Often doctors will ask a spouse or front desk CA to look over their ad before it goes to print. A common response these parties give when looking at a long copy ad, like the ones picture on the left, is “who’s going to read all that?” Sometimes these answers will influence the doctor’s decision to run the ad or not.
A professional marketer might ask the same question, but in a slightly different manner saying “is long or short copy more effective?”
Let’s take a look at what some of the best marketers over the past 100 years have said.
David Ogilvy, famous ad marketer, in his book Ogilvy on Advertising said:
“Long copy sells more than short copy, particularly when you are asking the reader to spend a lot of money. Only amateurs use short copy.”
Victor Schwab, How to Write a Good Advertisement –
Mr. Schwab tells the story of Max Hart (of Hart, Schaffner & Marx) and his advertising manager, George L. Dyer, arguing about long copy. Dyer said, “I’ll bet you $10 I can write a newspaper page of solid type and you’d read every word of it.”
Hart scoffed at the idea. “I don’t have to write a line of it to prove my point,” Dyer replied. “I’ll only tell you the headline: ‘This Page is All About Max Hart’.”
Jay Abraham, marketing expert says:
Should your letter or E-mail be long or short? Make it long enough to tell a complete, informative, and interesting story.
Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerilla Marketing Handbook with Seth Godin writes:
Don’t be afraid to use lengthy copy. It’s been statistically proven time and time again that ads with more copy draw better than those with less.
Claude Hopkins, author of the classic book Scientific Advertising writes:
Some say, “Be very brief. People will read but little.” Would you say that to a salesman? With the prospect standing before him, would you confine him to any certain number of words? That would be an unthinkable handicap.”
As you can see, all of these marketing giants recommend a longer copy ad over a shorter one. Why? Because it works. More specifically, because long copy allows you to have all the effective components in the ad (like the important ones I mentioned in “5 Secrets to Powerful Chiropractic Ads“).
So who’s going to read all that copy?
A patient who’s looking for a doctor that finally understands them, that finally can relate to their problem, someone that has expertise with their condition that they’ve been suffering from. Put these elements in your long copy, niche-specific ad, and I guarantee patients will read it.
Here are a few cases where patients did respond to the ads. (This does not mean you’ll get exactly the same results as they did, as it’s likely yours would be within the range mentioned here.)
So the point is save your short copy ads for the yellow pages, but use long copy in the newspaper, in direct mail and online.