Longer or shorter copy in my marketing?

When we work with clients to produce websites or printed marketing material, we are always looking to optimise the marketing collateral to increase business.  The website or brochure is of course usually made up of a mix of pictures and copy.  Looking to achieve the optimum length of copy to maximise enquiries/sales usually prompts the question “should I use long or short copy?”  To this we always reply “yes!”

Long copy has its place as does short – it just depends…  Take a look at our guide.

Factors affecting your decision include:

  • Visitor motivation;
  • initial product or company anxiety;
  • level of cost or commitment.

So our guide says …

Use short when there is low perceived risk, low commitment and low cost, especially where the reader is emotionally driven (read: wants badly), examples to include designer shoes, concert tickets and mp3 players.

Use long when the commitment is high, or need motivated – a considered decision; examples include a significant business decision, a mortgage or a new roof.

This information has been arrived at empirically over a large number of tests for web page “conversion”.  This has provided several indicators as to the most suitable copy length in different situations.

Of course, presenting the copy to the reader in stages according to AIDA still applies.

If you need any further help with your copy writing, please let me know as I will be happy to help.

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Nigel White
My career has given me insights into large and small businesses across many sectors. Academically, I have a MA (Strategic Marketing) and use this understanding to provide consultancy and advice to all clients I work with. Very high on my agenda: needs analysis, service, and quality.