Marketing Copy: When to Go Short and When to Go Long

Written by: Phillip Nones

Marketers have long debated whether advertising and sales copy should be long or short – and that debate certainly didn’t start with the dawn of the Internet and e-mail communications.

The answer is … “it depends.” For print and online display advertising, generally speaking you’ll want to present one or two primary benefit points along with eye-catching graphics. Anything longer risks failing to get the viewer’s attention.

But for direct marketing and sales literature the opposite is often true. Copywriting expert Bob Bly outlines several key reasons why:

  • The most qualified prospects are information- seekers who are inclined to read longer copy, because they want to understand what they’re purchasing and to feel confident about the product’s performance and quality.
  • Often, those who read longer copy are better- qualified decision-makers. They tend to be easier to sell, too.
  • Your more-qualified prospects seek answers to their questions – and longer copy can provide those answers right out of the gate.

Lastly, even if you include longer copy in some of your MarComm materials, you can structure it in a way that viewers who many not want to “know all the details” can glean what they need by skimming the copy thanks to subheads, callouts and photo captions.


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Important COVID-19 Announcement

At Mullin/Ashley, we’re very concerned about the well-being of our customers, employees, business partners and communities currently battling to control the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) threat.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that effective Monday, March 23, 2020, all non-essential businesses in the state must close their offices.  A follow-up pronouncement on March 30 instituted further “stay-at-home” orders for Maryland residents.

We are complying with these mandates.  In fact, in anticipation of the Governor’s announcements, we had already taken steps to reduce our social footprint by setting up all Mullin/Ashley employees to work from home, with no interruption in the delivery of services.

In addition, travel activities by our staff have been severely curtailed since early March.

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As of July, certain workplace restrictions have been lifted but social distancing mandates continue in force.  We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis and will continue to take all necessary steps to minimize the risks from the COVID-19 virus.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work collectively to control the Coronavirus threat.

— The Mullin/Ashley Team