Short copy definition

What is short copy?

Short copy is original promotional content that creates the most impact using the least number of words to a targeted audience. Short copy is also referred to as short-form copy or short-form content. Short copy is designed to be concise and memorable. Among the most familiar short copy examples are slogans, such as the copywriting tagline you see above.

Because short copy is typically under 1000 words and often consists of just one or two lines, every word counts — just as in a tweet, every character counts. This is why short copy, for its writer, is a culmination of market research and in-depth understanding. It sounds simple and can be understood in a flash, but you can bet that if it works, it wasn't conceived in a flash. Short copy is precise. Unlike long-form copy, short copy doesn't attempt to be long or include content fillers just to improve Google ranking.

What short copy can do

Short copy is written in the context of a specific marketing or communications goal, and a specific visual context so that it can match the graphics accompanying it. It is meant to influence, inspire, capture leads, or compel action. Due to its brief nature, short copy usually focuses on one idea that serves as a springboard for:

  1. ​Finding out more about a product, service, or event
  2. Compelling readers to take action (buy that product, order that service, attend that event, or click that button)
  3. Communicating a corporate communications message (such as a greeting, thank-you, or invite)

Short copy products

Short copy can serve B2C and B2B marketing communications purposes. It includes such writing products as:

Banner ads, PPC ads, magazines ads

Brand names and product names

Calls-to-action (CTA's)

Captions for sales catalogs

Company boilerplate content

Greeting cards & novelty item phrases

Direct mail advertising
Marketing fliers & posters

Product profiles & sales sheets

​✓ Social media profiles & posts (tweets, hashtags)

Squeeze pages (short landing pages)

Taglines (slogans for brands, products and campaigns)

A greeting card is a short copy example.

How to write short copy

Writing short copy aims at going beyond the hype in order to provide lasting value through the right words. It requires a deep understanding of the target market, consumer psychology, pop culture, messaging goals — and a mastery of language.

Short copy benefits from sayings, idioms, proverbs, and popular phrases — it should sound familiar and conversational to speak the language of its audience. But short copy goes beyond common phrases: it leverages them to achieve the marketing goal. It goes the extra mile to create the perfect fit between the target audience mindset and the right words.

Find a short-form copywriter

A short-form copywriter can distill an idea to its essence and capture it in a few powerful words that achieve a specific sales or marketing goal. It's easy to find a short-form copywriter with a quick Google search, but it might not be so easy to find one who intuitively understands your brand and views it through your eyes.

Get help with developing short copy products for your brand by contacting a short-form copywriter today and requesting your free customized quote.