Video Sales Letters .. a Fad or here to Stay?

53 replies
Hey Guys,

Been seeing a lot of these Sales videos where
they basically just read the copy

I find them annoying ... especially if I can't fast
forward ,, But they must be working

Do you think people will get tired of them or are
they here to stay?

Jack
#fad #letters #sales #stay #video
  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    There's been quite a bit of discussion on this.

    I think video as a sales medium online is here to stay. I think the whole Powerpoint being read out loud is here to stay for the short term, maybe longer.

    I don't think that means print copy is dead, and right now a combination of video and copy is doing well for a lot of my clients.

    Video is here to stay... I won't say how long the PP style videos will stick around, we'll just have to wait and see.

    -Scott
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  • Profile picture of the author AlanCarr
    Well if they're as persistent as threads about video sales letters, they'll probably be around quite some time...

    Having said that, the 'talking head' format is already old.


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  • Profile picture of the author AlanCarr
    You must have posted about the same time as me Scott!

    - looks like we said the same thing too



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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    Originally Posted by Jack Bastide View Post

    Hey Guys,

    Been seeing a lot of these Sales videos where
    they basically just read the copy

    I find them annoying ... especially if I can't fast
    forward ,, But they must be working

    Do you think people will get tired of them or are
    they here to stay?

    Jack
    I'd heard this worked well...

    So we tested it VS a video underneath the headline with a short script and a video that read the whole letter on a powerpoint.

    Short video script won in our test.

    ...But I'm not sure if you're talking about a long form sales page + reading it in a video... or just a sales letter video.
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  • Profile picture of the author Barbara Gathany
    Jack,

    I was a doubter for a long time about video, but after testing, taking some excellent classes and finally admitting I might, just might be wrong, I have finally switched camps.

    I believe that a combination of direct, pithy video coupled with more detailed written material will be the winning combination. Reading PP presentations will not win the day. A punchy ( not overdone) script along with the all the written "facts" will satisfy the auditory and visual needs of our clients and customers. The more of their senses we can appeal to the better off we are.

    Video done in the right way is here to stay.
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  • Profile picture of the author cpace32
    I definitely think that the video presentation is more powerful for conversion, if done properly.
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  • Profile picture of the author davemiz
    working really well for me.... getting some crazy epc's with them.
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  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    For optins it's a must. However, my one shot sales letters still outsell video leads.
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  • Profile picture of the author wcmylife
    If you watched good old Jeff's video for his PLF 3, you will notice that Jeff read it out...and he did 3.17 (million) lol - not too bad. You can do long copy over video but you have to take a lot of factors into play

    a. Have you done the sideway sales letter - i.e. do you have good autoresponder content that has primed your prospect
    b. Have you given pre-launch content that primed them
    c. Do they trust you and find you interesting

    If the answer is yes - I would recommend testing long sales copy on Vid...if your going for a one-shot sale - I would recommend sticking with the old school hypnotic sales page and then do a test with a video...it's all about testing and that's what Mike Filsaime did early 09...he did video and had the option below of someone skipping the video and clicking on the long sales copy - which was more or less a transcript of the video...
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  • Profile picture of the author davemiz
    john, for optins its a must?

    Where did you get this bad information from?

    I've tested optin pages extensivly... odds are you've either seen or used one of my squeeze pages.... in every single test i've done, optin on squeeze pages always results in lower conversions.

    you gotta split test your video sales letter vs your regular sales letter.... see which one gets more conversions and brings in more money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Absulote
    Interesting! Seems like everybody knows something but no one know everything! I guess its to be expected because of the newness of Video/audio slideshow presentations on sales pages.. Mine converts at 15% one day and 0% the next..? weird i have not figured it out! I do not have an opt in, just a audio/video slide show with some basic copy underneath it with a button that pops up near the end!

    Does anyone know an ideal length to this type of sales page? and at what point it is ideal to have the button pop up?
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  • Profile picture of the author David Maschke
    Yes, the video sales presentation will die out, just like television, commercials and infomercials. Definitely.
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  • Profile picture of the author defaultuser
    I am glad to see that this subject is being discussed more and more. Video works. That's it. You have to have the right mindset about it, but just one of my websites is advertised entirely on YouTube and I clear 1k per month from it.

    Not everything works well in the video medium, but video now is what adwords was 7 or 8 years ago.
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    • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
      They're here to stay, of course...

      ... for the simple reason that some people (a lot of people)
      really can't read. This market is a driving force in infomercials
      and home shopping stuff.

