Can you think of a video sales letter (VSL) that caught your attention and sparked an urge to buy? VSLs are usually cleverly designed and executed, often relying on the copy and the tonality of the person narrating the video. There are various factors that play a part in making a good VSL which I will share with you as we go along.
If you haven’t already done VSLs, it would be beneficial to add them to your marketing campaign. Why? Recent studies by HubSpot show that 62% of people pay close attention to videos while skimming through or multitasking with written content or podcasts. A common saying is: A picture paints a thousand words and a video is made up of more than a thousand pictures. There is no doubt that a VSL is an effective way to get your message across to consumers.
How do VSLs work? They pitch viewers on your products and services, similar to a written sales page, but with a richer media experience. We are visual creatures with a remarkable ability to remember pictures and videos that make the right connections to our minds.
VSLs are also captivating and allow you to convey emotion through the copy. Why is that trait required? Because emotion is what drives decision making and purchases. In fact, a Harvard professor says 95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious. You want to keep the audience engaged and hooked onto your video and web page, which is where copywriters can play a huge role.
Like slogan creation, video sales letters are fundamentally about copywriting. It’s about having a clear message, illustrating why and how your product or service is better or more unique than others, which then leads to why they should buy from you.
So how do you create a high-converting VSL? Below is a general guideline of questions to ask and answer:
What is the problem your prospects are facing?
How are they affected? Agitate them by showing the dire consequences of letting the problem continue. Amplify their pain points.
People are better at grasping concrete information than abstract concepts, so make sure it’s realistic and practical.
What are their options? What services can you provide? Some examples are Amazon, drop shipping, coaching, consulting, social media agencies, etc. Or the better option, learning an eCommerce skill from you.
Why should they choose your solution? Continuing with the above example, you can explain why all the other options won’t work. You can show why you are different.
Provide testimonials. What other people say about you is more powerful than what you can say about yourself. This builds trust more easily and increases the persuasiveness of the video.
How can you add more value to your prospects? Include a few bonuses!
What is your call-to-action? (CTA). You’ve laid out their problem, provided them with the best solution, and all they have to do now is take action! Make sure your CTA is clear. You can also add incentives such as discounts or generate urgency by creating scarcity.
Let’s imagine you are selling a course on eCommerce and how to make more money comfortably at home. Follow this formula for a VSL:
Problem: People may feel tired and frustrated in their 9-5 job which earns them a minimum wage. They come home late daily, feeling drained of energy and the willpower to work the next day. Their colleagues are negative. In summary, they feel overworked, underpaid and underappreciated.
Agitate: Express the amount of time lost with their loved ones such as their newborn baby. Being unable to watch the baby in the first few stages of growth is like missing a huge part of parenthood. Or you can let them ponder on the bad habits of not exercising and eating poorly and what could those lead to. Have them think about potential heart problems and health issues when they are getting old.
Solution + Testimonials: Discuss how learning your eCommerce skill has helped 5,416 people worldwide to achieve financial freedom and leave their hated jobs. Talk about how these people have then been able to spend more time with their family or more time to take care of themselves.
Bonuses: Give them tips on where and how to set up their eCommerce store. Provide brief snippets of how to research what to sell on their eCommerce store.
CTA: For example, your eCommerce masterclass will only be offered to the first 1000 participants that perform the desired action.
David Ogilvy, considered the Father of Advertising, said, “Unless your advertising has a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night."
A confused mind never buys. If you place too many ideas into a single video, your viewers would be overloaded with information. They will feel overwhelmed. They can’t digest it. They'll decide to leave the page. And that’s what you don’t want to happen.
For example, Crossfit is advertised as “the sport of fitness”. It is targeted at people of all shapes and sizes who want to improve their physical well-being and cardiovascular fitness.
That single big idea led Crossfit to its current success, where there are over 4 million devotees to this fitness program. Also, many others are taking up their affiliate programs. Would you believe it? As of 2017, there are 13,000 gyms in more than 120 countries worldwide!
People have short attention spans. Unlike written copy where people can skim through and look for information they need, videos don’t work the same way.
If your video starts to bore your prospect, they will shut it off. They won’t bother to skip through parts of your video for information. They don’t have time! Make sure you blast your prospects with the most striking information, message, or visuals to ensure undivided attention for the entirety of your video.
Referring to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, your VSLs need to address one or more “desires” of humans. People will be more motivated to take action if their desires are met through your products or services.
Although the making of a VSL may sound simple, the process of creating brilliant copy for it is time-consuming. Hiring copywriters will not only save you time but will likely yield a better result. Copywriters understand both writing copy and marketing. A good copywriter spends time researching your market and analyzing it. Through their thorough processes, you can be sure they will come up with a great VSL strategy and offer that will be enticing for your prospects.
Great copywriters also know the importance of personalized sales messages. Even though your sales page may be viewed by thousands of people at a time, each person is viewing it by themselves. This means that every experience is unique and must be catered to. With their persuasive writing skills, copywriters can increase your conversion rates with VSLs.
With a myriad of freelance websites, where do you find decent copywriters? Copywriters.com is the ultimate platform for you to find such copywriters. With intensive and rigorous training, plus a thorough vetting process, copywriters here have the ability to create high-quality work.
Videos have become a great way to connect with your audience and to tell them about your business. You can make your own video sales letter, or hire a copywriter. It's tempting to cut costs and make the video sales letter by yourself. But it is not the best route for a growing business. Instead, hiring a copywriter to create a clear and compelling VSL will best attract prospects. Hire a high-quality copywriter to serve your needs today.
Rachel Li is a copywriter, who was once a pharmacist. She is dedicated to helping people unravel their fullest potential by inspiring them to take action. She loves to apply her knowledge on copywriting and marketing to create compelling, personalized copy to help scale your business.Hire Rachel