Home

Feature Article:

Building Your Fan Base
Want to build your fan base? Meaning, do you want to attract more clients or customers to you and your product or service? Then build a platform. A platform is media lingo for having a solid base from which to pitch your work. Itís about...
...Read More


Long Sales Letters vs. Short Sales Letters

Additional Reading


Everywhere I turn, I'm being asked to weigh in on the issue of whether copy should be long or short in a sales letter. I receive countless newsletters on copywriting and marketing, and they are all still debating the issue.

I doubt that the question will be answered definitively, but after hearing from other Internet copywriters and after considering the issue myself, I've learned that if you follow three guidelines, the issue of length will become almost irrelevant.

Guideline #1) TELL PROSPECTS WHAT THEY WANT AND NEED TO KNOW TO MAKE A BUYING DECISION.

Interested prospects will read even a sales letter of several pages long if they are interested and if your sales letter has good content. Many of us are more interested in telling prospects what WE want them to know. But we should all be telling prospects what THEY want and need to know.

Guideline #2) OMIT NEEDLESS WORDS.

This guideline is actually Rule #17 from Strunk & White's famous little book on writing, _The_Elements_of_Style_. (If you write, you really should read this small but influential book.)

Anything that doesn't have a direct purpose or work toward winning over your prospect should be cut out. I don't care how much you want to tell them about what a great reputation your company has and how successful you were last year. Unless that information takes the reader one step closer to buying (admittedly, sometimes it does), cut it.

Do the research and know your target audience. Then, write with their needs in mind. Write everything your prospects want and need to read, but write ONLY what they want and need to read. Cut the rest.

Guideline #3) TEST. TEST. TEST.

This is the best indicator of how long your sales letter should be. If you don't like to test, you have to rely on luck. Not a good idea. Put together the best sales letter you can with everything a prospect needs to know to make a buying decision, cut out anything that's not essential reading for your prospect, then run it. Record the results. Rewrite a portion of the letter. Test again. Record the results. Keep doing this until conversion rates improve and you'll know how long your sales letter needs to be. Of course, this kind of testing is much easier online than in offline direct mail, but it needs to be done. (Offline direct mail will probably require a split mailing.)

Although many people will tell you that "research has shown longer sales letters pull better," the only research you should be paying attention to is your own. Long sales letters don't pull well for everyone.

There's an easy way to answer to the question of how long or short a sales letter should be. (It's the same for other similar questions of tone, diction, and how much text you should emphasize.) Determine the needs and desires of your readers and you'll have your answer.

Matthew Cobb is an independent copywriter/consultant. Contact him at contact@cobbwriting.com or learn more about Sales Letters by Matthew Cobb by visiting his Web site at www.cobbwriting.com/salesletters, and sign up for his free monthly e-publication, The Seductive Sales Letter Clinic.

 

More Reading:


The Perfect Network Marketing System for 2005

Yellow Page Advertisers Your Calls are Going to Decrease Heres the Remedy

The Benefits of Ebooks for Your Business

How Most Millionaires get to be Millionaires

Catch More Clients Using Strategic Networking

 
Using A Simple Idea to Target Your Audience

Not So Stationary Stationery

The Complete Beginners Guide to Writing Articles

Killer Online Marketing Strategy Goes Offline

How to Find the Best Ezine or Website For Your Ad


How To Write A Newsletter Without Being A Writer
One of the best ways to stay in touch with current and past clients, colleagues and fans, is to publish a regular newsletter. Whether you use a HTML template tool like Constant Contact, simply create a good looking text email to send out to your...
...Read More

Business Scents - Do They Work?
You see it often in large shopping complexes. Customers seem to be flocking to a certain stall in large droves. There is a special attraction that cannot be explained. Isn't it great to see your own customers flocking to you in...
...Read More

How To Use Database Marketing To Skyrocket Your Online Profits
Here's some simple yet POWERFUL ideas on how to use Database Marketing to skyrocket your online profits...which will have a GREAT effect on your bottom line. Database Marketing is the gathering and storing of specific information about your...
...Read More

Keep it Basic and Profit More
The question has been asked. And asked. And asked. And.... you get the idea. I knew it was a problem for many people. I know it's hard to find concrete information that actually helps. I didn't know that it was causing problems...
...Read More

Hooked On Books? Write A Book Review For Your Target Audience
If you are burned out with writing how-to articles to promote your business then consider writing a book review. I recommend you write a review about a book you enjoyed that is related to your products or services. Your review, of course, will be...
...Read More



[an error occurred while processing this directive]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]