I’m not always a fan of less is more (especially when it comes to desserts, earrings and pay packets).
However, in writing: I’m. All. Over. It.
In my training sessions, I get all evangelical about the power of using shorter sentences (tip: more than 16 words and people start to lose your thread).
I LOVE showing how shorter, punchier paragraphs – especially in emails – are so much easier to read and digest.
I need no excuse to bang on about how fewer words and more white space makes your writing breathe and come alive (try it, it’s a miracle worker).
But…there are times when shorter isn’t better.
Times when a bulleted PowerPoint isn’t going to cut it. When a one-pager ain’t gonna bring home the bacon.
And that’s when we need to persuade someone to buy something of high value.
I was reminded of this recently when I received a 4 (yes, 4) page typed letter through the post, selling me a health screening. It was simply brilliant.
Over the course of the letter, it told me this about the screening:
- What it is
- Why I need one
- What could happen if I don’t get one
- What exactly happens on the day
- How their customers have experienced and benefitted from it
- What happens afterwards
- What this means for me and my future
- How much it costs vs. other offerings
- How they can offer it so cheaply
- How they are accredited and why I should trust them
- Where I need to go
- How few places are left
- How I book
- When the offer runs out
Every question I had was answered. Every objection handled. Every worry assuaged. All written in warm, engaging, down-to-earth language that made me feel relaxed and reassured.
It was a masterclass in selling and it blew my socks off.
Because long copy, when written well, can be your secret selling weapon.
Why? Well, with long copy, you get to cover every question your client might have. You get to make an emotional connection with them. You get to woo, persuade and influence.
It’s like a romantic date where you get to lock eyes over a leisurely moules frites. By the time the petit fours are on the table, your client will have fallen hard for you.
But you can’t woo with a set of PowerPoint bullets.
Instead, use long copy when you need to persuade and influence (especially when you can’t be in the room). E.g.:
- In direct mail hard copy letters (like the one I received)
- In client proposals
- Client case studies
- Sales landing pages
So why not give it a go? Take the list of information included in my sales letter and see if you can cover the same topics in your next client proposal.
How can you quell your clients’ concerns? Make them feel reassured and ready to buy?
See if your proposal can woo your clients into falling in love with you. Long copy is your secret to seductive selling….