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What if you made everything 50% shorter?


Neville

What if you got a text message like this:

 

text-examples2

It almost seems unnecessary for the person typing AND the person reading.

Why can’t this be shortened down to something nice and sweet like this:

text-examples-1

Now all the Grammar Nazi’s in the world will revolt at the literary atrocity above……but isn’t this just WAY MORE DAMN EFFICIENT?

  • It uses less characters.
  • It takes less time to write.
  • It takes less time to read.
  • It uses the already pre-defined context to transmit a message (you were obviously trying to meet Jason at a movie).

When transmitting information from one brain to another, sometimes there are ways you can hack the length shorter…..and thus make it more effective.

But there’s this legend in the marketing community that somehow Longer = Better.  (insert your own penis joke here)!

 

 

It’s kinda true in some ways, look at all these charts that show longer articles get more viral:

(This is the part of the article where I jack a bunch of charts from other websites to make what I’m saying more believable)!

longcontent-1Yup….proves my point.

 

longcontent-2See?  I told you.

 

longcontent-3

Damn skippy.

 

 

But here’s the thing:

quality-of-info

 

Lemme show you some examples of how lots of information can be crammed into a small package:

 

FIRST EXAMPLE:

I remember my favorite image I ever made was on my first sales page, it looked like this (‘HoR’ stood for ‘House Of Rave’):

chocolate-bar-packaging-how-hor-works(I thought I was sooooo cool for making it in Photoshop even though it was a template I used).

WORD COUNT: 20.

There’s only a total of 20 words in this picture, BUT, let’s break down the sheet amount of context that your brain spools up when seeing the image:

(You don’t have to read this whole list….i’m just breaking it down byte-by-byte to show the volume):

  • The picture is of a familiar Snickers bar package.
  • The “bite sized” reference is a reference to an old Snickers bar advertising campaign.
  • The “wrapped up” reference is referring to how a Snickers bar is wrapped up.
  • You are understanding that if you buy the copywriting course it’s small and quick to digest.
  • You are understanding you will learn this information quickly.

See how much bang-per-word I got?  Nice.

 

SECOND EXAMPLE:

Chris runs an online hearing aid store called EarMall.  He also sells refurbished hearing aids.

He had a bunch of copy about how in the medical industry, anything that’s considered “refurbished” has an ENORMOUS mark-down making them like 6x cheaper.  There’s also another little secret that showroom models, or units that’ve been returned because of sizing mis-matches, or any unsold inventory are all considered “refurbished”.

For this reason he can sell the EXACT SAME HEARING AID for hella cheaper.

But instead of relaying this in a lot of text, he could so the same in a much shorter span.  Here’s the original text about this process in an email:

WORD COUNT: 396

hearing-aid-ad3

So what if we re-did all the text explaining why refurbished hearing aids are much cheaper and got people’s attention with THIS instead (which is way more “grabby”):

hearing-aid-ad2

-or-

hearing-aid-ad1

Now Chris can still use his sales copy to get people interested, but a easy-to-understand image can capture the attention FAR better in this situation.

 

THIRD EXAMPLE:

Tanuja business LoveBitesByTanuja makes desserts from healthy stuff and is trying to appeal to the Paleo-type crowd who wants to eat desserts, but not get all the sugar & crap that goes in them.

This is easily explained in long-form copy, but here’s the kicker:

Most of Tanuja’s sales come from INSTAGRAM! 

That means at most you get one picture to explain your product!  So long form sales copy in the Instagram format is much more difficult as you have to get people to SEE A PICTURE –> GET THEM TO CLICK A LINK –> READ LONG COPY ON PHONE.

So here’s some sales copy Tanuja has to sell her desserts through email:

WORD COUNT: 782

cookie-ad2

Ok….that’s nice and all.  And probably would work in some distribution channels like email.  HOWEVER, what if you instead distilled that same message down to a much smaller one, like this:

cookies-ad

-or-

lovebites2

-or-

lovebites3

 

Basically you can cut the message size down DRAMATICALLY to initially get people’s attention.  Then once their attention is captured, you can start going into your main point.  

I bet there’s a way you can effectively communicate just SOMETHING in your life today at least 50% shorter.  It’ll save you and the recipient both lots of time :)

 

Sincerely,

Neville Noshir Medhora…..or “Nev” for short!

 

P.S.……If you shorten something today, share it in the comments below.  Or if you have an example of something that conveys A LOT OF INFORMATION in a SHORT timeframe, post it in the comments below also!

  

sources    sources    sources    sources    sources

http://blog.newswhip.com/index.php/2013/12/article-length

http://buzzsumo.com/blog/long-form-content-improves-content-marketing-conclusion-7-recent-studies/

http://www.lovebitesbytanuja.com

http://www.behindthescenesofamuse.com

http://www.earmall.com


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Guest Tyler, Easy Agent Pro

Posted

I totally get it Nev.

Our autoresponder for EAP used to be this extensive 4 part marketing course that we thought would make people buy from us. (You can see my frustration with this not working properly in the comments of older posts.)

But our recent strategy is a simple 4 part auto-responder that has under 200 words in every single email. We pull in 7X more inquires and leads from our products with these emails. They simply get the point across better.

We simply ask people to reply and tell us what they need fixed in their marketing. This gives us an opening to sell them our service. It's dirty and I never thought it would work. But it works way better than the 4 part video series!

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Guest Neville

Posted

Nice Tyler!

