Video Sales Letter: What is Sweet, What Sticks, and What Shares

I’ve been coming across more and more “mockumentaries” on the Internet lately. And, while some of them are well-written and well-conceived, others are just plain bad and a waste of time.

What’s worse is that many of them are intended to sell something and, while I appreciate the effort to put wit into something intended for marketing, I have a low tolerance for those that are nothing but blatant copies and poor attempts at imitating others.

There are so many ways to present a video sales letter without having to resort to tacky, disingenuous, and sometimes downright inappropriate methods.

I’m talking about a couple of videos that emulate those hostage tapes largely seen in the news.  There are some people who think it’s funny and worth making fun off, but it’s really not.

Admittedly, I do understand why they made such videos.  The hostage clips shown on the news where people make demands for ransom in order to release someone they’ve kidnapped is actually a crude and misguided form of video sales letter, since it is intended to be watched and influence the views of a specific group of people.

I am in NO WAY saying that holding someone hostage for ransom is okay. But, these people do know that a video will be far more convincing than a plain demand letter.

The same can be said of videos intended as sales letters to be watched rather than read.  Studies have shown that video is far more effective in convincing people than simple writing, which is why a video sales letter is always a good idea.

That is, if you know how to make an EFFECTIVE one.

So, how do you make a video sales letter that is effective?  Glad you asked, cuz.

Simple, short, sweet seals the deal

This is the Internet, cuz, ok?  If you don’t get the attention of your prospective market in at least 3 to 5 seconds, kiss that lead goodbye.  You need to capture their attention as soon as possible. Once you have that attention, you have to keep it until you get them to the part where they ask more about what you are pitching.  How do you capture their attention?  Ask yourself this, how do others catch YOUR attention?  It’s a video sales letter. You get to show stuff that will make people stop and do a double-take.  Start with something provocative or eye-catching. The “now that I have your attention” strategy is not just a novelty, it’s a rock-solid foundation built on human psychology.  Do zombies get your attention?  Maybe that will work for your target market.  Do talking dogs and singing cats make you stop and stare?  Maybe that could work, too.  Think of things like these and use them to catch the attention of your prospective lead.  Once you have their attention, say as much as you can in the SHORTEST time possible while still being clear and understandable.  DON’T RAMBLE ON or you will lose them.  Deliver as much as you can in the littlest time possible and you’re good.

Fine tune and match

I have always preached the use of the “right product for the right customer“. Otherwise, what’s the use?  Do you really think a vegetarian will buy all that high protein red meat you’re looking to market?  How many senior citizens do you think will buy that heavy-duty mountain pack you’re pitching?  Stop wasting your time thinking you can aim at a “general” market and hope it eventually fine tunes into the market that your product actually appeals to.  SEEK THEM OUT ACTIVELY.  There is an area for practically all demographics on the Internet.  Did you make a dynamic sales video letter about this great new cross-trainer shoe?  Then pitch it to groups of people who are into athletics and avid fans of running shoes.  Got a nifty doohickey that makes it easier for people with less-than-perfect eyesight see the fine print and small things better?  Aim your sights on groups with impaired vision issues.  Whatever it is you are marketing, there is certain to be a market out there that will appreciate it for being there.  All you have to do is find the group and show them what you’ve got.  Certain groups also have nuances that may be unique to their particular group.  If you know of this, all the better.  You have yet another weapon in your arsenal to make your sales video letter even more appealing to your market.

Tag and share

You can practically share anything nowadays, even videos dedicated to making a sale.  Video sharing sites, like YouTube, are a gold mine of opportunity for you, so make use of it.  You can even make use of social media. And, the bonus here is that, rather than just sharing with no one in particular or everyone, like on video sharing sites, social media allows you to send your video directly to people who you think would like it (assuming these are included in your friends list already).  Just be sure to tag your video properly with the appropriate keywords, so that when someone makes a search of topics possibly related to your video, it will also come up in the search, ensuring better exposure.

See what style sticks

It’s a letter dedicated to sales made in the form of a video.  The possibilities are potentially endless!  Rather than just throwing the idea that you have a product and people should buy it out there, put just a little more work into it to make it all the more appealing.  You have a product.  So what?  There are a million out there that are the same, if not better, than what you are marketing or selling.  Why should people buy yours?  What’s in it for them?  What makes your product better than theirs?  What consumer problems and issues does your product address?  What is its best selling point?  Think hard about these questions and, once you have the answers, try and think of a better way to communicate this with the consumers.  I say “better” because common and mainstream will not be good enough here.  This is where style comes in.  Use music, use witty imagery, use whimsical storytelling.  Use whatever it is that can set you apart from the competition and make it worth the while of your consumers to watch your video sales letter.

Just remember, it’s a video, NOT a movie, and certainly NOT a letter.  Keep the creativity up and length down and you’re golden.


Andy “make-it-stick” Jenkins

  • Norvegi

    Great info.Thank you:)

  • Daniel

    Gettin’ Sticky Wit it… nana nana na na na!