just one way to maintain a focused list of people that have qualified themselves as having a connection that is required to use my products.

    Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author Technologize
      It's annoying. I just scroll down to the bottom, see how much it is, and do a quick scan.

      In terms of video, i don't mind it, if it's used properly & they get to the point quickly.

      Best sales squeeze page i've seen in a long time has virtually no text, and a decent video that showed exactly what the product did, without fluff and hype and crap.

      I hope that IM'ers will realize, we just don't' have time to read through all the hype BS. If you're product is decent, we'll buy it. No hype needed for products that do a job and do it properly.

      We'll most likely find two opinions here:

      1. The people who like it - They'll be IM'ers.
      2. The people who don't like it - They'll be buyers
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    • Profile picture of the author stevenh512
      Originally Posted by netmalls View Post

      Just one way to maintain a focused list of people that have qualified themselves as having a connection that is required to use my products.
      I'm curious what kind of products you're selling that would "require" me to have a high speed internet connection in order to use them. I can upload and download large files just fine even if it does take a lot longer that it would for you. It might take me an extra hour or so to upload, but other than the time involved I could make a video sales page just as easily as anyone else could. So really, what is it that requires me to have a high speed internet connection, other than the fact that I don't have the patience to sit through half an hour of buffering to see and listen to a sales pitch that I could have read in less than half that time?

      Not trying to be insulting or argue with you.. I'm just curious.. and honestly I think a lot of money is being left on the table by people who assume that someone absolutely "needs" a high speed internet connection to buy or use their products. I'm sure there are exceptions to that, but for the most part, I can do anything on dialup that you can do on cable or dsl.. it just takes me a lot longer.. lol
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      • Profile picture of the author jerodrx
        Really someone read a long sales letter or optin page?,
        if i see something that looks useful on the sales page,
        my next step is to go and see some reviews of the product.

        But i really think that there is some psicological stuff involved,
        because just try to put yourself on the shoes of the person that
        wants you to optin to his list or buy something from you.

        Wouldn't you try to explain all the facts about your product?,
        and of course you would try to convince everyone that your
        report or e-course is the best, so in consecuence they think that
        a long sales letter is the best way to do it.

        The same is for long videos
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  • Profile picture of the author DavidTheMavin
    Well anyone who subscribes to the 4HWW won't like the long squeeze page either. If it takes an hour to read about one product you're wasting some serious time!
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  • Profile picture of the author Chance Russell
    Test with long copy, medium copy, short copy. Test with video, video plus short copy, video plus medium, video plus long.

    That will tell you what people want.

    Personally, If I see a squeeze page or salesletter with nothing but video, I'm gone. I'm not going to sit through your video. Give me the option of reading, I'll stick around.

    But that doesn't mean squat in the great scheme of things. That's just my personal preference.

    Testing tells the tale.

    Chance
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  • Profile picture of the author DavidTheMavin
    Originally Posted by Razer Rage View Post

    I agree and disagree.

    I agree in that I would rather see a shorter sales page, and I think that you can do just as well with a short sales page, as you can with a long sales page.

    However, people do not have shorter attention spans on the internet. It is exactly the same.

    The only reason they seem to have "shorter" attention spans is because everything on the internet is faster than in real life.

    It doesn't matter how long or short your sales copy is. If you are an engaging writer, and know how to entertain your audience, you can make your sales copy as long as you like. Or as short as you like.
    I can't find the quote right now, but there's numerous usability studies that show that people tend to read XX% less words online then in print.

    If anyone can find the quotes that would be great
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  • Profile picture of the author DavidTheMavin
    Ahh here's one, but I think the majority of this comes from Jakob Nielson which is arguable:

    "On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely. "

    Here's a good blog with the details of the two:

    Web copywriting: less is NOT more!


    Good point from that blog:
    The thing a reader should 'do' on a webpage cannot be reached if they must read the WHOLE text first. That is something visitors simply do not do. We have seen that they read something between 20% and 77%, but never 100%. So, when doing textual conversion optimization you must make sure the conversion goal is present on several locations of the page. Otherwise it might not even get noticed;
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    Steven,

    My products are streaming videos

    Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author stevenh512
      Originally Posted by netmalls View Post

      Steven,

      My products are streaming videos

      Mark
      Ok, in that case it makes perfect sense and that's one of the "exceptions" I had in mind.. lol.. if I don't have the patience to wait for your video "sales letter" to buffer I might not have the patience to wait for your products to buffer either... although I have been known to let a video load "in the background" while I'm in another window doing other things if it's something I'm interested in (or something I paid for), so depending on the videos you might still be leaving a little bit of money on the table, but probably not as much as I'm thinking people are leaving on the table with other products.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    For the 8,759th time on this forum... there is no such thing
    as sales copy that is too long... sadly, however, there is a lot
    of sales copy that is too boring.

    If you write interesting stuff people will read it no matter how long it is.

    Tsnyder
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    I think most people who argue this really have no clue WHY long sales copy is in fact long.

    Oh - and a squeeze page is not the same thing as a sales letter.
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  • Profile picture of the author prabhakar
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    • Profile picture of the author Robert Puddy
      Originally Posted by prabhakar View Post

      I also had this question in my mind from day 1.

      I never read long sales letters or squeeze pages. I can't watch video because of my slow connection. Here is my process;

      1. Read header, scroll down to see if there is any bulleted list [features].
      2. If that is there and I find it interesting, then I will optin, or scroll down to see the price if it's a sales letter.
      3. If it's a sales letter, then I will search reviews for that product.

      I may buy it.

      But when I analysed myself, I came to know that I do like long sales pages. Not to read, but it makes an impression of knowledge.

      I like thse type of pages, which provide everything I need.
      Example
      Yes, it's an affiliate link, but only for example. [ Only visible for US ].
      Every body does this and its why long copy works


      Headline and first paragraph makes them go check the price at the bottom, which is where the bullet points are to reinforce the headline and first paragraph

      If you held their interest there then they go read the sales letter for more information

      Everything between the the top of the fold and the bullet points is to over come objections and answer any and all questions that might come up

      Which is why its long because you have to think of every question a prospect might have
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  • Profile picture of the author stevenh512
    I don't mind long sales letters and squeeze pages, if they're done right. By that I don't just mean "not boring" and formatted in a way that I can "skim". I also mean it shouldn't take forever to load on a slower connection.

    One example of what I'm talking about is some of the huge 50+ product OTO sales pages that are usually designed with so many "tables within tables" that I find myself sitting here for 20 minutes just waiting for the page to load to the point that I can see the "order" and "no thanks" buttons. If I see an OTO I like, I'll buy it, but if it's taking that time to load I've usually already lost interest in whatever you're trying to sell me by the time I can see the bottom of the page.. lol

    I've also seen "regular" (non-OTO) sales pages that suffer from the same problem, so much "tables within tables" that they take ages to load and render on a slower connection.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Some good points made here. Some of this stuff, though, is hysterical.

    Personal opinion: I hate most video in this market. It wastes my time. Too much fluff, and there's no way anyone can talk as fast as the average person reads. I read a tad faster than average.