Well honestly a video is SUPER HARD to get people to go to because there's so many things that need to happen if they open a video:

--Must be in a place where they have time to watch it.

--On a device where it's possible.

--Where they can hear it.

--When they have time.

--Where they're not disturbing other people.

....and to do that FOUR TIMES IN A ROW is hard! For email you are best describing in text.

And you can go VERY long with email so long as the info is killer. If not, then people obviously won't pay much attention.

Thanks Tyler!

-Nev

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One of my favorite examples of this is something I came across in William Zinsser's book "On Writing Well" (One of the best books about writing IMO).

He tells the story of how the US government issued a blackout order in 1942 that was near incomprehensible:

"Such preparations shall be made as will completely obscure all Federal buildings and non-Federal buildings occupied by the Federal government during an air raid for any period of time from visibility by reason of internal or external illumination."

Roosevelt saw it and tried to make it sensible. He said:

"Tell them that in buildings where they have to keep the work going to put something across the windows."

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Guest Jason

Posted

Nev - not to get off topic (agree 100% shorter = better) but THANK YOU for the above thought! Everyone thinks video is all the rage tyese days and I hate it for each of the reasons you listed. Give me words over video any day!
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Guest Irene

Posted

Hi Nev,

Great sharing! Those examples you cited really easy to digest.

I do not have any examples to share but I hope I get one your Nevbox :)

P.S I bought your kopywritingkourse checklist, affordable for me for now.

Cheers

Irene

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Guest Shawn Tay

Posted

It's not a matter of long or short, but whether it engages (or entertains) the audience. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is freaking long too but people still read it because it's entertaining.

As David Ogilvy said, "You cannot bore people into buying your product."

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Guest Matej delic

Posted

Thanks for reminder Nev , love you, looking forward to box

Address is

Matej delic

Primorska 15

51414 icici

Croatia

I didn't get you wrong I'm just singing my song

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Guest Lauren G

Posted

The tramp stamp (tattoo right above her or his tail) ... Need I say more? ;)
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Guest Christian B

Posted

Love this!

I work as a first responder in my free time. I read this and figured id implement it throughout my non-business oriented day.

Usually when I get on scene, I say something like, "Hello my name is Christian, whats your name? Do I have your permission to help you today? What seems to be the problem?" Or something like that.

But in the spirit of using this new found technique, I said something along the lines of, "Sup? Im here to un-f**k your problems."

It was fantastic, now me and my new (alive) buddy are best of friends.

Also ill definitely use this in upcoming marketing campaigns. (Love the snickers bar idea)

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Guest roger

Posted

Billboards are great at this. There is one in my area with a photo of a woman's backside, with her skirt half up and polka dot underwear showing. Almost 50's pinup style. The copy is: "You can't die from embarrassment. Get your colon checked." I am engaged every time I see that billboard.
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Guest Arnaud

Posted

An example of something that conveys A LOT OF INFORMATION in a SHORT time-frame:

"For sale: Baby shoes, never worn"

--Hemingway

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Guest Denise Renee

Posted

Hey Nev,

So I whipped up a quick pic to share on my social sites today about a special I'm running on getting your resume reviewed. It quickly gets to the point. It literally has 3 words in bright green ("Advance Your Career"), a picture of an attractive business woman and a bit.ly link that basically explains it all: "bit.ly/resumereviewspecial" Check it out the visual on my twitter feed (@MeetDeniseRenee).

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Guest Batsirai Chada

Posted

Brevity is a boundary that forces us to be more creative.

- Batsirai

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Guest Fredo Troy

Posted

I shortened my daily affirmation today:

 

"Fredo, you're dope."

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I did find the first sms funnier though, especially if my friend was really bugged with me being late to the movies :)
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I'm commenting so you'll send me a box. <----- short & to the point. P.S. I live in Hicksville, Ohio on a road called Casebeer Miller ... You know you want to send a box to an address that hill jack!
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Guest Michael Fulmer

Posted

Love this. I'm inspired to implement so thank you.

Thinking it over (while eating a pot noodle,) I konclude that to cut a message in half without losing detail requires exceptional klarity (and King size pot noodles shouldn't have regular size flavour sachets in them.)

Hmm. After a breakup (tough subject!) some people are often so desperate to make the pain go away, they do all manner of things in attempt to get their love one back. And all manner of tactics and steps are given by others wanting to help (or profit ...)

But I now see that rather than going down the many rabbit holes we find when asking "how do I get my ex back," we can cut through it all by asking "how do I get myself back?" (!)

Far healthier. Plus the message is more precise and.. shorter.

I'm now going to see how to implement that in my business.

Good times!

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Guest Kirsten

Posted

Wish I could remember who wrote this, but here is, "Horror Story for the Cover of a Matchbook" (that follows your suggestion of brevity):

ln the dark,

Naomi mistook

a matchbook

For her contact lens.

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Guest Chris

Posted

Back in eighth grade I had to write sentences because I had done something to aggravate the teacher. Do kids (other than Bart Simpson) have to write sentences anymore? Annnnyyy howwww the sentence was as follows...

"I Chris, had the profound audacity to be disrespectful to my pedagogical mentor in history class."

Now with my horrible penmanship it took me three lines to get this sentence to page and three sheets of paper to complete 10 sentences.

The short version would have been...

"I was an ass in History class."

The shortest version

"I put the ass in Klass."

Which was more effective?

I'm pretty sure I would remember writing either of those sentences 30 years later but the act of writing the longer sentence ingrained it in my memory.

If I was just reading it I would go with putting the ass in klass.

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