#1 Most Ridiculous Myth
(And YOU Probably Believe It!)
That's KILLING Your
Web Sales DEAD!
Drew Eric Whitman, D.R.S.
Direct Response Surgeon™
Copyright MMI Drew Eric Whitman. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without
prior written permission from Drew Eric Whitman
That's what I say to anyone who
insists that "People don't read long copy on web
What a bunch of bull! This is the
same tired old argument the less informed use when they talk
about sales letters... ads... tv commercials... everything else
they know little about.
Fact is, long copy
sells, regardless of the medium used. In fact, I'd like you to
"listen in" on a debate I had with a senior editor for
a large publishing company about this very topic, just last
JUDY: I think this
copy is too long.
DREW: Too long for
JUDY: Too long for
our web site.
DREW: Too long why?
JUDY: Just because
people don't read long copy on the web.
DREW: Who says
JUDY: It's a known fact.
DREW: Really? And how do you come
to know this fact?
JUDY: I don't know! It's just
known that people spend very little time reading web pages...
they browse... that's why they call it a browser.
DREW: I see.
JUDY: They surf... click from
page to page. I read that people spend only an average of 7 minutes per page... if that.
DREW: And what do these same
people do when they find something that interests them enough to
want to read more than 7 minutes worth of information
DREW: The fact is, Judy... people
who are NOT interested won't read the very FIRST SENTENCE!
People who ARE interested will read pages and pages of
JUDY: I disagree.
DREW: Well, it's your prerogative
to disagree, but I thought we were having a discussion based on
fact, not subjectivity. The fact is, that this experiment of
long copy versus short has already been performed. The results
are in. Long copy outsells short.
JUDY: (more silence)
DREW: Listen... why in the world
would you care how long your copy is? Really! Unless it's
strictly an issue of SPACE... who gives a ^%#$ how LONG the copy
is? Isn't a more valuable to ask: "Is the copy clear?
Interesting? Persuasive? Is it loaded with benefits? Does it
move the reader logically to a sale? Does it make it easy for
the reader to buy?"
JUDY: Well sure, but...
DREW: Then who cares how LONG it
is? Do you really care that someone who is NOT interested in
what you're selling won't read your copy?
JUDY: Well, no.
DREW: Likewise, why be concerned
that someone who IS interested in what you're selling WILL read
your long copy?
JUDY: That's just semantics.
DREW: Semantics? Of course it's
semantics! This entire discussion is semantics. Semantics is the
study of meaning in language. In order for us to have this
discussion, it's necessary for us to convey meaning. Now, here
are some more semantics...
JUDY: Oh, boy.
DREW: <smile> Listen,
Judy... think about this. Picture 2 vacuum cleaner salespeople.
Salesperson A and Salesperson B. Salesperson A knocks on your
door. You let him in. He gives a 5-minute pitch and leaves.
Now, Salesperson B knocks. You
let him in. He gives a 90-minute pitch... demonstrates every
function... dumps a stack of hot testimonials on your coffee
table... hands you his cell phone and has you talk to his top 10
customers... fully explains his guarantee... pulls out charts...
models... performance reviews... quality control stats...
comparison guides... the works.
JUDY: I would have kicked him out
long before 90 minutes.
DREW: Exactly, Judy! And you know
what THAT means? It means YOU are not a prospect. On the other
hand, if you WERE in the market for a new vacuum cleaner...and
his pitch was interesting enough that you WOULD let him stay...
which salesperson would more likely make the sale... A or B?
JUDY: Uhhh...I guess B.
DREW: Of course B! Why? Because
he'd have more time to convince you of the value of what he's
selling. The more you knew about it... the more you'd value it... the more you value
it, the more valuable it is to you...
the more valuable it is to you, the more you'd want it... the
more you'd want it, the more likely it is you'd buy it! It's a
logical progression of events and without the time required to
take the steps, the less likely you'd be to buy.
JUDY: But people today don't have
time to read, read, read. They want everything fast!
DREW: You're right. They don't
have time.... UNTIL THEY FIND SOMETHING THAT INTERESTS THEM...
and then they'll find the time.
The big executive has no time to
play ball with his 6-year old son, but he'll spend and hour and
a half looking for just the right grain of calfskin wallet that
will be most impressive with the new shoes he just bought last
The housewife has no time to
exercise, but God forbid she not blow an hour every day
watching, "As The World Turns."
The student has no time to study
and improve his grades, but always finds time to yak, yak, yak
on the phone with his "cool" new girlfriend.
Don't you see, Judy? It's not
that people have no time. That's the big flaw in your argument.
People DO have time, but they won't spend it doing something
that doesn't interest them.
Boring copy? They'll sleep!
Exciting, interesting copy? They'll read and read... and maybe
JUDY: Well... I don't know.
DREW: Well, I do. And so did the
old masters of advertising. The giants like John Caples, Claude
Hopkins, Walter Weir, David Ogilvy, John E. Kennedy, and others.
In fact, Caples said, "It can't be too long, only too
JUDY: But the web is different
DREW: Of course. But one thing
has NOT changed. HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY. The human mind is still
influenced the same way. The more interesting, influential
information you provide, the more you'll sell.
In fact, I know of a web site...
that if it existed... you'd read every one of its 250 pages.
JUDY: Yeah, right. What site is
DREW: It's called
www.JudysLife.com A site entirely about you and your life.
JUDY: Very funny.
DREW: Nice talking with you,
Judy! I have to get back to writing this (ahem) 12-page sales
letter now. <snicker>
Until we "meet" again
in the next lesson, consider this moving quote from Epicurus:
spoil what you have
by desiring what you have not;
but remember that what you now have
was once among the things only hoped for."
Success to you, my friend!
Drew Eric Whitman, D.R.S.
Direct Response Surgeon(tm)
you like to learn how to persuade people like an
ad-agency pro? NOW YOU CAN! In my 6-cassette audio
program, "How to Create Power-Packed Ads,
Brochures & Sales Letters that Make Money NOW!"
I teach you how! Come on... try it for ONE FULL YEAR
risk free. If you don't like it, return it 364 days
later for a refund! (How can you possibly lose?!) CLICK
HERE For Details!