February 23rd, 2009 by Bob Bly
JS, a subscriber to my e-newsletter The Direct Response Letter, writes:
“I have been reading a lot of your promos as well as those of many other of the [marketing] columnists and writers. All of them (the promos or letters) are very long. I would think in today’s busy world that people don’t want to take time to read such long marketing letters yet you’ve been in business for a long time and obviously have learned what works well and what doesn’t. When I was employed by a Chamber publisher and writing their marketing materials, everyone told me, ‘keep it short, no one reads long emails.’
“Are there studies available that prove the effectiveness of long sales and marketing letters? Or is it just a given among those of you who have been doing this for so long, and that they’ve worked for your customers?”
The question of long vs. short copy is one of those tiring arguments that never seems to quite get settled.
Do you agree with JS’s publishing boss, who insisted that “no one reads long [copy]”?
Can you cite any evidence, either way, on the superiority of long vs. short copy or vice versa?
If you “cop out” (nothing wrong with doing so) and tell me, “It depends” — then I ask you: “Depends on what?”
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