For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Hemingway only needed six words to tell a story.

But can – and should – a brand really capture its narrative, values and essence in just 28 characters?

Yes, content should be sharp, clear and concise. Yes, passive verbs and filter words aren’t adding any value. But, ask yourself three things:

1)    Are you capturing the story and context?

2)    Have you provided enough information to shed clarity on a complex idea?

3)    Are you stripping your content to the point of creating more questions than answers?

Crazy Egg is a great case in point. Site visitors were immediately put off the seemingly steep price of the product when they landed on the brand’s homepage – and without any frame of reference, anything to substantiate the spend, they were wary of parting with their cash.

Their website was analysed by Conversion Rate Experts, who found that redesigning the homepage to make it 20 times longer – and then A/B testing the longer page against the original version – helped the new page outperform the control by 30%.

So by extending the existing content to tell the story of the product, providing enough information to shed clarity on a hefty price tag and answering the question of why the visitor should part with their cash, the brand was able to increase revenue by 510%.

In short, unless you are Hemingway, don’t try and tell your story in six words.

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