After all these years, sales letters are incredibly effective and have (to a certain extent) managed to shake off their “sleazy” stigma. If people are really interested in your product, they want to find out everything they can. Having all of that information in one place – like in a sales letter – is beneficial for businesses and consumers alike. With the popularity and compelling nature of video in the marketplace, video sales letters have become increasingly popular.
But just because they’re popular doesn’t mean they’re effective. If all the other salespeople were jumping off a bridge, you wouldn’t do that (we hope!). The big question is: are they better than a traditional long form sales letter?
Given that we’re a video marketing company, you may think that we’re going to tell you “Video all the way!” But the truth is, this isn’t a “one size fits all” matter. There are several factors that could influence whether you stick with written copy, or make the jump to video.
Lucky for you, we’ve done the research and compiled our findings – so you don’t have to.
Long Form Sales Pages
Copywriting is an art form. There are skilled artisans that take time to craft long detailed pages that gently move nervous onlookers into becoming dedicated customers. Sometimes they can be so intricate, it can take multiple days for visitors to them look over. Don’t believe us?
Example: NYT best-seller Ramit Sethi sells a product that helps people earn income from hobbies. His sales letter is 47 pages long – and course has earned him well over 7 figures since its debut.
There are many benefits to having a lot of written copy on the page, but they aren’t for every product and service. Determining if wordy pages are the way to go comes down to a few factors:
- Price Tag: If the product or service costs some serious moolah, the potential buyers on your page will want no stone left unturned. The more information they get, the more they can weigh the options and discuss it with other parties that will be involved.
- Complex Products: If it’s hard to understand what your offer is or how hard your widget is to use, you’ll probably need more real estate. Explainer videos are great for breaking down complexity (more on this in a sec), but your well-studied readers will want it all in text.
- Newer Markets: Some businesses are venturing into new territory. Maybe you’re solving a problem that no one else has managed to fix. While it could mean big things for you, you’ll have to teach EVERYONE about it first. Doing so takes time and verbiage.
Getting all of that content right is challenging to say the least. Master copywriters can name their price for a reason. While long form isn’t our bag, we’ve found an excellent post from the folks at Kissmetrics that lays out the details.
Video Sales Page
In a drastic change from the long form, the strictly video sales page – which looks a lot like your standard landing page – isn’t much more than a video and a buy button.
Depending on your target audience and a few other factors, this can be an incredibly powerful way to get sales. The primary form of marketing is visual (e.g. commercials, print, billboards, you get the picture). The human mind can interpret visuals 60,000 times faster than reading text.
While there are some barriers (mainly the ones mentioned above) that can render video less effective, video sales pages are great for:
- Lower-Priced Offerings: Products with a shorter buying cycle (like a SaaS product) are made for video sales. If you can explain your service in a few short words, 60 seconds of video can do a lot of good.
- Impulse Buys: If someone is coming straight from a PPC ad to your sales page for the first time, a video is the best chance for them to convert on a lower-priced impulse. They searched for a related term, your video tells them you have the answer, and boom! They’re ready to buy.
- Visual Products: This is an obvious one. If your product shines in the spotlight, then that’s where it should be. A high-quality video that makes your stuff look good is better than sales copy.
Compromise Works, Too
Just because these are the two extremes doesn’t mean you have to choose just one. You can blend these approach and find what works for you.
One of the best examples of this is to use both engaging video and lengthy copy. This provides the opportunity to consume multiple forms of media and appeals to more people. Try introductory copy, followed by video, then back to some more sweet, sweet copy.
A great example of this is Derek Halpern’s, “Zippy Courses”. It starts with a video and goes into all of the other benefits involved.
If you need some help creating an explainer video for your next sales page, maybe we can help. Get in contact and we’ll find out!