Long sales pages vs. Short

21 replies
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Times have changed in my opinion and actual experience that shorter pages convert better. I've ran split tests about 3 months ago on one of my sites and had a quick (1 minute video ) and it out performed the long one and both had very good copy.

I'm sure it depends on how you've created your sales funnel, so assume that the customer has already given you their email on your capture page / they already traded their email to get whatever gizmo or free report, etc...

What is working best for you, old school long sales page or a shorter version?
#long #pages #sales #short
  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    You're beating a horse that's been dead and buried... And this is better suited for the copywriting forum...

    But the standard reply is going to be "There's no such thing as copy that's too long, just too boring"... And that's true.

    If people are passionate about something they'll digest every piece of information they can get their hands on about it, including sales copy.

    It does depend on your funnel... But long copy is (an overwhelming majority of the time) going to beat short copy.

    Look at the top 10 Clickbank products... Now try to get to an order button without wading through at least 10 pages of copy first...

    What's your definition of "long vs. short"?

    in my opinion and actual experience that shorter pages convert better.
    How much testing and experience do you have here? Do you have a pretty extensive pre-sell in place?

    Can you give me an idea about the nature of the product? Software? Information? Digital?

    I'm genuinely curious.

    Peace,

    -Scott
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    Wow. These replies are amazing.

    The answer is what makes more money? The overwhelming majority of the time it's long copy. It's been tested, tested, proven, tested, tested, and proven over and over again.

    It doesn't matter what you prefer. What matters is what converts better. And the answer is almost unanimously long sales copy.

    A lot of the time when a short page beats a longer page, it's because the longer page copy is boring to read... And if it wasn't it would beat the short page by a mile. It does vary by niche, but a short sales page beating a long letter is definitely a rare exception to the rule.

    -Scott
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
      It all depends. Sometimes long copy will out pull short copy sometimes not.

      Just wondering how "long" is long and how "short" is short?

      Incorporating video can also increase conversions and there are a lot of companies doing just that ( in combination with short copy).

      Example 1--> Here
      Example 2--> Here
      Example 3--> Here

      I can't be certain but I'm reasonably sure long copy was tested against short.

      Here's a site that uses short copy with very little video. If you look through the site you'll see that their courses have a pretty high price point.

      Example 4--> Here

      Finally, if you want more info on items that affect conversions look through the case studies here--> Marketing Experiments

      Hope this helps and remember that other peoples results are not your results. There are industry best practices but it still comes down to doing your own testing.

      Kevin
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  • Profile picture of the author selma
    You know this may sound really crazy and I am really really new to this but this is what I personally used to do when I was looking to buy info products online and I have...

    I have bought ebooks costing $100 plus, so I think what I am going to say has some worth....

    What made me buy was the following....

    1) The site looked credible - nice design, .com domain, etc.

    2) Had lots of pages for me to read information, actual articles and quality downloads without opt in.

    3) There really wasnt a sales page, there was just TONS of quality free information, I thought the person really knew what they were talking about, and I spent a couple hours on it and bought it immediately.

    SOOOOOO

    I dont know how many people are like me, but I AM SOOOO turned off by these sales pages. I think they feel a bit BULL ****ty and I am instantly turned off by them, but I know they work... thats my strugle now as an IM'er... the question of should I just create this AMAZING site that just sells the product or use these cheap cheesy sales letters which I personally hate and immediately click out of... dunno... its hard.

    But for now, I am designing for a customer like myself... One that likes to read articles on different pages, etc. I HATE HATE HATE sales letters.
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  • Profile picture of the author tmtech
    Scott,

    I have been especially enticed by the implementation of video into a sales page, which has seemed to result in shorter sales copy.

    If your main sales points are covered in a short video, I would lean more towards that approach; video is captivating, and the internet community seems to be moving more towards media rather than copy. I agree with Selma that long copy tends to turn me off in a way because sales pages all look so similar now-a-days.

    In no way am I against copy, but it get can get a little excessive at times. Also assuming that most people will simply scroll down to the bottom of the page. With video, you at least have a better chance of getting their attention.

    Best of luck to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    I have no problem with videos. In some cases they're mandatory.

    You still need copy to accompany the video. You can't "scan" a video. Some people would rather scan a sales letter than watch the video.

    Others will watch the video and then scan the sales letter.

    I study this stuff on a daily basis and have been for A LONG time now. Show me a single Clickbank top 10 seller that doesn't use long copy...

    Can't find one? Wonder why...

    This isn't my opinion. This is fact. This is stuff that's been proven over and over again. And it's still being tested and proven today.

    @Kevin - Those products are generally pre-sold... Those video scripts are written by professional copywriters, and the production costs for videos like that are HUGE.

