The ABSOLUTE WORST way to create a profitable video sales letter..And a few tricks to do better

by Pitchfork Marketing Banned 21 replies
I'm sure most of you are aware of the powers of video marketing...It's an extremely powerful method of engaging the psyche of your prospects and getting them to take action.

However, most of you are doing it all wrong. Most people (atleast the videos i've seen as of lately) simply put text on a powerpoint slide and read the text.

Bad idea.

Rule #1 of cognitive psychology is "Non-verbal communication completely dominates verbal communication."

This means, its not what you say that has the greatest impact but it's what you show. it's the visuals that have the most effect on your customers decision making process.

Why do you think E-book covers are so popular???

Look at the following videos. both have very little in terms of spoken word...But I can guarantee if any one of these videos slapped a {Donate now button} or a {Buy product A button} they would've had a pretty good conversion rate.

check it out.


And here's another...


Now, I'm aware that most people (including myself) either dont have the capabilities to film a video of this quality or just aren't interested (Personally, I'm in the latter group).

So here are a few ways I've SHOWN instead of TOLD, and in each case the conversion rate was double digits higher (10% or more) than just plain text power points.

Keep in mind that I do this for big media companies with huge mailing lists so I have the resources to run pretty decent experiments.

So I'm pretty confident that you'll see similar results.

Iconfinder/animations - Yep, it's free, and you can get high quality images for use with your powerpoint slides. Use the powerpoint animation features to bring life to what would be a static and boring image.

For instance, When I do work in the weight loss industry, I commonly make pictures slowly slide down the screen and fade out whenever something sad or negative is mentioned. We've also tested having the pictures slide up the screen, but the results were poor. never the less, be creative with this free images -- you'd be surprised how high your conversion rates can get.

Visual Pattern Interrupt - A visual pattern interrupt is an image that really stands out to the viewer because it appears that it has absolutely no relation to the topic. This works really well because it grabs the users attention.

Remember the first law of copywriting -- Attention/Interest/Desire/Action??? Well visual pattern interrupts are amazing at grabbing attention.

I promoted a dating CPA offer (geared towards men) in the past. The funnel went from 7 search to my landing page, to the offer. When the men landed on my landing page I presented two images, A picture of a sexy stiletto heel that any man would love to see on a women. Then to the right of that, I had a picture of a woman's foot in heels, but the heels were worn and torn and quite frankly the feet were just -- well lets just say they weren't cute at all. (both images had radio buttons above them)

The text on the page went as followed "Which one of these would you love to see YOUR date wearing?" and underneath the images it said "There are many beautiful women who wear heels just like this EVERYDAY, click here to see". As you can imagine, I completely had their attention and that page converted (click through rate) at 63% for 3 months and 1 week before the conversions severely dropped for whatever reason (probably competition).

Distinction Effect - I use this almost every time I create a VSL. Here's how it works and what it does.

We as human beings, tend to make decisions in one of 5 ways (for the nerds out there it's Compensatory, Algorithmic, trial and error, Heuristic, Insight).

The distinction effect deals with heuristic i.e. Cognitive biases. In short, heuristics refer to "rules of thumb" that all human beings naturally acquire through everyday life experiences. For instance, in America, you should look people in the eye when you speak to them, as a rule of thumb.

The distinction effect says, as a rule of thumb, it is not good to purchase the first thing you see -- It's best to compare and contrast offers then choose the one that you FEEL gives you the most benefits.

So at the end of all of our VSL's we show what we call, outlandish pricing tables. Let's say offer A is $495.95 for the complete package + bonuses. offer B is $493.95 for the complete package less the bonus.... to date EVERY test we've run this heuristic, product A has won 99.333% of the time.

There are many many many more ways to use non-verbal language in ways that increase sells.

To be honest, If you were to do anything even remotely rebellious to the "I'll just read plain text from a powerpoint" -- Your numbers should increase.

Here's one thing that surprises most people. Big time companies hire hackers to work on their security team because they are good at finding, exploiting and fixing security holes.

Big time companies also hire savvy marketers because they are good at finding, exploiting and fixing marketing failures and finding ways to transform losing efforts to winners (thus creating more profits).

From my experience, savvy marketers are no different than you... they just take what the masses are doing and they do the opposite -- and mix in a little creativity.

