VSL copywriter shares his insider tricks to high converting VSLs

7 Easy Tweaks to Turn a VSL Dud into a Sales Rocket

My VSL campaign last week bombed – and I know why…

Facebook’s targeting is now second to none.

You can test campaigns for as little as $5 a day and find customers with diamond cutting precision.


that doesn’t mean they’re going to rush to download your report when they have no clue who you are.

You’ve got to build the relationship first.

Selling via Facebook is the same as bringing a new client onboard in real life.

You don’t want to tell them how much you’ll charge in the first email.

In the wise words of Homer Simpson, “If you want to make you’re move, you’ve got to play it cool.”

You invite them out for coffee first. Discuss their challenges over Skype or email them back to explain why their current strategy isn’t working.

Only then can you start thinking about presenting your offer.

I did none of this.


Instead, I bought my way into their newsfeed and expected people to handover their email address.

I rushed things, and got the door slammed in my face.

I wont be making the same mistake again.

Now that’s been said…here’s my entire VSL report published and offered upfront with no strings attached.

We live and learn in this marketing game.

7 easy ways to increase VSL conversions

You’ve dropped $10k on a copywriter, another $15k on full animation and then watched in HORROR as views of your VSL fall off a cliff in the FIRST minute.

It’s enough to make even the steeliest of marketers cry.

Why aren’t people watching?

Can it be saved?

You have questions. I have answers.

Take a deep breath, have a seat and let’s see if we can’t turn your VSL car crash into a conversion monster…

Why VSL’s are so powerful

VSLs are probably the most effective way of selling right now (particularly for converting cold traffic).


Because you control the thought process.

Instead of allowing viewers to flick through the sales page, skimming and missing out all the best bits, you have them locked in to a predetermined path.

Like a conveyer belt that takes them from curious to convinced and ready to buy.


as any seasoned salesmen will tell you – you can’t convince someone to buy something unless they feel it in their gut.

You can’t just TELL people how wonderful your magic beans are and expect them to hand over the cash.

You have to find a way of standing by their side and explaining how that numbing pain or itch will never go away unless they take action – TODAY!

To do this, your VSL has to engage the conversation already taking place in their head.

It has to prod their pain, build their hopes and feed on their nightmares before you can hope to sell them anything.

But to do any that – people have to WATCH IT.

All the way from start to finish.

In this report I explain the 7 simple tweaks that can ensure people keep watching and you can skyrocket your conversions and sales as a result.

  1. GRAB their interest with a goldfish

It’s now scientific fact that people have shorter concentration spans than goldfish (seriously, they’ve done studies on it).

So it’s ironic that presenting them with a goldfish in the first three minutes could be the best way to keep them watching.

What the heck am I talking about?

Let me explain…

The Tao of Badass is a dating VSL which for no clear reason starts with the introduction of a goldfish.

The viewer’s mental response is something like this:

“Why has he shown me a goldfish?”

“What can this possibly have to do with dating?”

“I’d better keep watching to find out!”

Goldfish How to get women The Tao of Badass YouTube

Creating an unresolved question (or ‘open loop’) is a powerful way of keeping people watching to get the answers.

And the best time to ask an open question is right at the start.


Because most people quit VSLs within the first 3 minutes.

But if you can keep them watching for that long they tend to watch for longer because they feel they’ve invested so much time already they might as well keep watching.

So best practice is to create three different intros of 3 minutes to see which keeps people engaged the most.

This will naturally result in more conversions at the end.

Along with showing something weird like a goldfish to create a WTF moment, try sharing some SHOCKING stats, reveal an industry conspiracy or have a short video clip of a skateboarding dog to suck them into your presentation.


2)  Give them a REASON to keep watching


VSLs bomb when they completely miss the viewer’s pain buttons.

This typically happens because you haven’t done enough research.

Even worse, you’ve ASSUMED you know all the answers.

No matter how well you think you know the market, you still need to find out about their pains, complaints and problems they need solved.

The first step is to check forums, Facebook groups, Amazon reviews and perhaps even using Survey Monkey to find out.

You can then create a ‘buyer persona’ of who your VSL is targeted at.

You can then fine tune your message based on their ‘awareness scale’ of the problem your product solves.

You can find a more detailed explanation in Michael Masterson’s ‘Great Leads’. But for the sake of brevity, they are:


Awareness Level Best Approach for the VSL’s Pitch
Most Aware Make an offer
Product Aware Outline how your product helps
Solution Aware Explain the problem your product solves
Problem Aware Option 1 Expose a secret they didn’t know about
Problem Aware Option 2 Pitch your VSL as a big announcement related to their problem
Unaware Use storytelling to discuss their problem and your solution


When you understand who your customer is and where they are on the awareness scale, you can make your VSL’s main message more laser focused on hitting their pain buttons.


3) Tell them a STORY to create emotional connection

People buy with emotion and justify their decision with logic.

Everyone in sales knows that.

So you need to make our viewer FEEL the need for your product if they’re going to keep watching and to imagine what their lives will be like when your product fixes that pain.

What’s the best way to do this?

With a STORY!

We are hardwired to respond to stories ever since our ancestors spent long nights around a campfire or painted their walls.

When we hear a story we imagine ourselves in the same predicament and this naturally triggers our emotions.

Beverly Hills MD is one of the highest converting VSLs in skincare.

It does a lot of things right, notably its use of a story about how someone rediscovered their youthful looks and confidence with its face cream.

Presenting the product in this way is a powerful way of sidestepping people’s normal cynicism or marketing.

