Are Longform Salesletters Really Dead?

Just because people are in a tizzy over video salesletters being dead , and a “certain someone” came out with a report saying that longform salesletters are dead – doesn’t mean they’re actually dead.

If you think they are – you need to think about it a little more closely. Isn’t EVERYTHING dead? Email marketing is dead, salesletters are dead, social media is dead, blogging is dead, direct mail is dead, the Internet is dead…everything is dead!

Funny thing is…they’re not.

Not in the slightest.

In this blog post I’m going to show you exactly why they’re NOT dead…why video salesletters are great, but not the “savior” of businesses people make them seem to be… and what you SHOULD be doing instead of worrying about which media format is best.

So let’s start out with…

Why Are Video Salesletters Converting  (Usually) Better Than Long-form Salesletters?

Let me first start this by saying yes, in most cases…video salesletters ARE converting better than long-form salesletters right now. Their are several reasons for it.

#1 – They’re New – Just like any other “fad of the month”, customers simply aren’t used to video salesletters. Think about it. You have a control out in the mail…after awhile it fatigues. You send a brand-new package out and guess what? It does better! When customers see something “new” they pay extra attention simply because it’s new – and you make more sales. But, after awhile…the shiny object syndrome calms down and things go back to normal.

#2 – They Reveal Personality – One of the things I love about video salesletters is that they reveal your personality. You can do basically anything you want with them. People love personality and when they can see your face or hear your talk…they love it because it shows you’re a real person.

#3 – It’s Interactive – One of the major problems I see with salesletters is that they’re FREAKING BORING (more on this in a second). They’re not interactive, they’re not engaging… and your conversions then suck. With videos…things are flashing on the screen, bullet points are popping in and out, and people stay more engaged simply because there is more to look at.

Are Video Salesletters Here To Stay?

Yes, I believe they are. But do I think they’ll ever replace long-form salesletters?

Absolutely not.

When it comes down to it…you’re still giving a sales message. And your results are going to reflect the effectiveness of your salesmanship. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the phone, sending direct mail, email, faxes, video salesletters or long-form salesletters…a sales message is a sales message.

If you suck at writing copy – anything you write is going to get a bad conversion rate.

And if you suck at writing video scripts – your video salesletter is going to suck too. It’s really as simple as that. People are seeing video salesletters as some type of miracle-cure for bad salesmanship. Trust me… they’re not!

In a minute I’ll show you exactly what I’m doing to help integrate videos into my sales messages.

Because even though it may seem like it a little bit – I’m absolutely NOT knocking video salesletter.

I think they’re extremely powerful, if done right….but they’re simply not the keys to the kingdom everybody thinks they are – at least not in the long-term.

I could talk for DAYS about the difference between long-form salesletters and videos but instead, let me tell you 1 little “hint” before I tell you the exact strategy I’m personally taking with both my clients as well as my own personal projects (in regards to videos).

The Key To An Effective Sales Message

There’s NO doubt that it’s getting harder and harder to sell. Between the crappy economy and people suddenly acquiring “ADD” at epidemic rates (don’t even get me started on that argument)… conversions overall have been plummeting.

So, what’s a copywriter or business owner to do?

It’s really not hard, actually.

All you have to do….is BE INTERESTING!

Listen, I hear people complaining about their conversion rates going down the tube. Yet mine and my clients are skyrocketing. Why? Because if you understand your prospect and know what to talk about…they’ll listen.

Personally…I think we should be shifting towards advertorial-style sales messages – whether it’s with a video or not. Your prospects are sick of getting bombarded with pitches all day – and they want REAL content before they buy!

I’m writing a letter write now…where you would never even know it was a pitch until about page 5. And I can pretty much guarantee you – it’s going to convert like crazy. The reason is because I know my audience…and I matched the message to the audience.

Ok..so..what do I personally recommend when it comes to video salesletters and long-form salesletters?

A Few Salesletter Ideas To Try…

You have several options you can take. Just because the “guru’s” are doing video salesletters with no controls and save without even a pause button (for the record…I’ve never listened to more than 10 seconds of a video with no pause button)… doesn’t mean YOU have to do the same.

Here are some options for you that nobody else seems to be talking about.

  1. Straight Up Video Salesletter – This would be infomercial style or Frank Kern style for those familiar with him. It’s you in front of the camera, giving a pitch. If you do this…you should have a great personality and do something in the first few seconds to grab them right off the bat and peak their interest.
  2. Powerpoint Salesletter – This is something I’m going to try for my upcoming site (I’ll be trying many things) and basically all you do is write out a 4-8 page salesletter…and read the dam thing! I think it’s funny how people say that long-form salesletters are dead…yet…the video they’re on is simply them reading a long-form salesletter outloud. *Sigh*
  3. Top Video Then Long-Form – Something else to try is having a video at the top of the page selling them on the idea of reading the salesletter. Like any good advertorial (like I said – start writing more advertorial-style salesletters are your conversions WILL go up)…the beginning needs to sell them on actually reading the whole letter. That way they see you, know it’s a real person which makes their “wall” go down…and they feel more relaxed.
  4. Video Within The Salesletter – One thing I’m trying on one of my side projects is literally having multiple videos WITHIN the salesletter. I’m actually trying this on an affiliate salesletter where the founder of the company is an infomercial guy – so the videos he has are great. Basically the layout of it is that I’m explaining a concept – then going into more detail with the video.
  5. Just Text – The 5th option is to simply test your salesletter with just text. No video, no audio, nothing. It might not always work the best…but sometimes it will!

Listen…when it comes down to it the only thing that matters is if you test your salesletters.

And if JUST a video works best for you – that’s great. If just text works best…that’s great too. The important thing is that you not only test those 5 ideas and figure out which works best – but you then test it AGAIN a few months down the road after the video phenomenon wears down a bit.

And if you’re worried about a lack of salesletters needing to be written – send your clients to this post. After all if you look closely, you’ll notice a way for you to make MORE money from each client, not less 🙂

Let me know your thoughts on the whole video vs. long-form copy argument.

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