      Some people just plain lack the reading skills to read and
      comprehend a sales letter. That's the built-in market
      for video.

      Of course there are some products that simply lend themselves
      to video demonstration but the distinction between a "video
      sales letter" and an "infomercial" sort of eludes me...unless
      the video sales letter is a justification for a no-budget power-point
      type thing. The better infomercials are often, but not
      always, pretty sophisticated in terms of TV direction and
      scripting.
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Myers
      Here's my story with video only salesletters.

      When they first came out I thought "what a cool new idea". Well that opinion didn't last very long.

      I quickly switched over to the "these videos suck and take away my ability to control the playing of the video". I hated watching these things (still do even).

      But I decided to test the video salesletter with my own product since I kept seeing all the "gurus" who I've always heard were die-hard testers, switch over to video only.

      I tested the standard "long-copy" sales letter which has been my control for sometime now, against a "headline & video" page with a buy button that appears near the end of the video.

      My results from July 4th through today, per Google Website Optimizer:

      Long-form Sales letter: 26 sales - 1406 Impressions - 1.8% conversion
      Headline & Video: 60 sales - 1402 Impressions - 4.3% conversion
      Chance to beat original: 99.9% / Observed improvement 131%
      (The traffic was from PPC with follow up emails)

      I more than DOUBLED my sales using video!

      Guess which one I'll be using from now on?

      Will this work in all markets? Who knows. But it only takes about a few hours work to find out.

      Scott
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      • Profile picture of the author Dietriffic
        Originally Posted by ScottyDog View Post

        Here's my story with video only salesletters.

        When they first came out I thought "what a cool new idea". Well that opinion didn't last very long.

        I quickly switched over to the "these videos suck and take away my ability to control the playing of the video". I hated watching these things (still do even).

        But I decided to test the video salesletter with my own product since I kept seeing all the "gurus" who I've always heard were die-hard testers, switch over to video only.

        I tested the standard "long-copy" sales letter which has been my control for sometime now, against a "headline & video" page with a buy button that appears near the end of the video.

        My results from July 4th through today, per Google Website Optimizer:

        Long-form Sales letter: 26 sales - 1406 Impressions - 1.8% conversion
        Headline & Video: 60 sales - 1402 Impressions - 4.3% conversion
        Chance to beat original: 99.9% / Observed improvement 131%
        (The traffic was from PPC with follow up emails)

        I more than DOUBLED my sales using video!

        Guess which one I'll be using from now on?

        Will this work in all markets? Who knows. But it only takes about a few hours work to find out.

        Scott
        Scott,

        That's very enlightening.

        Did you script your video word-for-word as your long-form sales letter?
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  • Profile picture of the author ZaneAbden
    as long as a video provide nice presentation with a valuable content.. it will still sell better than a long sales letter

    especially avoid making those kind of videos saying I was broke till I found this secret blah blah
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  • Profile picture of the author Larryheat
    Interesting question, and responses As a retired video producer who specialized in low budget small format videos I find this type of application on the Internet to be a passing fad. However, I think video sales letters are here to stay, in combination with print ads. Internet marketers and video producers will find a way to use the tools that are inherent in video: education and entertainment. These tools will help sell the products to the target audience.
    Years and years of TV advertising has taught us the effective use of high end television production. Speaking PowerPoint slides is the beginning and it will grow from here. Now as an Internet video marketing consultant I steer many of my clients towards education and entertaining aspect of video production in the marketing of their products. I think that trend will continue. The creative juices of young producers and marketers have only begun to flow.

    Larryheat
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  • Profile picture of the author ChadH
    I think the combo style is a good format.... make the video the slick brochure and the long form letter, well, the letter. Or even vice versa??!!?
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Washer
    Good perspectives in this thread! There's no doubt that video will continue to heat up and grow in influence. For now, it's a proven fact that for many people (those who understand how to produce video) video will work. Those who don't understand production will say it doesn't work.

    The bar will rise over time and those who don't know how to make good video will be lost. But that's just my opinion as a video marketer.
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  • Profile picture of the author ckweb
    Here to stay. They convert better than written text so marketers will always use them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Steel
    They are here for good ... sometimes they are annoying to me too ... but at least I don't have to read -

    js
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  • Profile picture of the author davemiz
    as scott mentioned, the numbers don't lie.

    just by using the video, he more than doubled his conversions which is a MAJOR increase....

    since he's doing this with paid traffic he essentially has a gold mine.... just ramp up your traffic and watch the money roll in.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zen2health
    Video typically converts better, but the challenge with video is that it you will have to use PPC or have your own lists since Video content doesn't pull organic traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author davemiz
    lol.... where are you coming up with this?

    you can send SEO traffic to your site from a gazllion ways (wb 2.0, articles, blogs, etc) .... and the video would replace your sales letter.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashmagnet
    I recon they are here to stay
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    • Either I'm missing something or almost everyone else in this thread is missing something.