    -Scott
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
      Scott,

      Just because the production costs for those video are huge doesn't mean yours needs to be.

      I'm not debating the merits of long copy vs short. I'm saying that you need to test and base your business off of your results instead of assuming that one will out pull the other because that's what everyone hears and repeats.



      Yea, most of the products on clickbank have longish copy but clickbank is not the only market.

      Many marketers have success with short copy. That might go against the "rules" but sometimes rules are made to be broken.

      Take a look at the CPA offers. Take a look at some of the sites outside of IM/MMO. There are plenty of sites selling high priced products that use short copy.

      As a marketer I don't deal in absolutes.

      If A tests better than B --> A wins

      If B tests better than A--> B wins

      Again I'm not against long copy. In your tests it might always out perform short but that doesn't hold true for everyone and every situation.

      If the OP believes that shorter copy will pull better it really doesn't matter what you, I, or anyone else thinks. Once he tests he'll have his answer.

      Kevin
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    Kevin,

    As a marketer I don't deal in absolutes.

    If A tests better than B --> A wins

    If B tests better than A--> B wins

    Again I'm not against long copy. In your tests it might always out perform short but that doesn't hold true for everyone and every situation.

    If the OP believes that shorter copy will pull better it really doesn't matter what you, I, or anyone else thinks. Once he tests he'll have his answer.

    Kevin
    I agree with everything you said... It's all about testing what works.

    I'm really focusing on those who replied "I like short sales pages and think they'll convert better, so that's what I'm using."

    In most markets long copy still wins. Like you said, as a marketer you should never deal in absolutes, and I agree 100%.

    It completely depends on the product and niche. Do I need 10 pages to convince someone to sign up for a free profile on a dating site? No.

    Do I need long copy to sell an iphone or Photoshop? No... These buyers already know the product, the marketing is built right in.

    But for most of the products that internet marketers generally sell, long copy, or a video with long copy are the way to go.

    You've got a product, and you've got customers. Copy is the bridge between them. And often times, especially with information products, it's going to take long copy to do the job.

    I'm not starting a debate here.... I think we agree that testing is the ultimate goal. I'm just saying in the direct response world, which internet marketing is, long copy will in fact lead to more conversions if compared to a shorter piece of copy of equal quality.

    -Scott
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  • I vote long copy. It makes sense, Google seems to like long copy better than short. I agree though, beating a dead horse on this topic
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  • Profile picture of the author saivenkat
    The shorter the sales page and video the better.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ann Writes
      I've often wondered about this myself. I know that as a copywriter, my clients generally want more rather than less.

      As someone who reads a lot of copy and occasionally buys something, I have to say that purchasing can be a very idiosyncratic thing for me.

      So many factors come into play - what mood I'm in, how desperate I am for something, how much value I perceive a product or service has and how much money I have (which may often have the strongest influence!).

      I tend to buy stuff from people whose names have already registered in my memory bank, whether as a result of having been endorsed by another 'known' person or whose article or blog I've read and considered good value. In other words, I rarely buy from someone completely 'unknown' to me.

      So much of the copy I read (and am asked to write) are so predictable. We're all following the same formula and format. I haven't read a copy in the last 12 months which has struck me as really original/different, apart from one that I did for one of my own services .

      The more I think about it, the more I realize that when I have purchased something, it's been because I had already been looking for something like it, in which case I've read the salescopy to check that everything was in order rather than to be inspired or motivated by it.

      If anything, the more loud, booming calls to action there are, the less likely I would have been to purchase from that provider.

      I am on a number of mailing lists (something I am going to cull quite ruthlessly) of a number of Internet gurus. Almost all the copy I get from them have a time-sensitive component "This will only be up for the next 72 hours" or "I cannot promise you that this will be available for much longer because seats/copies are already being snapped up like they were going out of fashion" blah blah blah.

      Those are the ones that really turn me off. I much prefer to be motivated by the love or desire for a product/service than by the fear of missing out on it! Sheeze!

      And while almost all copy will have the predictable 'rags to riches' or 'dull to enlightened' story, there are the occasional copies I get that use more unusual anecdotes and that arrive at the punchline in a little less predictable way.

      In such cases, I don't care how long the copy is and can even feel sorry when it ends! Those ones I do enjoy and I actually look forward to purchasing from their providers when they have a product I want at the price I'm willing to pay.

      I don't know how typical I am as a customer but, as far as I can tell, this seems to be how it works for me.

      And in case it isn't obvious, no, I don't know which ones are better - long or short sales pages
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  • Profile picture of the author WebSolutionKey
    Longer or shorter copy doesn't matter. A shorter one with nothing to say in it along with a video & a longer one with boring stuffs is meaningless.

