If Long Sales Pages Work, Why Do You Hate Them So Much?

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Thumbs Up To Landing PagesSome of you are not going to agree with this, but it’s the truth.

Raise your hand if you are put off by those long form landing sales pages you see that are used to sell online?

Yep, it seems a lot of you stuck your hand up.

Let me ask you another question -

If you were selling something online would you use the best known tools available to promote or would you prefer to sell using what you considered acceptable?

It’s okay to deliberately choose not to use something to uphold your principles or because you don’t want to be seen as doing something in the past you have not approved of or disliked when others use.

However, you need to be clear about your goals. Are you willing to make fewer sales and less money, potentially even kill an entire project because of these principles?

Why Do You Hate It So Much?

Every single time I’ve sent out a link to a product that uses a long sales page or landing page inevitably a few people leave comments complaining about the use of such ‘annoying’ pages.

The last post to this blog prior to the one you are reading now reviewing the Desperate Buyers Only book linked to a long sales page.

A few people noted in comments to the review that they don’t like products that use such sales pages. I expect these people didn’t buy. According to my stats at least 19 people have purchased because of the review (so far). Whether that’s a good result or not is subjective, but I’m always happy when I sell over $1400 from one blog article.

I’ve had an ongoing email chat with a reader named Irene. She originally wrote to me wondering how on earth such annoying sales pages work (I think I must have been promoting a big product launch at the time) and claiming that there must be a better way to sell online.

This morning Irene directed me to a blog post by Skellie – 13 Sure Signs Your Landing Page is a Turn-Off – which pretty much sums up most of the annoying things people hate about long sales pages. I left my comment there stating my opinion of the long landing page, but I felt the need to elaborate more in a blog post since this topic comes up so often.

The Long Landing Page Works

Back when I launched Blog Mastermind I used a long sales page and I will continue to use it for my products. That sales page worked well, however it was clear a lot of bloggers hate them out of principle and simply refused to consider joining my membership site because of the sales page.

Would these people have joined if I didn’t use the long form sales page? Tough to say, a couple of them maybe, but I’m guessing most wouldn’t, they just weren’t the target market or their rejection points were too strong. I may have lost potential members when the required points were not listed in my sales page, if I chose to use a shorter page.

In the case of Blog Mastermind I think most people joined based on reputation and a relationship with me, at least during the launch phase. However you have to remember some people visit a sales page with little prior contact with you and a few paragraphs talking about your product features is not going to convert, it’s insufficient information to make a decision.

Why Long Sales Pages Work

I’m not a copywriting expert and reading the archives of copyblogger will give you a more in-depth analysis of copywriting psychology, but here’s my take on why a long sales page comes up on top.

  1. The long sales page contains the entire gamut of possible discussion going on in the head of a potential customer (well ideally anyway). If you need to account for all possible rejections, questions and variables that could enter the mind of a prospect during that crucial buying decision time, you need to use a lot of words.
  2. People have short attention spans and do not like to take action. That’s a fact, anyone who runs a website knows how hard it is to keep attention or convince someone to click something. If you attempt to “pretty up” a long sales page and make navigation “easier” by adding internal links, navigation bars, drop down content, etc, you create actions that people simply won’t do. Instead they will click away and leave your page, thus hurting your conversion rate.
  3. To combat the above point, all the content is presented on one page and copywriters use headings as the navigation cues. The page is designed to work from top to bottom just scanning the headlines. As Frank Kern recently pointed out in his Mass Control launch, if you look at most well-written long sales pages you can read the headlines – only the headlines – to garner the entire story from start to finish. Scanners will scroll down the page, stop at the headings that grab their attention, read that content and begin scanning again.
  4. Again to combat point 2, the only clickable option is the buy button/link, which ideally is inserted many times down the page using varying text. If your page is designed to sell, then give people the option to buy and nothing else.
  5. The big bold red headlines and all the other font wackiness you see in long sales page work because it attracts attention. Everything comes down to this. If you cannot engage attention right from the start then you’re done – you make no sales. Obviously testing is the ultimate conclusion, but to me it just makes sense if you want someone to read something then use the format that is most likely to grab their eyeballs from the beginning.

What About The Hype Factor?

