At the Web Copywriting Intensive that I attended last week in Austin, I learned a second time about video sales letters (VSL), which is basically taking the long-form sales letter of yore (you know, the kind that some dismiss as “junk mail”) and making it into a video on a company’s website, often as a landing page. The presentation, by copywriter Mark Everett Johnson and publisher Lee Bellinger, outlined how this new medium works. By some counts, they can double prospect response and are the new trend in direct response copywriting.
The example given at the presentation was for a newsletter – definitely conservative/libertarian/tea party in nature, but I tried to ignore that – was made all the more interesting by including photos. The way that most VSL’s have been done is to just have page after page (or in this case, screen) of text. So having this method of delivery was definitely more interesting to me, even though I didn’t agree at all with the sales message.
I had heard about this presentation before at the AWAI 2012 Bootcamp last October, from another famous copywriter, Clayton Makepeace, whom I actually got to meet there. What I didn’t ask him was how these VSL’s would work for the travel industry, if they could work at all. If I go to the 2013 Bootcamp this fall, I’ll make sure I do.
Today, I read a post about micro-social six-second videos, which are also becoming a trending topic. Apparently this medium has been made popular with Twitter’s purchase of Vine, which allows users to create these super-short clips. The article in question talks about how effective would it be to use these videos in marketing. Copywriter Gary Hennerberg proposes a challenge to see if these could actually work.
What does this mean for travel marketing?
Well, I would think that having video sales letters in travel would be a great thing to try, especially if you include fabulous photography of a given destination, as well as people enjoying themselves there and the luscious looking food. I would love to see how effective this sales tool would be for travel companies. Micro-videos would probably have a place, too, but it would be more for a younger and (hate to stereotype) shorter-attention-spanned demographic. I would also be ideal for adventure/active travel, where a marketer could almost make a music-video style montage of these clips in their website content.
Perhaps this is something that I can help travel companies with? Contact me if you’re interested!