Hope this bit of insight helps.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #absolute #create #guarantee #letteri #profitable #sales #video #worst
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Nice post.

    Unfortunately, the people who might benefit the most aren't interested in motivating real human types to do anything. All they want is a "backlink from a high PR website", and reading the PP is the quickest, cheapest way for them to create "videos"...

    BTW, if you're not a member already, you might want to check out the High Voltage Video Forum, a private forum run by Warrior Kurt Melvin (username Kurt)
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    • Profile picture of the author Pitchfork Marketing
      Banned
      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      Nice post.

      Unfortunately, the people who might benefit the most aren't interested in motivating real human types to do anything. All they want is a "backlink from a high PR website", and reading the PP is the quickest, cheapest way for them to create "videos"...

      BTW, if you're not a member already, you might want to check out the High Voltage Video Forum, a private forum run by Warrior Kurt Melvin (username Kurt)
      Thanks,

      Sadly, if what you say is true, "the people who might benefit the most aren't interested in motivating real human types to do anything." Then I'm curious to know how they are earning an income? As I'm almost certain that the only way to make a substantial amount of money is via the mastery of doing just that "Motivating REAL people to take REAL action....

      As you said, that is very unfortunate, but then I guess that creates a major opportunity for those of us who "GET IT!".
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by antoniobrave View Post

        Thanks,

        Sadly, if what you say is true, "the people who might benefit the most aren't interested in motivating real human types to do anything." Then I'm curious to know how they are earning an income? As I'm almost certain that the only way to make a substantial amount of money is via the mastery of doing just that "Motivating REAL people to take REAL action....

        As you said, that is very unfortunate, but then I guess that creates a major opportunity for those of us who "GET IT!".
        How are they earning an income? Sadly, most of them are not. They're obsessed with SEO and rankings, even though a serp page or spider has yet to buy anything from anyone.

        They chase the holy grail of "first page of Google", convinced that once they do that, millions of people will flock to their pages and shower them with money whether they offer anything of value or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author bigballin6161
    Like this post. Bookmarked
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  • Profile picture of the author thatjc
    Excellent post Antoniobrave - much appreciated! (wiping away tears)...

    Text based videos are a lot easier, but they just don't do much at the Limbic system level. And as research repeatedly shows, buying decisions are rarely rational - that rationalization only comes later, when we try to justify the buy to ourselves.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pitchfork Marketing
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      Originally Posted by thatjc View Post

      Excellent post Antoniobrave - much appreciated!

      Text based videos are a lot easier, but they just don't do much at the Limbic system level. And as research repeatedly shows, buying decisions are rarely rational - that rationalization only comes later, when we try to justify the buy to ourselves.
      The bolded section quoted above is spot on. logic only kicks in to back up the action we have already decided we want to take.

      For instance, If you have a golden opportunity to cheat on your spouse with a super hot super model -- clearly you want to do it, but you know its wrong. But what most of us would do is rationalize a reason to go forward with our actions -- "My wife said she hates my new hat, im gonna cheat", "My wife said the guy on TV was hot, so basically thats cheating so i guess i should cheat too". Those were silly examples but you get the point.

      And the same thing holds true with sells and marketing. Thats why 95% of any sells letter or VSL I create is always emotional. The other 5% is mere logic.

      Emotions do the selling, Logic solidifies the emotional connection to what's being sold.

      Good stuff.
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      • Profile picture of the author KevUK
        Thanks for a fantastic post. Both of these videos resonate with me for personal reasons. The first particularly about "give a little love" connects me to my Father. If I manage to be half the man he is I will be proud.
        The second reminds me of an early soccer coach I had. Although he is no longer with us I still hold dear & utilise some of his wise words even to this day.

        Video Sales Letters should tell a story, let people get a feel for the real you & build a connection. You gain their trust & become authorative.
        Kevin
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  • Profile picture of the author tigerwar
    Some truly valuable insight being offered here, I'd like to thank everyone here for their time and efforts to help. The comments have certainly inspired me to think and act differently regarding my video marketing techniques.

    You guys are wonderful
    thx
    TW
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Awes
    Great post.

    I only had a little bit of time before I had to move to something else so I thought I'd see the first minute of each video. But I found them so compelling that I had to keep watching them. Really good.