    Some people love video. That's why they're called "markets," not "the population."

    Facts: I currently have the longest subscription page I've ever seen for a free newsletter. It converts 45% to 60% of the people who land on it to confirmed subscribers. (Varies with the source.)

    The confirmation rate, over the past 30 days, is 86%.

    There are 3 forms on the page. One right at the top, one about in the middle, and one at the bottom. All 3 get used. People decide for themselves how much information is enough.

    No background, no ebook cover, no photo. No video. Dirt simple page layout. 2767 words of plain black text on a white field.

    The book I give away there is not 12 pages, it's 112. My newsletter issues tend to run to more pages than many others have paragraphs. And it's all plain text.

    Tell me again why I'd want to use short copy or video to promote that?

    So someone with the attention span of a cat on speed subscribes, only to unsubscribe when they realize I'm not dumbing things down? To satisfy the people who insist that I feed them mindless patterns to follow, instead of explaining how to create new ones for themselves?

    Screw that.

    Do I lose some people this way? Sure. You'll lose some people no matter which way you do anything. The trick is to consciously decide which ones you lose (the ones you don't want) and which ones you keep (the ones you do want). Design your system to that end.

    If short copy gets you the people you want, that's what you should use. If video does the trick, smile for the camera.

    You tailor your approach to the desired outcome. Consider your prospect, your promise, and the expectations you set. You look for a consistent user experience.

    You do not build your marketing systems to satisfy the whims of a forum whiner who wants everything free, perfect, effortless, and NOW DAMMIT!

    Unless that's your market.

    If that's the case, well... Dog help you. You're going to need it.


    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    Boo.. Yah! ^ ^ Dude's got it going ON above!

    Long Vs Short...

    Your own niche markets will decide... and, as if we don't know already... it comes down to:

    TESTING for conversion

    No amount of forum complaints are gonna have me changing anything about my sales funnel(s).. only raw numbers will...

    Peace

    Jay
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    • Profile picture of the author Midas3 Consulting
      As usual, these "which is better" type threads always fall on their arse with one camp stipulating how well "x" works for them and the other camp telling us their stats to support the fact that "y" works better.

      Only a couple of people have really dialled in on the fact that:

      a) It entirely depends on how good the video is.
      b) It entirely depends on the market itself
      c) It entirely depends on how pre-sold the traffic is that's hitting the site.
      d) It entirely depends on the type of traffic and the demographic hitting the site.

      And so on and so forth..

      It's pretty much pointless moaning about "long videos" when infact some of the most successful video opt in style pages are less than 60 seconds long. You really don't have 60 seconds to watch a video or did you just fancy moaning during your first coffee of the day..

      People waste way to much time arguing over minutia or irrelevent semantics in an atmosphere where the semantics are typically moot and the answer actually dwells in nailing down why "x" or "y" is better in a given scenario.
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      • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
        Originally Posted by BlogBrowser View Post

        It doesnt matter an iota "WHY long sales copy is in fact long". .
        keep thinking that... and best of luck
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesMSpacey
    I'm for a short and to the point squeeze with enough to pique interest and make the reader want more. After all, you're offering something for nothing. That's the clincher. There's no need to convince someone to take out their credit card or wonder about value. $0.00 says value to me almost every day of the week.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      James,
      I'm for a short and to the point squeeze with enough to pique interest and make the reader want more. After all, you're offering something for nothing. That's the clincher. There's no need to convince someone to take out their credit card or wonder about value.
      You missed my point, or replied before reading my post.

      There are other reasons for long copy on an opt-in page. You set expectations from that first contact. If I plan to deliver in-depth content, is it in my interests, or those of potential subscribers, that I set an expectation of quickie notes?

      None of this is rocket science, but it's not as simple "Free? Gimme!," either.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Simon,
        His proof is just as usable as yours Paul, now your heading into semantics of whether his data is proof or not
        Semantics?

        Opinion is not proof.

        It's not even evidence. It's just that - opinion. Fine for making personal decisions, but not for giving definitive professional guidance to others.

        What "data" did anyone in this thread offer, besides mine and the comments about what percentage of a given page the average person will read?

        A single opinion is not "data."

        As for the rest... You could not dismantle my positions here without having to change your own. We're saying the same thing.


        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author Midas3 Consulting
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Simon,Semantics?

          Opinion is not proof.

          It's not even evidence. It's just that - opinion. Fine for making personal decisions, but not for giving definitive professional guidance to others.

          What "data" did anyone in this thread offer, besides mine and the comments about what percentage of a given page the average person will read?

          A single opinion is not "data."

          As for the rest... You could not dismantle my positions here without having to change your own. We're saying the same thing.

          Paul

          Paul,

          He didn't state an opinion, he stated what worked for him with his setup. That's not opinion. An opinion would be " I think if I had a landing page long copy would suck". I presume we are talking about the same guy here, not the OP.

          Your "proof" is proof within the context of your situation and your situation only, past that has very little standing as it relates to another niche. It has no nore basis than his "opinion". Do you have the split test reports from your site showing where you tested video in conjunction with various lengths of copy over the general long copy , somehow I'm thinking not, inreality your data isn't very useful.

          For the record, some people in IM, who are making millions on top of millions per year have all but done away with long copy on squeeze pages and it works for them, you however are finding it works for you, that makes neither party "wrong" as you put it. It makes it situational. I think we can all manage without being protected from the likes of Frank Kern who also says long copy on squeeze pages doesnt' work for him any more, that doesn't make him wrong , it also doesn't you make you wrong either, it just happens to be the case for him and his situation.

          As for the rest... You could not dismantle my positions here without having to change your own. We're saying the same thing.
          There was a considerable amount of fluff in your previous post which didn't require a response, nor would it have served any point as it would have taken us even further away from the basic discussion here.

          There is no right or wrong, you are not defending us poor impressionable warriors from "baseless" inacurate statements. People are making comments about their experience and what has worked for them and it carries just as much validity as your own experience.

          At this point your focus seems to be whether "X" posters data is as good as yours, whilst not accepting that your data is ONLY relevent to your situation, that's the crux and why actually I'm not saying the same as you.

          I'm not making the case other people are wrong, well perhaps apart from the OP who thinks long copy is dead because twitter is popular.

          Perhaps you could lay down exactly what your point is, mine is very simple.

          People are not wrong when they say long copy does not work on their squeeze pages.

          What exactly at this juncture is your point ?
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      • Profile picture of the author Wade Watson
        Personally, I've always been repulsed by the standard long squeeze page. I think they work on a wear-down theory. If somebody sticks around long enough to read all that copy, they may be worn down to the point of giving in and buying.

        When I first started selling on eBay, I surveyed the styles of hundreds of successful description pages. To my surprise, the longest ones, with tons of text and lots of photos, seemed to generally sell comparable items the best.

        The video method probably works similarly. Once they commit to sitting through several minutes of video, they're past the quick-browse stage.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    David,
    I know I don't! Once I see a ton of text and a super long landing or squeeze page I say forget it.
    You are not my prospect. I want you to leave. And you benefit from seeing the long copy, because it saves you time.