Let’s face it – hype sells. But let’s be honest too – hype turns away a lot of people as well.

Hype to one person is not hype to another. It’s not something you can quantify and measure to find an appropriate dosage. You simply use ‘enough’ so that you get conversion to meet your goals. If some people label you a hype merchant as a result, then you have to suffer the feedback or, reduce your hype, satisfy the complaints of a few vocal people and potentially lose sales.

Can you reduce hype and still convert well? Of course, but I’ll say it again, some people will look at something and see hype while others won’t. If you continue to attempt to react to ‘public opinion’ you are like a politician trying to please all of the people all of the time – it can’t be done.

What should matter are your goals and your principles. You don’t want to compromise either of them, but understand your principles will not align with other’s. Some marketers will look at you and think you are leaving money on the table for not milking the frailties and insecurities of your target market for every penny you can get. Others will label you as a ruthless marketer, selling snake oil and hoping to get rich off the back of every ‘sucker’ out there who falls for your hype.

You can’t win when it comes to public opinion if winning means satisfying everyone.

Think About This…

Here’s some variables you need to at least think about. I’m not saying these are necessary true all the time, but consider them when you are criticizing the use of the long sales page…

  • What if the people who complain about long form sales pages are a small vocal minority?
  • What if the people who complain are not the target market and even if you showed them a smaller page they wouldn’t buy?
  • What if results are more important than opinion? Would it matter if 50 people said your sales page sucked and they would never buy anything from you, but 200 people did buy and said nothing at all?
  • Are successful online marketers who use the long sales page fooling each other following suit because everyone else does or are they testing their sales pages to find what format converts best?
  • Do you hate the long sales page because you are constantly online and always reviewing products that people sell so you are overexposed to it and have never actually sold something yourself using a long form sales page?

Are There Not Better Alternatives?

Yes of course sometimes there are better alternatives, but it’s on a case-by-case, test-by-test basis, there is no rule.

Video is becoming more prevalent and in some tests results I’m hearing from top marketers, video will outperform a long sales page. However each test must be independent. You can’t assume something just because someone else says so.

I’m going to add video to some of my opt-in and sales pages and see if it increases conversion. I think it will, but I won’t know until I try.

I’m also going to experiment with my long sales page style and test reducing some of the characteristically typical “hypey” parts of it. I’m well aware my audience of bloggers contains a significant chunk of people who don’t like long form landing pages. At least I think there are enough of you that I should try selling with a page that will still be long, but may be toned down when it comes to elements like the big red font.

Again though, I’m spitting assumptions at you now, I won’t know until the copy is tested. If you are curious, you can find out my results simply by looking at what sales page is currently live – it’s likely the one performing the best at the present time. Keep your eye on BlogMastermind.com in the near future as that is the page we will be testing the copy on.

The Conclusion

To start with the obvious let’s state what we know for certain – all you can trust is testing.

However there is an intangible element too, which is about branding. Your public perception is your brand and that in turn is impacted by your use of certain sales techniques.

No doubt Skellie gains a lot of friends by adding to the chorus of the long form sales page haters. People who share the opinion feel a stronger rapport with her after reading her anti-long landing page article and this may benefit Skellie in the future when she goes to sell something.

I know for certain I lose some readers whenever I promote a product as an affiliate or one of my own. I once received an email reply that said something along the lines of – “you are a snake oil merchant”. These people do not like it when I act like a marketer or when I sell to them something they don’t want or use language they find hypey.

If these people were in the majority I’d have to adjust my practices but, to tie back into the testing point above, in the end I make decisions based on results, not a few angry emails from the vocal minority.

Sure I’d love to please all of the people and I do my best to please as many as I can, but all you can do is work on pleasing yourself and meet your own standards, and adjust as you go. That of course means helping a lot of people – hopefully the majority of my audience gain from my output – but as your profile and exposure grows you also attract people who do not approve of what you do or say – it’s one of the first signs of success.

Right now, there is nothing better than the long form sales pages for selling some products online, based on test results. This will change, that’s a certainty, but the underlying elements that drive a sale will not. Our means to satisfy the conditions to trigger a conversion will change over time as techniques and conditions change, but for now, you have to test the sales page and see if it performs best – it’s as simple as that.

