Video Sales Letter Copy for Weight Loss

While consulting to an ad agency on web copy and marketing during 2014, they requested I write a full VSL script for a breakthrough probiotic weight loss program and manage production of the video.

vsl-bft

This involved studio time with the Doctor, writing the Doctors script as well as the ‘publishers’ script and then facilitating video production via a 3rd party video editor.

Here’s the 2 minute intro of the full VSL:

Here are the slides for that intro:

prob-intro-video-thumb

click to open pdf

The rest of the VSL involved the publishers voice as narrator with PowerPoint slides mixed in with live footage  of the spokesperson, a renowned Doctor.

I wrote both scripts and liaised with the Doctor including several phone interviews as he knows his subject well.

A copywriter via my clients agency helped with some of the more standard sales copy later in the script.

As the lead copywriter the final version was mine.

Here is the working version of near final copy for the publishers voice.

wl-script-publisher-thumbclick to open

 

Copywriting Sample – Video Sales Letter Lead – Male Health Supplement

As consulting Lead Copywriter for an ad agency, I needed to improve the response from a Video Sales Letter that the agency had paid a top VSL writer to produce.

It wasn’t converting well and I felt the copy overall was strong but the lead (the introductory attention grabber) seemed to lack empathy with the audience.

I completely replaced the lead section.

Here are results of the split test on the Video Sales Letter version using the old copy against my new copy.

(Coloured screenshots come from the video analytics software showing engagement levels of both variants)

Original lead variant: 25% retention past the lead.

mm-split1

My new lead variant: 44% retention past the lead.

mm-split2

This meant the new lead increased engagement by… well, a lot depending on which stat you calculate from. 🙂

Here’s the copy, slightly modified for use as the long-form transcript of the VSL:


ms-heading

ms-lead

I was offered this report while searching for something more comprehensive and more reliable, than all the popular health supplements that get bandied about online like candy…

You may know the one’s I mean. Maybe you’ve tried them out yourself…

And sure, I got great results in the past from things like Omega-3, CoQ10, Resveratrol… even Algae Powder.

(my wife got me onto that awful stuff after I started suffering with erection problems hoping it would fix me)

…and I was looking for something all-inclusive… something for complete masculine health… and specially designed for men over 40.

Something that could literally be felt in every area of my body, for all areas of my life.

From ‘Balls-to-Bones’, so to speak…

And after days of searching, a trusted health advisor who I interviewed by phone offered to send me a 30-page report chock-full of his research.

And What I Read Changed My Life Forever

ms-inside

“…multi-billion dollar research by the U.S. Army revives the health of our soldiers for peak performance — at any age!”

Dr. Dan Johnson of The Comprehensive Fitness Program of The U.S. Army announced: “The U.S. Military has a strong interest in the potential health benefits of this formula”

“…Restores your ability to carry out complex tasks, both physically and mentally, allowing you to function in all areas of your life with peak performance.”

“What the Army calls Executive Function”

Believe it or not, that was just one of the tips I learned.

The Report Covered Everything I Feared About Aging

ms-body

I felt like I’d struck oil!

And my wife’s expression was priceless after my bedroom performance just a matter of weeks later.

It all begins with shocking insight about:

[the original script continued from here]

The Causes Of Decline For Civilian Men Age 40 And Over

Video Sales Letter (VSL) Copywriter

In this article:

  • My first Video Sales Letter
  • Video Conversion Funnels
  • Video Sales Letter Length
  • Video Engagement
  • Video Sales Letter Copywriting
  • Multi-Part VSL Launch Sequence

My first Video Sales Letter…

Converting at a huge 8% back in 2008 it was about 12 minutes long and sold an info product on ‘how to get organized’.

You can watch the entire thing if you’d like, right here:


 VSL Conversion Funnels

The most successful VSLs I’ve been involved with or know about are very simple in appearance, on a very plain webpage, typically with no navigation on the page.

However, sending traffic straight to that VSL page may give you a lower conversion rate than if you send them initially to what’s known as a pre-sell page.

A pre-sell is an article that positions the video to help ensure the visitor has anticipation for the value they are going to receive by watching the video. This often involves highlighting pain points around the topic, such as health problems, or lack of success in the relevant area of life that an information product relates to, such as relationship problems.

