Any serious business will, at some point, create a video sales letter (VSL). And there's a good reason for that — video converts really, really well:
- 87% of marketers say video marketing has helped them increase sales.
- 69% of consumers say they prefer to learn more about a product by watching a video.
- 89% of consumers say watching a video actually convinced them to buy a product or service.
So, if you're looking for actionable information to get you started with VSL creation, you'll find it in this detailed guide, along with:
✔️A generous checklist with everything you need to cover in the process.
✔️A solution to creating video sales letters in minutes, with minimal expenses, even if you've never made a video.
Let's dive in. 👇
What is a video sales letter, and why should you create one?
A video sales letter or VSL is a persuasive sales pitch in video format that:
- Serves captivating and engaging storytelling.
- Builds trust and credibility for your brand.
- Enhances brand awareness and recognition.
- Increases conversion rates.
If all this sounds great, it is! But here's the issue: Everyone's trying to get their VSL in the face of your prospects. And your audience's attention span is shorter than ever.
Dr. Gloria Mark, professor of informatics at the University of California, says, "In 2004, we measured the average attention on a screen to be 2 ½ minutes [...] Some years later, we found attention spans to be about 75 seconds. Now we find people can only pay attention to one screen for an average of 47 seconds."
And the younger your audience, the snappier your video needs to be. Gen Z has a 1-second attention span, losing active attention to ads after just 1.3 seconds, compared to Millenials' 12 seconds. This is the shortest time of all the age groups (partially explained by the fact that attention levels do increase with age).
Despite all that, by combining the power of traditional sales letters with engaging visuals, you'll:
- Generate leads and introduce them to your offer.
- Highlight your product or service's main benefits more effectively.
- Convince leads to take action and produce more sales.
The beauty of using video sales letters is their versatility.
You can use VSLs to sell almost anything, including clicks and subscriptions, whether launching new products, nurturing leads, or boosting conversions. Integrating compelling videos into your marketing strategy is a no-brainer.
What makes an effective video sales letter?
Video sales letters aim to stand out, and brands use them differently. These fundamental elements consistently shine as the driving force behind the immense success of VSLs:
1. A compelling headline and intro
Grab attention fast by stating the problem your product solves or the benefit your audience will gain. Do it clearly and as early in your VSL as possible. You'll pique viewers' interest and motivate them to keep watching.
2. A clear and concise message
Deliver a clear message that will instantly help your audience understand what's in it for them and how it works. You'll quickly get their buy-in by focusing on their pain points and offering an easy-to-understand solution.
3. A convincing call to action
Recap the benefits waiting for them and tell them what they must do now. Create a sense of urgency and use strong verbs to encourage your viewers to take the action you want from them immediately.
4. High-quality visuals and audio
Visuals and audio set VSLs apart from traditional sales pitches. Use relevant, high-quality visuals with professional and perfectly synchronized audio to captivate your audience and get your message across more easily.
5. Credibility through testimonials and social proof
Show the stories and experiences of your satisfied customers to build credibility. Provide proof by sharing customer reviews, industry expert endorsements, media coverage, or just shoutouts you got on social media to enhance your credibility and trust.
What do you need to create your video sales letter?
Creating a tailored script and choosing the proper filming process for your VSL requires clarifying your requirements, goals, and preferences.
Before you get to work, ask yourself the following questions:
- What's your purpose or goal with this VSL? This will help you tailor the script and visuals to effectively convey your message or achieve your outcome in the sales process.
- Who's your target audience? This will help you create content that resonates with them and influence the script's tone, language, and overall style.
- What core message or main points do you want to convey? This will ensure a concise narrative, keeping the script focused on essential details without unnecessary tangents.
- How long should your VSL be? This will impact the pacing, content, and level of detail in the script, but also the length of the final video and the timing of specific visuals.
How to create a video sales letter in 5 simple steps
You've done your homework and got a solid grip on your audience and what you want to achieve with your video. Creating a great video sales letter is foolproof now, so get down to the nitty-gritty of it.
Step 1. Write your script
You can customize a readymade video script template or write it from scratch as a simple table where you detail the visuals in one column and the narration in another column:
Alternatively, you can use ChatGPT and prompt it to write your video sales letter script or try a video maker like Synthesia, which will generate your script with AI and even break it into a scene-by-scene video sales letter template with placeholders for visuals.
