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Introduction: Why VSL's Matter In Digital Marketing

Welcome to this post, where we're diving into the critical topic of Video Sales Letters, also known as VSLs. If you're scratching your head wondering, "What is a VSL?", don't worry. This comprehensive guide will break it down for you, and you'll soon understand why VSLs are a game-changer in any sales funnel.

The Genesis of VSL: A Brief History

Years ago, John Benson made the term "VSL" famous, often called the godfather of video sales letters. He was the one who transformed long-form sales copy into a compelling video format. It worked so well because it forced visitors to listen to the whole pitch before arriving at the offer.

What is a VSL? A Definition

A Video Sales Letter (VSL) is a video that walks viewers through a sales pitch using specific sales psychology techniques. Unlike traditional long-form sales copy, it's presented in video format, capturing attention and ensuring higher conversion rates.

Anatomy of a VSL

A typical VSL page comprises several vital elements. Firstly, a strong headline is crucial as it's usually the first thing tested in sales funnels. The VSL itself is a structured sales copy turned into a PowerPoint presentation. You write a long-form sales script and convert that into a slide-by-slide presentation, often accompanied by a voiceover.

Tools for Creating a VSL

Software like ScreenFlow or Camtasia is commonly used to record these presentations. The recorded video is edited and exported to become your final Video Sales Letter. If you want to add flair, B-roll or full-motion graphics can also be included.

Monitoring & Tracking

Once your VSL is ready, it's typically embedded on a page using a private video service like Vimeo Pro or Wistia rather than platforms like YouTube. These services offer valuable statistics, helping you understand viewer engagement and identifying areas for improvement.

The Importance of "Add to Cart" Button Timing

Traditionally, the "add to cart" button would appear only after the pitch had been made. However, with changing browser capabilities affecting autoplay features, the "add to cart" button is sometimes visible throughout the video. This can be A/B tested to see what resonates with your audience.

Variations & Split Testing

VSLs are versatile and can be used in various settings, from selling digital products to gathering entirely qualified leads for sales calls. You can also test VSLs with or without accompanying sales copy to determine which performs better.

Conclusion: Are VSLs For You?

In essence, VSLs are an incredibly effective way to pitch your product or service, breaking away from the traditional long-form sales copy. Whether it's a pure text-based VSL or one that includes full-motion graphics, the opportunities for testing and optimization are endless.

Take The Next Step

If you're ready to integrate VSLs into your sales funnel, click here to learn about our Funnel Formula program. Schedule an Action Plan with us today for a personalized sales funnel strategy that includes VSLs, upsells, and more!

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Hey, what's up? This is Jason Drohn. Welcome to today. Now, I realized not too long ago that I have; we talk about sales and sales funnels a lot, but have a video or any detailed explanation about what a video sales letter is or a VSL for short. We use VSLs all the time in almost everything on almost every funnel.

You have seen a million VSLs from me. A VSL is a video that works through a particular sales psychology and is presented as opposed to long-form sales copy. No years ago, John Benson was the godfather of video sales letters. He took long-form sales copy and turned it into this video format, and it worked so well back in the day because it forced a visitor to listen to the entire pitch before they got to the actual offer.

And then the offer dropped in minute 12 or minute 15; if John Benson was like 46, he had a super long video sales letter appealing, the request would fall, there would be a cute button, people would take action on that offer, and then ultimately, it had an incredible conversion rate as compared to written copy. So, in this snippet, you will learn about video sales letters, and I pulled it out of our Funnel Fo formula course. So, let's listen to this, and then we'll come back and summarize everything.

So, the first is a video sales letter or a VSL page video sales letter. It is a video presentation; every screen has one line of text, and the person reading declines. We will slide by slide by slide. We will best convert the video sales letter into a long-form sales format. That year, it used to be long-form sales letters that worked well, then video sales with these hybrid video sales letters with some option graphics tended to convert even better. So, I let a prospect focus on the content on the screen, but the c, action up o, oron with some B roll, action shots, or some full-motion video. S is a lot of that stuff.

So your VSL page is the sales letter page, and it is a sales pt with one VSL on it, one sales video, and some very characteristic elements. It has a powerful headline. So, the headline is usually one of the things that we test vigorously in our sales funnels. The video sales letter is a scripted sales copy turned into a PowerPoint presentation. We create them as we go through, and we write a long sales form, a prolonged sales script, and then turn that into a PowerPoint presentation where every new line in the sales script is a new PowerPoint slide.

Then, that video is recorded as a voiceover. It's very similar to what we're doing recording these. So, we use ScreenFlow or Camtasia. We've already talked about those. We use one of those two pieces of software and record the screen as we verbally recite this sales video. Then, we edit and export it, becoming our video sales letter. If we add B roll shots on top of it, we add it after the fact.

And then, the video is embedded on a page. Usually, that video is embedded with a private video service like or Vimeo Pro so that the sales video doesn't end up; I mean, it's not on YouTube, but more importantly, Vimeo Pro and Wistia have some great stats. So, you can see how much of the video somebody watches and find out where it's trailing off, or if at minute 13 a lot of people are leaving, then there's probably something that needs to be fixed in the video.

Then, underneath that video isn't appearing, add to cart button. So, once the pitch is made, then the add to cart button shows up underneath. Now, on some pages, we always make the add to cart button show up. And other times, we make it appear. Years ago, it was like every add-to-cart button seemed. That's just kind of standard. That's just how it worked. But now, videos often aren't auto-playing like they used to because of the browser. Some browsers will autoplay the video but not start the audio, or some won't autoplay the video. So, we've had to make some adjustments there.

So, often, the add to cart button does show up underneath the video as soon as the video loads. But if we can force the button to appear, we do that, too. And how it usually works is a sales video might be eight minutes or six minutes or 12 minutes long, and the call to action, like, let's say, on a 12-minute video, might hit about minute eight. So, when somebody watches enough of the video to beat the call to action, click the button below to buy your copy. Then, the add to cart button shows up underneath the video, and a prospect clicks it, goes to the order form, and purchases. But there's no pitch until they see the call to action. They don't know that they're there to purchase anything. They're there to watch a video.

Sometimes, these video sales letters are supported with a copy. Sometimes, there's a copy down the page, or there's a copy somewhere else on the page, and sometimes they're not. So, we always test them both. We'll try a video sales letter without a copy and test a video sales letter with a copy on occasion to see which one wins. Typically, the video sales letter without copy wins, but something with copy will occasionally beat the one without.

All right. So, video sales letters, we use them for selling digital products, we use them for selling memberships, for selling free plus shipping offers, for selling anything, courses, some physical effects, fully qualified leads, fully qualified lead sales funnels where we're trying to get somebody to give us their name, email address, phone number, all that stuff for a sales call. We use them all the time. Now, as you heard in the video, there are purely text-based VSLs, and there are VSLs with full-motion graphics and videos. Often, as B roll, sometimes it is videos like this, like talking head videos.

So, you can split-test video sales letters in many ways. But the premise is the same. You start with a sales script, create the PowerPoint video, and then overlay shots on top of that. So, if you want to learn how to incorporate these video sales letters into your sales funnel and build a sales funnel from scratch, click here to learn about our Funnel Formula program.

If you would like us to sit down and architect a sales funnel for you, including VSLs, upsells, etc., click here to schedule an Action Plan with us!