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Long copy works well in direct mail. But how does it work online?

Reading material online isn't the same as reading print. Yet, results repeatedly show long copy is successful. How can those long letters do well online when experts say to write brief copy and use headlines? How can long Web copy be so compelling?

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This Week's Dilemma

What makes long, long Web copy effective?

I am finding more and more of those long letters on Web sites. To me, they come across as scams or an exaggeration of the product. Yet, many marketing experts say long copy is successful in getting big sales. After all, we would not see so many of these letters online or in the mailbox if they didn't work. What makes those long letters so successful?

—Maria, copywriter

Previous Dilemma

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Hank Stroll ( is publisher at InternetVIZ, a custom publisher of 24 B2B e-newsletters reaching 490,000 business executives.