To Go Long or Short on Your Copy?

Countless copywriters advise against putting lots of writing in your ads. “Nobody will read it!” they claim. Not so fast…

It is definitely true that far less viewers read the ad copy than just the headline.

However, that doesn’t mean long ads turn off readers. One marketing expert was asked, “who would read a long copy?” his response?

“The buyers!”

And he’s right…

Victor O Schwab in “How To Write a Good Advertisement” says that there’s nothing wrong with having a long copy, as long as everything you put in there is essentially needed to convey your benefits and provide important information

David Ogilvy in “Ogilvy on Advertising” goes even so far to say that long ads tend to bring in more responses and sales than short copy.

So writing a lot of useful benefits of your product and service (and possibly within an alluring story) can pay off.


It seems that if you have a lot to say about your product or service, it could convey a sense of importance to your readers. Especially if the ad delivers benefits they want to know more about. The more useful and beneficial information you provide to your viewers, the more they’ll feel inclined to act on it.

Claude Hopkins in “Scientific Advertising” points out that people read long copy about stories they want to know about in newspapers, so people who want to know more about your product will read about it in length in your ad and are more likely to buy.

So there’s nothing to fear about writing a long ad. It may be better than a short one.

However, don’t write a long ad just to make it long. Every word must be important, relevant, and usefully promote the benefits of your product. Don’t write useless or redundant stuff. If you bore your viewers, sales disappear. But useful information and intriguing stories involving your product increase response rates and tend to add sales!

So say what you need to say. Get your points across with brevity, but don’t worry if it still comes out long. That might actually help.