    Funny how that works, eh?
    Don't IM'ers know that people ready significantly less and have shorter attention spans on the Internet? This is usability 101 from like 1996 here.
    That's true of a great many people. But it's a long way from universal. You sound like Jakob "lowest common denominator" Nielsen.

    Brilliant man. Very funny. Seems to think we're all stupid.
    I mean just look at the popularity of twitter.
    Yeah. Really. Look at it. That's the end result of your thinking.

    Big news is, "What I had for lunch."

    Some of us prefer a higher level of discourse than that.


    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
    I've said it before and I'll no doubt say it
    again..

    "Sales copy should be like a ladies skirt..
    short enough to be interesting and long
    enough to cover the bare essentials"


    Personal preferences are meaningless. What
    really matters is the behaviour of the people
    who you are targeting.

    If you look at Paul's first post above you'll see
    a golden nugget of advice. Positioning your
    optin form to give the prospect some choice
    about where in the process they subscribe.

    John
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    John's Internet Marketing News, Views & Reviews: John Taylor Online
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    • Profile picture of the author PaulDomains
      Long Copy sells more than Short Copy, according to Aweber, because Long copy contains something very important for the customer: DETAILS.

      When you go shopping, and if you are as picky as most shoppers, you ask the salesperson everything and then when you have all the details, you ask him to repeat 95% of what he has just said.

      Besides a sales strategy, long copy works also as a "distraction sophism" as a friend of mine, manager of a big furniture manufacturing company said once.

      Your customer, if he-she wants to buy your product, will read and save the document, bookmark for later study and so on. If you don't offer that in your sales letter, you have no argument to sustain.

      The more information you offer, the more results you get. Now, having said that, I am trying both modalities. You can call it a "business experiment" which I will offer as a report to my subscribers eventually, for Free of course.

      So far, my $0.02
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  • Profile picture of the author John Atkins
    Hi david,

    I have created many landing pages in the past and I still do. I have to say that you're right, a sales page with a lot of text will not convert that much.

    If the visitors that come to your page are targeted, then you don't need tons of text and thousands of words.

    I'd like to keep my landing pages small and straight to the point. I also write some good sales text and paste in the testimonials.

    Most buyers hate landing pages with a lot of text and content. Just explain the features of the product in short so that you'll make them curious.

    Then all you have to do is generate targeted traffic to the squeeze page and watch the cash roll in
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    • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
      Originally Posted by a-marketing View Post


      I have created many landing pages in the past and I still do. I have to say that you're right, a sales page with a lot of text will not convert that much.
      Do you have any test data to back up that
      assertion?

      My extensive test results show the complete
      opposite.

      John
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      • Profile picture of the author John Atkins
        Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post

        Do you have any test data to back up that
        assertion?

        My extensive test results show the complete
        opposite.

        John

        Do you mean proof? No I don't keep any records sorry :/

        Over the years I have found out that people will usually get bored if you write down large chunks of text on the landing page.

        I'm not saying that you shouldn't write any text, all I'm saying is that you should keep it brief and straight to the point!

        If the product cannot be explained in short, then I suggest that you write down all the text necessary but don't forget to make new paragraphs for every 3 sentences or 4 and use bullet forms etc... so that people can skim read through the content

        Hope that helps
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Do you mean proof? No I don't keep any records sorry :/

          Over the years I have found out that people will usually get bored if you write down large chunks of text on the landing page.
          They get bored ... are you sitting down? ... if you're boring!

          TalkBiz News

          Not exactly breathless prose, eh? Despite that, over 50% of the people who visit that page subscribe and confirm their subscriptions.

          That page is one part of a process. The whole process is made to fit into a continuous and consistent experience for the people who eventually read the book and newsletter that comes out the other side.

          If the intended experience would have been better served by a short page, that's what I would have used. I would only have judged that to be the case after testing.

          Part of my perfect prospect definition is, "Willing to read and expend effort in thought."

          It's exactly the same as the person whose product is streaming video. He'd be foolish to sell it with text alone. It's a Qualifier.


          Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        John,
        Do you have any test data to back up that assertion?
        You're talking to people whose "test data" usually amounts to, "I did a short page and it worked, so long pages must not work." Or, if they're really experienced, "I did a subscription page with long copy and it didn't work. The problem must have been the number of words."

        Intense testing means "At least 2 people whined about the long copy."

        I just handed them a live example, with real numbers, that they can see for themselves. I did that page the way I did specifically to show that simple still works, if the offer is right.

        They don't care about data, John. They. Have. Opinions.


        Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Midas3 Consulting
        Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post


        My extensive test results show the complete
        opposite.

        John
        In which market, under what conditions, pre sold traffic, raw traffic, free traffic, JV.......

        Jeez guys, you are going around in circles.

        There is NO right or wrong here, it's really very simple, long copy works , anybody who says otherwise is delusional, short copy works, videos work, all can beat each other in any given situation.

        This "my proof is better than your proof" game is the most ridiculous waste of time.
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        • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
          Originally Posted by SimonHarrison View Post

          Jeez guys, you are going around in circles.
          welcome to the warrior forum

          Originally Posted by SimonHarrison View Post

          There is NO right or wrong here, it's really very simple, long copy works , anybody who says otherwise is delusional, short copy works, videos work, all can beat each other in any given situation.
          Originally Posted by SimonHarrison View Post

          This "my proof is better than your proof" game is the most ridiculous waste of time.
          So true Simon.

          There is so many variables like where the traffic is coming from, who is the audience and how targeted it is, does the audience already know, like, and trust you, is the video good?
          Signature

          "One Man's Ceiling is Another Man's Floor
          "


          "I Pay Less Attention to What Men Say. I Just Watch What They Do."
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    • Profile picture of the author John Atkins
      I'm sorry if I was interpreted wrong in this post.

      Originally Posted by a-marketing View Post

      I have created many landing pages in the past and I still do. I have to say that you're right, a sales page with a lot of text will not convert that much.

      If the visitors that come to your page are targeted, then you don't need tons of text and thousands of words.
      I was just sharing my experience. Just because a simple landing page has worked for me, that doesn't mean it's going to work for you guys.

      I have also written this:

      "If the visitors that come to your page are targeted, then you don't need tons of text and thousands of words."

      I'm saying here that your traffic has to be TARGETED (very targeted) if you want a simple landing page with few text to convert.

      If the traffic is NOT targeted, then you have to add more text on your landing page, so that people will understand what they're going to buy, join etc....

      Anyway Paul is right, I should've been clearer in my post.

      Hope that solves any misunderstanding
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        "If the visitors that come to your page are targeted, then you don't need tons of text and thousands of words."
        Targeted and pre-sold, perhaps. There are other factors, like how much they know about the product, the price, how badly they want it, whether it's something new or an established commodity, how copy length will affect consumption (use) of the product, what kind of expectations you want to set, where the page fits in the process, and probably more that I'm not thinking of at the moment.

        If there's a mix in the market, give them options. The first chance to sign up on the page I was discussing appears after a whopping 72 words. That's pretty short copy. Whenever they make a decision, it's easy to scroll to a form.

