≡ Menu

Will Covid-19 Kill the Short-Form Slogan?

Every morning I walk my dog Jack along a street called ‘Putman.’

It’s a well-off street, with high-end property, and new condos have been going up like weeds.

But the tide looks to be turning.

Some work sites are now abandoned. One unfinished building is littered with neglected tools and porta-loos. Another shows a picture of how the home is meant to look. Stylish, clean and modern. Underneath the image are the words: “Opulence on Putman.’

I won’t dissect this too much.

Bad copy is bad copy. No matter what the economy, “Opulence on Putman” will always be a fatuous line. But I was struck by how out-of-touch it already looks.

I don’t know about you, but I cannot believe how different the world was only last Christmas. Already this advert looks like a trinket pulled from a time-capsule.

America’s “eviction moratorium” is now over. 

The battle between landlords and tenants begins.

And I doubt this will only hit the poor.

Here in Canada, we have experienced a spectacular housing bubble – perhaps bigger than America’s in 2007. When the wind is in your sails, you get away with lines like “Opulence on Putman.”

However, as valuations fall, peoples’ thinking switches to survival mode.

More persuasion is needed to win their interest – and business. 

General advertisers never believe in long-copy. 

They think people won’t read anything longer than one sentence. They point to relatively new developments – like smartphones and Twitter. “People just don’t have attention spans for long copy any more,” they say. “It’s old fashioned.”

Yet time and again, I see long-copy prove these theories wrong.

I recently wrote a page for Motley Fool – all about a new policy from Boris Johnson, and one UK stock that could profit. This ad was almost 5,000 words long. When printed, it filled 20 pages – and didn’t even announce the offer until the middle.

Did people read it?

Well, that sales page is now their top promotion. And we tested long-copy for 6 months before finding this new appeal. Motley Fool’s Share Advisor service has been around since 2012, yet in these 6 months we increased their subscribers roughly 50%.

That is a massive jump in sales for a style of copy that’s supposedly old-fashioned. In fact…

…This process for getting new customers is so important, I’ve drafted a new book on how you can do the same. It’s called, “Gold Standard Copy: How to write breakthrough promotions at breakneck speed.” And it reveals how to get these results for yourself incredibly fast.

Although this book is aimed at financial businesses, I expect anyone could follow the principles for faster sales. So do keep an eye out for this. I’ll be sending you a free copy sometime over the next few weeks.

As you’ll see, it’s not that long-copy beats short-copy…

…It’s that a complete sales argument is usually needed to make your customer buy. This takes more words than most people think, because you have a lot more objections and considerations to address.

As time goes on, I think the case for delivering a complete sales pitch will only grow stronger – and we could see a new golden age for long-form copy.

Of course, I’m biased, but the results definitely aren’t.