The Great Copywriting Debate: Long Copy vs. Short Copy

The Great Copywriting Debate: Long Copy vs. Short Copy

When I was about to launch this website, I showed it to my wife and sons.

They said, “It looks great, but it’s so long. Will anybody read it?”  

I kind of chuckled to myself because they weren’t the first people to look at what I write and say something to the effect, “You sure anybody will read all of it?” 

I’m not talking about family and friends, either. Some publishers have said the same thing–and they are in the business. 

Don’t you think it’s too long? Isn’t there any way we can cut this? 

I would always say, “No, it is not too long–it is the exact length it needs to be to persuade your customers to buy your product.”

To me the debate isn’t between which is better, long or short copy, but does it make a complete argument that answers all the objections in your customer’s mind while persuading them to buy your product?

That said, I still continue to hear the arguments, “But do you really think they will read the whole thing?”

You are going to love my answer. “No, THEY will not read the whole thing. 

However, THOSE who are interested will read every last word.”

Therein lies the real debate of long vs. short copy.

The people who say short copy is best because no one will read the whole thing write their ads for the people who will not read the whole thing.  

In other words, they write their ads for the people who aren’t going to buy. 

I, a lover of long copy, write my ads for the people who will buy. 

That’s why they are always long. They have to be in order to answer every objection in their mind as I walk them to the order form. 

That is why my copy has sold millions of dollars of investment, health, and personal success advice. 

Let me explain this simple concept behind why my long-copy approach works. 

You see… 

Everyone you meet in life has a mental radar that is scanning messages every moment they are awake. When their radar blips on something of interest, they turn their attention to it.

Take cancer, for a moment.  

An awful disease that you hope none of your friends or family is stricken with. If you don’t know anyone with cancer, you scan right over those articles. 

However, if you know of someone who is suffering from this deadly disease, you read every article you can get your hands on, right to the last word. 

The same can be said for Alzheimer’s.  

If you have a relative or friend stricken with this disease, then your mind focuses like a laser beam on every article that pops up on your radar and, yes, you will read every word. 

The same can be said of yoga, basketball, football, investing, money, politics, and, of course, my favorite, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu! 

If it is on your RADAR, you will read it. 

In fact, the only–and I repeat–ONLY, reason YOU are reading this article is because everything “copywriting” flashes on your radar screen like a Russian bomber that’s violated U.S. airspace. 

That, my friend, is why you clicked on this article and why you have read at least this far. Because you, too, have copywriting on your brain 24/7.

That brings me to my own coaching webpage, and why the copy is so long. 

It’s long because after writing copy for 30 years, I am transitioning to coaching copywriters on the same techniques that made me one of the top copywriters in the country. 

I can’t explain what I will be teaching, the benefits of having me as your coach, and how you can apply my Million-Dollar Copywriting Formula to your own work in six paragraphs with a picture.   

I have to explain why I am doing this, and that is rather personal, and takes a bit of explaining. 

You see, I’ve had a lot of success in my career.  

After 30 years of writing copy, my house is paid for, my kids have graduated from college, and I have enough money to be comfortable.

In other words, I’ve already climbed the mountain, created a multimillion-dollar copywriting business, and now I’m ready for a new challenge.

My next goal is to create a legacy of copywriting knowledge that proves that anyone can use my time-proven formula to create twice as many million-dollar marketing campaigns in half the time—and more effectively than any other copywriting method on the planet.

That is why I’m turning my corporate style page to a sales-landing page that focuses on teaching my Million-Dollar Copywriting Formula.

That is why my new website copy is soooooo long.  

To explain how my formula has generated over $100 million in sales over the past 30 years and how you can apply it almost instantly to take your own writing to the next level.  

And not in group classes… or by having to read or fill out workbooks, where you are always wondering, “How is this going to help me get better?”

You will learn, as I did, the old-school way: one-on-one. But instead of meeting in person, all the coaching will be done online via Zoom.  

I will teach you how to use my techniques too, including the subliminal techniques that have you reading right down to this word! 

Bottom line here is this: 

People who are interested in your subject will read the whole thing. Those who aren’t will click away. 

Because my article is about copywriting, which is on your radar screen, you have read this far. 

If copywriting coaching is NOT on your radar screen, you will stop reading here.   

However, if your copywriting radar is still blinking on high alert for coaching….

…then you’ll want to read my four-part Selling the Golden Dream series here on LinkedIn where I go into great detail about my new Million-Dollar Copywriting Formula copywriting coaching program.

When you do, you’ll not only see my long-copy approach but also see if my coaching program is for you. 

You will also understand why this article is so short. 

Because it is the exact length it needed to be for the people who would be interested in my coaching.  

 Because it is really the sampler…for you to read on for the whole meal. 

That, my friend, is my Million-Dollar Copywriting Formula at work…I can’t wait to show you how to apply this technique to your own writing . 

That brings me back to the great debate–long copy vs. short copy.  

I only know what the numbers tell me. And I’ve seen a lot of numbers! 

The only way to know for sure is to test two promotions (one long and one short) head to head. Sometimes the winner is short and sometimes it’s long. 

The only rule of thumb is that, no matter short or long, it has to be long enough to make a complete sales argument. 

I hope that ends the debate once and for all…. But I know it won’t!   

All good wishes, 

 Doug D’Anna, Creator and Founder of

The Million-Dollar Copywriting Formula

Doug D'Anna

As a seasoned direct response copywriter, Doug D'Anna has created more than 100 widely-mailed control packages for the world's largest specialized information publishers—generating over $100 million in direct sales.