        Let them decide when they want to buy. (As if we have any control over that anyway.)

        There are no cut-and-dried answers for most of these things.

        Oh... Not to worry, dude. Very few people here even remember discussions like this as connected to any one person. Even fewer of us take them personally.

        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Simon,
          Nobody in this thread is stupid enough to take a single 2 line post as red that all long copy is irrelevent without questioning it, it's absurd.
          To you and I, sure, they're absurd.

          But I'm not talking about the people "in" the thread. I'm talking about a lot of people who read these things and assume that anything that's not challenged, and which they see repeated often, must be true.

          Whether you care to believe it or not, it happens. A lot.
          Said without a hint of irony.... but plenty of arrogance at least.
          See, this is where audio or video helps. Not one person I've ever said that to in person or over the phone has taken it as anything but good humor.

          Perhaps you have assumptions about my tone and intent that simply don't apply?

          You may dismiss my comments as irrelevant. They may even be so, to you. I can assure you, they are quite relevant to my purpose, which is keeping people from being led into inaction or wrong action by seriously mistaken statements in a professional forum.


          Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author TheAngelGuy
    I hate to ask something so obvious here - but the content seems to go from "sales" to "landing/squeeze" pages, sometimes in the same sentence.

    Sales pages would seem to HAVE to be longER - at least as long as necessary to tell you EVERYTHING that you're going to get and the major benefits of using the product and buying now. Takes a few words, I'd say.

    But a landing/squeeze page - just enough to pique interest to get the opt-in, if that's not obvious to everyone.

    So in future replies to this thread, could the posters please make it more apparent which they are referring to?

    Thanks a lot,

    - Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author John Atkins
    It depends on what you're promoting.

    For example sometimes I like to sell "weight loss" products and promote them by article marketing.

    In the article I talk about the "weight loss" product and I include a link back to my landing page. I usually use the anchor text "order [product name] now" or something like that.

    People will have already read about the product in the article, so they head over to the landing page to buy the product, not to read more about it.

    A perfect landing page for this will be a simple one, with some good sales text and some testimonials.

    I generate plenty of sales by using this simple method.

    EVERYTHING WORKS, IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU'RE PROMOTING!

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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Simon,
      This "my proof is better than your proof" game is the most ridiculous waste of time.
      I don't see anyone discounting anyone else's proof. What I see, and what I believe is required, is people challenging opinions that are put forth as fact, without any evidence to support them.

      I don't see anyone saying that short copy or video won't work. That's good, because it would be as ridiculous as the OP's comments about long copy, or the other, similar comments that followed.

      This is only a waste of time if you assume a purpose different than what some of us have for continuing the discussion. A lot of the old-timers here (by which I mean length of membership, not age) will call people on these baseless pronunciations in order to keep others from being misled.

      We know full well that the OP isn't going to change his mind. Not any time soon, at any rate.

      We are responding to the people in this thread, but we're speaking to the folks out there who are quitely reading, and who may not realize just how wrong this kind of blanket statement can be.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Midas3 Consulting
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Simon,I don't see anyone discounting anyone else's proof.
        Paul
        Paul, you recently responded indirectly with this:

        You're talking to people whose "test data" usually amounts to, "I did a short page and it worked, so long pages must not work." Or, if they're really experienced, "I did a subscription page with long copy and it didn't work. The problem must have been the number of words."

        Intense testing means "At least 2 people whined about the long copy."

        I just handed them a live example, with real numbers, that they can see for themselves. I did that page the way I did specifically to show that simple still works, if the offer is right.

        They don't care about data, John. They. Have. Opinions.
        That sounds exactly like discounting somebody's "proof" .

        What I see, and what I believe is required, is people challenging opinions that are put forth as fact, without any evidence to support them.
        The point is however Paul, that you seem to putting your opinions over as fact, and fact they may be within your specific situation , it does not however make them fact across the board, your evidence is about as much use as a chocolate teapot as it relates to somebody elses niche.

        This is only a waste of time if you assume a purpose different than what some of us have for continuing the discussion. A lot of the old-timers here (by which I mean length of membership, not age) will call people on these baseless pronunciations in order to keep others from being misled.
        I didnt' see anybody being misled, I saw you having an opinion based on your experience and others having the same.


        We know full well that the OP isn't going to change his mind. Not any time soon, at any rate.
        I agree his argument that Twitter is popular therefore long copy is redundant is bleeding daft but that doesn't mean that the suggestion that some markets have less tolerance for long copy is erroneous.

        This is only a waste of time if you assume a purpose different than what some of us have for continuing the discussion. A lot of the old-timers here (by which I mean length of membership, not age) will call people on these baseless pronunciations in order to keep others from being misled.
        Putting the OP aside, people have given their experiences in their niches , they are far from baseless and nobody is in my opinion being misled at all. People are saying what works for them in their particular market, it happens to be different to yours, that doesn't make it baseless or inacurate.

        Is long copy superior on squeeze pages in some situations .. yes, is it poorer in others, YES.

        That Paul is why It seems a waste of time, because there's no end game here, there is no right or wrong in this equation, there is simply situational congruency.
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Simon,
          That sounds exactly like discounting somebody's "proof".
          Except that neither he, nor anyone else supporting his position, offered any. I discounted an unsubstantiated opinion offered as immutable market reality.

          If I missed some evidence or data, please point me to it. That's always a possibility.
          The point is however Paul, that you seem to putting your opinions over as fact, and fact they may be within your specific situation , it does not however make them fact across the board, your evidence is about as much use as a chocolate teapot as it relates to somebody elses niche.
          You are not responding, Simon. You're reacting.

          The data I presented was in rebuttal to blanket statements. It clearly demonstrates that "Nobody reads that stuff" is untrue, at least some of the time.

          I have been very careful throughout this thread to avoid making blanket statements to the effect that anything "won't work at all." You'll note, if you check, that my only comment about video, other than that it works for some things, was clearly labelled as personal opinion.

          We are pretty much agreeing on the positions.

          You don't have a problem with what I've actually said, Simon. You have a problem with what you think I've said, or the tone in which I've said it.
          I didnt' see anybody being misled, I saw you having an opinion based on your experience and others having the same.
          Are we reading the same thread?

          There are people throughout this thread saying that "[presentation format X] doesn't work for Y." Those statements are ALL wrong, and could easily mislead people into avoiding potentially profitable techniques and opportunities.

          I stated facts, in the form of actual measured data, and put them within a specific context: My "sales" process for my newsletter. I then pointed out that you should look for what works best for you, based on your situation.

          I have not ruled out any form of presentation in this thread.

          Do you see the difference between that and "They MUST be short, or they won't work?"
          that doesn't mean that the suggestion that some markets have less tolerance for long copy is erroneous.
          Show me where I said it was.
          People are saying what works for them in their particular market
          I am not arguing with anyone who said anything close to that. I'm pointing out the ridiculousness of making broad, blanket statements about what "won't work, anywhere."


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          • Profile picture of the author Midas3 Consulting
            Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

            Simon,Except that neither he, nor anyone else supporting his position, offered any. I discounted an unsubstantiated opinion offered as immutable market reality.

