In a world where businesses, retailers and marketers are competing to attract buyers and impress customers, it’s crucial to utilize innovative, impactful ways to promote products and services. As times have changed, and technology has advanced, new methods have emerged and video marketing has become increasingly influential. Video sales letters can be beneficial for anyone looking to sell a product or service, and using a funnel is an effective means of garnering more attention and maximizing the chances of conversion. If you’re not already au fait with video sales letters, you’ve never heard of a video sales letter funnel before, or you’re wondering how to get started, this guide will provide all the information you need.
In this article, we’ll find out more about video sales letters, talk about how funnels work and how small businesses, marketing teams, and entrepreneurs can use video sales letter funnels to improve conversion rates and boost profits.
What exactly is a video sales letter?
Before we move on to talking about video sales letter funnels in-depth, it’s beneficial to ascertain exactly what a video sales letter is and how it works. A video sales letter is essentially a modern version of a sales letter, which contains video content. Sales letters are still used by direct marketing companies, but video sales letters are becoming much more commonplace, as more and more people consume video content and we spend a growing amount of time online. A sales letter was often sent to accompany a new product or service, and the aim was to use the note to tell customers about the item, provide information about why they need it and promote the brand at the same time. The objective has not really changed, but the way the pitch is presented has evolved. Instead of a written note, customers are greeted with a video sales letter (VSL), which includes a video clip that showcases the product. VSLs are often found on sales webpages, and you can also share them on social media to raise awareness of your products and encourage people to buy them.
Business owners, marketers, and entrepreneurs want to attract attention and persuade customers to purchase their products or services, but this is not always a straightforward quest. With video sales letters, you can offer something different to written letters and blog articles, providing visual stimuli and content that connects with your audience.
What are the benefits of using VSLs?
There are multiple benefits of using video sales letters if you have a product or a service you’re eager to promote and you’re looking to increase conversion rates. Video marketing has become much more common, and it’s no surprise. Human beings process visual content 60,000 times faster than written text, and video content is also much more memorable. Research suggests that viewers remember around 95% of a video clip, compared to just 10% of a chunk of text. If you don’t already use video sales letters, here are some of the most significant benefits:
Human beings respond positively to visual content. We like to watch TV shows and movies and we enjoy viewing images and photographs. With a VSL, you have the opportunity to show your customers exactly what you’re selling and allow them to really get an insight into what the product does and how it could benefit them. It’s much easier to demonstrate and promote a product when you can see it working. Videos hold attention better than text, and people tend to enjoy them more.
Today, consumers are looking for more than a great product, and customer engagement is more important than ever before. Videos enable you to connect with potential leads and prospects in a way that written text and images don’t allow. You can build a relationship, you can show off the personality of your brand and you can encourage the viewer to really get to know the product and the business.
When you read a book, an email or a blog post, there’s a certain amount of guesswork involved in deciphering nuances and gauging the tone. With video content, this is eliminated, and you can see exactly what kind of emotion the narrator, the actor, the model or the business owner is trying to convey. It can be very difficult to describe and portray emotions using words, and when you create a VSL, you can ensure your video has the desired impact with no risk of the sentiment getting lost in translation. People who are looking to buy products don’t want to be confused, and videos can provide clarity, which increases the chances of conversion.
Some customers will approach a webpage or open an email knowing that they want to buy a product, but most will be undecided. The aim of the video sales letter is to tip them over the edge so that they take that next step. Using words can be effective, but a video enables you to go so much deeper and provide more information, answer questions and, crucially, be more persuasive. You want your customers to see your clip and decide that they cannot possibly pass up the chance to make that purchase.
What is a video sales letter funnel?
Now that we have established what a video sales letter is and why this marketing technique is gathering pace, we can discuss video sales letter funnels in more detail. A VSL funnel is a means of driving traffic to your video sales letter to try and attract more attention from web users and maximize the chances of conversion. The more high-quality leads that view your content, the better the chance of optimizing sales.
A video sales funnel is a virtual mechanism, which transports the customer on a journey towards the end objective, which in most cases, is to buy a product or service. With a VSL funnel, it’s possible to pre-sell your item so that the customer is already signed up and invested before they even reach the clip. There are also additional opportunities to keep the customer moving through the funnel by offering extras, promoting exclusive offers and encouraging the buyer to sign up for updates or join a subscription or membership service.
