Welcome to the latest edition of our brand new weekly series, Break the Rules. Each week our plan is to highlight something you will have heard from some marketing expert as a best practice to be disobeyed at your peril. And we’ll tell you why it’s a rule you should break.
Last week’s rule was Lower Your Prices.
This week’s rule = Keep Text Short and Sweet
The conventional wisdom these days when writing copy is do everything in your power to keep it short. People don’t like to read, they have no time for it, so you need to present something to them that is easy to grasp in a hurry.
Shorter = Better.
But it’s been too long now that we (read “marketers”) have been saying shorter copy is better. Too many of your competitors are receiving the same advice from the same group of people. And today, everyone writes short form copy. Whether it’s on their website, in their ads, in emails or direct mail pieces, companies are rapidly moving away from longer form copy and into bullet points, headlines, and lists.
So why should you buck that trend?
Because you want to stand out from the crowd. That’s what marketing is all about. Do something different and unique that gets people’s attention.
If you have something to say, say it and don’t worry how long it takes you. If you don’t have something to say, find something to say very quickly.
Give more detail than your competitors do on your product pages. Get more personal in direct mail and email. Don’t stop at five reasons to buy from you, give me ten.
In a world where everyone is speaking in tweets and vines, be the company who tries to forge a deeper connection with the marketplace. And don’t worry if it goes against the advice of marketing experts telling you to make it shorter, because your goal is to stop doing what everyone else is doing and be on the front lines in a shift back to long form copy.
Have a “rule” you think we should write about? Share it with us in the comments below or post it to Twitter @zheller using #marketingrules
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