            If I missed some evidence or data, please point me to it. That's always a possibility.You are not responding, Simon. You're reacting.

            The data I presented was in rebuttal to blanket statements. It clearly demonstrates that "Nobody reads that stuff" is untrue, at least some of the time.

            I have been very careful throughout this thread to avoid making blanket statements to the effect that anything "won't work at all." You'll note, if you check, that my only comment about video, other than that it works for some things, was clearly labelled as personal opinion.

            We are pretty much agreeing on the positions.

            You don't have a problem with what I've actually said, Simon. You have a problem with what you think I've said, or the tone in which I've said it.Are we reading the same thread?

            There are people throughout this thread saying that "[presentation format X] doesn't work for Y." Those statements are ALL wrong, and could easily mislead people into avoiding potentially profitable techniques and opportunities.

            I stated facts, in the form of actual measured data, and put them within a specific context: My "sales" process for my newsletter. I then pointed out that you should look for what works best for you, based on your situation.

            I have not ruled out any form of presentation in this thread.

            Do you see the difference between that and "They MUST be short, or they won't work?"Show me where I said it was.I am not arguing with anyone who said anything close to that. I'm pointing out the ridiculousness of making broad, blanket statements about what "won't work, anywhere."


            Paul
            His proof is just as usable as yours Paul, now your heading into semantics of whether his data is proof or not, you did dismiss the chaps comments about his landing pages in quite a condencending manner. You're no more right than any other poster in this thread Paul, you're right as it relates to your audience. They are not all WRONG, and you're right, they are talking about specific situations which relate to them. The rest of your post really is going around in circles and would require far more time to dismantle than I'm prepared to afford it. Don;'t know about you but I'm far to busy for this format.
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            seemar,
            Embrace it now and use it or you'll get left behind.
            They told me that about HTML mail, too. And that was the claim when radio came out. And then TV. And they said the Internet would make books and postal mail obsolete.

            Ain't happened. Ain't gonna happen.

            Yes, some changes will need to be accomodated. However, there are advantages to the printed word that aren't available to any other medium, and that won't be until we get devices that feed the info to the brain much more quickly than would be useful with video, and give the user the ability to interact with, and edit in real-time, what they're seeing.

            Oh... And that allow people to stop and think about what they've just been fed, without needing to reach for the remote.

            Video can be very useful for some things. In certain respects, it's much more powerful than plain text. Facial expressions, emotional nuances, and other subtle content are better communicated with video than in print.

            For most "how to" information or conceptual exposition, it's a poor third cousin to decently written textual content.

            Use what best accomplishes the purpose. If video is the right medium for the message, use it. If audio is better, go that route. Use text where text does the job most effectively.

            Choose the right tool for the job. Video is not the right tool for every job.


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  • Profile picture of the author marketguru
    i agree with the op 100%, If i see a huge page of text i immediately hit the back button
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    Didn't somebody once say:

    "A salesman is always selling, and a marketer is always testing?"

    It seems a few of the "marketers" in this thread are prepared to stop testing?...

    The ONLY thing that will decide what works in your niche IS your niche..

    They will give you the answers that you need.

    Peace

    Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author gilbertogalea
    The great of globalization is that all people aren't same, with statistics may be create groups and tendencies, but never said that all people like read long or shorts articles or post by example. Because you need to focus on your target. Do they expect a lot information to make a decision? or with a bit sentence "minor to 140 character" is good to make a buy... Then you can choice if for your products make a huge land or squezee page or send short message a many people that you can. But remember, a billions users (been humans) are online now for several ways (PC, cell, ipod, microwaves, cars, etc.), only need a system or method to fish them.
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    • Profile picture of the author seemar49
      The long sales letter was the old direct mail standard, pre internet, adapted to selling online. It was accepted as the standard way to do things as the offline marketers moved their businesses online. Video is the new wave of communication so get used to it, it's here to stay. Even so, there will always be people who prefer to read but that is because those people have the choice and knew what it was like before. 10 Years from now, You ask a child what he would prefer?(to read something or to watch something) what do you think they will choose? Some may not like video but they won't be around when things move on.

      Embrace it now and use it or you'll get left behind.
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      • Profile picture of the author Midas3 Consulting
        Originally Posted by seemar49 View Post

        The long sales letter was the old direct mail standard, pre internet, adapted to selling online. It was accepted as the standard way to do things as the offline marketers moved their businesses online. Video is the new wave of communication so get used to it, it's here to stay. Even so, there will always be people who prefer to read but that is because those people have the choice and knew what it was like before. 10 Years from now, You ask a child what he would prefer?(to read something or to watch something) what do you think they will choose? Some may not like video but they won't be around when things move on.

        Embrace it now and use it or you'll get left behind.
        If I went to a page which was designed to sell me a writing course and I was confronted with a video and some bullet points I would leave, unless I had been heavily pre-sold by some other way on the author.

        If you put long copy in front of 16 year old looking to opt in to a ring tone offer, you'll suffer equally.

        This thread really seems to me like the equivalent of "apples are better than oranges"...
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    Regarding sales letters (I'm not talking squeeze pages), the point of long copy is to cover any potential objections to the sale.

    People will read as much, or as little, as it takes to address those objections.

    This is "salesmanship in print" - since you aren't there in person, you can not take cues from your prospect as to what sort objections they have. Hence you must try your best to pro-actively address as many potential objections in your copy as you can.

    The people saying they skim and just check the price are saying that that is all it takes for their objections to be addressed. Maybe they are A.D.D., or maybe they are familiar enough with the market to simply not require the same level convincing as someone newer would require. But if they consider themself a "marketer", then for them to say "I never read all that", and then jump to the conclusion no one else does either, just shows a fundamental ignorance of sales and writing sales copy.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Razer Rage View Post

      Still, the fact is if you are an entertaining writer, then it doesn't matter how long your sales copy is.
      Entertaining writing is half the equation. You also have to have a reader willing to be entertained. Same goes for enlightening, informing, educating, or persuading.

      Here's an example. My wife has cartons of Harlequin Romance books. She reads these things all the time. So do millions of others. By definition, those writers must be "entertaining", right? Half-right. Partial credit. Set me down in front of a stack of those things, and it's good-bye insomnia. I tried reading one once, and by the fourth page, my eyes refused to focus in self-defense. Based purely on my own experience, should I go on a writing forum and tell people to forget about writing pulp romance books because "no one" will read them?

      RR, you're very close. Entertaining isn't good enough. You have to engage the reader where they are now and keep them engaged until they arrive where you want them. Look at Paul's example - three opt-in forms on the page, and all three get used.

      Originally Posted by a-marketing View Post

      It depends on what you're promoting.

      For example sometimes I like to sell "weight loss" products and promote them by article marketing.

      In the article I talk about the "weight loss" product and I include a link back to my landing page. I usually use the anchor text "order [product name] now" or something like that.

      People will have already read about the product in the article, so they head over to the landing page to buy the product, not to read more about it.

      A perfect landing page for this will be a simple one, with some good sales text and some testimonials.

