Copy Length, The Golden Rule

Last time on this blog I gave you the exact formula you should use for the length of your sales copy. In addition, you should always keep the following golden rule in mind:

People will read any amount of words on a web page, as long as it is interesting to them.

The moment it’s no longer INTERESTING to them is the moment you lose them and their money.

Notice it’s not just interesting… but interesting to them. It’s not about what you find interesting.

Have you ever been to a party or at a bar, and the person you’re talking with just goes on and on about stuff you have no interest in? You want to get away, but maybe politeness prevents you from doing so.

On the Internet, your visitors have no such restraints. Bore them, and they’re gone.

So here’s how to keep them interested:

Be relevant. For every paragraph you write, every story you tell, every bullet point you create, imagine yourself as the reader, and ask yourself… “So what? How is this relevant to me?” Make it relevant, or leave it out.

For example, it’s great to tell your visitors a bit about yourself. That builds trust, which is good. It shows they’re dealing with a human being. So it’s relevant.

But your potential clients probably don’t give two hoots about what you had for breakfast that day, or the beauty of your home state. It’s probably not relevant to them.

Be fascinating. We love to be fascinated by people, by facts and figures, by secrets revealed, by unusual situations. What would fascinate your audience? Be fascinating, but remember to also be relevant.

For example, here’s a fascinating fact every copywriter should know…

Up to 80% of the things we say when we are out with friends are in the form of STORIES. When we talk to friends, we most often use story form. They may be simple stories, “He said..”, “she said…”, “I couldn’t believe what he did next…” – but they are still stories.

How is this relevant? Because…

Be entertaining. People love to be entertained, so if you can entertain them at the same time, even better!

This is why we communicate to our friends in stories so much of the time. We like to share the events of our life in forms that we know will entertain others.

How many times have you met up with a friend, and one of the first things they said was… “You won’t believe what just happened to me…”

They’re about to tell you a story, to entertain you. In the context of friendships, the story is usually relevant because it’s about sharing, bonding, entertaining which enhances the friendship.

With a sales letter, you don’t usually have the luxury of friendship – so you can entertain with stories, as long as they are also relevant, and fascinating!

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