It just seems more believable and gets the viewer to imagine the same outcome in their own life. They’re also more open to buying into the VSLs other claims, thinking they could just be true.


Beverly Hills MD

4) Focus on ONE key message or BIG idea

Ever heard the saying ‘keep it simple stupid’ (KISS)?

KISS is a popular copywriting acronym that reminds us to keep our sales copy as simple as possible.

Your VSL is not an episode of Lost.

It needs to take viewers on ONE logical path of thought.

Your viewer probably has lots of other windows open, chat messages,mobile pings and maybe even have the TV – all at the same time.

They are NOT going to absorb a complicated message.

Imagine that each idea in your VSL is a ball, which you’re passing to them. The more balls they have to manage the harder it gets to juggle them all in their head.

Throw them too many balls and the whole pitch falls apart.

So focus on ONE key message or one BIG idea on why your product matters.


5) Provide PROOF so buying becomes logical

Middle aged man working at home in from of a laptop

People are more jaded, cynical and downright distrustful of marketing than ever.

It’s no use just making CLAIMS that your supplement will make them beach body ready, turn them into Einstein or make them rich – all overnight.

You’ve got to PROVE it.

Just making stuff up is also a fast track to a court date with the FDA.

Imagine Dr Richard Dawkins’ is watching your VSL and what claims will make him furrow his brow then rip your VSL’s pitch to pieces.

Or imagine your viewer’s doubts are fences between them and the buy button. And think about what you need to say to resolve each one so that their confidence is won and their path to buying is clear.

Write down all the possible objections they may have then make sure you remove each one so that buying is the only route they can take.


6) Create SCARCITY so they buy now

By the time they finish watching your VSL, you want viewers to be jumping up and down in their seat in anticipation of what your product can do for them.

You don’t want them pondering for a minute longer. Or close the video, thinking they’ll buy it later.

They won’t!

So, you need to light a firecracker under their chair, and make it clear why they MUST buy RIGHT NOW!

How can you do this?

A few tactics to try:

  • Offer a 24 hour discount they can only get through the video.
  • Tell them you have limited stock and the buy button could disappear any second.
  • That the ingredients are in high demand and the price could rise.
  • Add a timer that shows when the price will go up.

People HATE to feel they’re missing out.

So try to create a sense of SCARCITY and that the door is closing so they’d better hit that BUY button fast.

7) FRAME the price

timeYou’ll have done most of the hard work by the time you announce the price.

By this stage they should be jumping up and down in their seat with their credit card out.

But if you present the price in the wrong way, you can still easily lose them.

So you need to FRAME the price in a way that makes it appear like excellent value for money.

If it’s a supplement, a popular tactic is to compare it to a cup of coffee, and reinforce how it will be much healthier and cheaper for them then a stimulant they’re relying on for performance already.

Or you could discuss how it will save them thousands on future medical bills by slowing the decline in their mental or physical health.

If it’s a training aid, you could say how it saves them the cost of coaching, or the hours of time they’d have to practice to get the same results.

If it’s an eBook you could frame how much time it will save them on collating the information themselves, or trying to complete a task without a roadmap.

Compare it to the alternatives and reinforce why winners invest in their own success.

Then explain why your product is such an investment and how it will save them vast amounts of time and money in the long run.

That’s 7 for starters…

Implementing these seven changes are key tactics that can improve engagement and response rate for any VSL.

Extra advice I’d add is to not underestimate your customer’s intelligence. Be aware of the sales messages your competitors use that your customers have heard millions of times before.

Claiming a skin cream is ‘anti-aging’, for example, can be a big turn off to baby boomers,.

They’ve been bombarded with these claims so many times that they no longer believe them. It’s better to say ‘skin enhancement’ instead.

Also, be bold in your ideas.

Look for ways to challenge your viewer’s preconceptions, while backing up the things they may have been questioning already.

A conspiracy angle about how big pharma buries natural therapies is a classic example.

As always, the key is thorough, detailed research into both your product AND your customer.

A good rule of thumb is to keep researching until you’ve convinced yourself to buy the product. This will naturally come across in your copy.

Turning a VSL into a Million Dollar Business

VSLs are great at converting even cold traffic, whether from Facebook, Google, Outbrain, Taboola or any other ad network.

They can also be the entryway to a sales funnel (also known as the ‘backend’). This is where the big money is made and what can take a business from thousands of dollars a week to millions.

Even a $7 eBook can be the entryway for a six or seven figure business when you have a solid email series and enough upsells in place.

To give you some examples:

The Truth About Abs VSL generates around $1million a month for its product creator, Mike Geary.

The Tao of Badass VSL took the business from making a few thousand dollars to becoming a best seller on Clickbank

Text Your Ex Back  helped dating coach Michael Fiore to build a business empire in one of the most competitive niches on the internet.

And the list goes on…

What’s more, when have a high converting VSL, traffic takes care of itself as affiliates will be desperate to promote you to their email list.

I just want to give you some insight into what is possible with a VSL.

It has the potential to be a MAJOR profit generator that can take your business from small scale to prime time.


Want a VSL that Converts?

I hope you’ve found this post useful and it’s revealed how you can skyrocket your VSL’s conversions and sales.

If you have a VSL that scares off viewers in minutes or you’d like a new one created, get in touch for a no obligation proposal.

I’ve written tons of short corporate videos and 60 minute epics for nootropics, insomnia, heart disease, weight loss, skincare, fitness and even golf training aids (examples here).

So if you’d like to discover how a VSL can provide the entryway to your sales funnel and the best revenue generator for your business, let’s talk.

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