Do You Really Need A Long Sales Page?

By Alexis Rodrigo | Copywriting

Mar 12

Recently, a client of mine requested a sales page and wanted it “short”.

Sir Millard Mulch

When the topic of how long a sales page should be comes up, I have a standard answer:

“I use as many or as few words as it takes to convey the benefits of your product or service, and overcome your prospects' objections.”

In other words, you can effectively sell with short copy — sometimes. But you need long copy — at other times.

After all, your sales page is your salesman, but in print. If it were a real person talking to your prospect, it could take thousands of words before finally getting a sale from your prospect.

How do you know just how long to go?

When You Need More Words

Long sales pages out-convert short sales pages when:

  • You're selling a product rather than trying to get the prospect to opt into your list.
  • Your reader is not yet familiar with you, your product, and what benefits it brings. Remember those Internet marketers you've seen who sell gazillions of dollars worth of product with a simple video and order button on the sales page? Their prospects have been pre-warmed up days, weeks or months before the offer was made. They're just going to the sales page to place their order.
  • You want an immediate sale. That is, you're asking for payment upfront. In contrast, if you're offering a free trial and the prospect can choose whether or not to pay later, then you can get away with a shorter sales page.
  • Your product or service requires a substantial investment. For instance, it takes more words to convert a prospect to buy a $497 product versus a $7 or even $27 product.
  • Your product is complex and needs to be explained, such as a piece of software that has many features, or a 12-month membership program with both online and face-to-face components.
  • You're offering a product that doesn't fill a desperate need. That is, your prospects are probably not actively seeking the solution you're offering. They can put off the purchase and not suffer.

The Last Word

The ultimate answer to the question of sales page length can only come from testing. Although the list above is based on the informed knowledge of many direct response copywriters, you can really only know what length works for your particular product/service and your specific market through testing.

Compare the conversion rate of a long sales page with a short sales page. Which ones pulls more sales? Then go with the winner.

What Do You Say?

What are your thoughts on how long a sales page needs to be? Better yet, have you tested sales pages of varying lengths? If so, which ones performed better than the others? Please share by posting a comment below.

Creative Commons License photo credit: rick


About the Author

Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

  • LaTara says:

    Great information Lexi! I needed to read this as i often struggle with writing a sales page.

    • Alexis says:

      Glad you found it helpful, Latara. If you’re serious about honing your copywriting skills, I highly recommend AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. Yes, that’s an affiliate link. I’m a happy student and wish I discovered AWAI much earlier. In fact, I have half a mind not to share this resource with you, LOL. But there’s enough work out there for all of us, so go for it, girl!

  • Rob Barham says:

    I notice that Amazon product pages are very long with all sorts of detail and opportunities to add related products etc… so another factor may be depending on how many other products you have and if you are focussing on increasing basket value.

    • Alexis says:

      Good observation, Rob. is great at cross-selling and upselling, isn’t it? They also use orange order buttons, which are very effective. Or maybe orange buttons are effective because people associated them with

  • John Hyde says:

    Thanks for this post, Lexi.

    Testing is the only way to get a real answer. A/B split testing.

    If your A page was short-copy and your B page was long-copy you would get an answer for this client at this time. Not a generic answer for all clients for all time.

    You would also need to keep the message identical between the 2 pages – this could be hard.

    We ran a test recently in which a medium length page beat a short-copy page. Unfortunately the 2 pages had different messages and different design aesthetics. So the only learning was that longer copy can work. And we love the extra conversions of course.

    • Alexis says:

      Thanks for sharing, John. Your experience demonstrates that, when A/B testing, only one element should be tested at a time so we know which change converts better.

  • laxman says:

    long sales page have awesome conversion in the im niche.they are used in every niche but they perform brilliant in im fact there is hardly any site that does not market the product with a long sales page

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