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Long copy over sunglasses

We Test Everything: Long vs Short Copy

Long vs. short copy often depends on the complexity of the transaction and how much information the prospect or customer will need to convert.

In email, the difference between long copy and short copy isn’t very big. Long copy is a paragraph extolling product virtues. Short, a mere product name.

“People skim email so even a paragraph is often asking recipients to do more work than they want to do,” says Allan Levy, CEO of Alchemy Worx.

“Long vs. short copy often depends on the complexity of the transaction and how much information the prospect or customer will need to convert,” says Levy. “It also depends on familiarity vs. unfamiliarity. If the recipient is familiar with the company and the product, and the transaction is simple, short copy usually performs best. However, even with this knowledge we test.”

Paragraph vs Images

Alchemy Worx conducted two A/B split tests on behalf of EZContacts pitting long copy against short copy.

In one test, both campaigns offered 30 percent off Ray-Ban and Oakly sunglasses and featured the same images. One campaign included a paragraph extolling the benefits of wearing sunglasses.


The campaign without the benefits paragraph generated 8.26 percent more clicks, 14.41 percent more orders and almost 10 percent more revenue. 

Images vs Letter Format

In another test, one campaign featured a standard image-heavy layout. The other included a letter layout where the copy was several paragraphs long.

Both campaigns touted a St. Patrick’s Day-themed mystery sale where recipients would learn their discounts at checkout.


The image-heavy campaign generated 33.62 more clicks, almost 28 percent more orders and a little more than 25 percent more revenue.

“In the case of EZContacts, almost no copy seems to be the way to go,” says Levy. “Recipients are familiar with the company and its products, and the transaction is a relatively simple one.  Sunglasses fall into the category of impulse buy so it would seem the best course of action is to get out of the way and let the sale happen.”

However, this isn’t to say Alchemy Worx will never A/B split test long copy vs. short copy for EZContacts again.

“These results put long-copy-vs.-short copy tests lower on our priority list for this client, but nothing ever gets completely taken off the table,” says Levy.

At Alchemy Worx, we test everything. You should, too. For more information on how to partner with Alchemy Worx, contact us.


XO, Alchemy Worx

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