How to Create a VSL: Tips and Tricks from a 7 Figure Copywriter

If you want to generate more leads at a fraction of the cost, increase your conversion rates, and boost your results, the video sales letter, or VSL, can be a powerful tool to add to your marketing arsenal.

Video tends to be more engaging than text and is quickly becoming the preferred medium for consumers to learn about a product before they are ready to buy it.

That’s why we brought writing expert and VSL Arman Assadi to the studio to share his top tips for creating an effective video sales letter. As the co-founder and CEO of Project EVO, he discovered what works by testing his VSL in the real world. And the man knows how to get world class results.

In fact, he holds the world record for the most successful crowdfunding planner of all time – raising over $1 million.

In this article, Arman shares his secrets to creating a high-converting VSL, a tactic that has helped him generate tons of leads, convert browsers into buyers, and excite even the coldest traffic to get out their wallets and buy.

Ask yourself: What will your VSL do?

One of the biggest mistakes Arman sees people make is simply saying, “we need a video!” without understanding the purpose behind a VSL.

There is no doubt that video is a powerful tool for businesses to use in their sales and marketing. But it’s only powerful when done with a specific goal in mind. Simply turning on your camera and recording the first 60 seconds of whatever comes to mind will not give you the next level results you want from video.

In fact, Arman says that a bad video can be worse than a bad copy. Because unlike bad copy that consumers can still skim through and miss the flaws, you can’t “stop watching” a bad video or “stop listening” to a bad script.

That’s why he tells all of his clients to first consider the purpose of their VSL.

Do you need to make all the sales? Does the video need to complement the copy on the page? Do you need to pressure users who have just performed something to do something else?

3 main functions of a VSL

If you’re stuck, Arman says there are 3 main functions a VSL serves:

1. Supplement to page copy

If your product would really benefit from a demo or is a physical good, you may want to have a video in addition to the text. This is because people may actually need to see the product or see a use case before they are ready to buy it.

For example, if Squatty Potty had been just text-based, I’m not so sure the same message as his famous viral video would have been conveyed. Text can support your message. But video can help you demonstrate your product or inspire people to keep reading.

2. Copy replacement

Sometimes it’s better if you don’t have any text and just rely on video. For example, if you need a prospect to see a full presentation before he can make his offer, so that he can really see the value of what he has, he may want to avoid text altogether. That’s why you’ll see a lot of information products presented and sold through webinars, live sessions, or strictly video.

They don’t want you to be able to scroll to the bottom of a page, see a price tag, and bounce. The introducer/seller needs you to experience certain things before making the offer. Because when it comes to information and digital goods, you really have to sell the value. It is not always inherent to the product.

3. Additional point of contact after the action

One of the best times to introduce a VSL is right after a user has taken an action, like signing up for a list or purchasing a product. This can serve as a pattern interrupt and a way to interact with users directly in a more personal way.

How do you know which one is right for you?

“Proof!” Arman says. Encourage all businesses to try different variations of the 3 video categories above. But never start a VSL without knowing which of these you intend to create. Because a video that supports copying is very different from a video that needs to stand alone. And both are very different from a video that acts as an additional point of contact.

Decide the purpose of your video early on, and then you can move on to writing, filming, and more.

How long should my VSL last?

The biggest question everyone asks Arman about VSLs is “How long should they last?” And the answer is: “It depends!”. Arman says, “The length of his VSL depends on the difficulty of his decision.”

For example, if you ask someone to download a free report or video, you don’t need a 50-minute video. In fact, a shorter video would be much better. Arman recommends 3-5 minutes or less for anything that’s free.

As you climb the ladder in price, you need to lengthen your video accordingly. So a $1,000 product will require a much longer video than a $200 product, and so on. One of Arman’s specialties, and something he encourages new VSL creators to try, is writing medium-length VSLs for tripwire products.

What is a tripwire product?

It’s a low-priced product (usually between $7 and $49) designed to entice customers to pull out their credit cards and buy.

It’s considered a conversion acceleration tactic because it can help you create a lot of buyers for a lower-priced item, and then sell things to them later.

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The tools and equipment you need to record a VSL

Arman always warns people not to be intimidated by the brilliant production you can see with other videos.

“The most important thing you need to do well is the script. If you achieve that, your VSL can be simple. You can make slides, screenshots, just use your computer’s webcam. Or just turn on your smartphone camera.”

Many webinars have broken 7 figures with nothing more than text and slides.

The point is, don’t let budget and tools intimidate you, especially if you don’t have them. In fact, Arman says that being authentic and genuine is much more important than what accessories you include.

That said, if you have a lot of resources and a great production team, you can certainly use copywriting techniques to make your big-budget VSL even better.

Tips for programming your VSL

After writing VSLs that generated 7+ figure sales (many times), Arman discovered a few simple tips that allow you to create high-converting VSLs faster. Here are 7 of the quick tips and tricks from him:

  1. Reuse sales page copy. When you’re writing a VSL, you don’t have to start from scratch. In fact, the best copywriters will often use copy that’s already on the sales page (or product) to fill out a VSL script. This allows you to create videos faster and focus on making it sound authentic and genuine and not just writing from scratch.
  2. Give an exact CTA. The biggest mistake people make when writing VSL is not telling them exactly what to do. If you leave it to chance, it will never get done. So if you’re selling a product, tell them to “click the yellow button below the video and enter your payment details on the next page.” In other words, walk the prospect step-by-step through exactly what needs to happen. Arman says that being explicit in a VSL is an instant way to increase sales.
  3. Gain future pace perspective (imagine themselves in the future). When you write VSL, you want the viewer to imagine themselves enjoying all the benefits of your product in the future. That’s why Arman recommends using phrases like “How good would ____ feel?” and “Imagine what it would be like to not have to think about _____ anymore.” These phases set the viewer’s future pace and make him think of a life that is better with his product in it.
  4. A nod to a transformation. There’s a reason weight loss companies always include before and after shots in their marketing. They work. People love to see examples of dramatic transformations. So the more you can include examples of transformation, in the form of stories, testimonials, or demonstrations, the better.
  5. Be specific. You never want your copy to be vague. It should be so specific that the reader cannot NOT picture it in their mind. So don’t say “learn how to get a job” in your video. Instead, say something like “wake up to an inbox flooded with job openings.” One falls flat. The other brings images to your mind.
  6. Eliminate the risk. Although consumers rarely use them when the product is of high quality, warranties are an important part of any VSL because no one wants to feel like a fool and make a bad decision. Instead of letting fear stop people from taking action, you need to communicate the fact that there is no risk to your customers. Pro tip: Show how easy it is to take advantage of the warranty on your VSL.
  7. Eliminate objections. A VSL’s job is to push people to take action, but there will inevitably be things that stop them. Those are called objections, and a well-designed VSL will answer them. Some of the most common objections have to do with time and money, but others will be specific to your product. Therefore, you must identify the most frequently asked questions and answer them in your VSL.

Those tips and tricks are why the likes of Neil Patel, Lewis Howes, Jason Silva, Lori Harder, Timothy Sykes, Gerard Adams, and more put Arman on the list of copywriters they turn to for their own pitches. They do wonders.

Read more: How to write a sales email that converts

Make your VSL stand out

VSL is the secret behind some of Arman’s biggest campaigns. And if you want to generate more leads, customers, and profits for your business, VSLs can play an important role in any sales plan. Use these tips and tricks to create your first (or next) VSL today. Get more of Arman’s copywriting strategies by joining our free 7-figure copywriting training. In addition, you will be able to see first-hand some VSLs in operation.

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