    Then that got me reading your post. And I'm glad I did. Very useful.
    Signature

    Why was your signature file linking to a domain owned by someone else?

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  • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
    Antonio,

    Do you have a blog?

    If not, you should consider getting one.

    At 23 posts now, this is the 2nd thread you've written that I've subscribed to (and, I don't subscribe to threads easily...)
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Harris
      Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

      Antonio,

      Do you have a blog?

      If not, you should consider getting one.

      At 23 posts now, this is the 2nd thread you've written that I've subscribed to (and, I don't subscribe to threads easily...)
      Hey Antonio,

      I have to agree solxdier, another great post.
      (I'm still getting over your impulse buying post)

      I reckon you should "bottle" your stuff and make it available.

      You have a great way of blending human nature with marketing.

      Thanks for the share dude.
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  • Profile picture of the author devonm
    I am studying this thread and going to do an experiment, comparing what I have compared to what I will make from hereon in according to your methods and get it tested. I am sure you are going to be right and it will actually suprise me.
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  • Profile picture of the author devonm
    welp. hot dayum. I tried to make a simpler ppt and used a couple of animated images. The video itself sure looks some different than the earlier videos I did.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pitchfork Marketing
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      Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

      Antonio,

      Do you have a blog?

      If not, you should consider getting one.

      At 23 posts now, this is the 2nd thread you've written that I've subscribed to (and, I don't subscribe to threads easily...)
      Unfortunately I do not, But thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it. I guess I mainly write here on the WF because its fun, I just share things that I'm already doing.

      I just hope that you guys find some utility in what I post here


      Originally Posted by devonm View Post

      welp. hot dayum. I tried to make a simpler ppt and used a couple of animated images. The video itself sure looks some different than the earlier videos I did.
      Here's the real secret about power points (or any sales message for that matter). This is based on what I found to be true for me and the companies i work for.

      The problem with most presentations and video sales letters is that they are boring and bland. And they fail use to us the simple to that are best for persuading and framing.

      There's a long time saying in the advertising world that "The enemy to persuasion is obscurity".... That's why successful marketers embrace the fact that it's their job to make the audience clearly "SEE" ideas -- If your ideas stand out,they'll be noticed.

      So you might say What's your point....Here's my point. Each human being on this planet only has a limited amount of space with which they can retain, memorize and dissect information. For ease of use, lets say that each person only has 5 spots in their brain.

      These 5 spots are made for your audience to think about their problems, and to find the best way/solution to solve them.

      But there are only 5 spots and there are much more than 5 people fighting to fill one of those spots in order to sell that person a product... This means that you have to ensure that you stand out in such a way that your audience not only listens to you but they begin to connect what you say with their vision of the perfect future..(I can go into detail if you like -- because part of this is the art of getting your customer to internalize YOUR vision so deeply that it now becomes their own).

      And only once you accomplish this will you be able to fill one of their 5 spots. Now when that person begins to think about their problems and how to solve it, they will think about you and your products.

      This is why it is YOUR job to help YOUR audience see and accept YOUR views. Because if they dont, your competitors will fill one of their mental slots -- And you'll be ran out of business fast.

      So now the question becomes, how do you ensure your message resonates with your audience and fills their mental slot better than your competitors. (keep in mind that you can reframe peoples views of success thus changing what they think so that its in line with what you're selling -- in effect you're stealing customers from your competitors, but thats for another day)

      Anyway, the way you accomplish this is easy -- you just have to stand out. If everybody does their sales letters the same, you do something different.

      Be controversial, this is a long time proven winner in sales and marketing.

      Also, this is my favorite -- Tell stories. I can't harp on this enough.

      Stories sell, facts tell -- We're in the money making business. so you want to do what sells. so tell stories.

      You can have mounds and mounds of well researched facts, your products can have the best features and benefits man kind has ever created -- but those things aren't important to your customer.

      It's the emotional impact that FORCES your customers to pay attention and retain your marketing messages. And thats what leads to more and more sells.

      Here's one last reason why I think you should really begin to tell stories.

      Many people on this forum complain about using different traffic sources and getting a lot of traffic, but they complain that the traffic is low quality and non converting. I will agree that there are some sites that sell low quality traffic, but for the most part -- its the marketers fault.

