Video is gaining more popularity as a method of spreading your message. YouTube is now the second largest search engine next to Google and Google is starting to rank blog posts that include videos higher than similar posts that don’t include videos.
Marketers can connect with video viewers on a more emotional level than they can through a blog post because a video involves the use of more of our senses than reading a blog post.
What is a Video Sales Letter?
A video sales letter (or VSL) is a video that has the main goal of selling something. For example, I created the simple VSL below to entice people to check out my book Keep More Money. Sales pages that include VSLs tend to have higher conversions than sales pages with a lot of text.
If I see a lot of text on a sales page, I tend to skip over everything just to find out how much something costs and see if it’s worth my time to read all the copy on the sales page. A video, on the other hand, will likely hold my attention provided it’s short and to the point.
The main purpose of a VSL is to sell. The best way to sell something is to convince viewers they really need what it is you’re selling and the best way to do that is to show them how you are solving their problem.
How Does Your Product or Service Solve a Problem?
This is a crucial element to include as part of your VSL. If you can’t show people how your product (or service) is solving their problem, there’s really no reason for them to take a chance and buy it.
Good copywriters know that people often purchase based on their feelings. What this means is that consumers see how a product or service can help them and then imagine how having their problem solved will make them feel, and this feeling is final hook that gets them to buy.
In my video below, the cartoon of the woman hugging her money is the feeling that my book will help readers achieve—they will be so happy, because they’ve saved so much money by using what they’ve learned from my book!
Scripting your VSL in 5 Simple Steps
Here’s a simple VSL scripting method I learned from copywriter and cartoonist Lisa Rothstein.
1. Identify the problem
First you need to connect with your ideal client. Show them that you know what they’re going through and how they’re feeling. My book, Keep More Money, is about finding an accountant, so you’ll notice in my video that I connect with the problems of paying too much tax and dealing with a bookkeeping nightmare.
2. Tell your audience you have the solution
This step can be as simple as saying, “I can help”. You want to draw viewers’ attention to the fact that you’ve got the answer to their problems.
3. Explain why your solution is the best
This step can be tough if you’re not used to tooting your own horn, but it’s part of convincing consumers to buy from you. Think about what makes your product or service different from all the others like it.
4. Reinforce how you can solve the problem
Before you wrap up your video or talk about any bonuses you might be offering, be sure to remind viewers how you’re going to solve their problem. Going back to the problem of paying too much tax I mentioned in the beginning of my video, I remind viewers that working with an accountant (which my book teaches them how to do) will save them money.
5. Throw in a bonus (optional)
Have you ever noticed how online courses and coaching programs often have fast-acting bonuses? That’s because it’s a tried and true marketing strategy. If people act right away, they’ll get more value for their money than if they wait and buy the product or service later when the free bonus is no longer available. This step is completely optional.
For my VSL, I’ve used the section in the back of my book that contains a list of over 100 questions people can ask an accountant as my bonus, even though it is available with the book all the time, but it’s a section of the book people wouldn’t know about unless they purchase the book.
Sample VSL Script
Here’s my short and sweet VSL so you can see how I’ve put these steps together.
There You Have It!
My video is less than a minute long. I’ve modelled it after my own preferences because I don’t have a lot of time to spend watching videos and I feel like my ideal readers don’t either. It’s really up to you how long you want to make your VSL. The “standard” length can range from 8 minutes all the way up to 24 minutes. The most important thing is that you include all the steps above and try to draw out some strong emotions in your viewers.
Were you able to identify all five steps of the VSL script in my video? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.