Long Copy vs. Short Copy

I’ve never seen short marketing copy win in a heads-up test against long copy.

Just this year, I’ve tested several #10 envelope packages with 8-page sales letters against 8.5″ x 11″ self-mailers with 24 pages of text. The long copy beat the short copy by 50 percent to 70 percent each time.

However, the cost that goes along with longer copy plays a big role in this debate. If your profit margin is smaller, you may have no choice but to go with shorter copy. And if your market is best reached with print ads, TV, or radio, you’re also limited.

My philosophy: Write about the benefits of your product until you run out of things to talk about. Then go back and make your copy as tight as a drum. Then let the sales message TELL YOU how long or short it wants to be!

So long as you’re speaking to your prospective customer’s self-interest… so long as you’re deftly stroking his dominant emotions about the subject at hand… and so long as the copy is clear, concise, even fun to read, he’s going to stay with you and give you a chance to make the sale.

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