      You see, logic and personal conviction are two different types of mind frames that will always lead to two different types of of results.

      If you market with logic (features, facts, benefits etc -- And this is what most marketers do) you'll get customers who may agree with what you are talking about, but they aren't fired up enough to respond to your call to action. Because people very rarely act by reason alone.

      This leads to huge 10,000 subscriber email lists, but low open rates and low conversion rates. and no income.

      So what you should do is tap into your customers emotions (with stories) so that they have a personal conviction towards what you are saying. And when people feel that strong about your marketing messages -- they'll buy anything you ask them to buy.

      This is how you earn six figures with an email list under 3000 subscribers.

      So if you're using powerpoint, or a sales page or anything that sells -- get creative in your efforts to persuasively grab your prospects attention and to tap into their emotions - You should definitely see better results.

      Good luck bro,
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  • Profile picture of the author workdfitness
    Thanks for the great tips. It is important for us to understand that communication is more non verbal than verbal and if you don't have the non verbal then its harder to connect and you end up with lower conversion rates.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Originally Posted by antoniobrave View Post

    I'm sure most of you are aware of the powers of video marketing...It's an extremely powerful method of engaging the psyche of your prospects and getting them to take action.

    However, most of you are doing it all wrong. Most people (atleast the videos i've seen as of lately) simply put text on a powerpoint slide and read the text.

    Bad idea.

    EXCEPT that muti-million dollar per year online marketing companies
    prove that these same dull videos out-pull other 'fancier' ones all the
    time. This is where TESTING comes in. What SHOULD work and
    what DOES work can be miles apart sometimes.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      EXCEPT that muti-million dollar per year online marketing companiesvprove that these same dull videos out-pull other 'fancier' ones all the
      time.
      I know of a multi-million info product publisher who swears by the typical text-based presentation, with just voice over and perhaps a mild music in the background. Hardly any image, no animations, etc.

      I personally prefer a more graphical approach: less text, more images. But I guess it's a matter of personal taste.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pitchfork Marketing
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      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      EXCEPT that muti-million dollar per year online marketing companies
      prove that these same dull videos out-pull other 'fancier' ones all the
      time. This is where TESTING comes in. What SHOULD work and
      what DOES work can be miles apart sometimes.

      -Ray Edwards
      There's a whole 747 Airliner full of truth that landed with your statement.

      Ultimately testing is the answer to everything.

      But my point was not to go out there and create a bunch vsl's that look like 1994 websites.

      It was just to emphasize the power of the non verbal. and to give people ideas of what they could try in their own business.

      For instance,
      I have done some very small but rewarding work with the newsletter giant by which i think you are referring too. Starts with an A ends with an a??

      And we ran a split test experiment with three videos marketing a time management product.

      (i)faded background of a rising sun. plain black text
      (ii)plain white background. plain black text (this was the obvious control because its more common)
      (iii)plain white background/ black text. but some text was colored red for emphasis.

      the video with the background (i) outperformed both, with video (iii) coming in second.

      Each video was very dull and boring. But the non-verbals (in this scenario at least) managed to move more units.

      However, to be fair. Yes -- I have also witnessed many many cases where (ii) type of vsl's outperformed the rest. It's all about testing.

      I just wanted to share a bit of what Ive encountered in the past.

      Ultimately I'm going to go with the experiment which has the better results.

      Originally Posted by quantumtiger View Post

      Hey Antonio,

      I have to agree solxdier, another great post.
      (I'm still getting over your impulse buying post)

      I reckon you should "bottle" your stuff and make it available.

      You have a great way of blending human nature with marketing.

      Thanks for the share dude.
      I'm just glad to help...

      I think its easy for us to forget that human nature and marketing are so closely related.

      When I went to school for marketing and advertising (Go Buckeyes) the first thing I was told is to study and master psychology. And booooyyy was that a great idea.
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      • Profile picture of the author Cool Hand Luke
        LOL your post starts off with the completely flawed premise that powerpoint-style text-only VSLs don't work, and you couldn't possibly be more wrong.

        It's a shame too, because there may be one or two people who read what you wrote and disregard powerpoint-style videos when in fact it could be a great way for them to start marketing their services and/or goods.