Yaro Starak
Long Page Convert

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Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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58 Comments

  • I hate..long sales pages too. I would buy only after reading the testimonial other people..that’s it. probably the other love long sales pages..tough to say!

  • Speaking of long sales pages, this was quite a long post, Yaro!

    I think that sometimes long sales pages work well because they prove to the reader that you have plenty of valid reasons to support your product, even more than they care to read! But of course, each situation can be different and testing is critical as you said.

  • The answer is exactly as you say it – test!

    I’m reminded of a statement a few years attributed to some nameless Telstra executive, talking about customer service. He said that 87% of customers were happy with .

    From a business perspective that makes sense. The majority of people are happy with Telstra’s service, and the ones that aren’t… well, they can go stew.

    The thing is Telstra tested the market, and made a business decision. if you were one of the 13% unhappy ones, then tough.

    Same with long copy vs short copy. Test them both (& other things that make sense to test). Keep the best performers, according to your goals, discard the others. When you’re in the business of making money, no other strategy makes sense.

  • I am torn – I agree with both Yaro and Skellie.

    This topic is especially sensitive because we have to remember who the majority of people we are selling too are not the same peers we are trying to impress. Bloggers, internet marketers, and other techies are not going to enjoy the aesthetics of a well crafted long sales copy, but the psychological aspects that can create conversions are there…

  • “Horses for Courses”!!

    That is the only way I can describe the long sales letter approach to marketing a product or service.

    I know my wife is one that is totally against it, and would 1st scroll a page and see how long the text is before she decides if she is reaching for the back button or not!

    I have read many people’s opinions on the subject and most of the comments were that it all depends on your niche.

    While we are accustomed to seeing such marketing tactics in the niche, it may not work so well in other niches.

    I have to agree with Mark. Testing your copy is the only way you will truly know which method works for your market/niche.

  • Most long sales pages that I visit are usually trying to sell an ebook. With that said, I scroll to the end of the sales page for information on the price and free gifts. If the price is within my budget and what I’m willing to pay (I won’t pay a lot for an ebook), I’ll scroll back to the top. However, I hardly ever read an entire sales page that is long. Instead, I scan looking for the benefits. If the benefits get my attention, then I usually buy.

    I don’t bother reading testimonials for the simple fact that some people put up fake testimonials, but if I do read them, I’ll research to see if the person who left the testimonial is real. I may even contact that person to verify that he/she left the testimonial. But again, I hardly ever read those.

    I’ll buy if the benefits attract my attention and the price is within my budget and not over priced. Usually, I don’t pay more than $20 for an ebook.

  • Simon

    Good to know they perform well because I was about to try some of ClickBank’s offers and they all have long pages.

    I seriously don’t like them personaly and it’s hard to sell something which you wouldn’t buy yourself but if it converts =)

    • Oh! I, for one, cannot sell something that I would not be buying myself or not believe in. I feel I would come across as a guy who is “faking it”.

      Secondly, long sales letters are something I don’t like and hence find it very difficult to craft one myself. However, I know they work very well depending on where you are applying it on.

      But I am definitely not sure if the work for selling online here in India. They are directly compared to websites that are selling something shady.

      Since I come the “video gaming” niche and am currently working on selling a “video gaming online course”, this is a question that is currently going on in my head. I might use video instead of a long sales page. Still working on it…

  • I too hated long sales letters and would go to the bottom of the page to see what the ‘bottom line’ was, before deciding whether to spend time reading it.

    I’m now a little further along in learning about marketing in general and sales letters in particular. My understanding is, and this confirms what other commenters have said here, is that the more expensive the product, the longer the letter needs to be.

    It has to answer all the possible questions the reader/potential customer might have – it’s the only opportunity to do so! And it only takes second to click away forever.

    What I’m learning is that there are so many elements involved in composing an online (or offline) sales letter that the length of the letter becomes a secondary issue.

    That said, I really don’t see the point of a long sales letter for an inexpensive ebook!

    Thanks Yaro for another great post!

  • People from the “business” (IM or any other web business) hate these letters because they are boring and insult their intelligence. In some niches like IM these work well, because IM is full with desperate newbies. In other niches they work because the buyers have not been exposed to them too much yet.

