According to Wyzowl, people watched more video content compared to the past. An increasing number of marketers use video as an integral part of reaching their target audiences.
Adding video to your conversion funnel builds credibility and trust with prospects.
If pictures paint a thousand words, a video makes up more than a thousand pictures. That's a lot of words to fill up a page!
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is a video sales letter
- What are the benefits of video sales letters
- The high converting video sales letter formula
- Real video sales letter examples
What is a Video Sales Letter
The roots of video sales letters come from the world of direct mail. Once upon a time, people used regular snail mail. Today that seems like a distant memory, and many millennials have never licked a stamp in their life.
Direct mail marketers used sales letters to reach prospects to persuade them to purchase a product or service.
Video sales letters (VSLs) are sales videos specifically created to pitch your product or service and do so with a richer media experience.
A VSL landing page helps cut through the noise and develop a more personable approach to the sales process.
People buy from people they know, like, and trust.
Seeing a representative from the company puts a face to the business and adds credibility. They see a real person behind the company and not some faceless organization.
Whatever you do, avoid presenting PowerPoint slides as if you're conducting a class. Let's face it; a PowerPoint presentation isn't exciting to look at in the first place, no matter how you dress it up.
Very few people manage to pull it off well. When your site visitors meet a PowerPoint presentation only, the engagement drops because they don't know who is behind the camera.
Remember to focus on one big idea. A confused mind always says no.
Don't stuff too many ideas into a single video that your viewer feels overwhelmed. When frustration or confusion sets in, your viewers will leave the page.
Benefits of Video Sales Letters
A video sales letter helps you persuade your prospects that your product or service is the solution to their problems.
A VSL does not remove the need for any text copy. A well-worded VSL script conveys your message effectively to your potential customers.
When prospects see a video, they can also choose between watching it or reading your written sales letter portion.
Some people don't like to watch videos, and they want to jump right into the message. People can skim the written portion of your sales letter for the information they seek, so make sure you put effort into writing it.
Viewers see the facial expression of the presenter in the VSL. They hear from an actual person. Facial expressions, tonality, speaking cadence deliver subtle signals to the viewer that no text ever will.
In our experience, viewers who took action on your VSL landing page and redirected to your thank you page also appreciated a quick thank you video. It maintains brand consistency and offers you a chance to move them along the customer journey.
High Converting VSL Formula
A video sales letter uses the same flow as a traditional sales letter. It goes through this 5-step sequence:
- Grab your prospect's attention with a hook
- State the problem(s) or pain your prospective customer is experiencing
- Push your viewer's hot buttons
- Demonstrate how the product solves their problem
- Deliver your call-to-action
We've simplified the process into a few steps for DIY marketers to get started quickly. There's a saying at DigitalMarketer that "done is better than perfect."
To put all these elements together effectively, you'll need to craft a sales video script, especially if it is your first time.
If you follow the steps outlined, we're confident you'll have an excellent video sales letter that will give you a massive boost in sales.
Grab your prospect's attention with a hook
To start your video, you need a hook.
A marketing hook is an angle used to arouse the interest or curiosity, so the person is more receptive to your messaging. The content or sales letter resonates with the reader or viewer and, therefore, captures the person's attention.
Attention is in short supply today due to the enormous increase of content and market forces competing for our attention. You can't even step outside without being bombarded with ads everywhere.
In a recent study by the Technical University of Denmark, our collective global attention spans are narrowing because of information overload.
The best VSL educates and entertains while selling. When a video presentation is entertaining, viewers stay glued to the video and watch you deliver the message in full.
Every business can benefit from the use of marketing hooks. Using it in every marketing piece put out, including in email marketing material, keeps your audience's attention.
A smart marketer who maintains a small audience's attention owns a more valuable asset than one who owns a large, non-attentive, and unresponsive audience.
Therefore, knowing how to grab your audience's attention is an essential skill that will bode well for your business.
To deliver a message that resonates with your audience, you need to ensure that you speak to the camera like talking to a friend.
Stand out from the rest with an introduction that draws them into the rest of your VSL presentation.
That means, don't be boring. Be real, like a friend to your prospect. Do something unexpected and have a take.
Remember that you can't be all things to all people. Speak to your audience's specific segment who you've identified in your customer avatar or buying persona.
Knowing the exact customer you're attracting helps you craft the most resonant message to that audience.
Speak precisely to their needs, wants, desires, problems, and pain points. Your detailed customer avatar will also help you in your ad targeting for your VSL.
Avoid the same old rehashed phrases, catchphrases, and ideas others used extensively before. Have a different spin. Find something interesting that's not already said before and create a compelling marketing hook.
Ensure they can feel that you understand where they are coming from and that you empathize with them.
State the problem(s) or pain your prospect is experiencing
Identification with the prospect shows empathy and is one-step toward getting them to like you.
