A persistent debate among marketers is the question of whether long copy is sometimes used in place of short copy. While top copywriters generally affirm the favorable results of long copy, it’s helpful to get some perspective to see why this is the case.
The general rule of thumb for the length of copy is this: your sales letter should be just long enough to get the job done. If you think about this carefully, the majority of the objections to long copy evaporate. Just think about what we are asking the sales letter to accomplish for us.
We need to explain as much as we can about the product, and most importantly the benefits of our product, with the goal of every benefit appealing the prospect is made plain. Especially in the case of information products, these explanations can be quite lengthy!
Additionally, we need to cover every likely objection the prospect might have. If we were talking with the prospect in person or over the phone, we could simply ask them if they had questions… or respond to any reasons they gave for not buying the product. In our sales letter, we don’t have that luxury. Therefore, we must give the entire laundry list of all possible objections, and demolish them one by one.
Although we have not explained every reason for the superiority of long copy, we are back to where we started: your copy must be just long enough to do its job, and no longer. Factors that will come into play are the target market, the complexity associated with the product or service, and the cost of that product or service.