    Are they really good for bloggers, other internet marketers or other web professionals? Questionable. As you say, test, but don’t forget many people buy because they have already decided to buy before seeing the sales letter. So they simply ignore it.

  • Thanks for this thoughtful analysis Yaro.

    I’m one of those who doesn’t like them (as an end user) but from the perspective of business person, marketer, blogger, writer I need to know what makes them work, and what kind of criterion to use to assess what kind of sales page to write – and why I’m making those choices.

    Joanna

  • Heh – As one of the people strongly disagreeing with long sales pages I was interested in hearing what Yaro had to say.

    The key bit for me was “overexposure”. Perhaps I have seen too many of these pages. When I look at a product such as an ebook, I want information about the author. I want to see their website, their bio, their other work. In essence I am background checking them.

    I am obviously not the target demographic, and maybe your right it does work. Testing is indeed the only way to find out.

  • Hi Yaro – there is no doubt that long sales pages for some products – usually financially related, but do they really work for all products?

    I have a heap of copywriting books, with tons of examples but I can’t find a single one that I could use to sell anything I’m selling.

    Another thing that I find annoying about long sales pages is this. You download a free ebook and invest some time reading it – then you get halfway through and realise that it’s nothing more than a sales pitch for an expensive product.

    Now, I feel cheated when that happens, because the author is wasting my time. But, I guess some people don’t.

    I’m not saying people will stop buying into long sales pages. Some are fascinating. But, others are just plain tacky, with all the highlighted copy and the same old tired claims.

    What most people are looking for on the internet is genuine reviews. And they don’t just buy because of these sales pages – often they will find reviews that confirm how great the product is, then they will go back and buy.

    And you know what happens when they look for those – they just find a heap of affiliate reviews made to look like genuine customer reviews.

    This is fine when the product is actually good – but when it’s bad, it sucks. And that is what I really hate about affiliate marketing – some people will promote any old crap just to make sales.

    Anyway Yaro – sorry for taking up a huge chunk of your comment section. I do think long sales copy combine with good reviews does work, for some products. I just think that all these fake reviews for bad products are ruining the Internet.

  • Yaro,

    I recently wrote of own dislike of long sales pages. Yet, I agree they do work. You noted a few key points which unfortunately many people miss – know your market; test, test, test; AND do what works best for you and your market. Long sales copy does work but simply stringing together a bunch of words and adding color does not. With all copy the basic marketing principles apply. I also firmly believe that marketing is not manipulation but genuinely connecting to your target audience. Long or short, doing it the right way and for the right people are far more important, in my opinion.

  • Yaro, if it makes you feel better about that email you received,

    “Fats and oils from snakes are higher in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) than other sources, so snake oil was actually a plausible remedy for joint pain as these are thought to have inflammation-reducing properties. Snake oil is still sold in traditional Chinese pharmacy stores.” (Wikipedia)

  • I think it’s like you mentioned, Yaro, with a long sales page you get every opportunity to hit every possible buyer. I actually having tracking in place on some long pages. The average time from hit to sale is not enough to read the whole page unless the customer was an speed reader. I think people see what they want to see, read the highlighted elements, check out a few testimonials, and then buy, if they are going to anyway.
    Many longer sales pages are not more detailed if you actually study them. A lot just say the same thing over and over again with different words each time.

  • I’m in the hate long sales pages camp, however I am a member of Yaro’s blogmastermind program now after signing up from his long sales page.

    This is because I’ve been reading his blog for a while, ever since doing research on probloggin(which led me to Darren then lead me to Yaro)

    So there is this trust factor and reputation factor for me. He helps people get better at blogging like problogger and hes around my age, so easier for me to identify.

    I’ve been to other long sales pages to read up on other peoples products, and really they are all the same however I’ve never purchased anything from anyone else’s long sales page because I don’t know them(in the internet relationship sense).

    Now I do have to admit that Frank Kern’s long sales page has been a good one. By good one I mean in my opinion it triggers al ot of the implus buy factor in me, his sales page + videos do a lot.

    However I don’t sell any products, only blog so it didn’t 100% convert me.

  • OK here we go. Being confontational – but then you ask us to reflect on our values, so here’s a challenge for you.

