When you think of long form sales pages, I’m sure the following comes to mind:
Scammy, cheesy, unnecessary gibberish.
Constant hype and exclamation marks.
Ick. It’s no wonder there’s long been a debate on which gets you the best results—long copy or short copy. But, who reads those long sales pages anyway?
Well, you’d be surprised. Most people who stand behind long form copy believe it’s one of, if not the best way to sales success.
Yet, most people who stand behind short copy (meaning, only one to two scrolls are required to get through the entire message), either despise writing hefty pieces or they think readers despise scrolling through painful copy and poorly designed pages.
I bet I can guess what you’re wishing right about now—maybe it’s for me to say I’m all for short form sales copy, because, let’s be honest: writing isn’t a favored task by many.
Sorry, I’m not about picking sides or projecting my personal opinions—especially if I’m not your ideal customer. After all, as copywriter and marketing guru Dan Kennedy has said, “The person who says ‘I would never read all that copy’ makes the mistake of thinking they are the customer. And they’re not.”
So, instead, I’m all about sharing five questions you need to ask yourself (thanks to the help of Maria Muniz at iContact.com) to make the best decision for the length of your next sales piece.
Long vs. Short Copy: 5 Questions You Need to Ask to Make the Best Decision
1. Who is my ideal customer?
First things first, I’m hopping back up on my soap box to talk about something you might feel to be super repetitive. Especially if you’re a regular reader of our blog posts. But, it’s necessary to drive the point home so you’ll never forget it.
Here it is: picking your ideal customer out of the crowd and dropping them into their own little bucket, so to speak, is very, very, VERY important—not just to determine if you should be writing long or short copy, but also to ensure your product or service is a success. After all, you can’t be something to everyone. Right?
That said, when you’re aware of who you’re selling to, you’ll know how to best approach them with your offer. Are they someone who needs all the facts, data, and social proof they can get to illustrate why they need and should want what it is you have to offer them? If so, warm up your typing fingers and get them ready to run laps on the keyboard as you write long form copy.
If they’re easily persuaded and moved by short, punchy copy, however, you can wipe the sweat from your brow, which developed from the mere thought of having to craft a lengthy piece from scratch. Well, for now, at least!
2. Is my audience familiar with my product or service?
You might think brands like Apple and Amazon have it easy because the debate between long copy vs. short copy isn’t something that needs to be on their radar. Why? Because they’re both super established brands. People know them well and will continue to buy from them.
Yet, it took them time to get to the place they’re at today. So for a small business owner like yourself, you need to set aside writing time to craft long form sales copy that establishes trust with your ideal customers. Once you’ve built a solid following around your product or service, you can scale things back a bit.
3. What am I selling?
If people are no strangers to your type of product or service, chances are, you won’t need to say much to get them to show you their wallet. They get the gist and, ultimately, it’ll all boil down to how well you’ve communicated your unique selling proposition (USP) in order to get them to join forces with you and not your competitors.
If you have a more complex offer on your hands, you have some explaining to do. Therefore, you’ll need all the space you can get. And, no, this space shouldn’t be used to babble on and on in gobbledygook circles.
What I mean is, cut all the fluff and filler, and stay focused on communicating only what’s necessary to give your people a reason to buy—presenting features and benefits that speak directly to them and answering common objections in a compelling way.
4. What’s the price point at which I’m selling?
This one’s “huuuge.” If you’re asking your ideal customers to fork over a serious chunk of their hard-earned cash, you better believe you’ll need to go the long form copy route. And, therefore, convince and assure them that your product or service will be the best investment they can make to solve their biggest headache.
What’ll help you do just that? A guarantee. It’s a risk-reversal sales copywriting technique that will keep your people from running in the opposite direction of becoming a paying customer. Be sure to toss it into the mix as you sit down to tackle your writing efforts.
5. What’s the ultimate goal of my sales piece?
Are you hoping to simply generate a lead from your copywriting efforts (ex. where space is limited, such as Facebook ads)? Or, are you aiming to “go big or go home” to generate sales? If it’s the former, achieving your goal will obviously require far less copy.
If it’s the latter, however, you’ll need all the space you can get to speak directly to your ideal customer—dishing out the need-to-know features and benefits that resonate the most with them, handing over social proof, answering their common objections, and guaranteeing their investment.
On top of those things, when you make your long form sales copy easy to read, you can look forward to moving your conversion rates onward and upward.
When it comes to solving the great debate between long vs. short sales copy, go with whichever is best (or test the waters!) to successfully sell your product or service. Though, no matter which route you choose to take after answering the questions shared today, the key to bringing more conversions to the table is, drumroll please…
Keep your message targeted and engaging to read for your ideal customer.
And, if you’d like to get ahead of the game and plan for your success, I’m offering you a FREE copy of our list: “The Top 50 Ways to Ramp Up Traffic to Your Sales Page,” delivered straight to your inbox.
All that’s required to get your hands on it is your email. Just drop it into the box to the right-hand side of this page and you’ll get it no time!
Tell me: which method have you found generates the greatest success for your business? Long form copy or short form copy? And, why? Drop your message in the comments section below!