‘Top 5 Reasons Why Men Pull Away During Early Stage Relationships”

“5 Causes Of Weight Gain That You Can Avoid Starting Today”

These headline examples suggest the person learning a solution to a problem that is causing them pain.

The pre-sell article then links in multiple places over to the video.


Video Sales Letter Length

Over the past few years the length of VSLs has stretched to 45 minutes or more, particularly for consumer products including information products and health supplements. My approach with VSL length is to consider:

  • The placement of the video (whether it accompanies a full sales later or is part of a piecemeal launch sequence),
  • The sophistication of the market (is it a commodity product in a sea of competition or something unique and special) and
  • Desire of the audience for that particular type of product when they land on the page (why go into extensive background detail and personal story building credibility and riling up their emotions if they are already super keen to buy a product of that type).

Case in point:

The 12 minute VSL for the ‘get organized’ product above. Back in 2008 there was less competition for such information, and my traffic came from people who had searched for terms like ‘how to get organized’. So the product was desired and competition was low. The price difference compared to the alternative of hiring a professional organizer was clear, reasonable and compelling. So 12 minutes was plenty of time to make the sales presentation to a relatively low buyer resistance.

However, if the product is new and unfamiliar with a potentially high perceived price, a full length VSL will generally help maximize sales to the widest possible market.

Here is the introduction script for a full length VSL I wrote promoting an innovative training system for American Football Quarterbacks. If you are familiar with the QB position, you will see how well this matches the dreams and frustrations of a QB, ensuring that they’ll stick around for the rest of the VSL.

snapper-first-slide

(click to open the script)

But how do we maintain engagement through a full 45 minutes..?


 VSL Engagement

It’s generally true that ‘the more you tell the more you sell’.

So… as long as the sales copy is RELEVANT to the audience, then providing you can make it sufficiently entertaining and fast flowing, the VSL can be ‘long’ (45+ minutes) and you’ll hold the attention of your audience and thus maximise conversions.

8% is a very high conversion rate. You may be looking for 2% to make a Video Sales Letter a big success and very profitable. Think about it. That’s just 2 to 8 people out of every 100. So you don’t need ‘everyone’ to want to watch a long VSL. Just a relative few.

The trick to keeping those few engaged is to craft a compelling message.

Here’s an example of an introduction to a full length VSL I wrote for the weight loss market (a massively sophisticated market given the history and level of competition). In this introduction I am to grab viewers attention by immediately calling out the ‘fads’ being marketed in the industry at the time, thereby differentiating this video and increasing engagement.

I’ll get into that a little lower down, but first we need to touch on…


Video Sales Letter Copywriting

So how do I do it?

My process involves [with more detail coming soon]:

  • Gathering Insight – Take a detailed brief from the client to understand the product and the audience (including where the traffic will be coming from). Watch competition VSLs for related product.
  • Developing a persona or avatar (an ideal customer description) including their major pain points as relates to the product and then write a bunch of potential positioning statements, headlines, and bullet points that speak to the audiences major pains with the promise of the product as a solution to their problem(s)
  • Writing a number of possible creative connections between the product features, the product background (how it came to be), the pain points (this is a copywriters secret sauce)
  • Using a series of best practice points from a template I have pieced together over the years to help ensure I hit all relevant selling points throughout the script
  • Leaving it for a day or so and then starting a ruthless editing process of removing sections that are clunky, boring, confusing, or lack credibility. All the while strengthening what remains by making it conversational, succinct and emotionally gripping

Multi-Part VSL Launch Sequence

A very significant approach to the use of a VSL is to break it down into sections and deliver them throughout a gated sales funnel. The gates may be actions the visitor must take, such as opting in by email to gain access to another segment of the video, or gated by time, as in a drip-campaign via email.

Here’s the homepage video (just 2 minutes in length) to introduce a relationship advice membership program:


Hiring A VSL Writer

A VSL Copywriter charges anywhere from ~$3,000 to ~$25,000 for a full VSL script plus royalties.

In a VSL split-test with a $25k copywriter’s original intro against a new intro that I wrote, my version increased engagement by 3 times. But don’t worry, I won’t charge you 3 times his fee 🙂

ms-heading

My new Headline for the replacement introduction copy I wrote to split-test against the original copywriters version.

You can see the new copy here plus the split test result. And see below for details on hiring me as your next VSL writer.

>