    1. Just because something works doesn’t mean it contributes to a better world! Just because something works are you willing to create a worse world (there’s more to life than money).

    2. There is a difference between what works long and short term. The short term can kill the long term. Eg used car salesmen (and they usually were men in those days) used to use high pressure and unethical tactics to sell cars. Worked in the short term and lead to the industry being a by-word for sleezy and dishonest. What do you want long term?

    3. What about good content. If you advocate good content prevailing how does this fit with good content? Those awful letters are pretty much free of content. Does anyone read the list of endorsements? Who is going to put in comments from people who thought the product was awful? See Tom Peters’ books on this.

    4. I don’t this it is the length that is being objected to.

    5. If people have short attention spans long sales letters shouldn’t work, this point doesn’t make sense.

    6. I think it is easy to define hype: emotion with no factual basis (in other contexts sentimentality). I invite other commenters to improve on this definition.

    7. Here are some things for you to think about.
    What if the people who complain are members of vocal minorities that added together make up a very significant segment of the market?
    What if the people who complain would be your best advocates if they were given content?
    What if integrity is more important than (short-term) results?
    Are existing marketers only testing existing options instead of trying new and better ways?

    Right now we need better ways of doing things. I think it is the future. Unless you want on-line sellers to be the new used-car-salesmen.

    As you can see, it is not lenght that I have a problem with!

  • Darwin

    Yaro,

    I don’t enjoy long sales pages. I seldom if ever read them completely. Some point before the end I decide if I want to invest or not. When my patience is gone I either leave or speed scroll to the bottom and purchase.

    I never like or dislike a product based on the length of the sales page. But annoying or not they must work or marketers would stop using them.

    Some non-bloggers might get annoyed with super long blog posts and though they are interested in the subject matter will end up skimming and scanning instead of reading.

  • I’m not sure which elicited more chuckles, Skellie’s post or yours.

    I agree with the majority of commenters that long sales letters blow chunks, however having said that I think you’ve hit the nail on the head (a few times). Most of those who would buy from a long sales letter aren’t the world wise (cynical) ‘net surfers. Most of those who hate sales letters and yet buy from one of yours, are buying in spite of the sales letter, because they have followed your journey and learned to trust and respect your judgement.

  • Very good article on online landing pages, i had some exp with long pages too, when i used my adwords to sale online weightloss ebook ,always long pages used to work.

  • I’m immune (cause I see so many of them) to long sales pages because … I’m usually not their target. And that’s the crux of the matter.

    Now if I came across a long sales page that was selling something I want/need/must have yesterday … well then, I’m their target and I’ll keep on reading (even though I know all the tricks of the trade).

    The fact is, that done correctly, long sales pages work when they are read by “desperate” potentials – because … they don’t know the tricks of the trade that are being used on them.

    I think what many of these comments going around are alluding to are some of the mind tricks being employed in these sales letters.

    I have an issue with that, because I’ve studied it very closely over the years (read “Persuasion” by Cialdini). Many of these sales techniques can, and are, being abused.

    Remember, people buy on emotion – and any good marketer can manipulate these emotions with triggers that are proven to work.

    At the end of the day, we all here know the game and how it works. But the “desperate” buyer will read and read and read until they decide they must have it right now.

    Anyway, this could all be a mute point to a degree. Because I believe that screencasts/video’s are going to be the next long sales page.

  • Must admit, I don’t like them, but they do work, just like infomercials, high-pressure used car salesman, and other techniques work on many people.

    Many of us don’t like them because overexposure and some bad experiences associated with them have made us cynical.

    The real reason is that most people just don’t like “being sold”. Mostly we don’t like it because somewhere we got screwed by it and now our guard is up.

    The reason long page sales letters work is simply that they are yet one more tried and true technique of persuasion, and they fit nicely in the internet world.

    They are far from new, as they’ve been used in direct mail campaigns forever. Before that they were the verbal spiel from a salesman who showed up on your porch.

    They even work for many folks who hate them because they understand the reason behind them, and just do a quick scan to the end to see if they’re interested.

    In the end it doesn’t matter if a vocal minority feels insulted or whatever as they quite frankly aren’t the target. As Yaro’s numbers show, the technique works, and as long as it does, it will continue to be employed.