You want to demonstrate that you understand how they feel or that you've been where they are. Show your prospect all the ways the problem they're having keeps them from progress. Tell them how the problem causes frustration, pain, or despair.
Push your viewer's hot buttons
Continue to build up the emotion and pain so that they want to get away from it.
Draw out the frustration, pain, sleepless nights, worries, shame, guilt, etc. Bring it out into the open and explain the consequences of ignoring the problem.
Make them realize that the problem is worse than they think.
People make buying decisions based on emotions and rationalize it with logic. Let the terrible feeling of them not being able to solve the problem sink in and simmer for a short while.
Perhaps the viewer is a woman who recently gave birth and is trying to lose the extra pounds. Show how having a newborn and having time to exercise is a challenge for a new mother. You want to express the frustration and exhaustion that only a new mom experiences while not keeping fit due to the lack of time and energy.
Your script needs to bring to the forefront of the viewer's minds that their problem will continuously nag them.
Demonstrates how the product/service solves the problem
If you masterfully carried out the introduction to the problem and agitated their pain, they will stay glued to the video up to this point.
Don't relax yet! You still have work to do.
When you have their attention, copywriting skills play a significant role in maintaining engagement. Delivering a clear, compelling message helps people visualize how you solve the problem they face using the product or service.
You want to make sure the viewer doesn't see the solution as another imitator offering a similar solution to others provided before. Describe the originality and uniqueness of the product or service and how it solves your prospect's problems.
Establish how your product or service fixes their problem with examples. It may be through a walk-through of the software, video snippets of steps taken to help your customers achieve their goal or solve their problem, or proving how the product works right in front of their eyes.
Where possible, add social proof with testimonials as well as before and after photos/videos.
Deliver your call-to-action
Your call-to-action encourages your video sales letter viewer to take action immediately with an irresistible offer. Create scarcity where the viewer experiences the fear of missing out (FOMO).
As the Godfather would say - make them an offer they can't refuse.
What will they miss if they don't take up your offer today?
Always try to introduce urgency with time-sensitive promotions where the deal only applies for the next few days or weeks.
Think about Black Friday sales and how etailers whip their audience into a buying frenzy with irresistible offers. Limited-time offers work best to entice viewers to take action right now rather than procrastinate.
Let's bring all the ideas above together in a perfectly crafted ad.
Watch how the Snuggie ad below perfectly encapsulates all the steps outlined above. It grabs the viewer's attention, introduces the problems people face, builds up the frustration the viewer experiences, and how the product relieves each one of them.
Notice how it goes through all the different use cases, so it takes the need for thinking away from the viewer.
Studies show that the more you make people think, the more exhausting it is. When people feel exhausted, they will avoid making decisions. That means no sale!
The Snuggie ad boils the process down to deciding whether to buy without having the viewer expend lots of brainpower to think of all the practical uses.
It culminates with a limited time offer to take action immediately.
Real VSL Examples
Many of the top sales videos that went on to sell millions of dollars of products are privately hosted and taken down shortly after the sale.
Here are some of the best ones you can model for your business.
Dollar Shave Club scored a homerun with their viral video. The video ad they created put them on course for a billion-dollar sale of the company.
The PowerChute Golf Swing training aid generated $1 million in revenue from cold traffic.
Here's proof that short or long videos don't matter so much as the message delivered to the right audience. It delivered all the information the viewer needed to decide. The length proves that if you provide engaging content, your target audience will stick around even if it's an ad.
DigitalMarketer’s Ryan Deiss promotes the video selling framework. We use this much more in-depth framework to develop video sales letter ads for our clients.
SquattyPotty is a hilarious and entertaining ad. Their now iconic ad put their brand on the map after several years of being in business. They used humor to engage and created a fun, explainer video that etched the brand into their viewers' minds.
Frank Kern’s Facebook ad to promote his book grabs the attention of the audience right away. He keeps the audience in suspense and draws them into his story.
Watch a masterful presentation by video maestro Billy Gene Shaw. Taking a cue from the movie "Wolf of Wall Street," he captures his audience's attention and keeps it all the way. He introduces the pain and agitates the viewer. He entertains, educates, and demonstrates how to do it.
As you can see from the above examples, the message was compelling and maintained the viewer's interest.
You will want to script your VSL and plan any props and determine camera angles that make the video more interesting. Audio and lighting are crucial to having your final footage look great.
Now is the time to harness the power of video in your sales landing pages.
Videos communicate so much more in a short time frame compared to text. A good VSL properly delivered establishes trust and credibility while accomplishing the business goal of making the sale.
Need help scripting and creating your next video ad? Contact us and let us know your specific requirements.
About the Author: Anthony Yap is an expert video marketer who crafts compelling messages for sales-driven landing pages, thank you pages, and email follow up sequences. He is adept at creating marketing automation sequences that convert strangers to customers.