      If I recall correctly, Jack's question wasn't about "is video marketing here to stay?" It was specifically about the powerpoint videos that are the fad right now. The ones where someone reads the sales letter pretty much verbatim and those words are put up on the screen in powerpoint slides.

      the answer is absolutely these are a fad and absolutely it will at some point peter out. Video marketing is obviously going to continue to grow and get stronger but the powerpoint video will ultimately be replaced by something else.

      Now seriously... did no one else here understand the question?
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      • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
        What about those videos where you're being held hostage (unless you just click away)?

        I have stopped opening emails from people who sent me those things (and those were people whose emails I used to read!)

        I mean, what are they thinking? I have half an hour to watch a sales pitch just because I happened to have clicked on that link? I don't think so.

        But maybe that's just me...

        I'm curious as to what you all think about that bit?

        Elisabeth
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      • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
        Originally Posted by MontelloMarketing View Post

        Either I'm missing something or almost everyone else in this thread is missing something.

        If I recall correctly, Jack's question wasn't about "is video marketing here to stay?" It was specifically about the powerpoint videos that are the fad right now. The ones where someone reads the sales letter pretty much verbatim and those words are put up on the screen in powerpoint slides.

        the answer is absolutely these are a fad and absolutely it will at some point peter out. Video marketing is obviously going to continue to grow and get stronger but the powerpoint video will ultimately be replaced by something else.

        Now seriously... did no one else here understand the question?
        The subject and message got edited

        Wasn't clear at first what he was talking about.

        ...

        From what I've tested... the powerpoint video sales letters convert like gangbusters... just tested it on a $497 offer.

        Planning on rolling out one for another offer before the fad dies out...

        Just because it's so EASY... takes just a few hours to come up with a PPT script like this.
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  • Profile picture of the author darnoc92
    I think that the video aspect is here to stay especially considering how much Google weighs video in their website ranking. I also believe that it is important to have both written copy and video in your sales pitch. Some people prefer to watch a video instead of read.
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil12
    It probably helps people with dyslexia, maybe the visually impaired as well
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
      Originally Posted by Neil12 View Post

      It probably helps people with dyslexia, maybe the visually impaired as well
      My guess - and that's all it is - is that they work so well because they combine a visual and auditory method of delivery for the same message.

      I'd be interested in superimposing a "talking head" in the corner though... to see if the addition of the human element boosted sales.

      Then again... it might be too busy to pay attention to clearly.

      Food for thought though... and maybe an interesting test for the future.

      -Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author Todd R
    Video sales pages are here to stay -- especially pages that you can't fast forward. Many of them are boring, but the ones that work pay so well, there's no way video is just a fad. Well, it is a fad, for those "me-too" users who haven't learned to leverage the medium.

    It's the fist minute that counts. Just like a text sales letter, if you catch your viewer's/ reader's attention and quickly prove you're offering value then you've off to a great start, and likely to make good money. Way too many sales videos fail in the fist 30 seconds. They get the short goodbye - CLICK.

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  • Profile picture of the author NasalSpray
    No with testing the word sales copy totally won as the video bores the crap out of people.
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    • Profile picture of the author katarina1
      For me,It doesn't work at all. I have this site for few months now and it was bought on flippa.13 videos about list building,good work...video sales copy is not working, I can't sell anything.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aj Wilson
      But chances are it's not the medium (video) that's broken. No matter the medium, you still have to know how to effectively sell.
      Bang on Scott.

      That's the thing most people forget about when they start out
      "Making Money Online"... and also why they fail in frustration...

      We all get caught up in the latest "Tricks & Widgets",
      without ever Learning The REAL 100% Sure Fire Way of Making REAL Money In The Bank...

      and that's To LEARN HOW TO SELL STUFF!
      (I was guilty of this for a long time...)

      Im currently testing Short Copy with a Video Sales Letter.
      18.58% Conversion Rate and Climbing.

      Video Sales Letters will be here to stay... it's just like anything else...

      Create a crappy video... get crappy results!

      Have a winning formula... get great results,
      that can only get better as you adapt to your ever changing market place.

      and just remember, the Selling Principals don't change (often),
      just the medium it's delivered and communicated.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    video sales copy is not working, I can't sell anything.
    I mean no disrespect Kathy, so please don't take this the wrong way.

