MarketingExperiments.com recently set out to see what impact the length of sales copy has on a website's conversion rate. The results: long copy clearly outperformed short copy in all three of their tests.
This is something we've wrestled with at BasecampHQ.com.
We like to be as descriptive and informative as possible. But there's a
downside to this approach. Many visitors are intimidated by large
blocks of text and just tune out the site and the tool when they see
long copy. We've heard from some visitors that a large amount of copy
can make the tool itself seem complex (i.e. if it takes this much text
to explain it, can it really be simple?).
Other online tools have taken a less-is-more approach for their home pages. Blogger and Flickr
both give only minimal info upfront and try to get visitors right into
using their respective tools. This is fine for those already familiar
with what these sites offer. But how about those who don't know much
about what's happening at these sites? Are they turned off by the lack
of a lengthy upfront description?
We recently decided on a hybrid approach for BasecampHQ.com.
It's more of a two-level presentation. Up top is a quick summary that
gives a few bullet points and lets people dive right in. Below the
summary is a more lengthy explanation of what Basecamp is and why it's
cool. It's a lot of text but we think it really helps define what
Basecamp is and why it's different than other tools out there.
course, the bottom line isn't whether your copy is long or short. It's
whether it's good or bad. As MarketingExperiments.com writes:
long vs. short debate often overlooks the most important factor when it
comes to website copy: quality. High-quality short copy will outperform
poorly written long copy every time. The best possible copy should be
developed and tested before you even begin to worry about the long vs.