A VSL funnel has a diverse range of purposes for budding entrepreneurs, established businesses and marketing teams looking for ways to improve conversion rates. Once buyers enter into the funnel, you can guide them through, providing answers to questions, giving them information about the products and services you offer and enabling them to get to know you or your brand.
What does a VSL funnel look like?
There are variations in sales funnels, which can be modified and adapted to suit individual businesses and their objectives, but commonly, VSL funnels look similar to the model below:
In this image, you can see the following pages:
The Video Sales page: the video sales page contains your VSL. The customer will open or land on this page, watch the video and then an order form will appear. If they choose to sign up and make the purchase, they can simply fill in that form and move to the next step. The beauty of a video sales letter is that it can be viewed as many times as the customer likes, and it provides more in-depth information than a text description. By providing an order form, businesses can encourage customers to act swiftly and to buy on the spot, rather than going away, thinking about it and possibly forgetting about the product.
The OTO page: the second page is the OTO (one-time offer) or the up-sell page: this page is designed to encourage buyers to purchase additional products or gain access to extra services or promotions. A one-time offer stipulates a time period, which can increase the chances of conversion by making customers fearful of missing out. At this point, you could decide to try and up-sell different products or to advertise a subscription service, for example.
The Downsale page: the third page is the downsale page. This page targets buyers who aren’t interested in the OTO segment, and it encourages them to consider other options. If you’re selling a physical product, for example, a book or a magazine, you could offer a digital version at this point.
Offer Wall page: the final page is known as the Offer Wall page. This section is a thank you page, which contains details of the order and links to other products or subscription services the customer might be interested in based on their purchase.
As you can see from the diagram, the VSL funnel is designed to maximize your chances of conversion at every point of the customer journey. From the first step to the last, you can use the funnel to promote a range of products and services, offering deals that will appeal to a diverse range of buyers. The aim is not only to use your video sales letter to promote your star product but also to boost your income and add extras along the way by advertising similar items and giving your customers access to timed offers or special discounts.
Here is an example of a VSL funnel:
This clip also offers a visual explanation of the sales funnel
How to use a VSL funnel for your business or marketing campaign
If you’re selling a product, and you’re interested in using a video sales letter funnel, you might be wondering how to apply this technique to your business or marketing campaign. The beauty of VSLs is that they are suitable for a vast array of different companies, and they’re likely to appeal to all kinds of target markets. Videos suit a wide range of brands, conveying serious messages for financial or legal organizations, for example, or promoting fun products for kids. If you have a vision in your mind, you can turn it into a top-converting VSL funnel.
Here are some examples of how VSL funnels can be used:
VLS funnels for authors: more and more people are choosing to use their skills and knowledge to make money online. If you’re an author of books, e-books, articles, guides or lectures, you can use a VSL funnel to sell a particular product and then add extras, for example, a subscription to a newsletter, more expensive, premium products or access to an exclusive members’ only group.
E-commerce: e-commerce is booming, as more and more people choose to shop online. With a VSL, you can showcase and present your products, offer a buy now option and then market additional products or extras to increase your income. By up or down-selling, you can get more out of the initial transaction and start forging a relationship with the buyer, which might lead to purchases further down the line. One option for sellers is a payment plan as a down-selling offer. This might make the acquisition more appealing to the buyer, as they’ll be spending less up-front while still getting more out of the purchase.
B2B sales: when selling to businesses, videos can be hugely beneficial, as you can use them to demonstrate research, for example, competitor analysis, and to highlight the incredible features your products and services boast and why they are popular among customers. You can use your video to encourage company representatives to choose your products over others and up-sell or down-sell additional products.
Retail: retail is all about selling products, and video sales letters are an excellent way of showing off items, explaining how they work, demonstrating the benefits and providing information about the specifications and uses of the product. As you move through the funnel, in addition to a buy now feature, you can offer the buyer the chance to purchase additional items or to subscribe to gain access to offers and savings.
Affiliate marketing: for those who have an interest in affiliate marketing, it is possible to adapt an MLM (multi-level-marketing) message to create a video sales letter to promote a product or a payment plan or to sell your services as a consultant. The up-sell here would be access to exclusive tips, for example.
