“It’s too long,” said the client from the other end of the phone. “The copy is too long. No one will read it.”
Arrggg, I sighed to myself, here we go again.
I gathered my thoughts, and then quietly explained why it’s so long, and YES, qualified prospects will read it… and NO, I do not particularly like writing 24 pages to make the sale, and if 2 pages would do, then by golly, that’s what I’d be writin’.
I calmly explained the importance of long copy and how the major sin is to be boring. I finished up saying to test the damn thing first. Then you can either complain or celebrate.
You see, this is why I refuse to deal with clients who do not understand and fully embrace our style of Emotional Direct Response.
I took this guy on as a favour to a colleague and immediately regretted it. Sure, when I was starting out, and getting clients was tougher, I would take on clients who needed educating on Direct Response. Now that’s a tough job, and I spent many hours coaching and teaching, bringing these clients up to speed. (I soon worked out how to get paid for these coaching sessions, but it took awhile.) It’s much easier to deal with people who get it; who understand why we are doing what we are doing.
But getting back to the long copy issue for a moment.
Is it a valid argument?
Can copy be too long?
Well yes, in many cases it can be too long. Because for many rookie copywriters they fall in love with their own words, they don’t know when to shut up.
Same with rookie face-to-face sales people. They don’t realise when they have made the sale and when to shut the hell up.
I’ve critiqued some beauties over the last few months. 24 pagers, 28 pages, even one that was nearly 40 pages long. All with the same problem.
They closed the deal pages and pages ago but they keep coming back with more. And when that happens, you’ve lost the sale.
Get them in, tell your story, prove that’s it true, make an offer, give your guarantee, remind them of the benefits, push for action and close the deal.
That’s how a sales letter works.
But here’s the point. If that takes 40 pages to accomplish, then that’s how long it will be. The only time I restrict myself on the number of words I use is when there is a strict word count applied, such as ads, catalogue copy and so on. Otherwise, I make it as long as it has to be without being one word longer.
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Pete Godfrey, The Wizard of Words, from rebel without a clue to one of the most in demand and highest paid Copywriters and Sales Strategists in Australasia… all with the power of his emotionally charged words that sell… Discover the “Secret Weapon” to increasing your Sales and Profits by downloading the valuable report "The Ultimate Copywriting and Marketing Secret" While you're at it, follow Pete on Facebook