VSL is a Higher-Conversion Hack than WSL
Here’s a difficult fact many business owners have to learn.
Having a good product or service is not enough to generate sales.
Prospects need to understand how your offer will change their life. While a sales letter may sound old-fashioned, it’s a powerful tool for actually making sales.
Of course, any old sales copy won’t do. Modern consumers are exposed to a ton of sales content each day, and they know how to quickly spot lifeless sales copy.
Writing a sales copy that sells is no easy task. Writing a sales copy for video is a good challenge, and worth it. Let’s understand why.
What is a Written Sales Letter?
In modern marketing, sales letters have become far rarer. Instead of personalized sales letters, many businesses promote their services through social media, blog posts, and other forms of content marketing.
However, a written sales letter (WSL) can be a powerful persuasive tool. Essentially, it is a sales pitch you write to attract a customer to your offer. The purpose is to demonstrate how your business will benefit them.
The sales letter gets customers thinking about their needs and how to meet them, rather than the transactional aspect of the purchase. This is a good way to help them overcome many purchase barriers and instead convert a sale.
Video Sales Letter vs Written Sales Letter
As the name suggests, sales letters were traditionally written. However, video sales letters (VSL) are an engaging alternative (or used in combination) to written letters.
Much like a sales letter, a video sales letter is meant to help sell your product or service. It relies on the same basic principles as the written letter but is brought to life with an engaging video. You can include video sales letters on your website, email newsletters, social media, YouTube channel, and more.
While both written and video sales letters have a place, there are some key reasons to leverage video letters for higher conversion:
For one, video content is incredibly engaging. It’s a great tool for grabbing (and keeping) the attention of your audience online. Consumers are more likely to stop and view a video online than to read a long post or letter.
Viewing videos feels much more casual and easier compared to reading. In an online sea that’s oversaturated with text content, videos are a striking way to reel in your audience and get your message across.
Videos are also an excellent way to generate engagement and spread your message even more. Social media content with videos generates 1200% more shares than both image and text content combined!
Additionally, audiences retain 95% of a message from a video. Retention is crucial for conversion. If your target audience remembers your brand and message after seeing it, they are more likely to keep thinking of you. Even if they don’t make the purchase immediately, you’ll stay on their minds and have a better chance of converting later on.
Another great benefit of video sales letters is that they feel authentic to viewers. Over 65% of viewers on YouTube state that the video content feels like real life. For this reason, videos can be a powerful tool for connecting with your audience on a deeper level. When they feel a more genuine, authentic connection with your brand, they will be more likely to follow through with a purchase.
Long Vs Short Sales Letters
Sales letters can be long or short. Short sales letters are brief and to the point. While this may seem like a smart move for the short attention span of online audiences, long sales letters can provide immense value.
Here’s the basic structure of a long sales letter:
- Headline area (Deck). The goal here is to grab their attention and give them a reason to read on. Let them know what’s coming and what’s in it for them. Of course, make it exciting.
- Main headline
- Lead/Introduction. Here you should connect emotionally with the audience. The emotion you target depends on your unique market and offer.
- Body. The body of the copy is where you set up the sale. This is the meat of a long sales letter. Uncover the solution you provide, and why it’s the best choice. Dive into the offer, what’s included, how much it costs, etc.
- Close. This is where you compel your audience to take action. You can inject reasonable scarcity or urgency, urging them to think about the risks of not taking the action. Re-emphasize the primary benefits and value of your offer as well.
Psychology of Readers and Viewers
The three types of readers and viewers you encounter are:
- Skimmers – skim the page, or video, quickly
- Jumpers – skim then jump deeper into certain areas
- Bookworms – thorough readers, reading every part or video watchers that tend to repeat and watch again
Short sales letters work pretty well for people who just skim up and down a page or skim the video. They can easily see the offer, benefits, and details. Skimmers are unlikely to read (or watch) through a whole page and make up their mind quickly.
However, short sales copy won’t likely provide enough detail for jumpers, and definitely not for bookworms. These types of readers, watchers, may want a bit more detail and description before making a decision.
Long sales letters can work for any type of reader, watcher, it’s all about how you craft them. When done correctly, you can create a sales copy that transforms a skimmer into a jumper, and so on.
The best way to do this is to know your audience thoroughly. You need to know what sells them in real life, and to convey this with your letter. Structuring your copy in a way that’s easy to skim for main points is also very important.
Crafting a sales letter is one thing but creating one that converts is another challenge. Here are some helpful conversion hacks:
Written Sales Letter
- Target the right customer. Your letter won’t work on everyone, and it doesn’t have to. You should pitch to your ideal customer, so be specific with your copy. Write as if you are talking to your one ideal customer, not to everyone in the room.
- Be concise. Keep sentences short and succinct. You don’t want to tire (or bore) your readers with long-winded sentences.
- Include power words like fast, boost, easy, cash, hack, buy, etc. Use power words that relate to your offer.
- Show proof. Provide testimonials, and proof of how your offer helped others. This builds trust and is incredibly compelling. It might be a written letter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add photos, charts, etc.
- Tell them the benefits. Emphasis should be on the way your offer benefits the reader. Paint a picture of how it will transform their life, what they have to gain from it.
- Trigger emotions. Yes, you want your sales letter to be accurate and credible, but it also needs to tug on the emotions of the reader. Elicit powerful emotions in the reader to compel them to your offer.
- Clear, compelling CTA. When sharing your call-to-action (CTA), make it irresistible. Provide a guarantee, to remove risk and doubt. Add a sense of urgency with a limited edition offer, and an emphasis on the consequences of not taking it. Then, deliver a clear, easy-to-follow CTA.
Video Sales Letter
- Clearly understand and outline the purpose of the video. Is it the primary sales tool? Will you use it to supplement copy or replace copy? What’s the end goal?
- There’s no fast, hard rule for VSL length. The length of the video varies based on its purpose and content. In general, the video should be as short as possible while still conveying all of the key information. Just like a written copy, it should strike the balance between concise and detailed.
- Script overproduction. The script of your video plays a much larger role than fancy production. Focus your resources first on creating a compelling script. Most modern smartphones have a good enough camera for shooting a quality sales video.
- Rework written copy. You don’t always need to start from scratch. Do you have a useful sales copy on your page or in written form? Repurpose it into your script.
- Clear CTA. Make it crystal clear what you want your viewers to do. The VSL is not just an informative video, its purpose is to convert sales. To do that, you need to provide a clear CTA, whether it’s to click the link below or enter their information on the form.
- Include transformations. Transformations are powerful. Give real examples, photo and video proof, of how your offer has transformed someone.
- Address objections. Money, time, fear, and more hold people back from taking your offer. Address the primary objections in your video. You can often find these objections in your FAQs, comments, and social media interactions.
Engage 2 Engage is Here to Help!
The truth is that you should be using a variety of sales letters, written and video, based on your target goals. We also know that this takes time and expertise that you may not have while trying to grow your business. That’s why we’re here to help.
Our experienced team of marketing experts are here to help you with every step of video and written sales letters. We’ll help you craft and implement high-converting sales letters. Learn about our programs and how they can help you today.