KIDNEY THIEVES, TOILET SPIDERS AND SHORT COPY

Did you know that medical students are drugging visitors in a popular tourist spot and stealing their kidneys? Or that the toilets in a major U.S. airport are teeming with venomous spiders? Or that people don’t read anymore, so you need to keep your copy as short as possible?

Looking for the common thread in those three questions? It’s simple: all three are myths that have circulated so widely that people believe them without question. Yet none of them are really true (well, I haven’t see any of the spiders). The simple fact is that people will take the time to read your copy — no matter what its length — if it’s meaningful and they believe it will offer value.

So how long should your copy be? Exactly long enough to fulfill the objective, and not one word more or less. Don’t fall prey to arbitrary guidelines or rules. Whatever the length, economical, active language along with organization that makes scanning easy will help you deliver information that matters to the reader as efficiently as possible.

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