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Long Copy Sales Letters - Do They Really Work?

Dec 27, 2007
A lot of people think that long copy is dead, that it doesn't work anymore, that it's old-school, that nobody reads it, that you don't need to use it, that it's not even effective anymore. Long copy sales letters are, in fact.not dead. Their death has been greatly exaggerated.

There are some very good reasons for creating long sales letters. In my online course, I discuss the differences between long and short copy, and explain how and why long copy really works. Check out my online course at WebCopyWritingExplained.com for more information.

Here are three reasons long copy works:

People read about their passions. When you are interested in a certain product or service, you want more information - from websites, books, magazines, and more. My favorite bookstore is Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane. When I go there to read up on a topic, I can't just buy one book. I buy every book on the subject that I can find. My office shelves are bulging with books that reflect my passions - on marketing, web conversion, copywriting, and more. Everyone loves to read about their passions, and long copy sales letters are no exception.

Online is not like selling face-to-face. When you sell face-to-face, you can hear people's questions, you can read their body language to get an idea of what they're really thinking. Online, you have to try to figure out what questions (or "objections") they're likely to have. It's your job to figure out and answer all possible objections in advance. This will require a lot of words. What you end up with is long copy!

Long copy helps you tell a story. In Seth Godin's book, All Marketers Are Liars, the author discusses the power of stories to sell a product. Learn how stories sell, and how that can help your business.

Do I have you convinced? Try this simple formula to create a four-part long copy sales letter that can get you results if done properly. This formula is credited to John Carlton - I love his material, and highly recommend it to you:

Here's what I have to offer. Here you explain exactly what you are offering to people reading your copy.

Here's why it's right for you. Explain your solution to your reader's problems.

Here are some answers for you. Here, you answer any questions that they may have in advance.

Here's what to do now. Tell them what to do next. Buy! Call now! Add a sense of urgency, and tell them to call you Right Now!

Interested in trying it for yourself? Try using these four steps as they are written - they make good headlines. It really works!
About the Author
For tips, tricks, and tactics of a sought-after web copywriter, check out the blog of Copywriter Ray Edwards. Claim your free podcasts, marketing tips, videos and free copywriting advice.
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