May 30, 2013

tape measureThere is a belief stated as dogma by many in the Internet marketing business that sales letters should never be any longer than one page. Another belief stated as dogma is that sales letters that are longer than 4 pages sell more than shorter sales letters, with 6 page letters selling more than 4 page letters, and 8 page letters selling more than 6 page letters. These are both oversimplifications of statements that are valid in some circumstances. Like most things, the actual situation is more complicated.

What is the purpose?

The purpose of your sales letter will dictate the optimum length. You need to give the prospect exactly enough information and emotional motivation to move to the next step, without confusing them with extra information or leaving questions unanswered. Depending on what the next step is, you may need to provide more or less content. If all you want to do is to convince someone to sign up for your free newsletter or download your ebook, your sales letter should be relatively short. Even half a page might be too long, depending on how qualified your traffic is. On the other hand, if you’re taking a cold prospect through all the benefits of your product so that their next step is clicking “Buy Now” you’ll want a sales letter that is long enough to sufficiently motivate the prospect to make a buying decision and answer any possible objections they may have.

When more is less

The main reason to cut down the length of your sales letter is to get rid of things that detract from the prospect moving to the next step. Why might there be too much in your sales letter? The main thing to cut is extra information that does not answer questions in the prospect’s mind or serve to inspire movement towards a purchase. That only adds to potential confusion. Other things to cut are things that you may find fascinating, such as historical titbits about your business, that hold no interest to your prospects. Trim any of these excesses out of your sales letter.

When less is less

Why might your sales letter be too brief, and need to be longer? If your copy has been trimmed to the point where the prospect no longer finds it involving, it is too short. Similarly, if you only talk about your product and left out how it will benefit the prospect, you need to add more copy. You want to be certain that your sales letter engages your prospect’s emotions, and makes them really want to take the next step, whatever that step may be.





Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy


(Image: Morguefile)

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