Is Autoplay Video Really Bad For Your Opt-in Page?

56 replies
Recently I've made a split test just to make sure if the autoplay is a big deal. I've create two page with one the video has autoplay and the other one you have to click it to play.

Here is the statistics:

Autoplay: 9.7% ± 1 opt-in rate
No autoplay: 41.18% ± 1 opt-in rate

Q.E.D. (quod erat demonstrandum)

Look like the Business market doesn't that.
#autoplay #bad #optin #page #video
  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    Originally Posted by BenoitT View Post

    Recently I've made a split test just to make sure if the autoplay is a big deal. I've create two page with one the video has autoplay and the other one you have to click it to play.

    Here is the statistics:

    Autoplay: 9.7% ± 1 opt-in rate
    No autoplay: 41.18% ± 1 opt-in rate

    Q.E.D. (quod erat demonstrandum)

    Look like the Business market doesn't that.
    Well done for setting up a split-test to measure the
    autoplay vs. non-autoplay for your site and your
    traffic.

    How many subscriber actions is your data based on?

    Note that other people will get different results based
    upon their own traffic and tests.

    Dedicated to mutual success,

    Shaun
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    • Profile picture of the author BenoitT
      Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

      Well done for setting up a split-test to measure the
      autoplay vs. non-autoplay for your site and your
      traffic.

      How many subscriber actions is your data based on?

      Note that other people will get different results based
      upon their own traffic and tests.

      Dedicated to mutual success,

      Shaun
      I've tested it in a pretty short time but both test got around 80 visitors and it mainly come from forums.

      The difference is so big I don't even want to test further.
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      Benoit Tremblay

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      • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
        Originally Posted by BenoitT View Post

        I've tested it in a pretty short time but both test got around 80 visitors and it mainly come from forums.

        The difference is so big I don't even want to test further.
        If the data is based upon just 80 visitors, then you need
        to get some more data before it becomes statistically
        significant to allow you to make any conclusions.

        A very crude rule of thumb is to have at least 30 successful
        actions (NOT visitors) on each variation before having a guess.

        If it's the page in your signature, then you need to have at
        least 30 subscribers via autoplay and 30 subscribers via
        non-autoplay.

        Dedicated to mutual success,

        Shaun
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        • Profile picture of the author JCorp
          Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

          If the data is based upon just 80 visitors, then you need
          to get some more data before it becomes statistically
          significant to allow you to make any conclusions.

          A very crude rule of thumb is to have at least 30 successful
          actions (NOT visitors) on each variation before having a guess.

          If it's the page in your signature, then you need to have at
          least 30 subscribers via autoplay and 30 subscribers via
          non-autoplay.

          Dedicated to mutual success,

          Shaun



          I agree with Shaun. You need to do more testing. Sometimes we won't rule out a test unless we've gotten anywhere between 250-1,000 visitors.
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        • Profile picture of the author Troy Broussard
          Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

          If the data is based upon just 80 visitors, then you need
          to get some more data before it becomes statistically
          significant to allow you to make any conclusions.

          A very crude rule of thumb is to have at least 30 successful
          actions (NOT visitors) on each variation before having a guess.

          If it's the page in your signature, then you need to have at
          least 30 subscribers via autoplay and 30 subscribers via
          non-autoplay.

          Dedicated to mutual success,

          Shaun
          Another good thing to use is this:

          :::SplitTester.com:::

          This is a free tool by Perry Marshall and it is designed for split testing PPC adds but you can use it to split test any action and predict the probability that you have enough data or not, etc...

          It's a great resource... use it all the time.
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by TedTimmins View Post

        The difference is so big I don't even want to test further.
        Don't make that mistake. With such a small sample of people you cannot draw any conclusions as yet. I have had many split tests start out like this where one option out converts the other by a mile only to find after a decent amount of traffic the tables turn and the other ends up converting best.

        You need to throw at least 500 - 1,000 unique visitors at this before you can start choosing winners.
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      • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
        Originally Posted by TedTimmins View Post

        I've tested it in a pretty short time but both test got around 80 visitors and it mainly come from forums.

        The difference is so big I don't even want to test further.
        You need more data. As has been mentioned that is not enough to be statistically significant.

