A proven formula to profitable VSL’s

Video Sales Letters or VSL’s for short, have become a critical tool to selling online. Their purpose is to sell to viewers on the spot. They’re akin to standard Sales Letters — either printed or on a landing page. However people connect better with somebody talking to them or on screen, which is why VSL’s can do so well.

As with any content, sales or otherwise, it’s important to lay your VSL’s out in a strict, logical and easy to follow sequence. Here are the 10 steps you need to take (in order) to succeed with your VSL’s:

Step 1: Intro

The very first step is of course an introduction. This needs to include:

  • An attention grabbing headline
  • Introducing yourself
  • And asking the viewers 3 questions designed to get them engaged and thinking

The purpose of the Intro is to get peoples attention. People are more likely to drop off in the first 30–60 seconds of a VSL, so you need to get them engaged. If they stick on past the intro, they’re more likely to make it to the end of the VSL (which should be your goal!).

Step 2: Problem Identification

With the Intro out of the way, onto problems. Your viewers will have distinct problems (which you will later offer to help). But for now, you need to make your audience realise the problems they have and acknowledge that they’re not good for them:

  • Speak their language
  • Futurecast (get them to imagine their future if their problem persists)
  • Relate to their problems — use personal experiences and your own stories
  • Where possible use stats and case studies — show your viewers they’re not alone in this problem of theirs, but they need to do something about it

Step 3: Scarcity

Next, you need to scare them about their problems. Many people know they have problems, and they under play the impacts they have on them — and let them continue without taking action.

  • Scare them into continuing to watch so they can finally fix their problems
  • Make them realise they can’t miss out of this one opportunity to help themselves by sticking with the video

Step 4: Provide Solution

Now enters your product or service: the solution to your viewers problems.

  • Share the product name and photos of it — tangibles do better (if it’s an online service, use ecovers or digital renders like showing a course or book on a laptop)
  • Explain the history of the product — how you created it, what went into it (experience, knowledge, lots of work) and WHY — what motivates you?
  • Talk about how easy the product is to use
  • Explains how it will solve their very real problem (and has done before)
  • Lastly, where possible tie the product into your own story — how you overcame your own problems led you to creating this solution for others (if only this problem existed when you needed help!)

Step 5: Features & Benefits

Here you may be tempted to dive heavily into features. Features are fine, but their job is to create a result or benefit. It’s those results/benefits that the viewer really cares about.

  • Ideally talk about 5 different features
  • Each feature must lead to a distinct result or benefit directly related to solving the viewers problem
  • Lastly, put in a small call to action — explain briefly how the viewer can get the product now.

Step 6: Proof

Next, you need to prove your product has helped people and will help your reviews.

  • Give real life examples of how your product has helped several people
  • Provide testimonials from customers who’ve loved your product
  • Focus on results — what results did your product get people — is their problem solved?
  • Don’t forget to talk about your authority — your experience.

Step 7: Objections

At this point viewers will be thinking of reasons not to buy — you should be prepared. Whilst this isn’t a live webinar where people can ask specific questions, you can anticipate what viewers are thinking by:

  • Doing frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  • And openly talking about and identifying barriers — reasons why they wouldn’t buy. And making sure to destroy those barriers!

Step 8: Call To Action

It’s now action time — and make sure your viewers know it. Call them out, get them to make a decision. But first, make the decision all that easier for them by:

  • Building up the product value — adding bonuses, and only charging a small price in comparison to ultimate value
  • Give a guarantee — but be sure to be specific about terms to protect yourself
  • Finally, clearly state the action they need to take to get your product. Don’t leave it to chance, make sure nothing stands in their way.

Step 9: Warnings

Nearing the end of the VSL now, and here is where you want to be blunt with your viewers — and warn them. Warn them what will happen if they don’t buy.

  • Explain that their problem won’t go away
  • Identify the risk that their problem could ever get worse
  • Warn them that there are limited spaces or time to get the offer and product
  • Worst of all — nothing happens. Is that really what they want, to do nothing about their problem? Surely not, if they’ve gone to the trouble of watching…

Step 10. End

It’s time to close now.

  • Summarise and restate the problem they have
  • Explain how you can solve it — your product
  • And explain the features and BENEFITS of your product
  • Give a final call to action

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