Long Copy in the Era of the Twitterverse
Finally the order form came up on screen and remained there.
On returning from the loo, I suddenly wondered whether this guy was for real. A quick Google search revealed that in 2007 Porter Stansberry was hit with $1.5 million fraud fine, the result of a SEC Complaint because his “newsletters contain nothing more than baseless speculation and outright lies, fabricated to induce investors to pay [parent company] Agora (or its subsidiaries) for subscriptions or purported inside information.”
Needless to say the windy Porter Stansberry lost my order, not that he cares with 241,700 active subscribers.
Essential in E-commerce: Exit Points
With a print product—8-page direct mail letter or magalog—if you make a buying decision halfway through the copy, you can lay the pitch aside, find the order device and mail, fax, email or phone in your order.
In other words, along with many points of entry, these printed formats had physical points of exit. You could move on to the next step any time you were ready.
Stansberry PowerPoint presentation was linear. The only way to get out of the thing was sit through all 77 minutes and listen to all 12,700 words or say bye-bye and hit delete.
He should have given me the opportunity to order at various points along the way, perhaps by including a menu bar with hyperlinks at bottom.
It was as frustrating as finding yourself on the telephone in the purgatory of voice mail jail.
“Power corrupts,” said Edward Tufte. “PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.”