        Also you should test other traffic sources before drawing any conclusions.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Dont autoplay anything. Its downright annoying and is one of the first reasons Ill close a browser or click the back button.
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    • Profile picture of the author BenoitT
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      Dont autoplay anything. Its downright annoying and is one of the first reasons Ill close a browser or click the back button.
      Autoplaying a video when the guy click to a link to Get The Video is alright in my mind. Outside that, I agree.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
        Originally Posted by BenoitT View Post

        Autoplaying a video when the guy click to a link to Get The Video is alright in my mind. Outside that, I agree.
        Anyone who "autoplays" anything on their site, immediately assumes that the visitor has their 100% undivided attention. Most dont. Most are (or at least probably) multitasking. Sending emails, chatting, or ....as I often do, listening to online radio.

        Theres nothing worse than some annoying crap blasting out (usually at a much higher volume than what im listening to) over the top of my music, or whatever else it is that I may have open at the time.
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        • Profile picture of the author patrickwagner
          Thanks for the great info guys.

          I just finished developing a simple script to allow you to have an images of a video player or any image - once the user clicks on the image a video replaces the space of the image and plays.

          I will run a split test of auto-play, no auto-play and click image to play video. I will report back after I have 1000 min results to share.

          Thanks again.
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    • Profile picture of the author Troy Broussard
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      Dont autoplay anything. Its downright annoying and is one of the first reasons Ill close a browser or click the back button.
      I agree with you, but interestingly enough, as IM'ers we tend to have different user tolerances and behavior patterns than our "average" users so while you and I may hate autoplay, it might still make the most business sense. Know what I mean?

      Of course, test your own market and niche because user behavior patterns change a lot depending on the niche...
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  • Profile picture of the author desmond11
    It also depends on the niche you're in too!

    Probably best to take a larger sample over a longer length of time if you can?

    Nice to see you testing. Most people can't be bothered.
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  • Profile picture of the author kctang
    Thanks for sharing the results.

    I've found it very annoying too, though not as bad as autoplay audio for some reason. Probably cause it takes longer to find where to turn it off.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert M Gouge
    Any site I visit that autoplays a video, or worse, does not allow me to pause/control the video, is a site that I'm instantly going to press the Back button on. Regardless of how interested I was in the product/site when clicking the initial link to get there.
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  • Profile picture of the author omk
    Yes, you're correct. For most niches, it would be smarter to stay away from autoplay.
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  • Profile picture of the author iProfessional
    Wow. I'm glad you ran this test I'm still somewhat a newbie and I have an autoplay video on my newest site. I'll change it to be on the safe side. The idea of losing a visitor to autoplay definitely outweighs the possibility it will get their attention. Unless you all have seen results that show otherwise?
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  • Profile picture of the author inhwanie
    Autoplay ironically leads to the shortest video time watched in my experience.

    The ONLY time I've seen it work is if someone signed up for an offer and they EXPECT to be shown a video afterwards (thank you, welcome, part II etc.). Then automatically taking them to a new page and autoplaying the video doesn't seem to do any "damage"
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    • Profile picture of the author rlhurst
      I just set mine up, and I chose not to autoplay. First of all, like many here, I find it annoying. Second, I want folks to read whats on the page first, then decide if they want to click the video. I figure if they click then, there's a greater chance that they'll watch to the end.

      Ronnie
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    • Profile picture of the author thedog
      I hate autoplay... especially when you're listening to your own music... which a lot of people do.

      I made a site for a recruitment agency a few years back. They spent a lot of money on a radio ad that they wanted autoplayed on their site... I told them it was a bad idea... they wanted it... anyway, a few days later they rang in a panic to get it down pronto.

      People were in work, checking out the site, and had an ad for looking for a new job auto played! Anyway, just thought I'd share.

      Moral of the story, auto play is bad, and in some cases can loose people their jobs.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    I cant think of anything else that is designed to autoplay, or "come on automatically" so why should a website?

    The radio doesnt suddenly come on when you walk into the room, nor does the television set. Your car doesnt suddenly start up when you walk into the garage, and the microwave doesnt come on when you're in the kitchen.

    Id be interested in knowing the results of the split test, but would be surprised if autoplay came out on top.
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    • Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      I cant think of anything else that is designed to autoplay, or "come on automatically" so why should a website
      Quite the contrary, in fact. In the sales world, there are MANY events that are configured to trigger on autoplay.

      Here's one silly example: as you set foot on a clothes store, sales assistants are "configured" to "trigger" on "autoplay" their typical Is There Anything In Particular You're Searching For Today, Sir? message without you clicking on the "ask for assistance button". Do you find annoying that someone comes forth to you with their sales-driven message without you having actively asked for it? oh well, too bad because IT DOES increase customer response, customer interaction and, therefore, conversions (most of the times).

