Being a sales letter copywriter myself, I’m often asked what the ideal length of a sales letter is.
And my answer is always the same…
And although that might seem like a pretty annoying answer, it’s true!
So let me go into a little more detail for you, to explain exactly what I mean, so that you can then work out how much copy YOUR product might need…
Basically, the length of any sales copy depends on 4 factors; what the product is, the purpose of the copy, the price of the product in question, and how “unusual” that product is.
So why don’t we delve a little further into those 4 variables…
#1 – What The Product Is
In essence, the more benefits and features your product carries, the greater the amount of sales copy you need. For example, if you’re looking to sell a t-shirt, then your sales copy won’t need to be very long, because the benefits are obvious, and of course, limited. However, an e-book that shows people a system for making huge amounts of money online would carry many more benefits, such as the ability to work from home, never having to work for anyone else ever again, being your own boss, being able to take as many vacations as you like (and still earn money), getting up whenever you want in the morning, having more freedom, etc, etc!
#2. The Purpose Of The Copy
What is the objective of your copy? For example, are you trying to encourage someone to give you their email address, or buy something? If it’s the former, then the amount of copy you require to convince the prospect to do so is significantly reduced, because the risk element is so small. On the other hand, if you’re trying to sell a product, then you need a lot more copy. You need to address the prospect’s most pressing problem, and then present your product as the #1 solution, and in order to do this you need to include all of the main benefits. Added to that, you must build the product’s “value” throughout the copy, which simply can’t be achieved in a couple of paragraphs!
#3. The Price Of The Product
Without doubt, the price that you’re setting your product at is the #1 determining factor in how long your sales copy should be. For instance, if your product costs £20, then once again, the risk that the prospect is taking is relatively small, and as such, less copy is required. However, if you’re selling a seat to an internet marketing seminar for £997, then one or two pages of copy isn’t going to be enough. The fact is, an impulse purchase simply isn’t going to occur at a price point like that! In order to convince someone to hand over that amount of money, you need to focus on building value, and this takes time. It’s all about hammering home the benefits, constantly tackling common reservations along the way, and making it clear that the value of the product far outweighs the price.
#4 – How “Unusual” The Product Is
Naturally, the more “unusual” your product or service is, the greater you’re going to have to work to convince the prospect that they need it! And this means longer copy that consistently reiterates the benefits – and lots of them! In short, if the prospect’s life isn’t going to be markedly different WITHOUT the product you’re selling, then you’re going to have to work extremely hard to sell it to them…
So then, if you’re about to sit down and write some sales copy for your next product, then try to bear these 4 points in mind. If you do, then you’ll be sure to find the ideal length!
Nick Cobb – Sales Letter Writer