Long or short copy?… What works best on landing pages

October 2007

Most copywriters and marketers assume that shorter copy works best for landing pages. You may be surprised by what I found. Learn the truth behind copy length and how it can boost or undermine conversion.

Landing Page Copywriting… the long and short of it.

Learn whether long or short copy is better for conversion rates.

In general, the least amount of copy you can use to get your message across is best–no surprise there. However, you should also consider the following variables according to Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Director, MarketingExperiments.com:

  • Cost: low=less copy; high=more copy
  • Perceived risk: low=less copy; high=more copy
  • Level of Commitment: low=less copy; high=more copy
  • Motivation: emotional/impulse=less copy; rational/analytical=more copy

So what does that tell us about copy length on landing pages?
The more complex and costly the product and the greater the commitment and consideration process, the more copy you may need on your landing page and vice versa.

For example, You’re running lead generation campaign for a complex machine that costs a few million dollars. A commitment of this magnitude will have a longer consideration process than deciding to commit to a $50 magazine subscription.
Hint: There should be far less copy on the magazine subscription landing page.

Here are a few landing page copywriting techniques to help boost conversion on lengthy landing pages…

  • Get to the point above the fold.
  • Place at least one call to action above the fold.
  • Repeat the call to action below the fold or further down the landing page.
  • Make the number of form fields commensurate with the perceived value of the offer.
    i.e. Don’t ask for name, email, title, company, phone number and physical address for a simple 2- or 3-page white paper, unless the white paper is of high value such as exclusive research.

Remember to test everything! Click here to read Dr. McGlaughlin’s landing page critiques and a summary of his recent landing page webinar.

That’s integrated marcom! More next time…

PS What’s your take on landing page copy length? Tell us on the Integrated Marcom Minute Blog.