Professional services: if you’re a consultant, or you specialize in professional services, you can create a VSL funnel to promote your product and then add extras, such as more expensive products or future updates. A good example of down-selling options would be a follow-up one-to-one session.
A brief overview of sales funnels
Sales and marketing funnels are mechanisms that are used to turn prospects and leads into customers. The goal is to encourage the customer to keep moving through the funnel until they reach a point where they buy a product, invest in extras or sign up to become a member or a subscriber. The primary aim will depend on your objective, but in most cases, marketers and businesses employing a VSL funnel will be aiming to ensure the customer buys a product.
There are several different types of sales funnels that marketers and sales teams can use to maximize the chances of converting leads.
Here are some examples:
Sales letter funnel: this is a similar funnel to a VSL funnel, but it uses images and written text to describe and market the product, rather than video content.
Squeeze page funnel: a squeeze page funnel is designed to encourage customers to provide their contact information in exchange for a reward of some kind.
How can I increase my chances of converting leads?
Businesses can utilize video sales letters and VSL funnels to convert more leads, but success is not always guaranteed. If you’re new to this kind of marketing method, or your VSLs haven’t set the world alight in the way you hoped, here are some best practice guidelines for creating high-converting video sales letter funnels:
Choose a winning formula
The format and content of your video will vary according to your individual objective and the target buyer, but it’s usually beneficial to follow a sequence that is similar to the one below:
Grab the customer’s attention with an enticing, interesting or intriguing headline or title
Explain what you’re selling and why: highlight a problem you’re solving or fixing and start telling your story.
Inject emotion: use your video to portray emotions and form a connection with the viewer
Introduce the solution you’re proposing: you’ve underlined an issue, and now it’s time to explain how you’re going to make the buyer’s life better
Emphasize your credibility and trustworthiness
Provide evidence to support your claims, for example, trying out the product and showing how it works
Encouraging the next step: guide your customer to the next point, for example, signing up for email news or adding the item to your cart
End with a clear, concise call to action (CTA): summarize the clip and make it as easy as possible for your buyer to act.
Make sure you know your product well
This sounds obvious, but there’s nothing more off-putting for a buyer than a video that is disorganized or a person that doesn’t know what they’re talking about or how to operate the product properly. You want to make sure any demonstrations are slick and seamless and that your VSL showcases your product in all its glory.
Match the style, theme, template, and tone to your target market
Many businesses use video sales letter funnels to promote and sell products and services. To succeed, you need to be able to attract the right buyer and to connect with your audience. Tailor the VSL to suit your target market and make sure it’s relevant to the product and your brand. A VSL that is marketing legal services, for example, should look and sound very different from one that is selling pet toys or party decorations.
Focus on quality
We live in a world where we’re used to cutting-edge technology. Consumers have high expectations when it comes to the quality of video content. A poor quality VSL will not only reduce the risk of converting a lead, but it will also affect the customer’s perception of the brand.
Take time to test your VSL
In many cases, you won’t get a second chance to impress, so it’s important that you’re 100% happy with the VSL you share. Take time to carry out split testing and to change variables to find the most effective solution. You might find that audiences respond better to certain fonts, colors or themes, for example.
Video sales letter funnels for beginners: how to get started
If you’re reading this guide, and you’re thinking about launching a new strategy using a VSL funnel to create and convert leads and boost sales, you might be wondering how to get started. The first step is to create your video. Once you have a video, you can select a template, add your offers and customize your funnel in line with your objectives. There are funnel builders, for example, ClickFunnels, which enable you to input information and adapt the template to make your VSL unique.
When putting a VSL together, it’s advantageous to plan ahead, to think about what you want to say and how you’re going to promote your products and services. Your clip should be informative, interesting and useful, and it should be tailored to your target market. Always bear the ideal buyer persona in mind when crafting content and prioritize quality and clarity. Highlight the benefits of the product, explain why it’s different to others that are on the market and up-sell its value.
Before you create a VSL funnel, it’s useful to conduct testing to make sure that your video has the best chance of success.
Once your clip is ready, and you want to use a funnel to drive sales and increase traffic, you can choose a template and get started.
Once you have your funnel, you can use email or social media marketing campaigns, as well as your own website to market your products and improve your conversion rate. As you start attracting customers, you can analyze the impact and collect feedback, which will help you improve in the future.