    It’s unfortunate that so many shady characters have made the whole art of selling repulsive to a lot of folks. It’s supposed to be about informing and educating first and then tring to close.

    But charlatans have made us jaded and mostly we just see the pressure and persuasion of pushy people trying to make a quick buck.

  • I personally feel that most of the time the long wordy sales pages or landing pages are product of SEO writers or copywriting automation; software like landing page generator that are meant for ranking keyword stuffed pages, generated with no prospect trapping intents but just having keywords for bots, scooters and slurps. May it be landing page, landing site, email or any other pitch, targeting should be the key (less is more).

    Thanks for this food for thought. But I always think why Google still maintains a clean copy, why can’t we see multiple scrolls. here its again 80:20, 80% of the visitors reads, scans, or search 20% of your content because its not 1-single click that makes sales always:)

    Thanks

    Navtej Kohli

  • Count me in the HATE THOSE LONG LANDING PAGES group. But I’m also working on a couple projects that use that exact marketing medium. It works, plain and simple. For those that say it is offensive or (as Evan commented) creating a worse world….give me a break. Just move on if the advertisement is not to your liking. Personally, I would never read one of these ads if it were not for the education I am getting on how to design an effective landing page.

    BTW, I agree that adding a “Buy Now” button early in the copy is a great way to sell to some folks who hate long copy.

  • [...] left a comment to my last post – If Long Sales Pages Work, Why Do You Hate Them So Much? and there was a part of it I want to highlight – You download a free ebook and invest some time [...]

  • I equate long sales with full page ads. I personally hated seeing them until adbrite offered them to me. So like the post says, there is two sides to each coin and maybe we shouldn’t be so one sided…

  • Snake oil man, you can’t please everyone!

    Like in real life, you don’t like everyone.

  • Well I sure hope you weren’t holding your breath while you were writing this rather short and to the point post. :)

    I have a web design client that just loves long sales pages and created his sales page to out do most, I think.

    His ebook sells for just under $100.00 and he makes sales every single day, most days multiple sales.

    He knows the long sales page works and he believes it’s because he has something covered in his sales page for everyone.

    I think I will send him Skellie’s link. That should get him started. :)

    He also writes articles that are as lengthy as his sales page. I did manage to persuade him to cut them into three parts before publishing. Once he realized this would give him more links back to his sales page he was convinced.

    Personally I am a slow reader and have to read things a couple of times to get it into my head that longer the text the more my head hurts.

    When I visit a site that has a mile long sales page I do a couple of things. First I just have to know the price of what I am interested in, so I hunt down the price. If I feel the price is within my price range I will start scanning the page for benefits and of course features that will convince me even more.

    So I very seldom ever read a lengthy page, just scan it for important points. I get enough info to make a decision to purchase or I pass.

  • [...] If Long Sales Pages Work, Why Do You Hate Them So Much? – Ahhh long, form sales letters – oh how I love to bash them! Yaro Starak is somebody who I admire within the IM world but he does like to use these long sales letters and explains why in this post. [...]

  • I have to respectfully disagree. I have a short attention span and long sales letters just don’t do it for me.

  • [...] Why hate long sales pages – Do you know that long sales pages work despite the fact that everyone hates long sales pages? Well I figured I love to read long sales pages. I don’t know why but I simply love to read them. Well it is indeed fun reading long sales pages. [...]

  • [...] argue that it’s the hype – the language used to sell Internet marketing, in particular the long sales page format, that elicits the snarky comments or the sighs of “not again” from a handful of [...]

  • [...] a highly emotive subject: many people are vehemently opposed to them in any way, shape or form and you will never [...]

  • You are 100% right. Is there some alien mastermind forcing these people to keep reading? No. They can stop any time they like. Just as they can stop watching a one hour infomercial, or stop listening to a salesman and so on. Haven’t they got anything better to get excited about?