      I generate plenty of sales by using this simple method.

      EVERYTHING WORKS, IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU'RE PROMOTING!

      In your example here, the landing page is just one piece of the whole process. I'd wager that if you sent cold traffic to the same landing page, you'd see lower conversions than with your pre-sold traffic.

      My opinion, based on personal observation (not hard data), is that the right length for your landing page depends less on what you are promoting than on what your whole sales process looks like.

      You apply your process to weight loss products. The same process would likely work for selling fishing tackle or time share visits or video game accessories. Or high buck Internet Marketing courses and coaching programs.

      Originally Posted by seemar49 View Post

      You got it in one, Too many opinions with too many variables. You cant please all of the people all of the time.
      The good news is that you don't have to please all of the people all of the time to be a rousing success. Ask Rush Limbaugh or Howard Stern. Find a group of people you can please well enough to break out their credit cards and ignore the rest.
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    • Profile picture of the author Midas3 Consulting
      Originally Posted by seemar49 View Post

      What's an OP?
      Original Poster../ Thread Starter.
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Simon,
          I presume we are talking about the same guy here, not the OP.
          Not the OP, whose comments I addressed individually. And probably not the "same" person, since I was talking about the tone and behavior of folks in the thread in general.

          If you're referring to the gentleman who said:
          I have created many landing pages in the past and I still do. I have to say that you're right, a sales page with a lot of text will not convert that much.
          ... note that I responded to him individually. That is the ONLY response you should assume applies to him personally.

          However, he does fall into the category of people making absolute statements. Note that he didn't put any useful qualifiers in the last part of that comment. He said, "will not convert that much."

          Will not.

          Not, "don't in my market," or "haven't for me."

          Will not.

          He is generalizing his experience to the entire world. That's exactly the sort of thing you and I have both argued against, throughout this thread.

          My response to John's quoting of him referred to "They," not "He." That is a clue.

          My first post in this thread started with, "Some good points made here. Some of this stuff, though, is hysterical." It also included a recommendation to use the tool that works, whether it's short copy, video, or whatever.
          Your "proof" is proof within the context of your situation and your situation only
          Yeah. I know. That's why I said pretty much the same thing. Don't argue with me when I'm agreeing with you.
          Do you have the split test reports from your site showing where you tested video in conjunction with various lengths of copy over the general long copy , somehow I'm thinking not, inreality your data isn't very useful.
          A: I very carefully explained why I used long copy, and why I did not use video. Go back and re-read it. It's in there. Your proof that I haven't edited that post is right there, too. If you edit a post, any "Thank you's" that were made before the edits go away. (I really like that feature.)

          B: The data I gave was NOT to prove that long copy was better than some other medium, or to suggest that video somehow "doesn't work." It was to prove that long copy can, and does, work well in the right context.

          D: For the purposes for which it was presented, the data is not only useful, it's conclusive.

          The only negative thing I've said about video in this whole thread was that I hate most of it. That was, as I've mentioned, labeled as a personal opinion, separate from anything else.

          I never said it doesn't work. Not once. That's no more likely than Frank coming in here and telling everyone that long copy never works. (Except as a joke. He might do that, if he's had enough Miller Lite. )
          There is no right or wrong, you are not defending us poor impressionable warriors from "baseless" inacurate statements.
          Oh?

          Not you, certainly, as you appear to have a grasp of the issues involved. There are a lot of people here who don't.

          Over the time I've been here, I've seen a lot of people take statements like you see here as being Gospel, and act on wrong information. A LOT of them.
          At this point your focus seems to be whether "X" posters data is as good as yours
          Wrong.

          I'm pointing out that opinions are not data at all. Experience, while potentially valuable as a guide, is not data.

          Data involves numbers. In this case, the measured actions of individual human beings in response to a call to action, stated as aggregate probabilities.
          What exactly at this juncture is your point?
          The same as I think yours are.

          Beware of absolute statements made without proper context.

          The most effective media will depend on the market, the process, and the desired result.

          Test. Don't accept anyone's statements about what's right for you. Believe your prospects' actions.


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          • Profile picture of the author Midas3 Consulting
            Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post


            Don't accept anyone's statements about what's right for you. Believe your prospects' actions.

            Paul
            Agreed, which has been my point anyway, the rest snipped as again , mostly irrelevent minutia and I don't have the kind of time to respond to every non issue in this vein.

            I think you'll find the guy qualified himself saying it depended on your market, pretty much everybody in this thread has said the same.. many times. You're just sort of banging on irrelevent.

            Don't argue with me when I'm agreeing with you
            Said without a hint of irony.... but plenty of arrogance at least.

            Nobody in this thread is stupid enough to take a single 2 line post as red that all long copy is irrelevent without questioning it, it's absurd.

            On every other point we agree, you're playing with semantics and strawmans extending an utterly moot issue frankly.

            I'll leave you to it...
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  • Profile picture of the author DavidTheMavin
    I'll bump this thread two years from now when the way to long sales page, squeeze page and landing pages are all completely extinct

    Don't say I didn't warn you
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      David,
      I'll bump this thread two years from now when the way to long sales page, squeeze page and landing pages are all completely extinct
      You do that. If you're right, I'll buy you a case of beer.

      I love comments like this. Smug, self-certain, totally unprovable when made, and hopefully forgotten when proved wrong.


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      • Profile picture of the author DavidTheMavin
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        David,You do that. If you're right, I'll buy you a case of beer.

        I love comments like this. Smug, self-certain, totally unprovable when made, and hopefully forgotten when proved wrong.


        Paul
        So you're doing the same thing by saying that you can prove something that will happen in the future as well. Bump it if I'm proven wrong.

        I've made tons of threads like these over the years and been right more than I've been wrong and I bump them either way, everything from elections to sports predictions so this isn't my first pony show Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author ayolov
    I guess it all depends. If you are bored with the content in the landingpage (or in the sales page for that matter) it means the content is pure hay. As long as you are providing valuable information to your visitor, they will be glued and read every last paragraph (ok, I exaggerated, but you know what I mean), I've read landingpages where you actually take notes, now that is value!

    That's why a good article, salespage or landingpage is an art in itself. Every word has a purpose; intrigue, relate to the reader, demonstrate product value, etc. you are slowly pointing the reader to the direction you want him/her to go/do.

    We've all seen those salespages with phony screenshots of their clickbank account and pictures of sportscars, fail in one element and the whole sale will fall into pieces. To create interest you have to go beyond just saying how great the product is, you have to demonstrate, even give a sample -or two.

    If you are looking for nutritional information for your dog and the salespage is filled with tips, owner experiences, nutritional charts, heck you'll sure read it all; but if it's a sermon about how great is your book is (filled with I, I, I)without any true value, yea the reader will doze off in the second paragraph... and click away!

    Know your market and what they want, you can write 10,000+ words in the landingpage and they will stick arround if that's what they were looking for.
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  • Profile picture of the author BlogBrowser
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      If long ass sales pages convert that well, why the best converting websites in the industry (CPA based products mostly such as **** or Beauty products) are short and go straight into the bullet points and/or a quick live action video?

