One of the most pervasive myths is that you should write a short copy because people won’t read long copy. In test after test this has been proven wrong and yet the myth prevails.

The truth is that people read whatever interests them, they read long books, long articles and long letters and the more they’re interested, the more they’ll read. The key is attracting their attention with a powerful headline and keeping them engaged as they read.

My belief is that advertising copy is nothing more than salesmanship in print. Would you tell your salesperson that once they are in front of a customer, they only have one minute to get their idea across or that they can only tell half the story? Of course you wouldn’t. The key is neither in writing long copy nor in writing short copy, it is in covering all the points in sufficient detail and in a manner that encourages interested people to read on.

The truth is that no matter how good your mailings are, the majority are not going to get read. Most will be immediately discarded. Some will be read right away, others will be put aside for later reading if the headline or grabber, catches the reader’s eye.

Some writers are worried about giving readers more data than they need, if you do, maybe they’ll buy from you or maybe they won’t. However, if you give them less than they need, it is almost certain they won’t buy.

Studies on how people read advertising and mail, show that readership of marketing materials quickly drops after the first 50 words, but stays high from 50 words to 500 words. That means people who are not interested and engaged will discard your letter or advertisement in a hurry, but interested prospects will read every word, trying to learn as much about what you have to offer as they can.

In a recent test I ran selling service contracts to householders, an 8 page letter generated 3 times the response of a 1 page letter to the same audience.

Could increasing the length of your promotional copy, produce the same results for you?