I have to agree that long copy "can" work very well but it's getting harder and harder as consumers wise up and attention spans get shorter and shorter. Great long copy is a wonderful thing to behold but only the best is worth using.
I never had great long copy... my copy was just okay and converted at a "respectable" average of 1% or up to 2% with very targetted traffic. But personally I hated it and I was getting increasing amount of visitor feedback indicating that change was needed.
So I've broken my long copy sales page up into several pages of good solid content, removing a lot of the direct sales copy. I tried this several times in the past but it always failed to convert.
Guess what? This time it's working. It needs more tweaking to convert better but the new format is already converting as well as my previous long copy.
Actually, my index page is still by no means short but keep in mind that it used to be 4 times as long! The next step is to make my landing page even shorter, much shorter. Customers are telling me they want an overview on the front page, highlight the benefits and features and that's all. Then use good navigation and a logical sequence of content on further pages.
I don't know if it's a matter of the right timing or if I'm finally getting the presentation right but I do believe now that the best formula for my product is a short, easy to understand landing page combined with a good content site.
In case anyone's interested in seeing my work the link is below. Keep in mind that it's a work in progress but with encouraging signs. It would take a lot of convincing to make me go back to long copy.
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