The Penultimate Word

Long Copy vs. Short Copy

Part I – What does your audience know about your product?

How much do you really need to say about a frozen dinner? ... Short Copy.I didn’t care what the package said. I picked up the Hungry-Man Meatloaf dinner and tossed it into my cart. I may not be a “man,” but I was definitely hungry. Do you think I spent any time whatsoever reading the package to find out where the vegetables were grown, how the potatoes were whipped, or how to prepare it? Heck no! It’s a frozen meatloaf dinner … what’s there to know?

In the great debate over long copy vs. short copy, the first consideration is, “What does your audience know about your product or service?”

If you’re selling meatloaf dinners, there’s not much to say. Everyone knows what they are. A good picture will do all the selling for you … that and a Hungry-Man brownie.

An electric car, on the other hand ... Long copy.If, however, your product is an electric car … that’s a different story. Most people don’t know anything about electric cars, so there’s A LOT to say. Your customers have questions. They need answers. To make a sale, you need to educate your customers. You need to explain that:

  • Battery life is 62 to 138 miles.
  • Depending on the voltage of their receptacle, the length of time to recharge the battery is 8-20 hours.
  • The maximum speed of the car is 90 mph, meaning that it’s capable of reaching freeway speeds.
  • The battery pack features complete thermal management so that the vehicle operates at its optimum level regardless of the temperature outside.
  • Although no one has any long-term crash-test data, the current data show it to be a safe vehicle.

Your customers want to make informed decisions, especially when it comes to big-ticket items. Your job is to guide them to a sale by giving them the information they need. Can you sell an electric car with just a paragraph of copy? Probably not. For that, you need long copy chock-full of benefits, features, and sales arguments … that and a Hungry-Man brownie should do it.

Read Intro of “Long Copy vs. Short Copy.”

Read Part II of “Long Copy vs. Short Copy.”

Read Part III of “Long Copy vs. Short Copy.”

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