    But chances are it's not the medium (video) that's broken. No matter the medium, you still have to know how to effectively sell.

    -Scott
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  • Profile picture of the author loyaltepays
    I think video is a must -although a bit of a challenge for many still.

    A combination of both I think is the best way to go. I would not make them exactly the same, that is just read the sales copy in my video -that just shows lack of creative marketing.

    The best formula in my opinion would be a short straight to the point video (combination of live person talking and powerpoint presentation) plus a sales letter that goes over all the features of the product and points out the benefits for the end user.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dr Livingston
    They are definitely here to stay. Youtube is the #2 website in the world... don't quote me on that... It might be higher or lower since I last checked. People love to watch videos. Look at how easy it is to make videos? Iphone, Droid, they all make it easy to record and upload instantly. The more senses you can pull into marketing, the better the result. Problem is that google adwords hates these so you have to learn to play their games if you are doing ppc.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Originally Posted by Dr Livingston View Post

      They are definitely here to stay. Youtube is the #2 website in the world... don't quote me on that... It might be higher or lower since I last checked. People love to watch videos. Look at how easy it is to make videos?
      No offense but I have to disagree with you.

      Alot of people love to use YouTube... My kids love watching old clips of the Muppets that way. I like watching 70's & 80's rock videos on YouTube too.

      But YouTube popularity doesn't mean the same people want to watch sales pitches in video. Not even close.

      People will watch a sales video if they're interested in learning about the product being sold. That's the only reason.

      And just because it's easy to make videos... doesn't mean that many of them are being made well.
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  • Profile picture of the author davemiz
    yeah selling is selling... the medium may change but selling never does. you either know how to sell or you dont.

    hey AJ, what kinda traffic are you getting those numbers with? cold/paid traffic? your own list? customers?
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  • Profile picture of the author Kerryrus
    During my mentoring course I recently completed I remember my mentor saying that If we had the ability at this stage to use Camtasia Studio to definitely give video sales letter a try rather than the traditional style because it almost doubles if not more the conversion rate.

    I must admit, if ever i have bought a product i always go for video sales. This could just be down to the fact that I'm too lazy but I think it's because i can put a face to the creator...if not at least I can hear them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt James
      This could just be down to the fact that I'm too lazy but I think it's because i can put a face to the creator...if not at least I can hear them.
      Yep, seeing the creator breaks down another barrier to the sale. But then its success depends on how natural they are on video.

      Also, has anyone else seen the research that's come out lately on how the 'net is rewiring our brains? It's all over the papers here in the UK.

      We're becoming multi-taskers, doing one thing at a time is getting more and more difficult.

      I've certainly noticed it in my own web-addled mind.

      How many windows have you got open right now? I have 8 tabs open! Now, if I'm playing a sales video in the background I can at least hear the pitch while I'm doing other stuff.

      A plain text letter needs to be damn compelling to stop people drifting off onto other windows, a video sales letter can seep into your brain while you're idly surfing.
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  • Profile picture of the author John_S
    I'm still waiting for people to stop reading their letter and deliver a well done sales pitch via video.

    Showmanship ....in motion. Infomercial quality Billy Mays pitchmen. Not readers doing bedtime stories.

    I've seen better eulogies.

    When the newness wears off and the "hey, we've had 'moving pictures' for over a century" sets in, I expect there to be substantial improvement.
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    • Originally Posted by John_S View Post

      I'm still waiting for people to stop reading their letter and deliver a well done sales pitch via video.

      Showmanship ....in motion. Infomercial quality Billy Mays pitchmen. Not readers doing bedtime stories.

      I've seen better eulogies.

      When the newness wears off and the "hey, we've had 'moving pictures' for over a century" sets in, I expect there to be substantial improvement.
      Exactly my point, John!

      What's hot right now is just the flavor du jour. a low tech device that happens to work. It will no doubt be replaced by something. But... video is obviously here to stay.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    Re: Vin and John...

    Not arguing here. Just playing devil's advocate.

    Most of the time I'm selling either information or software. Now with software, I'll do a video overview of me actually using it, and selling the benefits of the features as I go through it.

    So it's not necessarily your traditional "read the powerpoint" style video. And with software it works.

    But when selling info products, the "read the sales copy as it comes on the screen" approach works well.

    Vin, your video on FBF is very well done.

    Do you think a guy actually reading that script into the camera, with before/after pictures infomercial style would convert better?

    Have you tested it?

