5 Video Sales Letter Mistakes You’ll Want To Avoid

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 5 Video Sales Letter Mistakes You’ll Want To Avoid

Video sales letters are a form of copywriting that converts well. So at some point you’ll want to learn how they work and how to make them.

Before you create your first video sales letter, there are some basic criteria that you’ll want to think about.

Video sales letters aren’t advanced biochemistry, but there are simple things that trip a lot of people up. If you’re involved in online marketing, then you’ve seen bad video sales letters. They’re irritating and they lose your attention before they’ve even grabbed it.

This article is about avoiding the five most painful mistakes I’ve witnessed with video sales letters. If you do this, then you’ll be able to create better video sales letters than a ton of other internet marketers already.

1.     You Don’t Think Of VSL’s as Sales Letters

Firstly, a video sales letter is a sales letter. It seems basic, but many people fail with VSL’s before they even start.

I’ve written about what goes into sales letters numerous times, and you’ve all read my thoughts on the process (hopefully) so, I’ll get to the good stuff. Suffice to say, learn the basics of copywriting before trying to create a video sales letter.

Once you’ve taken out the general copywriting mistakes, to get video sales letters right, you should probably think about the unique elements of a unique sales letter as opposed to a text one:

  • Video
  • Audio

That’s where you start. However, you can obviously go further than that. What are the elements of each of those things?

  • What’s in your video?
  • Is it a blank screen or are there pictures to accompany your audio?
  • If so, what are those pictures?
  • Do they match the overall theme of the video or do they match what’s being said at that specific moment?
  • Are you using actual video – as in, moving footage as opposed to stills?
  • If so, does that make any sense?

These things seem really simple, but when you’ve watched as many video sales letters as I have, you see that a lot of people don’t think about these basic things or why they’re doing them. We haven’t even gotten into anything specific like lighting or the script or the editing of your letter yet.

I’ve seen sales letters which have five pictures that have nothing to do with the sales letter while someone talks into a microphone. Nothing more. I can’t imagine that video sales letter converted at all.

Let’s talk about audio:

  • Whose voice is it?
  • Male or female?
  • Does that fit the audience?
  • Can the narrator actually narrate, or are they like a school kid mumbling their lines?
  • Does the voice in general fit the audience? (Is a nerdy-sounding guy teaching you to be a manly man or is a guy with a thug voice teaching you how to make money on the stock market?)
  • If you have subtitles, are you going to have the narrator read them exactly or is there a general gist?
  • Is the audio good quality?

These are all really basic things that many video sales letters simply don’t take into account. Again, we’re not talking about videography mastery or anything here. Just taking into account the basic ideas from above, you can start to see the big mistakes that people make.

2.     Your Narrator Doesn’t Fit The Video Sales Letter

I was watching a video sales letter earlier where a product that was catered to men was narrated by a woman. This isn’t necessarily bad at all times, but this particular example was. It was written in a typical guy-lifestyle-blogger style. Understand should you be a 20-something male improvement blogger that most of the stuff you talk about would never come out of a woman’s mouth.

For this video sales letter, there was an immediate discord. Immediate discord is something you want to avoid in a video sales letter, because people need to be drawn in and stay there for the duration. Hearing a female narrator talking about “alpha male codes” and “red pill realisations” isn’t going to fool anyone… we all know you’re a guy and you’re talking to guys.

Your narrator needs to be natural. If you’re narrating yourself, you need to get an uninvolved third party to see if your voice fits. If someone else is doing it, you need to be critical. Also, you need to write your sales letter with your target market in mind and get a narrator that speaks to your target market.

If you don’t do this, people won’t believe it. If there’s no trust, your video sales letter will not convert.

3.     What Is On The Screen?

If you’re creating a video sales letter, remember it’s a video sales letter. Not an audio sales letter. I’ve seen blank screen video sales letters, I’ve seen video sales letters where it’s just an upshot of some guy’s nostrils while he reads his script of a computer screen and I’ve seen video sales letters with terrible stock images that have only a tangential relation to what’s being said.

People are watching your video sales letter, and you have to give them something worth watching. It can be as simple as the script for the video sales letter or some related images, but it needs to make sense.

If you don’t do this… it won’t hold people’s attention and it won’t convert as well.

4.     No Voiceover At All

There are plenty of video sales letters that are made on Fiverr and then posted straight to people’s websites. They don’t have any audio, just a free jingle and some words on a screen. They’re maybe thirty seconds long, but some of them are five minutes or even longer.

This is a waste of $5, and it’s certainly a waste if you’re paying more.

Nobody is going to sit and watch a five minute video and read the subtitles and not get bored. There are cat pictures to like and Twitter wars to start.

Sure, your sales page might convert, but it’ll be in spite of your weak video.

If you don’t want to get a narrator and do a video sales letter properly, then don’t do one at all. More on that in the conclusion.


5.     Poor Quality


I’ve tried not to go into specifics too much because I’m not an expert on shooting video or even video sales letters. (I’ve had my sales letters converted by clients, but learning VSL stuff myself is on the 2017 goals list.)

The fact is that there are pretty non-technical video sales letters that convert massively. You need a decent microphone, a decent camera and some decent images. You can put the script into a Powerpoint-style presentation, throw some images together and leave it at that.

I know of a guy who does exactly that and he makes ten-thousand dollars per sales letter – and he gets royalties on top of that.

That’s why it’s so painful to see video sales letters with muffled audio or video that’s shaking worse than that stupid film Cloverfield.

You need a Tripod, beginner camera and a semi-decent microphone if you want to do everything yourself. That’s all.

If you’re hiring out the audio or using stock images, then you need even less.

Ultimately, if you’re going to create a video sales letter, then it needs to be of decent quality; this doesn’t mean you need to be Spielberg, but you’ve got to make it pleasant and interesting enough for people to watch until the end.

This brings me to the conclusion.

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to create video sales letters. Video sales letters do tend to convert better than text-only sales letters online, but that’s only if they’re good video sales letters.

Creating a video sales letter is more effort, and it requires paying attention to stuff that you probably don’t think about if you’re coming from a text-based sales letter background.

If you can’t produce something good, then don’t. You’ll convert fewer readers if your video is bad than you will if you stick to what you know.

There’s no rush, so take your time to learn and create video sales letters which convert rather than rushing together bad videos and expecting them to be a panacea.


About the author

Jamie McSloy

My name is Jamie McSloy. I'm a writer from the UK. This site is about the business of being a writer. Copywriting, Content Marketing, Publishing and all forms of writing will be discussed here. Learn More About Me

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