Long Copy Works Better Than Short Copy

Long Copy Works Better Than Short Copy

Long Copy almost always works better than short copy.

It’s true. Landing pages, video, direct mail – all media have shown a counterintuitive truth: long copy beats short copy. Almost always.

Take a look at this 5-way test, which shows how long copy in a direct mail package increases response.

For instance, lead copy should be shorter than sales copy. Also, the more expensive or complicated a product, the longer the copy needs to be. In fact, products sold online often require the longest copy.

Truth is, if your product or service is worth selling to your customers, it deserves a message that packs an emotional wallop, shows your customers what’s unique about you, explains why you benefit them more than your competitors and overcomes their objections.

Involving your readers, and clearly telling them exactly what you want them to do, might take more than a few paragraphs.

Let’s take a look at exactly how long your copy should be—for example in a letter for a direct mail piece.

We recently created a direct mail campaign for one of the nation’s top Medicare companies that beat its control. The letter was 2 pages. And, we beat the control mailing package for our client, Wine of the Month Club, with a 2-page letter.

But for an Investment newsletter company, we found that a 16-page letter outproduced a 12-page letter.

Other direct mail formats prove that longer copy can work better. For example, we generated over 100,000 paid subscribers for the world’s largest investment service. We helped launch them with an 8-page sales letter. It turned into a 12-page letter. It then turned into a 20-page tabalog that turned into a 24-page tabalog. The longer formats worked better.

For the senior market, we generated over 100,000 paid subscribers for Health Alert, starting off with an 8-page letter, then moving to a 12 and then a 16, each time getting better results.

Then, we tried a 16-page letter vs a magalog with 16 pages. The magalog worked best. Then we tried the magalog with 16 pages vs 24 pages, and the 24 worked better. In fact, the version that worked better than any was 32 pages.

In the B2B market, we used a 28-page magalog for Surf Control with a target audience of top corporate leaders in America.

And the long copy does not apply just to direct mail. Most emails we create are 1-page letters, but we’ve had great success with 4 or 6. And same with landing pages.

It all depends on the product and service, your audience, and if it’s a lead generation or sales offer.

Here is the key principle: you need to say enough to convince your prospect to respond and then stop. One more word becomes too much.

Never force yourself into having too little copy. Force yourself into having the most powerful sales presentation and then see where you can cut useless and needless words. Keep the copy to core benefits with a clear theme.

Don’t be afraid of long copy.

Better to be afraid of a weak or anemic presentation.

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