Should You Have Lengthy Sales Videos?

Over the last couple of months we continue to see lengthy sales videos. They suck and I am going to put the kibosh on them right here right now. I do not care what your mom has told you about lengthy sales videos I am here to show you differently.

I am confused by lengthy videos, and everyone finds them rather annoying.  What takes these sales videos 45 minutes to say I could say in 7 minutes and that might be pushing it.  I know you will get the argument that lengthy sales videos convert better, but there is a big problem.  Consumers hate them and are starting to get more annoyed each passing day.  Not only do they hate the lengthy video, with them comes the ever dreadful auto play, no video controls, and no time indicator.  They are not geared towards the consumer.  We are all in business to create a service or product that consumers enjoy.  The better service we provide the more money we make.   The better user experience, the more loyal the customer becomes.   We crave a perfect user experience in fact Google, Yahoo, and Bing are also starting to put more weight on the overall user experience.  Here are just a couple of comments on lengthy sales videos.

Yeah, I hate videos where you can’t pause them or scroll through. There is no indication of how long it is going to run for. What if you need to take a phone call? I don’t like being forced, so I usually click off and don’t bother.  Andy Black SEO

Totally agree here too. Cant fast forward to the end or anything. I hardly ever watch them. For some, I just let them play while I go off and do other stuff. Brian

Personally, if it autoplays – I immediately close the window. If it doesn’t show me how long it is, I might scan the copy (if there is any) – and then close the window. If there’s no way to pause it – I either mute it or close the page. sheldon

They SUCK!!!!  Blake

The comments above were typical with every report we researched.  Very seldom did we find anyone who liked lengthy sales videos, but they did say they liked lengthy sales letters.  So that leads us to a great question.  Do lengthy sales videos with auto play and no timer sale more product?  They do but the data is spotty at best and the majority of testing happens with an attached sales letter.  There is a big difference between the performance of lengthy sales letters and lengthy videos.  Past research has shown that lengthy sales letters do convert more clients and sale more product. That is the reason they exist.   Long sales letters work!

You can’t just assume since sales letters work that video will also follow the same pattern.  If consumers hate them, their death is almost certain.   We can do better and create a happy medium.   How can we satisfy both seller and consumer at the same time?  I am going to tell you.

1.  Create both a sales copy and a sales video.  The actual sales letter needs to be its normal length, but the sales video needs to be treated more like a headline.  Hit their hot buttons quickly and keep them interested.  The reason consumers are checking out of your video is because they are bored. They need more.  Give them the options necessary to get more information at their own pace.    When the video is completed they can purchase your product, or they can read your sales copy to get even more information.  But everything needs to be at the consumers pace.  In the quote below, you will see there are 3 types of readers.  Skimmers, Jumpers and Book Worms.    This applies to viewers also.  Your video needs to cater to the same types of people.

Question: What makes such pages (sales letters) so effective? Which psychology tricks do these pages adopt to hook the reader?

What makes them so effective is that, if setup the RIGHT way… you can hook into the personality styles of all types of readers.

There are basically 3 types of readers.

  • Skimmers – These people will skim a page up and down quickly, just to get a quick overview of what you’re selling. They’re typically pretty quick to act and already have their minds made up before they even get to the page.
  • Jumpers – These people spend more time on the page than skimmers, but less than readers. They will skim the page, but then if something catches their attention – they’ll dive into the copy and read it thoroughly.
  • Book Worms – These people read the whole damn thing, top to bottom…. every single word. They’re typically slower decision makers and tend to think things over and want every single ounce of detail before making a decision. Or sometimes – they just like to read

2.  Auto Play or no Auto Play.  Yes auto play does work and should be used, but do not hide all the controls.  Respect consumers time and let them decide if they want to fast forward the video. If they can see the time of the video most of them will watch it.  As long as the length is within reason.   If it is a 5 to 10 minute video, consumers will wait and listen to your whole message.  If you have a 20 minute video you can guarantee they will skip around.

3. How long should your video be?  10 minutes is the maximum.

The average 30-second video was viewed 85% of the way through, while the average 2-minute video was viewed on average 50% of the way through. That is a very fast viewership drop-off. But what’s surprising is that the average viewing percentage stays quite consistent for 2-minute videos to 10-minute videos.

Some great websites and companies that have based their whole formula on short videos is and keeps all there talks at 20 minutes in length and keeps their videos at 5 minutes.  Here is the header on their site. It is a good mantra to have! “Enlighten us, but make it quick”

Lengthy Video Sales Letters
Here is the secret formula.
Tell them everything that you think will push them one step closer to buying your product… and not a single word more. And do so in a fun, engaging way that will connect with YOUR audience.

Give the consumer the option to go at their own pace but create a powerful video so that your sales increase.  If your consumers are checking out it is because you are not compelling enough.  No more lengthy sales videos, please.  Because who are you to take up 45 minutes of my time?