The Classic Copywriting Argument

At a seminar in San Francisco several years back, one of my fellow attendees was incredulous that people “still” read long copy online.

“That’s all changed, hasn’t it?” she asked, innocently.

With the brouhaha of Web 2.0 going strong, she can be excused for her doubts. And the fact is, if I woke up tomorrow and realized the universe had changed in such a way that a decent sales pitch no longer required persuasion, proof, credibility, believable offers, and all the other classic ingredients… and we could now create sales with just a smidgen of copy here and there, like dabs of gray ink in the colorful wonder of an over-designed Web page… well, I’d be the first one writing short copy that day.

I don’t write long copy because I like long copy.

I write long copy… because that’s what works.

You start at the beginning of your sales message… cover the points your prospect needs to hear in order to make a decision… urge him toward the right decision (to buy your stuff)… and close with panache.

When you can do that in a few terse sentences – or in a single, brief, whiz-bang video – let me know. I’ll be right on your heels with my next pitch.

After almost three decades in the front-line trenches of business, though – slogging through the fog and chaos of multiple technological upheavals – I’m not holding my breath.

[Ed. Note: John Carlton is an expert copywriter, a pioneer in online marketing, and a teacher of killer sales copy. He knows marketing inside and out. Discover how to get your hands on the kick-ass secrets of the world’s smartest, happiest, and wealthiest marketers.

Great copy is vital to a successful marketing campaign. But your prospect list, product, offer… are just as important. Find out how to put them all together with Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions for Your Business.]

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John Carlton

John Carlton slyly refers to himself as "the most ripped-off copywriter on the Web", and almost no one on the inside of the online entrepreneurial world disagrees. His sales copy has been stalked for decades by many of the best marketers both online and offline… and they freely admit using John's ads as templates for their own breakthrough pitches.