Copywriting: Long copy vs. short copy matrix
Today on the MarketingSherpa blog, I discuss length as it applies to content marketing. But in this MarketingExperiments blog post, I’m going to discuss length as it applies to marketing copywriting on a landing page.
While content marketing and landing page copywriting are very similar in one element – you are not hemmed in by the same media space restrictions you would have in a print ad – they are very different in the main goal of the piece.
Content marketing should help your audience, and by helping your audience eventually help your business goals as well. In this instance, you are mainly aiming to serve your audience.
Landing page copywriting should serve your business goals, and assuming you have a product or service that has a true value proposition, in the end help your audience as well. In this instance, you are trying to express your value proposition as clearly as possible. Sometimes length adds to clarity, sometimes it detracts.
Is long copy or short copy better? Yes.
Yes, long copy or short copy can perform better on your specific landing pages. So how to choose?
Bob Kemper, Director of Sciences, MECLABS, has created a simple matrix to help you determine which length of copy is likely to be more effective for your product or service.
“This heuristic model of long-copy vs. short-copy optimization principles has emerged empirically over time,” Bob said.
In other words, Bob has analyzed hundreds of tests in the MarketingExperiments optimization labs, and from that he has discovered a few factors that help determine copy length effectiveness. He enumerates them thusly…
Factors affecting the efficacy of body copy length on a landing page:
- Nature of visitor motivation
- Initial level of Anxiety about product/company
- Level of cost/commitment associated with conversion.
Short copy performs better when…
According to Bob, short copy performs better when there is low perceived risk, low cost, and low commitment. Also, when the customer has an emotional, impulsive, and “want-oriented” motivation.
In other words, if you’re looking to write high-impact copy for concert tickets, designer shoes, or mp3 players…keep it short.
Long copy performs better when…
Bob states that long copy is the better performer when there is a rational, analytical, need-oriented motivation. Think consumer insurance products or many complex B2B offerings.
The copy matrix
Here is a thinking tool that Bob created, that you may find helpful when crafting copy tests for your own landing pages.
“Placing your current subject-site/product on this matrix can help you to establish the likelihood that short-copy vs. long-copy landing-offer pages will perform better,” Bob said.