      Here's another: as you enter a hotel lobby, clerks are "set" on "autoplay" to lean down to grab your luggage without you asking for it. And of course, they certainly expect a tip for carrying your bags upstairs...

      I could give you dozens of more "autoplay" examples in the sales/marketing/customership world, but you get the point.
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      • Profile picture of the author magnates
        I hate autoplay .It really annoys me .I want to be able to choose whether I want to watch a video or not . I do not want to be forced to watch one unless of course it is a funny one
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        • Profile picture of the author JR Consulting
          I can't stand autoplay. It makes me want to instantly leave the site, especially if my volume is high enough to the point where it scares the bejeebus out of me.
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      • Profile picture of the author Justin Goff
        You need to run this for 1,000 opt-ins (not visitor, but opt-ins) to actually have a real idea. And they need to all be from the same traffic source.

        I can't tell you how many split tests I've run based on sales, and after 500 sales, the one who was winning ends up losing!

        Almost everyone I know cancels their split tests wayyy too early.

        And also on the note of "autoplay vs no autoplay" the answer is to test. I know thats the answer no one wants to here. We all want to be told just do this, but thats the reality.

        In our niche (fat loss) the auto-play sales video crushed the non auto-play. So make sure you test, and make sure you run your test much longer

        - Justin
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  • Profile picture of the author MatthewNeer
    Interesting you just posted this.

    I dunno if you guys saw Ryan Diess' new launch, but as you know, Ryan is the big pimp of split testing and getting higher conversions and he recently just tested ALL KINDS of different squeeze pages to see which one converted the best.

    Ironically, the best one was the squeeze page with NO VIDEO WHATSOEVER.

    I believe everyone should watch this if they haven't yet...

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    • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
      Originally Posted by MatthewNeer View Post


      Ironically, the best one was the squeeze page with NO VIDEO WHATSOEVER.

      I believe everyone should watch this if they haven't yet...
      And "ironically" the linked page has an autoplay video, LOL!
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  • Profile picture of the author preacherman
    I have found about the only time an autoplay video is a problem is when someone has a slow Internet connection.

    It does bother me when someone places an autostart video somewhere below the fold and I am trying to read something that caught my interest.
    This fact by itslef could cause you to loose some sales or other type conversions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamie Drew
    Wow I need to test this. My squeeze page is on auto-play. Reckon I should test it!

    Thanks man!
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    It's funny though that the guys who test these sorts of things religiously in a wide range of markets and to a huge amount of traffic (ie: the likes of Ryan Deiss, Perry Belcher) have found time and time again that autoplay videos have the biggest ROI. They are not talking about the most people watching the video or the most people opting in after watching the video. They are talking about the biggest return on investment and they have found that to come from autoplay videos. Remember, these guys don't just test these things in one market either. They have their heads in a whole range of different niches.

    Don't just assume because you (as a marketer) don't like autoplay videos that your visitors will feel the same way. The biggest mistake you can make is to base decisions off of what YOU like or dislike - that is irrelevant. The only way to know for sure is to test things with YOUR own market and YOUR own traffic sources.
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    • Profile picture of the author Robert M Gouge
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Don't just assume because you (as a marketer) don't like autoplay videos that your visitors will feel the same way. The biggest mistake you can make is to base decisions off of what YOU like or dislike
      I think if you're marketing to a niche and are unable to discern whether or not they will like certain features without extensive testing is a good sign you either A) haven't done enough research on the people/community who make up that niche or B) are in the wrong niche for yourself all together.
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    • Profile picture of the author JCorp
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      It's funny though that the guys who test these sorts of things religiously in a wide range of markets and to a huge amount of traffic (ie: the likes of Ryan Deiss, Perry Belcher) have found time and time again that autoplay videos have the biggest ROI. They are not talking about the most people watching the video or the most people opting in after watching the video. They are talking about the biggest return on investment and they have found that to come from autoplay videos. Remember, these guys don't just test these things in one market either. They have their heads in a whole range of different niches.

      Don't just assume because you (as a marketer) don't like autoplay videos that your visitors will feel the same way. The biggest mistake you can make is to base decisions off of what YOU like or dislike - that is irrelevant. The only way to know for sure is to test things with YOUR own market and YOUR own traffic sources.



      Autoplay definitely works. I'm currently using autoplay vidoes in 2 major markets with great success. Using it on the sales page, not squeeze page however...