    For me, both works depending upon the need. A short sales pages with good content is equally good as a long one with interesting stuff that makes reader stick to it.
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    • Profile picture of the author ScottRobinson
      I've been away for a while...WOW. I know this is an age ol question, but it's intiguing that a majority of the responses have had better results with short pages with a video. Yes, it absolutely has to be "non-boring" either short or long.

      This is just my opinion and experience. I use alot of video, get right to the point and use stories and quick but powerful stories or anolgies that paints a crystal clear image that anyone listening or reading can understand.

      Also I've found that just being yourself and being authentic on a video earns the trust of people rather quickly...especially if you share your failures or hard times and the lessons that you learned. It's called EXPERIENCE...and then provide a solution that you can whole heartedly promote and enthusiatically or passionately share in confidence will help your customer.

      People can sniff out B.S. real quick in any copy, but on video it's rastically intensified...

      Whatever works best...go for it.

      Just my opinion here...but I look at my own first reaction when I visit a page on something that I'm interested in but see that there is an enormous sales page right away.

      That's why I kind of use a hybrid...I use my best info, bullet points, etc... on a small to medium size initial page...that will give them just enough to visit my main site that is loaded with all the details.

      Just works for me and I've done several tests and this strategy always comes out on top.

      I think things have changed because LONG INITIAL sales copy has been used so heavily over the last 5 plus years, it can have an initial or even subliminal negative effect because of over use. I just think people are relieved a bit to initially arrive at a site that is to the point and especially not hyped up with overused rediculous claims, but down to earth and reasonable and authentic claims. It's better to over deliver later on!

      I also see so many sales letters that are immediately trying to sell in the beginning of a letter. The customer will be salavating to buy a product if you simply just share all of it's benefits...they will sell themselves. You simply just invite them the opportunity to buy at the end...that's when you can pull out all the stops and sell AWAY!

      Again...Just my experience!

      Scott
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  • Profile picture of the author clwest
    The answer I was given is write according to the price of the product, as long as you keep everyone interested. I would not create a 5 page sales letter for a $10 product. Conversley, I would not create a 1 page sales offer for a $100 product. There needs to be tailoring.

    Also, experience does prove that long copy outpulls short copy 95% of the time. But well written copy always outpulls poorly written copy (unless you have pity clickers, like dear ol' Grandma!)

    If you are afraid of your copy being too short, add white space and go to a 14 point font (easier to read) and add bullets. Keep your paragraphs short and tied together. Lastly, keep it conversational and relevant.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Deeps2365
    For me its always shorter pages, just because personally I can never be bothered to read long pages.

    But, for most internet users its generally long. For them to have searched and actually clicked through to your website means that they have some passion about the topic already and therefore should be more inclined to read the whole page.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christina K
    Considering people's attention spans continue to get shorter I would opt for shorter, content filled pages as opposed to long rambling less informative pages.
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    • Profile picture of the author CarloD.
      I think Product has a BIG factor in it,

      I prefer short, as a creator and buyer.

      1. I'm not the greatest at copy writing
      2. I don't like reading lots on sales letters,

      For me, if it's some kinda of software or templates or whatever the case, if it's a short video that outlines exactly what your getting, the user is either going to buy it cause it's useful to them, or they are not.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bret Ferguson
    My opinion: Personal like is a short, clean page. When I see the scroll bar on the right turn into 1 pixel I cringe.

    I was reading on another thread here about a guitar playing site that had "killer" copy. Well I barely got to the end of the first page, saw that the scroll bar was about 5 pixels ( ) but as a guitar player myself, I thought the site sucked. But all the copy guys posting were in love with it. I wouldn't have bought a thing.

    @Selma, don't kid yourself, the sites you don't feel are selling, are selling. You are their market, they've designed their site for "their" market which is for people that respond the way you do. But it is a sales page never the less, it's just different than the IM stuff you typically see. I believe the key is to know your market.

    A good friend of mine has several sites, set up as squeeze pages in a health niche,(not fitness) that aren't fancy at all, actually a very simple design but does extremely well. The first time I saw a few of his sites I was like your kidding me. But it works. He knows his market. The size of his sales pages are "long".
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    • Profile picture of the author peterbabu020910
      I hate long sales pages. I would buy only after reading the testimonial other people..that's it. probably the other love long sales pages..tough to say!
      But i love short pages. i have no need to pass huge time to buy a product.

      Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author JB1974
    Long sales pages have never worked for me - they all look samey and instantly I think the seller can't be bothered to put any effort behind his sales - However I know histroically at least they do work, so it all depends on the type of product you have. If your product is going for $5 I would say long sales pages work fine as they entice the user to read until they decide if they will be buying the product or not, otherwise - not so much.
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