Long Copy vs. Short Copy
Part III: What Is the Purpose?
Have you ever used a credit card to scrape ice off your windshield? Or a toothbrush to scrub a pan? Or a dime to tighten a screw? Pretty ineffective, aren’t they? That’s because those items were not meant for those particular tasks; it’s not their intended purpose. Which brings us to the third and final consideration in the great debate of long copy vs. short copy: “What is the purpose of your copy?”
If the purpose of your copy is to make a sale, then you’ll need to provide your audience with enough information for them to make informed decisions. This is your only chance—the only contact you’ll have with your prospects—to persuade them to buy your product, so you’ll need to include all of your sales arguments here. The result: longer copy.
If, however, the purpose of your copy is to generate leads, then the copy doesn’t need to include lots of sales arguments and details. It simply needs to generate interest and entice the audience to contact your company. This can usually be accomplished with shorter copy.
But, as I’ve said before, length doesn’t matter one iota if the copy is poorly written. Therefore, be sure that your content captures the reader’s attention and leads him to a sale. Because, in the long run, the best length for your copy is the one that generates the most leads or sales. That’s the bottom line. That’s the true test—the only test—to determine effectiveness.
So, after four articles about copy length, how long should your copy be? Answer: As long as it needs to be to successfully fulfill its purpose … and not a word more.