      Also, this might be helpful: been watching Keith Wellman's FB Machine, seeing what changes he makes to his processes on the website, at first he was using autoplay and at one point he was testing out his sales video with no autoplay for a few days. Now he's reverted back to autoplay...
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      • Profile picture of the author David Louis Monk
        I have a pre-made sales page with a flash video. Two sections of code; one for Firefox and one for IE. It is not obvious what values to change and whether autoplay can be switched off.

        Any anwsers? Should I ask this question in the programming section of the WF?

        It just seems to ask it here
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      • Profile picture of the author David Louis Monk
        I have a pre-made sales page with a flash video. Two sections of code; one for Firefox and one for IE. It is not obvious what values to change and whether autoplay can be switched off.

        Any anwsers? Should I ask this question in the programming section of the WF?

        It just seems appropriate to askthe question in this thread now this has been brought to my attention. I would like to turn off the autoplay and see if it makes a difference.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      Id be interested in knowing the results of the split test, but would be surprised if autoplay came out on top.
      Surprised? I'd be astonished. :p

      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      It's funny though that the guys who test these sorts of things religiously in a wide range of markets and to a huge amount of traffic (ie: the likes of Ryan Deiss, Perry Belcher) have found time and time again that autoplay videos have the biggest ROI.
      Yes, it is funny. In fact, that's also putting it mildly: it really baffles me.

      So much so that (skepchick that I am) I sometimes find myself wondering whether, in general, some/many of the people who have found that, time and time again, have some incentive to propagate that view.

      I ought to stress that I don't know this and I'm casting absolutely no aspersions at either specific party named above (for one of whom I have plenty of respect).

      But it really is bizarre, because all the testing I've seen myself (though that isn't a huge amount, I admit) has pointed so overwhelmingly in the opposite direction, i.e. toward "autoplay" being disastrous to conversion-rates. Leaving people feeling - exactly as described above - that it's just so obvious that they don't want to test it too far, because of the damage the autoplay's doing to their bottom line, even while they're testing ...

      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      The only way to know for sure is to test things with YOUR own market and YOUR own traffic sources.
      Yes - it seems so. Maybe it really does vary all that dramatically between different markets/niches/products/presentations?! I suppose it must?
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      • Profile picture of the author ExRat
        Hi,

        Sorry, but there's some fuzzy logic here -

        1)

        both test got around 80 visitors
        Look like the Business market doesn't {like?} that.
        2)

        Don't make that mistake. With such a small sample of people you cannot draw any conclusions as yet
        You need to throw at least 500 - 1,000 unique visitors at this before you can start choosing winners.
        It doesn't make sense to trash one persons arbitrary figure and then replace it with your own, even if it is higher (and therefore more likely to be of more use.)

        3)

        It's funny though that the guys who test these sorts of things religiously in a wide range of markets and to a huge amount of traffic (ie: the likes of Ryan Deiss, Perry Belcher) have found time and time again that...
        If you're going to pay any attention to test results and consequently make changes to your own business, then it's not ideal to pay attention to second-hand results from marketers who are often providing information that is skewed purely in order to sell things.

        I could pick other examples, but that will do.

        I'm not trying to belittle anyone, just trying to encourage clarity of thought.
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    • Profile picture of the author tinyreal
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      It's funny though that the guys who test these sorts of things religiously in a wide range of markets and to a huge amount of traffic (ie: the likes of Ryan Deiss, Perry Belcher) have found time and time again that autoplay videos have the biggest ROI. They are not talking about the most people watching the video or the most people opting in after watching the video. They are talking about the biggest return on investment and they have found that to come from autoplay videos. Remember, these guys don't just test these things in one market either. They have their heads in a whole range of different niches.

      Don't just assume because you (as a marketer) don't like autoplay videos that your visitors will feel the same way. The biggest mistake you can make is to base decisions off of what YOU like or dislike - that is irrelevant. The only way to know for sure is to test things with YOUR own market and YOUR own traffic sources.
      I've heard Deiss say that too, and by a big margin I believe
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  • Profile picture of the author Edie47
    If I land on a page with autoplay, I leave as quickly as possible. Although I would rather read copy, I don't mind when there is a video that I can watch if I'm in the mood at the time. Often I don't need to watch a video as I have already made up my mind as to whether I'm going to purchase the item or not. If I need further information, I prefer to read the print version.