  • Fabrizio

    It’s not just about the copy size. It’s about wether the information put there is actually needed to close the deal.
    I agree with Yaro when he says that most people need thorough information about the product, but I get really pissed when I come across a long page that is repetitive, has the same links with the same words all over the page and doesn’t give you what the inbound link suggested. (e.g. A “Try this product” link that leads you to a sales page, where you have to pay to get the product and will get your money back later if you decide not to keep it)
    This is clearly a deceptive strategy and goes against marketing best practice both on and offline. I reckon the so called “emarketers” should study a bit more of proper marketing, in the same way us marketers devote time to understand the particularities of e-commerce.

  • Hi:

    I don’t think the whole thing is about how much we hate them. It’s more about how much we trust them (or not). They do have the appearance of a scam – in many of the cases – and overdub the benefits of the product offered.

    Nevertheless, they are a powerful resource of marketing, that when used correctly, they may increase the sales rate hugely.

  • [...] quantity….maybe I think differently! I just came across a blog post about this exact topic. If Long Sales Pages Work, Why Do You Hate Them So Much? – Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak Here’s a quote: "Let

  • i’m not much of an internet buyer … but one of the things i’ve alwats questioned is ‘who buys this stuff ?’ .

    whenever i land on such a page … the first thing i do ( before even reading the title of the page ) is click on the little x in the top right corner .

    i simply don’t believe in such things .

    i’m like that in everything else as well . tv commercial , printed ad or anything else of the sorts .

    bottom line is , in my oppinion , that when you need such a page … you’re trying to sell nothing .

    show me what it can do . simple and to the point . don’t drag me through endless repetitions of the same text .

  • I don’t trust long sales pages.

  • I hate..long sales pages too. I would buy only after reading the testimonial other people..that’s it. probably the other love long sales pages..tough to say!

  • I’m not a fan of long sales pages myself (though I seem to accidentally produce them all the time while trying to say everything I think needs to be said) but you do make some very good points in favour of them.. :) don’t feel so guilty now

  • I love a long copy page, writing them is quite difficult (for me at least), so when i find one that sells me i save it and use it as a template for my pages. Works really well

  • Sales pages seem to be improving somewhat through the use of media. Frank Kern seems to be using much more video himself lately also. Audio, video and text I think is best nowadays — most people are multimodal. With a video, it taps into people’s desire to have things done for them. In the case of a video, you can basically just read the text on the page and my expectation is that this would increase conversion based on the fact that it starts to feel more interactive. You’re also doing them the favor of delivering the information to them without them having to read it. And in a video it’s easy to be more entertaining and have a one-on-one feel for things.

  • The fact of the matter is…if the product is not that expensive, say, around $20, over half of your visitors will tell you that they do not want to read through a looooooooong page.

    The majority wins.

    That’s the bottom line, right there.

    And of the ones who don’t mind long sales pages, they will still read the shorter version, which, most people want.

    Because of this, there is no reason to “test,” and, in most cases, it does not matter which market you are in.

    In addition to that, I would bet my last dollar that just about all who do read a long sales pages, skim read it; they will read sections of it.

    So, why write all that fluff out?

    So youcan cover all the bases?

    That can be done with a short page too.

    “Why Long Sales Pages Work.”

    How ’bout we say: “In Most Cases, Long Sales Pages Are Not Necessary”?

    I listen to the shoppers, and they have the final say over long or short copy.

    Like the other poster said, many of your visitors’ attention span is low, especially on the Net.

    The only exceptions would be: The price is much, MUCH higher, and, there are also free tips and pictures.

    But, we don’t see too many of those types of long sales pages, now do we?

  • well let me point out something…many people above are saying that they are not good as they sometime overappreciate products etc.
    but that is not a disadvantage.a long sales page copy is not only used to bluff people it depends on the content of the site and the product.that does not mean that if i am promoting a good product through sales page then you must not trust it

    also slong sales page does turn people off(including me) but that does not mean the product sucks.as alreay mentioned by many people above that they look at the price and then decide to read it is a great idea for people like us who already know that these sales page are only trying to convince us and people like is who get turned off should look at price and then look at key points which are many times present in the form of bullets

    its not that i love these pages… its just that it can contain valuable product effecient or inefficient is secondary thing.

    so let me tell you something great
    there are 2 types of people
    one like us who are quite experienced and get turned off
    and second are reletively newbies who are too much influenced by them

    newbies tend to search such things more(specially in im niche)
    and do buy things and they would never know anything like long sales page(although they are browsing it)
    and so we see very little people in this blog who like them

    finally good are bad doesnt matter what really matters is the product…the only thing you should interpret from the long sales page is that there is chance that they are bad

  • Do long sales pages work for live events or just for products?

