In chapter 18, Joe throws his two cents into the long copy versus short copy debate. His answer is that as a general rule of thumb, you need more words for a higher price and that you can write as much as you want as long as it’s interesting.
This may not exactly be a hypnotic writing topic per se but it’s one that every writer wonders about. Just because people read books doesn’t mean you can turn a sales letter into a book no matter how interesting it is. And then there are plenty of catalog sites that sell just fine with a single paragraph.
I’m a fan of stepping back and looking at the big picture. Each sales letter needs to fit into the larger conversation that may be happening through other media than just the single sales letter. If the person has already read a review about your product elsewhere, they may not need a long sales letter. If I spoke to someone over the phone, I may not need anything at all other than an email address to PayPal them some money.
There are two competing philosphies here. There’s “the more you tell, the more you sell,” competing with the idea that many salespeople talk themselves out of too many sales. Oftentimes silence is golden.
So the real answer is to test. And test against nothing too. If you have 10 paragraphs plus a headline, you ought to test not including each of those paragraphs and not having a headline. The only thing you wouldn’t want to test not having is the order link. Everything else is fair game.
Chapter 19 is a reminder to always write to your reader’s insterest rather than your own. Joe encourages us to consider that our readers will be asking, “So what?”, “Who cares?” and “What’s in it for me?” True that.