How Long Should Your Sales Copy Be?

Long Vs Short CopywritingAs a freelancer copywriter myself, many of my clients ask me to advise them on what the ideal length should be for their sales letters.

Now, many copywriters will say “whatever works”, and although this is true to a certain extent, if you’re new to the internet marketing world, you won’t know what works until you’ve tried it. In which case, you need a few pointers when you’re first starting out.

So here goes…

Copywriting – The long and the short of it…

According to legendary copywriter Bob Bly, the length of your copy will depend on three things; the product, the audience and the purpose. Further to that, Joe Sugarman states that the length of your copy is influenced by the price, and how unusual the product is…

So let’s explore those five variables a little further, shall we?

1. The Product – In essence, the greater the number of benefits and features your product has, the more copy you’ll need. If you were selling a t-shirt, for instance, the benefits are plain and simple. However, if you were selling an e-book all about how to make money from home, then the number of benefits would be far greater – more money, more potential for holidays, more free time, no more commuting to work, no more boss, get up when you work, work for as much or as little as you want, etc…

2. The Audience – Who you’re selling to can have a big influence on the length of your sales letter. For example, if you’re selling an online information product, your potential customer can’t actually see what they’re buying. In this instance, you need more copy in order to convince them to click on the order button, because they’re not able to touch and feel the product…

3. The Purpose – The objective of your copy also determines its length. If you’re trying to convince your readers to give you their email address, for example, then you won’t require very much copy because the risk to them is very small. However, if you’re trying to make a sale, then the copy needs many more convincers in order to convert.

4. The Price – This is arguably the most important variable, because if a product costs £1,000, then a 1 page letter isn’t going to cut it. After all, an impulse purchase isn’t going to take place at this price point. As a result, your copy needs to be a lot longer, and contain powerful, emotive and benefits-driven content that will chip away at the prospects’ reservations and convince them that your product is exactly what they need.

5. How Unusual It Is – The more unusual the product, the more your copy needs to work at demonstrating why the prospect needs it, and how it’s going to make their life better. After all, if your prospect didn’t realise their lives were incomplete without it, then your copy is going to have to work very hard at convincing them to purchase – meaning many benefits will be needed!

So if you’re about to write some sales copy for your latest product, hopefully those tips will give you a much better idea of how long the letter needs to be. And if you’re not still not sure, you can always hire a professional direct response copywriter to do it for you!

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