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The Ideal Length for a Sales Copy
There is great debate on whether long copy is better than short among copywriters and internet marketers. For me I am always after results; conversions and leads not style, method or form. In my few years of marketing and copywriting I have leant some vital tips on copy optimization. Whether a copy is long or short does not matter. What business owners want is results and nothing else and that’s what we marketers should go for.
Marketers and copywriters should be more concerned about producing great winning copies than the length. I have seen short copies convert well and have also seen some long copies convert well too. I believe the key here is to focus on educating, informing and inspiring your prospects in the copy and when that is done properly you end with a powerful call to action.
The Key to increase conversion is to reduce friction and doing that will reduce psychological resistance. Take time to do that in your copies and once you see it’s done then close the copy. A short copy with friction and psychological resistance will not convert and a long copy also with friction and psychological resistance will also not convert. So it’s about effectiveness and not length.
Friction on a copy does not occur on the page but in the mind of the customer. So having a long or short copy does not matter. What matters is if friction has been removed or reduced. This is only done by effectively using the right words not the length of the copy. Engage the prospect in a mental conversion until all the doubts and fears he may have buying the product is arrested.
It is not really about reducing page length but removing mental effort. Mental effort occurs on a page when a prospect has to find meaning on a page by himself. When there are too many columns, conflicting colors, unrelated or meaningless images. Don’t allow a customer come to you page only to struggle to make any meaning from the page.
Sometimes a short copy makes the customer struggle to make real meaning to what is on the page. Because in a bid to make the copy short you were not able to properly educate your prospect and he is left to make meaning for himself.
Sometimes length is required to guide the visitors thought sequence to a purchase decision. As a copywriter when you notice this is the case take your time to guide the visitor to the point of the buy. We lose prospect when we are not able to engage them down to the CTA.
A Checklist to Decide the Length of a Sales Copy
- What is the nature of your product? Is it a high cost? Or ‘’high anxiety’’ product? Or does your offer require little commitment on the part of the customer?
- How complex is your product? Does it require much explanation? Or can it be grasped with little explanation?
- How much does your visitor know prior to arriving on your web page? Is this their first exposure or are they coming in from a channel in which they were already sold on the offer?
- Does all the copy either express or support the value proposition? If not it is waste and can be eliminated.
- Can the layout of the page be adjusted so the most essential information is in a vertical-flowing and main column and all supporting (unnecessary) is in the secondary column?
The key is don’t use fluff words, don’t waste space, let every word count, let every space be properly utilized. Whatever is not really needed, whatever will not really add to a sale should be kept out.
This checklist will help you determine the length of any copy. I am not a fan of long copies but that I allow my personal bias impede my effectiveness.