      This is not a opinion, it's a fact. They are the best converting pages and they are all short on BS verborrhea.
      Have you been paying attention? Different markets, different desired actions, different approaches.

      Marketing lesson 38: Commodities are sold on impulse or differentiation. They do not require convincing anyone to buy the base product, just your version of it. Or, that you be the only version there when the decision is made to buy.

      Marketing lesson 2: The closer your product is to the mating drive, the less time is required to activate the desire to purchase it.


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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        David,

        I haven't said anything about the future, except that books and other plain text will still be around, and will still be the most effective way of communicating some forms of information.

        People have been predicting the death of long copy, the demise of plain text, and the ascension of audio or video as the new prime medium for the 10 years I've been a member here. And they almost always give the same time frame: 2 years.

        Want some predictions?

        Video will, indeed, be more common. Some of it will be excellent. Even more of it will suck, since most of the people doing it won't have a clue how to write.

        Long form sales letters will still be around, and will still be effective in markets where that's the most appropriate technology for the message. Those markets aren't going to change much. Some exceptions will exist, like self-help and motivational training, which benefit significantly from the emotional nuances that are easier to give in video formats.

        People will still be predicting the death of long copy, despite that.

        People will still whine about my newsletter because, "It's too long. Nobody will read it." As has happened for the past 12 years that I've been putting the thing out, people will read it, use it, profit from it, and buy stuff through it.

        I will be having this same discussion, for the same reason.


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  • Profile picture of the author DavidTheMavin
    This is a valid question:

    Why do IM'ers think that people want to read thousands of words on their squeeze page?

    And there are plenty of valid answers to it as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      This is a valid question:

      Why do IM'ers think that people want to read thousands of words on their squeeze page?

      And there are plenty of valid answers to it as well.
      Yep. No bout adoubt it.

      Unfortunately, some of the answers aren't valid. Some people do, indeed, waste a lot of their readers' time, with fluff and nonsense and unsubstantiated hype.

      That's an entirely different discussion, though.


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  • Profile picture of the author patfl
    For every products, there are tons of competitors, how do you think a short sales page could convince the reader that your product is better than your competitors' ones?

    Now, maybe you're in a market with less competition... enjoy while it lasts.

    Patrice
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  • Profile picture of the author patJ
    I have a short sales letter on my page and it converts very well.

    I think it really depends on the offer. If they have already been presold then the LP doesn't really need that much text.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    Even if you use video - you still need to predict and overcome objections. It is not different then a salesletter in this regard.

    And we are already seeing long vs short video discussions popping up
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    • Profile picture of the author Ryce
      Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

      Even if you use video - you still need to predict and overcome objections. It is not different then a salesletter in this regard.

      And we are already seeing long vs short video discussions popping up
      Exactly. I, for example, hate when people use auto-starting videos. I may be on the phone with a client while browsing and the "guru" will jibberish loud on my back...

      As far as long sales letters will work or not it depends on a lot of factors

      I will NOT read a LONG sales letter. I may opt in but mainly beacuse I was sold on it before.

      I do see a trend of the best gurus using more videos and less of those biblical long scripts.

      I doubt its effective. People read less
      and the type of people to fall for that kind of long sales letters (same type who buy from infomercial TV) are even less likely to read.

      The book sales data are mixed but IMHO a lot of people buy books and never get around reading let alone learning a thing or two.

      It may also happen with the IM info products. I know people that keep buying stuff and NEVER act on it. The WF itself is packed with solid knowledge that never get to see the real world of trying
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  • Profile picture of the author TheCren
    Originally Posted by DavidTheMavin View Post

    I know I don't! Once I see a ton of text and a super long landing or squeeze page I say forget it.

    Don't IM'ers know that people ready significantly less and have shorter attention spans on the Internet? This is usability 101 from like 1996 here.

    I mean just look at the popularity of twitter.
    You're confusing "squeeze page" with "sales letter." Squeeze pages don't have thousands of words, just a few bullet points, some pics, maybe a video, and certainly a capture form to get emails (of course).

    Now if you're asking why long sales letters, think of it as using an infomercial to get clients instead of a commercial. Clearly it works because many marketers use it very successfully, but it doesn't work in every market for every product type.

    The point is, you don't speak for 100% of the population. Not everyone thinks like you. Learn to think like a consumer. Many people need to hear the whole story or else they simply won't buy. Several thousand words is what it takes to sell.
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  • Profile picture of the author Canee
    It's an interesting dilemma. On one hand, I don't want to waste my time reading thousands of words or watching some crappy video. On the other hand, I want enough information to decide whether or not something is worth subscribing to or purchasing.

    I used to read through lots of long squeeze pages and sales pages, but now I have some time-saving techniques.

    1. If there is a video involved, I close the window and move on. Experience has shown me that most videos are just a huge waste of time. I don't have time to waste watching videos of someone yattering on and on without saying anything useful, helpful or important. And "how-to" videos are also mostly a waste of time, as they tend to skip over things and you are left sitting there wondering how they got from step 3 to step 4 (for example).
    2. I skim the first part of a squeeze page or sales page, then scroll down looking for highlights on the way to the bottom where the price is mentioned. Anything that costs more than $ 50 I close the window and move on, unless something I saw while scrolling down REALLY caught my attention.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
      Originally Posted by SimonHarrison View Post

      ...and would require far more time to dismantle than I'm prepared to afford it. Don;'t know about you but I'm far to busy for this format.
      Originally Posted by SimonHarrison View Post

      ...and I don't have the kind of time to respond to every non issue in this vein.
      C'mon Simon,

      Admit it...you're losing the argument. Which is silly, since both you and Paul seem to be (almost) in agreement...!?

      You can't say you're 'oh too busy' to deal with the issue...and THEN argue your latest case over several more (long copy) posts...surely?

      That'd just be...well, whatever.

      Anyway, gotta go. I'm snowed under.

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Steve,
        Admit it...you're losing the argument.
        Not possible. There was no argument. That was a classic case of points getting mixed up in a long and contentious thread.

        Man, if the worst thing anyone ever did here was say sensible things and stick up for someone he thought was being unfairly treated, and gave me a little polite tussle in the process... Well, that'd be a really nice worst case, wouldn't it?
        Anyway, gotta go. I'm snowed under.
        Have I told you lately you're a smartass, Steve?


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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Have I told you lately you're a smartass, Steve?


          Paul

          Don't get me started on you, Myers.

          Please.



          Steve

          P.S. Pretty please?
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Steve,
            Don't get me started on you, Myers.
            C'mon. You and Reilly both.

            Which one o' you foist? I can fight you both together if you want. I can fight you with one paw... err... hand tied behind my back...


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            • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

              Steve,C'mon. You and Reilly both.

              Which one o' you foist? I can fight you both together if you want. I can fight you with one paw... err... hand tied behind my back...


              Paul
              Nah...

              My mudda told me it was rude to hit a man in a hat.

