the dangers of only using short copy
Most copywriting “gurus” preach: “short copy is king!”
Here’s their logic:
We have tiny attention spans. So you’re never supposed to write an email over 500 words. Otherwise, people get bored, distracted, or croak right at their desk before they finish reading.
But they even take it a step further…
I’m on many-a-email-list. And some of these absolute bozos take this “short copy is king” trope to a whole-nother-level.
Where they will ONLY write one sentence as a paragraph.
So it looks like this.
And you have to keep your finger scrolling.
Or else you can’t read the next sentence.
Their emails go on like this the whole time.
Never, ever, ever putting two sentences together in one paragraph.
And despite them thinking it’s easier to read — it’s much more difficult.
Yes, I’m guilty of using one sentence paragraphs too. I even have some one-word paragraphs. But stringing too many one-sentence paragraphs together backfires. These copywriting jabronis think it makes their copy flow like a river who comes to a steep fall over a rocky ledge. But it doesn’t. In fact, when I read these types of emails, I can’t last more than 5 sentences (or paragraphs) before I exit out and continue going about my day.
Notice the difference?
And how using a mix of short and long paragraphs and sentences actually makes your copy flow?
This “super short sentences and paragraphs” problem is only a symptom of a deeper issue, which is, the backwards belief that short copy is superior.
Short copy has a time and place. But so does long copy.
With one of my supplement clients, the average email length is at least 1,000 words. And it’s probably closer to 1,200 words. Why? Because I must paint the picture for our customers before I recommend a product that can help them with their problem.
Nobody wakes up wanting to buy a prostate supplement. But once you tell them everything that could go wrong if they don’t take care of their prostate (much of which is gruesome beyond belief), then it’s almost impossible NOT to buy a prostate supplement. Or at least check out the sales page.
That’s where short copy misses the mark. It doesn’t give you enough real estate to craft a compelling sales message. And if you use short copy too often, you’re assassinating your personality. Remember the “KLT” factor I told you about a few days back? Short copy ruins your chances of developing your relationship with your audience, which leads to burn out. It's the antithesis of the “KLT” factor.
But, here’s the rub:
Short copy works better than long copy when you’re as entertaining as watching paint dry.
This is, in my humble, yet correct, opinion why these “guru” types preach short copy is king. People demonstrate an incredible attention span if you’re entertaining. The best selling movie of all time (Avengers: Endgame) clocks it at 3 hours and 2 minutes. Plus, there’s like 20 movies you must watch before Endgame to understand what’s happening.
The problem isn’t your customers’ attention spans.
Harsh, but true.
Anyway, if you have a proven offer and need help writing entertaining emails that sell like hotcakes, book a call. We’ll talk shop and see if we’re a good fit to work together.