Published September 22, 2022

Who’s the Heavyweight in the Fight Between Long and Short Copy?

3 min read

The right word for the right job. That could be the copywriter’s mantra. After all, they fret over length of sentences, syntax, and diction. All to make the most engaging pages that convert. 

The goal of writing is always to provide the most information in the most concise way possible. 

But what works better — longer or shorter copy? 

That’s something you can put to the test in Helio.

Long Versus Short Copy

Okay, this is not Mortal Kombat where long and short copywriting dukes it out. But when it comes to writing, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of both.

Pros verses Con GIF.


  • Longer copy allows for better clarification. More copy allows you to go more in-depth on concepts and ideas, removing any doubt in the potential buyer’s mind. 
  • Concise copy allows us to say more with less. Writing just enough and no more allows you to keep your reader engaged. 
  • Shorter copy reduces conversion friction. This allows for less distractions if you want your potential customer to smash that button. 


  • Longer copy gets in the way. The more copy, the more possibility for distraction. Also, beware of falling in love with your own words. 
  • Shorter copy creates ambiguity. When it comes to technical specs, shorter copy might just leave more questions than answers. 
  • Longer copy doesn’t always fit. More isn’t always better, depending on the medium. On a site, there’s more room to play. But a newsletter doesn’t. 

The best way of deciding which to use is to ask: does the copy resonate with your targeted audience? If it doesn’t engage them or leave them with more questions, they’ll bounce faster than a Spaldeen ball

Putting Copy to the Test 

We worked with a cloud-based storage service and tested two different copy variations. One longer and the other shorter.

Longer version of the copy.
Longer copy variation.

Here’s what we learned: 

Text within the longer variation was the most engaging variation because it provided clarity. 57% of participants believe that the longer text variation provides more clarity to the product and were engaged with on the page.  

Longer text variation produced the lowest satisfaction rate as it reads cluttered. 14% of participants believed the longer text was cluttered compared to the 5% of participants who felt the short text variation was cluttered. 

Few participants were satisfied with the longer text variation (38%) compared to the shorter text (48%).

Shorter version of the data sheet copy.
Shorter copy variation.

Shorter text variation produced the highest positive impressions compared to the longer text variation. The short text variation produces an increase of 10% in satisfaction and a 13% increase in approachability. Overall impressions for the short variation were 53% higher than for the longer version. 

Turning the Results Into Action 

With this information, the cloud-based storage service doesn’t necessarily have to choose one over the other. 

Shorter text had the highest positive impression, but the longer copy provided more clarity. So this tells us that another stab, a third option that is shorter but provides more clarity might be worth exploring. 

Don’t wait until your copy is out in the wild to find out it doesn’t work. Start a free account with Helio today and put your copy to the test

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