Everywhere I go, I still hear squabbles over long vs. short copy.
I thought the debate was settled, but apparently not. I must admit, some of these discussions are painful. It’s like watching hunters fighting over an anemic squirrel while the big game strolls by.
If you’re still having the long/short copy argument, you’re confusing the vehicle for the message. Make no mistake; you’re falling further behind the times by the minute.
For years, my stock answer about copy length has been that it’s not about length but its relevance. I’d explain that it’s the lady’s skirt principle: copy needs to be long enough to cover the essentials and short enough to be interesting.
I’d sum up by encouraging each side to focus more on what was actually said rather than word count. Writing great, relevant copy isn’t easy.
And it isn’t getting any easier.
AdWords, Twitter (microblogging), social media, text messaging, and the continual assault of data on our senses is raising the bar. My brother Jeffrey observes, “The skirt just seems to be getting shorter and shorter.”
Before you label me a short copy advocate, let me say that if it were as easy as just writing short copy, then all the Web’s short copy (including all those short AdWords/AdSense ads) would convert like a winning slot machine.