Fascinating video marketing facts and figures
One of the main reasons video sales letter funnels are so instrumental in modern marketing is the increasing popularity of video content. According to statistics published by Oberlo:
85% of web users in the US watched video content on a monthly basis in 2018
54% of people want to see more video content online from brands and businesses they buy from
87% of marketers use video to promote products and services
The majority of social media users list video as their favorite type of content
73% of customers have been influenced by a brand or business as a result of their presence or behavior on social media
Video marketing generates 66% more qualified leads than other methods
93% of marketers have attracted a new customer through videos on social media
Web users spend 88% more time on web pages with videos
80% of web users have purchased a product after watching a video
In 2019, the average web user spent almost 7 hours watching videos per week
By the end of 2022, it is estimated that 82% of online traffic will be generated through video
A glossary of useful industry terms: helping you navigate the world of VSL funnels
If you’re trying to navigate the world of video sales letters funnels, and you’re not accustomed to the jargon, here is a useful glossary of industry terms to make life easier:
Conversion rate: the conversion rate refers to the funnel’s ability to convert leads into customers. The higher the conversion rate, the better.
Content upgrade: an offer to upgrade or gain access to premium content in exchange for contact details, usually an email address.
Core offer: the primary product being promoted within the funnel.
Down-sell: a down-sell option can be offered to a customer who has rejected or turned down the up-sell option.
One-click offer: a one-click offer is a deal or discount a customer can take advantage of at the click of a button
One-time offer: this is a time-limited offer or an exclusive deal, which is presented to a customer going through the sales funnel. The aim is to persuade the lead that this is the only chance or place to buy that specific product or get that offer.
Order bump: an order bump enables the customer to buy an add-on product when they purchase the core item.
Will a VSL funnel make any difference to my marketing campaign?
Every business owner wants to invest their time, effort and money in a marketing campaign that will deliver results. If you’re considering creating a video sales letter funnel, there are certain steps you can take to try and ensure your funnel converts. These include:
Make sure your video relates to your ideal buyer: every marketer or company owner should have a target customer in mind. The content, the tone, the aesthetics, and the deals should resonate with the viewer. The presenter should be relatable. If you’re targeting parents looking to buy toys for young children, for example, you probably don’t want your video to feature an older person in a formal outfit talking in a serious tone.
VSL to identify and fix a problem: your clip should talk about the issues faced by the buyer, for example, household cleaning problems, and then go on to explain how the product is going to solve it.
Use scarcity to encourage instant results: if your leads are on the verge of taking that next step, you don’t want to wait and run the risk of losing the sale. Use scarcity, a marketing ploy that makes consumers worry about a lack of time or opportunities, to encourage quick purchases. You could do this by setting a time limit or using a one-time offer, for example.
Don’t forget the CTA: guide your customer through the funnel, finishing with a clear instruction that tells them what to do next.
How to measure performance
Performance analysis is key for developing and improving marketing and sales strategies. There is little point in carrying on with a VSL funnel if you’re not getting the results you wanted. Before you create and implement your funnel, test your video sales letter, ask for feedback and analyze data. Try adapting different variables and evaluate the impact. Once you’re up and running, you can continue to use analytics tools, as well as keeping a close eye on your subscription rates, purchases and sales and visitor numbers. Build on the positives and address any negatives. If you’re getting a lot of visitors, but you’re losing them at a certain stage of the funnel, or your rates are low when it comes to up-selling or down-selling, consider tweaking the funnel.
Customer feedback and reviews can be incredibly beneficial when you’re trying to improve conversion rates, and it’s wise to take comments and ideas on board. This could help you iron out any problems and improve the service you offer.
Video content has become an increasingly influential marketing tool, which can benefit all kinds of businesses. By creating a video sales letter funnel, you can attract traffic and improve the chances of converting leads by using video content that showcases your products and services. Your video sales letter enables you to provide an accurate, informative description of your product, to demonstrate how it works and to offer proof of its value. You can also build relationships, engage with interested parties and enhance your brand image. The funnel also opens doors for you to offer additional products and to encourage buyers to keep in touch by subscribing or paying for premium services. You can create a video sales funnel online, using a template and customized offers to attract your ideal buyer.
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