    Sometimes it's good to have a video if it is for a course or something where one might want to get to know the person behind the offering. Still, it needs to be a video I can click on when ready.
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  • Profile picture of the author bking
    Some people just hate video. And others happen across your site while at work or while the kids are asleep, or whatever, so when your autoplay video alerts their boss or wakes their sleeping children, they aren't going to be real happy about that and they will close the browser quickly.
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    • Profile picture of the author insidmal
      Originally Posted by bking View Post

      Some people just hate video. And others happen across your site while at work or while the kids are asleep, or whatever, so when your autoplay video alerts their boss or wakes their sleeping children, they aren't going to be real happy about that and they will close the browser quickly.
      Go back and review your demographic information then tell me how likely any of these things are of happening..
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  • Profile picture of the author insidmal
    I highly doubt your data is relavant, what is your saturation point for those ads? Are they on the same medium with same ad copy or link text/image?

    I find it really hard to believe that your non auto play is 30% higher than your autoplay.. everyone bitches about autoplay but it always converts data.. test for another month and then see where your figures stand once you have a higher saturation level
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Personally, I don't like autoplay. I usually click away immediately when it starts up. I'd much rather be enticed by copy so I can decide whether I want to see a video. But, with that said...

    I've read several studies that were based on extensive testing that say autoplay almost always converts better. So, would I use it? Probably. I'd bite my tongue and use autoplay because it's not what I like that matters, it's what the masses want that matters.
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    • Profile picture of the author insidmal
      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      Personally, I don't like autoplay. I usually click away immediately when it starts up. I'd much rather be enticed by copy so I can decide whether I want to see a video. But, with that said...

      I've read several studies that were based on extensive testing that say autoplay almost always converts better. So, would I use it? Probably. I'd bite my tongue and use autoplay because it's not what I like that matters, it's what the masses want that matters.
      Exactly, I hate it too, but I'm not the person I'm selling to, as long as it works, I'll do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    many pros and cons with video but as they become more popular, just look how pepole are becoming and seeing the pros and cons.

    Dont bug your target audience before they are on your list, help them and give the choices. Dont autoplay the results are not too good for me. I give them the option like a said.
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  • Profile picture of the author CPA Andrew
    Have a timer maybe and test it. Auto playing after a certain amount of time.
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    It would seem viewers don't like things before shoved in front of them, many would be quick to leave the page if something starts happening they weren't expecting, and can't blame them too for it
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  • Profile picture of the author TroelsJepsen
    Personally, I'm with ramone_johnny here. It's friggin' annoying if a video/audio starts before you're ready to pay attention to it. Especially, if there's no controls bar, that allows you to pause and rewind. I've seen this on several websites, and it drives me crazy.

    However, as already suggested, I think you should continue your testing, and get some more data before you decide which option to go for (and please share your results :-) )
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  • Profile picture of the author uebomoyi
    Wow it's so funny this thread was created, I was actually getting ready to test a squeeze page with auto-play or just a video where you click play and I think I'll stick with the second option now. What I'd like to know is if the video or picture of a video converts higher then a high quality picture of a report.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Magician
    Your squeeze page exists for one reason: grab the visitor's attention and motivate him or her to enter an email address. You've only got a few seconds to capture your visitor's attention before they start to lose interest, daydream about what to have for lunch, or decide to check Facebook. Good copy excites your reader's emotions, raises their level of expectation -- and takes less time to load than a video.

    Hope this helps,

    Jon
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Lim
      Yes, I also hate autoplay sometimes, it make the streaming so slow especially those big size videos, I just close it before read anythings.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christophe Young
    Funny, it always seems that those in favor of doing things that common sense says would annoy most people will come on here and tell everyone all about "incredible results" from said method.

    Ex: "I use autoplay on my site and am absolutely KILLING IT with a 99.99999% conversion rate. Dude, I'd never suggest doing anything else."

    Same thing with pop ups, exit pop ups, etc.

    Just find it interesting.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesGw
    I've dropped affiliates before for using autoplay videos. I remember I had one product converting 1/30, then he added an autoplay video and it moved to about 1/150.

    It's also one of the main reasons I close out a tab as a consumer.
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  • Profile picture of the author mysterrio
    I dis-like auto plays because I want to see if it is somethign that gets my attention first. Just my thought. Many people like them however.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gail Sober
    I don't really like autoplay but don't mind as much as long as I can stop the video. Like someone mentioned before, I'm usually listening to the radio while online.

    After looking around, I have been known to pause my music and watch the video if I've found the call to action effective.

    But those videos that autoplay with no way of pausing them equals instant back button click. I don't want to have to pause my music on every website I visit and it's usually easier to leave than to maximize winamp and hit pause.
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  • Profile picture of the author WebPen
    I HATE videos that autoplay, and I think most people would agree with me...

    But keep testing- as mentioned earlier 80 visitors isnt enough to base it on.
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