What's the Optimal Copy Length?

What's the Optimal Copy Length? 🍆

5000 words.

That's the perfect length for a good copy.

Or maybe not.

Or maybe there is just not a perfect length for a copy.

But still, let's not to be British here and bring a real answer to this wonderfully innocent question my student copywriters often ask me.

People often use this delicious analogy:

"Copy should be like a girl's skirt: short enough to arouse desire and long enough to cover the essentials."

If you're currently learning copywriting, the following should interest you.

Copy should be the shortest possible

All good copywriters agree on this one thing: try to say as much as possible in as few words as possible.

The problem with junior copywriters is that they struggle in front of their empty page so they try to fill it as much as possible when they have an idea.

The result is a long paragraph that could most of the time be summed up in a short sentence.

It's not specific to copywriting but writing in general: try to write simple sentences with simple words.

But don't get me wrong, I've run a few split tests that lead to the same conclusion:

Shorter sentences, shorter words convert better.

Your copy can be long, but then it means being really dense with what it has to convey.

That's what makes a huge difference between junior and senior copywriters.

The best copywriters spend 80% of their time researching ideas and understanding their client persona and only 20% of their time actually writing.

If you spend more time on the research phase, you'll have more material and it'll be easier to write more.

Paradoxically you'll write shorter sentences since you won't be afraid of lacking ideas.

People that have not much to say often express their few ideas in long, boring, extended sentences.

So you get the idea: work on the substance of your speech to express it shorter.

Last advice: read your copy out-loud, it will help you identify bloated sentences that could be simplified.

Copy length depends on your audience level of awareness

Yeah I've kinda lied when I said earlier there was no perfect length for a copy.

There is actually a really precise answer.

But it is not accessible to beginners.

You must first understand the Schwartz's 5 stages of awareness concept.

The idea is simple if you do.

Depending on the stage of awareness of your audience, he won't have the same amount of objections.

Let's do a quick example.

Let's say I'm selling a method to stop smoking.

If I sell it to cold traffic, then I need to overcome the following objections:

  • Who are you?
  • Why should I trust you?
  • Why should I stop smoking? I love smoking.

Then if I try to sell to a hot audience that already knows me, I won't have to resolve the above objections.

De facto, the copy will be shorter.

Remember this: the colder your audience, the longer your copy.

Copy length depends on the price of your offer

Another important factor on which the length of your copy depends is the price of your offer.

It's obvious if you think about it but many beginners aren't aware of it.

If I try to sell you a product at $1000, do you think a simple order form along with a few benefits will do it?

Now if you sell a product at $10, the stake is way lower and therefore less arguments are required to make the sale.

So remember this: the more expensive your offer, the longer your copy.


You learned 3 important things about copy length:

  • make it as short as possible,
  • while answering as many objections as possible,
  • while being long enough to increase perceived value according to the price of your offer.

Also remember, almost no-one will read your copy entirely.

But a long copy will always convey more perceived value than a shorter one, especially on cold traffic.

However, if someone reads your whole copy, then there is a high probability he ends up buying, no matter what the price is.


Vlad Kowsky