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    Copy (the written part of any marketing material) is the secret to sales success. So, is long copy or short copy more effective? The answer is both are effective when well written. Publishers Clearinghouse wouldn’t send out long sales letters if they didn’t work and coincidentally, newspapers wouldn’t sell small space ads if no results were seen.  Bottom line, it’s the copy inside the ads that makes the difference.

    As a marketer it’s important to realize that there will be a difference of opinion from consumers regarding what is more effective (this mostly depends on where they are in the decision making process regarding purchase).

    There’s also an age old debate about long copy versus short copy. The long and the short of it is that both are effective when incorporated in your overall strategy. Some marketing strategies will call for longer copy while other will call for shorter copy. This is often determined by price point, delivery method and market. For example: You probably don’t need a 19 page sales letter to sell an item that retails for less than $100.00.  If you’re offering a high-end coaching program a small space ad is not likely going to answer all the questions your prospects might have let alone overcome any objections to empower a well-educated buying decision.

    Determining the length of your copy will really depend on your market and where you’re placing your ads. Depending on your strategy you may need to masterfully blend long and short copy techniques to customize messages per medium while incorporating direct response techniques. While typically higher-end products warrant longer copy, the emerging trends of social media may force punchier, more concise pitches upfront to create interest and lead to longer, more informative messages. Think pithy Tweets and Facebook status updates or longer Facebook notes, depending on the message. Carefully gauge the approach that gets the most response and blend long and short copy techniques to continue to increase response rates.

    Here are some more tips on the psychology of copy and how double readership paths impact results. Click here to read.

    Take a moment to review your marketing materials today. Ask yourself the following questions regarding your content (copy):

    How does your marketing message measure up?

    Are you skillfully matching your message to market?

    What’s your copywriting style?

    Are you getting results?

    To discover more techniques claim your Copywriting Action Plan here www.WriteOnCreative.com

    Lisa Manyon is "The Business Marketing Architect" a content and copywriting strategist for mission-driven entrepreneurs. She's the creator of the NEW marketing model for success (as seen in Inc. Magazine) that's changing the way people market today. She specializes in powerfully communicating your marketing message to increase results via Manyon Marketing Web Makeovers, website copy packages and content strategies to effectively market your business. She offers a free Copywriting Action Plan and marketing resources on her award winning blog. Her consulting and coaching is known to help produce million dollar results www.writeoncreative.com/blog

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    27 responses to “The Long & Short of It ~ Long Copy Versus Short Copy”

    1. Lisa Manyon says:

      Hi there,

      Thanks for the heads up. I use Google Chrome too and all looks okay. What are you seeing that is “wonky”?

      I appreciate your feedback.

      Write on!~

      Lisa

    2. Great analogies — results are where it’s at! Blossom on! 😉 ? Katherine.

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        So true, Katherine,

        It takes testing and tracking and the right traffic driving tools. Often people think that once they have great copy posted on the web that business will start booming. It’s the thought that “if I post it, they will come”. Not so, you must constantly and consistently have a plan to drive people to your website or blog or it won’t be effective even with the best copy. 😉

        Write on!~

        Lisa

    3. Good points I hadn’t even considered so thanks Lisa.

    4. Ellen Martin says:

      I struggle with writing sales copy. This information is very helpful.

      Thanks so much for sharing!

      Ellen

    5. Terri Cook says:

      Good tips Lisa – I have always been torn between using long or short copy – now its easier I will use both

      We need to talk by the way – have a FABULOUS Easter lovely

      Cheers

      Terri

    6. Sue Painter says:

      Great tips, Lisa. So many people ask why “long” sales copy is ever needed. You explain it well. Thanks!
      Sue Painter

    7. Lisa Manyon says:

      Hi Terri,

      I’d love to connect! Let’s get something scheduled.

      Write on!~

      Lisa

    8. Lisa Manyon says:

      Sue,

      Yes, it does help to know there is a method to the madness. 🙂
      And, certain products or events call for longer copy with all the details.

      Write on!~

      Lisa

    9. Awesome Lisa!

      This is definitely a debate (the long or short copy). I appreciate the way you explained the purpose of long copy and when short copy is more appropriate.

      Either way it still boils down to knowing what you are offering and to who!
      Thanks for the ongoing inspiration

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        Hi Laura,

        You are welcome. Yes, knowing your core audience is KEY. It allows you to craft message that speak directly to them and promote action. 🙂

        I appreciate your feedback.

        Write on!~

        Lisa

    10. Thanks for sharing. I admit I don’t pay enough attention to my copy, but I am getting better at it. For some things I can use short and for others I need long. Great info, as always.

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        Hi Terry,

        You are welcome. There are quite a few illuminating articles about copy and techniques on my blog. But, if you find it overwhelming, I know someone who can help. 🙂

        Write on!~

        Lisa

    11. Once again Lisa you are a wealth of information. It sounds like I am following the right format by using short copy for a simple opt-in and long copy to sell my $3000 product. Thank you for sharing your expertise.

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        Christine,

        That doesn’t surprise me. You’re also nailing response rates with video. As of late sales letters with video are pulling way better than straight text. 🙂

        Write on!~

        Lisa

    12. Lisa — thank you for making something that is foreign to me so easy to understand! But I think I’m still just going to hire you to write my sales letters for me! 🙂 Why would I mess with it when you are SO good at what you do?? LOVED our Manyon Marketing Web Makeover by the way!!
      xoxo
      Jessica

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        Hi Jessica,

        You are welcome. Yes, there is a bit to the formula but once you get it down and follow your voice it’s much easier. I’m happy to help you get there. Just let me know what you need.

        And, I’m thrilled that you enjoyed your Manyon Marketing Web Makeover. They are so fun and people are really taking action to improve their websites and ensure they really connect with potential customers and build relationships. Win-Win!!!

        Write on!~

        Lisa

    13. Phil Dyer says:

      Lisa – Thanks so much for de-mystifying this! It really helps me ID where I need to use what…I will also check out the other posts in your blog on copy.

      Phil

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        Hi Phil,

        There’s some really helpful info on copy in the “articles” section and as always, if you have a question, don’t hesitate to let me know what I can help you with.

        Write on!~

        Lisa

    14. I’m one who has not had patience with long copy. I think it’s just due to my personality. I like quick facts, bullet points and a bottom line. No waste of words. I often write that way too.
      But I see your point on mixing and matching and keeping score.
      Thanks Lisa!
      Lynn

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        Hi Lynn,

        Yes, it’s important to realize that our readers don’t always mirror our own likes and dislikes. I have another post that talks about the difference between scanners and analytical readers. I think you’ll find it interesting.

        Write on!~

        Lisa

    15. Thank you for these questions. I’ve always wondered about the short vs. long copy. Very insightful.

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        Joanna,

        Yes, it’s an age old debate. I’m often asked if advertising and marketing with little to no copy works and it certainly can but often you need a BIG budget.

        Write on!~

        Lisa

    16. Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for clearing the old idea of one size fits all regarding copy. You’re brilliant!
      xoxo,
      Melody

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