    Do you guys think infomercial style videos are the future of online videos? And if not, what kind of predictions are you making (if any)?

    Thanks,

    -Scott
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    • Originally Posted by Scott Murdaugh View Post

      Vin, your video on FBF is very well done.

      Do you think a guy actually reading that script into the camera, with before/after pictures infomercial style would convert better?

      Have you tested it?

      -Scott
      I don't know how it would work but my client either does know, or will know. He's an amazing marketer who busts his ass to keep his business going.

      I think the reason he uses this video (and he was among the very first to do it) is because it outpulls the sales letter. Once something outpulls this, he'll use that.

      To give you an idea what kind of client he is... I'm working for him on an unrelated project next month... then he wants to go back and revisit fbf. He knows it's working like crazy today... but he's always looking out for what's next. He knows it won't last forever.

      Granted... the fad of these kinds of videos has already lasted longer than I predicted, but nothing lasts forever. It's all about staying ahead of the curve.
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  • Profile picture of the author susiem
    I agree Videos is in to stay. Power point has it place to a certain degree. Vidoe Marketing , in its regard captures the persons attention I believe much further than a sales letter and so forth. Although sales letters will always be around, When I see a video , although the content of it does make a difference it stands out much more than a letter to me. and will cause me to open much more often.

    I do how ever believe videos are much more opt to be look at in areas where they are more welcome then others,

    Susie
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  • Profile picture of the author Todd R
    I think they're here to stay, but I'm not sure the make for the best conversions rates. It just seems so obvious that some things are better wrtten about while others are better to watch.

    I mean if you have some dramatic proof that your product does what you say it does and you can easily show that in a few minutes then video is the way to go. Otherwise writing may be better. And as always, test, test, test.
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  • Profile picture of the author John_S
    Do you guys think infomercial style videos are the future of online videos? And if not, what kind of predictions are you making (if any)?
    It's not a prediction exactly. Rather the realization the medium hasn't distinguished itself from what has gone before.

    We are still at the moving picture stage, before it became a "movie." When movies started they took the concept of a fixed stage theatrical production. There were no camera angles or transitions, or even scenes as we know them, you put the camera dead center in front of the stage and did a traditional theater production.

    Very similar to what's going on with video sales letters. Although bizarrely without any hint of an infomercial industry, or any seeming acknowledgment of movie technique.

    And with software it works.
    For an industry which, end to end, would rather chew off a leg than do a user test, I suggest "it" and "works" need greater definition.

    Most of the time I'm selling either information or software. Now with software, I'll do a video overview of me actually using it, and selling the benefits of the features as I go through it.
    Uh huh. Looks just like this does it.

    We're about a decade away from the successor to the video sales letter. Software ...half a century away.


    In the meantime, play with this.



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  • They Are here To Stay. The Average Person Doesn't Like To Read Long Copy. If You Are Not Including Video in Your Marketing Strategies. You Are Missing Out On An Opportunity to Build Relationships With Your Customers, Build a Huge Subscriber List, Persuade and Sell More Than Ever Before and Boost Your Income. I know instantly when I land on one of those pages that it is merely a cookie cutter sales letter page and it is going to be predictable. Using video allows you to change that cookie cutter feel into something that will let you truly show your customers your personality. Studies have shown that adding video to your site increases response rates. Whether you are trying to convince someone to buy your product or just opt-in to your mailing list, video helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    @John

    I like the first part of the post. Thanks for the response.

    For an industry which, end to end, would rather chew off a leg than do a user test, I suggest "it" and "works" need greater definition.
    Usually it's online marketing automation tools. So people want to see it in action.

    Uh huh. Looks just like this does it.
    Not sure how to take that. But no. The videos are designed to SELL the stuff, not tutorials on using it. Yeah, part of the time it's me on Camtasia going through it, but people would rather actually see the software in action than a fancy animation...

    I can prove right there that it works as advertised.

    And they work. Meaning I write a script which is essentially a combination of the demo and a sales letter.

    Cool video. I like it.

    -Scott
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  • Profile picture of the author Harold Lindsey
    Yeah videos sales letters will just get more, and more elaborate,

    Just check out MR. Video his self, Andy Jenkins of "Stompernet & Video Boss". He develops, and works off of a similar structure that composes an actual story, play, and movies; ( The 3 act structure ).

    (To Get The Customers Attention, Tell Him What You Can Do For Him, Show Him How It Works)

    1a: **Call Out The Problem**
    2a: **You Must Introduce The Solution**
    3a: **The Example** (This is key)**

    Of course each section has sub sections that are a bit much to get into here.
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