The Penultimate Word

Long Copy vs. Short Copy

Part II: What Does It Cost?

It was 11:30 p.m.—ON A WEEKNIGHT—when Mr. Kirby Vacuum Cleaner Salesman finally walked out the door. He had been at the house since 8:00 p.m. and had talked nonstop for three and a half hours. When he left, I was convinced that my house would not be fit for a dog unless it was cleaned with a $2,000 Kirby vacuum cleaner. The $300 Hoover Wind Tunnel wouldn’t do, nor would the $500 Kenmore Intuition. It had to be the TWO THOUSAND DOLLAR Kirby Sentria.

If you’re selling a costly item—such as a $2,000 vacuum cleaner—your copy needs to be long enough to convince customers that your product is worth it.My point? In the great debate of long copy vs. short copy, the second consideration is, “What does your product cost?”

When it comes to big-ticket items—or vacuum cleaners that cost four times as much as the average vacuum cleaner—you’ll need to do more to generate a sale than you would for a $20 hamburger (even though $20 is a bit pricey for a hunk of meat on a bun). To get customers to plunk down big bucks, you’ll need to convince them that what you’ve got to sell is well worth their hard-earned money.

Following the example of Mr. Kirby Vacuum Cleaner Salesman, you’ll need to:

  • Address the customer’s pain points—what frustrates him, what’s difficult for him, what keeps him up at night.
  • Demonstrate how wonderful life will be when he uses your product—no more frustrations, no more sleepless nights.
  • Identify all the features AND BENEFITS that your product has to offer.
  • Describe what sets your product apart and makes it superior to all others.
  • Assure your customer that he is “protected”; that, if things don’t work out, you’ll make it right.
  • Flatter your customer on the good choices he makes.

As I said in Part I of “Long Copy vs. Short Copy,” your customers want to make informed decisions; your job is to guide them to a sale by giving them the information they need. Can you cover all the bullet points above and convince your customers that your product is well worth its cost using short copy? Probably not.

So take the time to fully justify the cost of your product. If you don’t, your customers may make decisions based on price alone … in which case, you could lose a sale. The $2,000 Kirby Sentria or the $300 Hoover Wind Tunnel? Without price justification, which would you choose?

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

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

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


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