        And no, they don't need "visual pattern interrupts" or the "distinction effect" and many times, adding images like you suggest LOWERS conversions.

        Not only have I seen text-only videos out-convert ALL of the fancier video styles like whiteboard animation, live narration, or after effects in several huge and massively profitable markets (finance, self-defense, survival/prep, etc) but the highest-earning video sales letter in HISTORY is a powerpoint video done by Agora, home to some of the smartest copywriters and most thorough testers in the world. Here is that video:


        It reportedly did more than $60 million on the front end and will do more than twice that on the backend.

        Considering Agora still does a lot of videos like this (and they've tested all of the most popular styles of video) I'm gonna go ahead and trust that text-only powerpoint slide vids are not the "bad idea" that you say they are.
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        • Originally Posted by Cool Hand Luke View Post

          LOL your post starts off with the completely flawed premise that powerpoint-style text-only VSLs don't work, and you couldn't possibly be more wrong.

          It's a shame too, because there may be one or two people who read what you wrote and disregard powerpoint-style videos when in fact it could be a great way for them to start marketing their services and/or goods.

          And no, they don't need "visual pattern interrupts" or the "distinction effect" and many times, adding images like you suggest LOWERS conversions.

          Not only have I seen text-only videos out-convert ALL of the fancier video styles like whiteboard animation, live narration, or after effects in several huge and massively profitable markets (finance, self-defense, survival/prep, etc) but the highest-earning video sales letter in HISTORY is a powerpoint video done by Agora, home to some of the smartest copywriters and most thorough testers in the world. Here is that video:

          Porter Stansberry Research - The End of America - YouTube

          It reportedly did more than $60 million on the front end and will do more than twice that on the backend.

          Considering Agora still does a lot of videos like this (and they've tested all of the most popular styles of video) I'm gonna go ahead and trust that text-only powerpoint slide vids are not the "bad idea" that you say they are.
          It doesn't matter what people think works it only matters what results show. Agora tests and their numbers tell the truth the rest are just speculations
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          soon people... Relax...
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        • Profile picture of the author Pitchfork Marketing
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          Originally Posted by Cool Hand Luke View Post

          LOL your post starts off with the completely flawed premise that powerpoint-style text-only VSLs don't work, and you couldn't possibly be more wrong.

          It's a shame too, because there may be one or two people who read what you wrote and disregard powerpoint-style videos when in fact it could be a great way for them to start marketing their services and/or goods.

          And no, they don't need "visual pattern interrupts" or the "distinction effect" and many times, adding images like you suggest LOWERS conversions.

          Not only have I seen text-only videos out-convert ALL of the fancier video styles like whiteboard animation, live narration, or after effects in several huge and massively profitable markets (finance, self-defense, survival/prep, etc) but the highest-earning video sales letter in HISTORY is a powerpoint video done by Agora, home to some of the smartest copywriters and most thorough testers in the world. Here is that video:

          Porter Stansberry Research - The End of America - YouTube

          It reportedly did more than $60 million on the front end and will do more than twice that on the backend.

          Considering Agora still does a lot of videos like this (and they've tested all of the most popular styles of video) I'm gonna go ahead and trust that text-only powerpoint slide vids are not the "bad idea" that you say they are.
          Hey bro, thats a great example of a basic vsl that works.

          And in many cases thats all youll ever need.

          But your argument is invalid.. i have nothing against basic vsl's... My point is this---in almost any situation, what the customer views can be more powerful than what they hear.

          since you mentioned Agora, i'll paraphrase something i was told during my short apprenticeship there.

          "If a person walks into your living room screaming about an escaped lion that caused a 20 car pile up because he was attacking bikers and pedestrians--odds are, you wont believe it. But if you pick up the newspaper and read about the same farfetched story--chances are you will believe it... And if it had a relevant image incorporated within it, that would just boost the believability".

          I think thats brilliant, those men and women at that publishing company are insanely bright!

          Also, for further proof. Agora has begun to test something pretty cool.

          If you try to exit out of their vsl. A popup appears that asks you if you'd like to read the sales letter instead of hearing it.

          If you click yes, it sends you to a traditional text sales letter.

          Now i do not have access to the results. But that just goes to show that companies and entrepreneurs alike, recognize the power of the non verbal.
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