Once you have a VSL script draft, review it, plan visuals to support your message, and encourage viewers to take your desired action.
Step 2. Create the visuals you designed in the script
Based on your script, gather the visuals you need to turn your written sales letter into a video.
VSLs typically require custom visuals that demonstrate how your product or service works.
When doing a live demonstration, your entire sales letter could be a single-take video showing the product or service in action. For any other video-making technique, you must source and assemble a variety of visuals. Here's how:
- Source stock media: Use paid or royalty-free images, videos, icons, or shapes from websites like iStock, Shutterstock, or Getty Images.
- Film footage: Shoot some photographs or video snippets demonstrating how your product or service works, either at your office or in a professional studio:
- Book the studio.
- Set up the filming scene with the right lighting and backdrops.
- Film the footage in multiple takes and angles to have enough visuals for the editing stage.
- Use video editing software to upload your footage, stock media, or any other visuals and compose your video presentation.
Step 3. Voice over your video sales letter
Unless your entire video sales letter is a live demonstration, chances are you'll have scenes in the video where you're showing images that need a voice-over. Consider covering those scenes with the following:
- A paid voice actor
- Recording yourself with free software (QuickTime Player for Mac, Voice Recorder for Windows) and editing the voiceover with dedicated audio software like Audacity.
- Text-to-speech technology you can access through TTS tools or within an AI video maker like Synthesia, which features 120+ languages and 400+ text-to-speech voices.
Step 4. Edit your video sales letter
Upload your images and footage into your chosen video sales letter software and assemble your video sales letter.
Here are some tasks you'll need to complete during the editing process:
- Put all visuals in the editing timeline, trim, and crop them to fit each scene.
- Add your company logo and customize the video with your brand colors.
- Adjust the visuals for brightness and contrast.
- Make your video pop by adding visual effects, text overlays, or motion graphics.
- Remove any background noise and get the right voiceover volume.
- Add background music in tone with the message you want to convey.
- Complete with subtitles, closed captions, and a call-to-action.
- Review the video to ensure it looks flawless and gets your message across clearly.
Step 5. Create your video sales letter and export it
Once you're happy with how everything looks within the video editor, you can choose a format for your VSL and initiate the rendering of your video.
Within a few minutes, you'll have it ready for download and a link you can use if you want to share your video sales letter on various places online.
3 Best practices for making the most of your newly created video sales letter
To create video sales letters that convert, save some time for review and optimization before publishing.
1. Optimize the video title and description with the right keywords and tags
When you upload your video on a particular website, platform, or social network, make the most of each editing feature. Write catchy titles and descriptions and fill in all the required fields using keywords and tags relevant to your product, industry, and target audience. This will help improve your video's visibility in search results and attract more viewers.
2. Be strategic about where you share your video sales letter
Your website and social media platforms are two of the most common places you'll want your VSL to appear. For your website, choose the landing pages closely related to the video's content to provide a seamless experience for your visitors and increase your conversion chances. Then, identify the social platforms where your target audience is most active and create engaging posts to accompany your videos:
- Craft distinct descriptions specifically for each platform's followers.
- Create informative content and give value to encourage users to engage with your brand organically.
- Encourage social sharing to extend the reach of your video and generate more views and engagement.
- If your budget allows, leverage some of the paid advertising options offered by these platforms.
3. Constantly monitor and analyze your sales video performance
Track metrics such as views, engagement, conversion, and click-through rates. This data will give you valuable insights into your video's effectiveness and help you make data-driven decisions for future optimization:
- Determine which metrics matter most. Other than views, consider watch time and viewer retention rates.
- Use analytics tools provided by hosting sites like YouTube or Vimeo, along with Google Analytics tracking codes embedded into the sales page or the landing page where the video content has been posted.
- Tweak your strategy based on insights gained from data analysis — like adjusting the length or format of future videos depending on what resonates best with your audience.
Ready to create your own video sales letter?
Now that you know how to create a sales video and you've seen examples of video sales letters, why not make one yourself?
Create your own video sales letter using Synthesia's free AI video maker, and you'll have a professionally designed, top-notch VSL ready for publishing as early as today.