How long should your sales letter be?
It’s something they ask me all the time.
But before we start, let me tell you …
I get upset when I talk about this. You see, the number of copywriters saying long-form sales copy is dead because people have short attention spans, it’s insane. And frankly, these people are not fit to call themselves copywriters.
(In my humble, but accurate, opinion).
If people are interested in something, they will be happy to read it all day.
Hell, when I was in college and wanted to gain muscle, I was on the bodybuilding.com forum for about 3-4 hours a day, every day.
I couldn’t get enough.
And you are certainly the same. Think of something that excites you. Something to get the juices flowing.
Would you really get bored reading about this?
Won’t you, you say?
Look, I told you.
Anyway, a copywriter who tells you long-form sales copy is dead is frankly not fit to call himself a copywriter. A little harsh? No. It’s the truth.
If they can’t hold the attention of their ideal prospect with a long-form copy, then they’re as good copywriters as Frodo Baggins with a sword.
(On a side note, Sam was the real hero in Lord of the Rings. Frodo was a queer).
Now, does that mean you should make each copy you write as long as possible?
No. In fact, making it longer than necessary is stupid. And it will really hurt your sales.
But at the same time, you have to tell your entire message in your sales letter.
If that means you have to write 20,000 words, then you write 20,000 words.
However, there are 3 main factors to consider when deciding the length of your sales letter.
1) How much your prospects want the results you promise
Do you have a supplement that can help heart attack patients recover faster?
Well, someone who just had a heart attack in the last month will clearly be interested.
Someone who had a heart attack 6 years ago and has been fine ever since? Yes, still potentially interested. But they would need more persuasion.
Which means more copy.
2) The social status that your product will give someone.
People know that if they drive a Ferrari, they will have more “social status” than if they drive a Ford.
So a sales letter selling a Ferrari shouldn’t have to be long.
However, if you were selling a Ford, you would need more copies.
3) How many people already believe what you say?
What I am going to tell you now is vital.
If you take this into account, your copy will get stronger overnight.
Here it is:
People don’t buy until they believe what you are telling them.
No matter how much they want your product …
And no matter how much social prestige they get …
If they don’t believe what you are telling them.
However, changing someone’s beliefs is as difficult as climbing Everest. And if you can do it, then it will take time.
So you start your sales letter by agreeing with your prospect … even if they think something you know is a bunch of crap.
You can do this by telling a story about how you (or one of your clients) used to believe the same thing. And then gradually you get to the point where you start to question those beliefs. But question their beliefs too soon (or worse, tell them something they won’t believe at all), and your sales letter is doomed.
For example, if you sell fish oil for heart health, people already think it works. So you won’t need a lot of copy to test that it works.
But what if you are selling a “secret herb used by the ancient Greeks” that no one has ever heard of?
Then you will need to write enough copy for your prospects to believe you.
You can do this using studies, testimonials, stories from history … There are many ways.
And the more convincing someone needs about their claims, the more evidence they have to use.
Anyway, if you are selling an iPhone, then you don’t need a lot of copy.
Heck, a headline telling people that the new iPhone is available and then a list of features will be enough to make Apple make billions.
However, I can risk my testicles when I say that your product will not be as easy to sell as this one.
The more you need to increase someone’s desire for your product …
The more you need to persuade them of the personality traits your product will give them …
And the more you need to make them believe your claims …
So the more copy you will need,