Short Copy: Understanding Its Purpose Can Increase Sales by Karon Thackston © 2003 http://www.copywritingcourse.com
I believe it was Mark Twain that once said, "If I would have had time, I would have written a shorter letter." His point being... it takes much more thought and time to write a short, concise piece than a long one. It's true, too!
Think about it. How hard is it to get your point across in a very limited amount of time or space? Ever tried to write copy for a postcard mailing? How about a 30-second radio commercial? How do you tell customers everything you want them to know in just a few words? Truth is... you don't.
Short copy has some special considerations. The first (and most important) is that it isn't meant to make sale. Then why do you write it? *To spark interest!*
Short copy plays an important role in advertising process. It can be used as a lead generation tool, an announcement, a teaser to build interest, and in lots of other ways. Extremely short copy is simply meant to lead to other means of closing a sale.
Postcard mailers might instruct reader to send for an information package. Pay-per-click search engine listings will guide reader to a Web site just full of copy. Ezine ads do same thing. Small display ads in newspapers or in-store signage may encourage reader to get more details. You get point.
Short copy needs to be extremely targeted. For example, if you're running a small display ad in a magazine you'll want to take into consideration "why" readers bought that magazine. Then create your headline and copy to speak to their special interests.
If magazine is devoted to Web site development, address that interest in your ad. Consider what will grab your customer's attention and make him/her curious. The "call-to-action" for short ads is always aimed at getting more information... not necessarily at making sale.