The Evolution of the Video Sales Letter (Explainer Video)

Ever received a long-winded letter from a company trying to sell their (amazing, you-need-this-right-NOW!!!) products in direct mail?

Something like this,

For years and years, companies and brands used direct mail sales letters to sell their products. They were hugely successful and one of the best ways to sell existing and new products.

However, with the advent of internet, companies started to create long-form online sales letters. They’d email them to subscribers and put them up on their websites to sway consumers. And as video marketing became hugely popular in the online marketing realm, online sales letter took form of video sales letters.

So what is a VSL, you may ask?

A VSL, video sales letter, is a simple revenue-boosting, ROI-increasing, conversions-multiplying sales letter in video form. It works on the principal of ‘a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words’. So instead of reading through pages and pages of your long sales letter, visitors can simply view the couple-of-minutes long video and make a decision.

Ins and outs of a VSL

So, we’ve already established that a video sales letter is the more advanced, more persuasive version of a typical long-from digital or direct mail sales letter. It generally works better because it uses the combined power of audio and video to engage and persuade potential consumers. After all, the human mind can interpret visuals 60,000 times faster than reading text.

Unbounce worked on video conversion rates for 6 months and ran a test to see how videos perform against text to persuade and convert consumers. And lo and behold, they saw a 69% life in their conversion rate after they embedded a video on their landing page.

Countless other brands have also seen an instantaneous growth after using video in their sales funnel.

But how does a VSL really work?

VSLs work on both - cold prospects (people who’ve just discovered your brand), or warm, ready-to-buy prospects. So whether you’re trying to tempt visitors into forming a long-term consumer relationship with your brand, or you’re simply trying to sell your latest product to your existing consumers, if used strategically, VSLs can dramatically increase your conversions and ROI.

As it is, 71% of marketers find their videos out-convert any other type of content.

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Porter Stansberry Research’s VSL 77min ‘End of America’ is one of the most popular VSLs in the finance industry. It also boasts impressive results -

  • 600,000 new subscribers, and that's $30 million on the front end.

  • Since each new subscriber is worth $500 on the back end, so this video sales letter brought in over $300 million.


Example of 77min VSL


VSLs are not just limited to sales pages, ie. landing pages which directly sell your product or service. You can use them for a variety of purposes and in a variety of places, such as your thank-you page to further sell customers, or your pre-launch pages, where you usually ask interested viewers to sign up to be notified when you’re launching.

So before we dawdle on, let’s see 3 excellent VSLs to inspire you.

1. ClickFunnels

Everybody in the digital world has heard of ClickFunnels. It’s basically a landing page builder on steroids. When you land on their landing page, the first thing you see is a video. When you play that video, you’re instantly inspired to use ClickFunnels and turn your business around through it.

Clickfunnel’s VSL tells you everything that ClickFunnels is, everything that it can do to turn your business around, and how it completely changed the life and business of its customers in under 4 minute.

It’s a 230 second visual treat for all brands and businesses. A roller coaster of a video, it takes you on an amazing journey, and at the end of it you can’t wait to click the ‘Start your 14 day trial’ icon. Or, at the very least take the quiz on your right.

2. ClickFunnels vs. Your Website - What Happens Next Changed Everything

ClickFunnels is a master at creating high-converting, entertaining, and super-informative VSLs. Most of their VSLs speak directly to their consumer and oozes personality. All in all, they’re great examples to follow and get inspired by when creating VSLs. 

Here’s another one. 

Convincing the audience that your product is better than your rivals is a difficult task. ClickFunnels not only makes this difficult task look stupendously easy, but also wins over their audience. Non-slimy and non-spammy; this ClickFunnels sales video is an excellent example of using innovation in the video marketing world. 


Even though the video is on the longer side - over 4 minutes - but it keeps you entertained throughout and manages to convince by the end of it that ClickFunnels is the best solution to all your conversion problems. Don’t take my word for it, just read the comments below the video here.

3. Capturing Emotion


Another whiteboard explainer video that does an excellent job at persuading potential customers while telling an engaging story.

The man behind this (script writer and narrator) VSL is Chris Hadid, famous for his incredible success with VSLs and persuasive storytelling marketing in the dating niche. He tests all this VSLs thoroughly to make sure that each and everyone results in high conversions.

This 6 minute video works purely on the principal of storytelling.

In 2019 and beyond, video’s the way to go.

Nowadays, not a lot of people have in them to go through pages and pages of persuasive copy. In the digital age of video and instant gratification, people want to make decisions quick and a video sales letter can help them make a decision instantly. It also allows you, as a marketer and brand owner, to clinch the deal equally fast.

According to Forbes, 90% of customers say video helps them make buying decisions and 64% of customers say that seeing a video makes them more likely to buy.

So, if you haven’t started yet, now’s the time to see how well your audience responds to video sales letters.