              (...just before they carted her off to the nut-house)
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              • Profile picture of the author BrentRarama
                I've also wondered too why some of these sales pages are so long. But I've fallen for it a couple times. I'll start reading it from the beginning and my buying temp starts to get up... by the time I get to the bottom and find out the cost. BAM my credit card comes out. I guess they make them long for people like me haha. I've learned though after that happening twice... I go straight to the bottom to find the cost... then read it.

                I do notice though with the long sales pages that are effective is the copy has the ability to raise a person's buying temp.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Steve,Not possible. There was no argument. That was a classic case of points getting mixed up in a long and contentious thread.

          Man, if the worst thing anyone ever did here was say sensible things and stick up for someone he thought was being unfairly treated, and gave me a little polite tussle in the process... Well, that'd be a really nice worst case, wouldn't it?


          Paul
          Good point, duly noted.
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  • Profile picture of the author nemock
    The proven success of long copy is not based on people reading the letter word-for-word. This is why formatting is as important as the copy. If you model good NLP practices people will get what they need while skimming. If it is then a.) something they want b.) something they want relative to the price you're asking for and c.) if they believe you, then a sale is what you get.

    As Dan Kennedy says, "the debate over long copy vs short copy has been raging, literally, since before the Civil War. If you want to go test it yourself, go ahead. Meanwhile, I'll make sales applying what I already know."

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  • Profile picture of the author 4deb
    Long copy gives the analytical thinker the details they're looking for

    Short copy, or solid headlines gives the impulsive thinker what they want/need

    By using longer copy-- you're catering to both types of thinkers
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  • Profile picture of the author danhughes
    Whatever your message and whomever you're addressing, you need to be compelling enough to inform them that you are credible. When both happen, you get a conversion.

    In other words, you need to be compelling in order to build credibility... and in turn, sell something.

    Certainly, video does seem to be successful. But it depends on two very important parts in this equation. You... and the customer.

    There are *many* people who's message is significantly less credible / compelling because they added video to their page. Just go to YouTube and search MLM... that's some seriously sketchy looking people!!

    It's not just about whether the camera makes you look like a bank manager or a drug dealer though.

    I'm Fat.... Flat out... Fat! There is *no way in the world* that I could do a video piece for "Fat Loss For Idiots" for example, and expect it to convert. But I can sure as heck write a long copy letter that would make a super model feel insecure.

    Undoubtedly, one of the most successful copywriters (that's still alive!) is Dan Kennedy... How does he answer the question,

    "Who in hell reads long copy sales letters?"

    ==> Buyers Do <==
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  • Profile picture of the author Kesh247
    It really depends on who your target audience is. Some people like to know what they are opt-in into so they want to see a little content on the landing page, and some like it short and to the point.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheCren
    It's been split tested by many people, many times. Get over it - long sales pages work. You don't like them, I don't like them, you'll find several people who agree with us, but it's a moot point to discuss.

    I also don't like infomercials, but guess what... they sell. When you have a major brand name to promote, then and only then are regular commercials and short form sales letters the key. When you need to establish a rapport, that's when you use long form sales letters.
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    • Profile picture of the author DavidTheMavin
      Originally Posted by TheCren View Post

      It's been split tested by many people, many times. Get over it - long sales pages work. You don't like them, I don't like them, you'll find several people who agree with us, but it's a moot point to discuss.

      I also don't like infomercials, but guess what... they sell. When you have a major brand name to promote, then and only then are regular commercials and short form sales letters the key. When you need to establish a rapport, that's when you use long form sales letters.
      This makes sense, but I'd love to see someone's split testing stats. Do you have any links?
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  • Profile picture of the author TheMagicShow
    Originally Posted by DavidTheMavin View Post

    I know I don't! Once I see a ton of text and a super long landing or squeeze page I say forget it.

    Don't IM'ers know that people ready significantly less and have shorter attention spans on the Internet? This is usability 101 from like 1996 here.

    I mean just look at the popularity of twitter.
    The squeeze page/sales letter needs to be any length (long/short) -- till the desired results are generated for the marketer. Some like to read long sales letter and some don't, a good web copy will cater to all audiences on most occasions.
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  • Profile picture of the author ayolov
    A squeeze page in theory SHOULD be shorter since the offer is simple (you don't need to do all that much convincing) since you are simply asking for an email, that said you do have to do some convincing and maybe that will require- yes, a lot of WORDS, so what's so wrong with a long squeeze page? If you have to write 6 pages to build rapport, trust and the necessary excitement for the visitor to ante up their email so be it!

    I have managed real estate sites and there, an email is considered a lead that could very well be worth a house!

    Build your squeeze page as long as need be, test every sentence, every word until you get the best conversion rate, if it was short, sweet! if you needed to write a looong one, do it!

    I bet writing a short and good converting squeeze page will take you longer though, in the wise words of Mark Twain, “I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
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  • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
    For me, it's skim, blah, blah, blah, skim some more, blah, blah, blah, skim, find price, leave page with freebie (if there is one). Only if the offer is truly compelling do I even CONSIDER buying

    TomG.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nino C
    LOL.. i always skim the page... i dont read all the testimonials and al that crap... i do my own research...

    Just want to see what its about and what the price is...

    All im thinking while skimming the page page is "Is the investment worth it"
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  • Profile picture of the author Michelle Strait
    I just completed a squeeze page that has three call to action boxes. One at the very top above the fold, one mid-way down the page, and another at the very bottom. I can't wait to see how well it converts.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    Video is rapidly doing away with the need for long-form, text-loaded product pages.
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    • Profile picture of the author n00b
      Tonight I was listening to John Tesh and he shared some interesting info that goes along with long form sales letters. According to studies, people will buy a product with a long list of features before they will buy a product with a short list of features, even if the features listed are irrelevant, or in the case of some of these studies, made up!

      Something as simple as putting "comes with a power cord" on a toaster box increases sales even though everyone knows that all toasters (in the U.S. at least) come with power cords. The studies proved that packaging with long lists of features and detailed explanations consistently outsold their counterparts. To prove that it wasn't just on techy stuff, they did the study with VEGETABLE OIL! People bought the vegetable oil that had the most writing on the packaging even though (for the case of the study since there is only so much one can say about vegetable oil) the ingredients listed were completely made up!

      I suggest everyone go check out that TED video that was recommended in another thread. The human mind is many things, and rational is not one of them. Long form sales letters convert more even though it's true that most people will not read the whole thing. Just the appearance of all that text psychologically supports their choice to buy.

      Do you want to be right, or do you want to make sales? You decide.
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  • Profile picture of the author bravegoat
    I found that splitting the sales pitch into 2 pages, moving from "problem" to "solution" works well. Otherwise, if it can't work for that niche, using a short but very well written sales page does a better job than a very long one with tons of stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
    It's very interesting and enlightening to read through this thread.

    Speaking solely of sales pages as opposed to squeeze pages, there are two groups of opinions here, basically - one group says that long copy is dead, gone the way of the dodo, no more workie.

    The other group maintains that long copy still sells, and, depending on the product, is even necessary.

    One group bases their opinions on personal preferences and anecdotal information; the other group bases theirs upon the results of testing, tweaking, testing some more.

    Care to play "match the groups"?
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