One of the most hotly debated topics in the world of copywriting today is that of video vs. text.
The controversy, it seems, it whether or not video sales letters will ultimately replace long form text sales letters in the world of direct-response marketing.
There are good enough reasons to think this will happen.
After all, video has many advantages:
– Watching a video takes less effort than reading a letter, so people are more likely to actually do it.
– Video engages the senses more than text does (sight and sound vs. just sight).
– Certain types of video sales letters (especially those with a face shot) can have the effect of building trust and personality in a way that text can’t.
Personally, I’m of the opinion that well-done video generally *does* out-pull well written text, provided the quality of the copy is held constant.
I’ve split tested enough sales letters to know that a good video always improves a sales letter’s conversion rate, which is why I’m getting into the habit of offering my clients a brief (1-2 minute) video along with their long form sales letter.
That being said, I don’t really think the era of the long form sales letter is over. In fact, quite the opposite.
As powerful as video is, I ultimately think it works better as a *complement* to text rather than as a replacement for it.
So there’s a stronger case to be made for COMBINING video with text rather than REPLACING one with the other.
Video alone may out-pull text alone, but a combination of video and text always out-pulls one or the other, hands down.
The case that really taught me this was my Warrior Forum “Warrior For Hire” sales thread (see here: http://www.warriorforum.com/warriors-hire/589913-sales-copy-high-converting-sales-copy-bargain-don-t-pay-full-until-converts.html#post6147333).
I started out with just sales text only, and it initially converted at just 3%.
I then cut out most of the text, using only a video with a few lines to explain how to order. After that, it actually went down slightly, to 2.7%.
Finally, I ran the whole long form sales letter along with a short, punchy video explaining the offer, and the conversion rate went up to 4.5%.
My split-testing was expensive, and I had at least 100 views for each version of the thread, so I can state these conversion rates as pretty definitive.
The question is, why did the long(ish) copy with the short video sell better than the long video with the short text?
The reason, I think, is that the “long form” structure generally works better for text than for video.
Think about it: video is supposed to be engaging and stimulating to watch; the minute it gets boring, you just turn it off.
Text is supposed to be interesting and tell you what you need to know; when it gets boring, you generally just skip ahead.
If you try to sell with just video, you’re losing the main advantage of text (lets readers skip ahead and get straight to the info they need).
If you try to sell with just text, you’re losing the main advantage of video (entertains viewers and reduces bounce rate).
The solution, then?
Short video to bait ’em in, long letter to give ’em the proof they need to buy.
Pretty easy, hey?
I bet you’re itching to try this out now, so I’m going to let you stop reading so you can go out and get your hands dirty.