Using videos in sales letters isn’t a new technique: most today’s marketers take advantage of this multimedia format to promote their products on the web.
Having appeared on the stage in the form of short testimonials, video tenaciously made its way through the marketing world. It’s now often incorporated in sales presentations and product tutorials, and it’ll come as no surprise if it finally evolves into a full-fledged form of sales letter that will successfully replace the text or at least strongly support it.
The reason why sales letters with videos or any other multimedia are so popular lies in their efficiency. To believe Dr Ronald Marks, professor of marketing at the University of Missouri, sales letters with multimedia are 43% more effective than plain text ones: prospects need less time to catch the key point of your selling proposition and they are more likely to buy (sorry, claim or invest). Marks admits that multimedia is especially good for intangible products – and the web is lousy with such stuff: software, ebooks etc. So, by incorporating a video – as well as an audio or at least slides – into your sales letter, you ultimately rev up your conversion rate.
Let’s dig a little deeper. What drives users in video? The answer is, as compared to text and audio, videos have a greater appeal to senses. Each of us belongs to a particular group of people classified by the way we perceive information into visuals, auditories and kinesthetics. The thing is that online video embraces all these three categories. A user can not only WATCH the picture and LISTEN to the spokesperson, but also control the process by TOUCHING the ‘play’, ‘fast-forward’ etc. buttons on the panel. And once again that proves the ultimate efficiency of the video for producing copy that sells.
So, what to consider when creating a sales letter video?
1. Make it short. Most selling videos last 2-5 minutes. The longer your video is, the more likely user will be interrupted during the watching process. So if you want your prospects to know all the bells and whistles, create a series, dividing your story into several concise parts, up to 5 minutes each.
2. Keep it simple. Be specific while describing the benefits, but don’t throw the informational bombshell over the prospects’ heads. Give only the basic facts and pay particular attention to the testimonial section, as the emotional component is critically important for calling people to action. It would also be great if you use some vivid examples, illustrating how your product will work for the users’ good. Here is a good sample of sales letter video that explains such a complicated issue as mortgage refinance with the help of a sponge and a bowl of water.
3. Target your customer. There are no customers ‘in general’: targeting a John Doe is the same as using the term ‘product’ instead of your actual brand name. Pay attention to customer’s
* financial state,
* education and cultural background,
* needs and expectations.
If you need to address different groups of people, make several videos.
4. Be dynamic. Dynamism is not so much about the length as about the way the information is given. Try to avoid using too many pictures and graphs: it’s video, it has to move. Nevertheless, mind that numbers, titles and other factual data are better perceived when coming in a static form.
5. If you need to tell a long story, put several – 2 or 3 tops – snippets of video throughout your sales letter. The best places are near the headline, in the product description, in the testimonial section and after the call to action. Make sure the video is followed by the order form or at least by a link to the appropriate section.
6. Take advantage of music. It helps create the necessary atmosphere and can be used as a background for testimonials or product descriptions.
7. Video can come without text, representing an independent part of your promotional campaign. However, you should take into account that many people don’t have the necessary technical resources including players or Internet connection. In addition, search engines love words, and using the combination of video and text is better for the ranking.
8. Optimize the tags so that your video can be easily found in the Internet. Here Google Sets; along with similar tools, is a good helper.
9. Experiment with styles. Try to step aside from usual techniques and make your sales letter video more newsy or guide-like. Amaze your customer.
10. Submit your video to video sharing sites, such as http://www.youtube.com, http://www.video.google.com, http://www.blinkx.com, http://www.videowebtown.com etc.
To kill, you first have to shoot. I mean that, in order to kill prospects with your sales letter, you have to shoot a catchy video.