Ahhh! The never-ending battle. I'm sure you've heard both statements made with passion. Those that believe you must walk your customer through each and every benefit preach, "Long copy sells better!" Proponents of this copywriting method say customers need to be "lead" or "teased" into reading next paragraph and next. Finally, when you have them drooling, you reveal punch line.
On other hand, advocates of short copy state that consumers today have extremely short attention spans. Copy that's "to-the-point" is a necessity in order to make a sale at all. According to these experts, long, drawn-out copy gets tossed right out window by busy, impatient readers. Feed it to them fast or you'll lose them to competition. So exactly who's right? They both are!
No, I'm not being politically correct and I'm not avoiding issue. The honest truth is that all people in world do not communicate in same way. Due to this fact, no one copywriting approach will work with every single product or service. As with every other aspect of advertising, you must look to your target audience for answer.
I've used this analogy for years... when you begin to write a letter you do not sit down and write then decide who you will mail letter to. Before you put pen to paper you know who recipient of message will be. You know their communication style and how to best phrase information so it will be well received. The same applies to copywriting.
Let's say, just as an example, that your target audience consists of small business owners. These business owners happen to all be Certified Public Accountants. Just from this tiny bit of information I can tell you target group is extremely busy, is very detail oriented and has a bottom line mentality. These people are generally analytical thinkers. Based on these facts, I would not write copy to this target audience in long form. Why? It would most likely not be read.
The group above communicates in short, precise bursts. They are looking for bottom line first and an explanation afterwards. The most effective way to get attention of this group (in writing) is to keep it short, sweet and to point. Otherwise you will lose them in what they consider to be a "bunch of fluff". These folks are definitely members of short copy group.
So who belongs to long copy group? People making an investment for one. I don't mean an investment in stock market (so to speak). I'm talking about people who are going to make a large investment of time or money in anything. People who are thinking of joining an affiliate program or multilevel marketing program would be receptive to long form copy. Those who are going to invest many hours in a self-help process would appreciate long copy. Let me explain.