  • The actual question is “do short sales page letters work”? Answer = no.

    Reason = Not ‘enough’ information to get the potential buyer through their resistance zone… the bottom line is if they aren’t a market then no amount of words will “sell” them but if they are then insufficient information is a fatal error… having said that I haven’t seen very many good long copy letters since Gary Halbert passed away… most of the copy nowadays… even from the “famous” ones are poor imitations… copying the words and style nut not understanding the subject… funnily enough as we swing back to the 50′s style branding and image importance the impact of social media recommendations will make it moot anyway…

  • “Resistance zone”?

    There isn’t much of one, since they went to the site on their own. They have shown some interest.

  • Yeah that’s why everyone buys… and sales is so easy…

  • why are people getting confused on this…this need to be looked at in context that’s why the author keep talking about testing.

    I’m selling things that cost $4000+ how can you get people to make a decision to sign up so soon?

    I mean if it is a freebie or a very simple product then yeah a short page would make sense.

    But if you are buying something expensive or requires more logical fact finding (i.e. selling to engineers or a more logic-based audience) you not going to sign up straight away are you? unless you are well branded.

    selling to engineers is different selling to teenagers

    I see people have ‘preferences’ but that’s just emotional, a more scientific way of looking at this properly is testing for your market.

  • Your MessageI am in favour of long landing pages as you need more information when making a buying desission. If they are serious they will read it all and purchase.

  • Sue

    Great points Brian…context is important, and what may work to sell one thing won’t necessarily do for something else.

    Selling is all about keeping your target in mind. If it’s something that warrants a long page, and you have a lot of supporting evidence, then go for it!

    Great write up Yaro, I think your message couldn’t be any more on point. And I read the whole thing! :)

  • I agree with many of the responses to this post. I really don’t care for long sales pages but they seem to work. Many of the more successful sites have this long, drawn out text with testimonial after testimonial after testimonial…you get the picture. But I believe that if something works, even if I don’t understand it, it is working for a reason. So, sadly even I have resorted to long sales pages. I’ve even started researching the text graphics that appear on the pages. You’ll notice most of the longer pages have text broken up by these text graphics. You’ve seen them: bright, red font with crudely drawn arrow or highlights. These graphics along with the long text seem to play on some kind of emotional response. Not sure what it is but when I find out, I’ll blog about it :)

  • Hey Yaro, Kevin Stacey here..

    Just stopping by to add some value to what is already an excellent post. I find that many people are confused by the differences between the website homepage, sales pages and landing pages.

    Your post has some really good insight and analysis on sales pages that I haven’t seen elsewhere, but I feel it will get website owners motivated to create quality sales pages.

    I wrote a blog post myself that simplifies what the concept of sales page is and their options for mass producing effective sales pages here:
    http://www.bestseopluginforwordpress.com/what-is-a-sales-page/

    Hopefully you will enjoy the post as well and keep up the spectacular writing!

  • Excellent post, Yaro! Though I’d have to admit that I’m one of those people who raised their hands at the beginning of this post (yeah I don’t like it when I receive it), but there’s no denying the fact that long sales letters work. ;)

    Most marketers and copywriters preach about appealing to the consumers’ emotions but there are quite a lot of people out there who also justify their buying decisions logically. As you said, there are no rules. Sales pages will naturally be as long as it takes you to build your case. So long as marketers aren’t underestimating the consumer’s intelligence then it’s all good.

    Here are five reasons long sales pages generate sales: http://done4yousalesletters.com/should-a-sales-letter-be-long-or-short/ I hope your readers find it useful.

  • When it comes to landing pages, “make it as long as it needs to be.” If I’m selling a product then it only makes sense to make the copy longer as a means to reassure visitors.
    If you’re just looking to get op-tins then a long copy isn’t the way to go.

  • Although I find long sales pages boring, my recent weight loss plr sales page ended up long because I provided ebook cover photos of all 33 items in the package, along with my copy. lol

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