The Top 7 Lessons I’ve Learned From $500,000,000 in Webinar and VSL Sales

Yep. You read that right… Between my client’s and my own webinars and VSLs, the copy I’ve written has produced 1/2 BILLON dollars in sales.

Granted, I’ve been at this a while, and have written and developed a TON of offers for some very big clients.

However, being involved with projects, offers and funnels that have produced those kinds of numbers gives a person a unique insight into what works and what doesn’t when selling with online video.

As part of the content, I’m putting together for my upcoming 3-day event, my “Advanced Online Video Persuasion Masterclass”… I sat down and analyzed dozens of the biggest winning webinars and VSLs I’ve played a part in over the past 15+ years.

So, I thought I’d share 7 of the top lessons I’ve learned over that time about selling via webinar or VSL.

For you “advanced” or “seasoned” marketers, some of these things may seem obvious or just the “basics”…

However, real MASTERY (and results) don’t come from finding a few “tricks” or “gimmicks”. Real results come from MASTERING the basics.

In martial arts, there is a wise saying…

“Don’t fear the man who has practiced 10,000 different punches 1 time. Fear the man who has practiced ONE punch 10,000 times.”

So with that said, here are the Top 7 Lessons…

1) Know Your Target Customer: This goes so much deeper than just writing a “customer avatar” and listing some demographics. The marketers who break into 8-figure+ land invest hours and hours on the phone interviewing prospects and buyers in their market.

We learn EVERYTHING we can about our target buyers… Their hopes, dreams, fears, frustrations, political leanings, magazines they read, TV shows they watch… EVERYTHING!

And often, some of the best copy, ads and headlines come DIRECTLY word-for-word from transcripts of these interviews. Pay close attention to not just WHAT they tell you, but the EXACT words and language they use to describe their problems and aspirations.

Because once you can describe their problem and pain better than they can, they will automatically grant you permission and authority to then SOLVE the problem!

Which brings us to #2…

2) Sell The CURE to Their REAL Pain and REAL Problems: Without exception, every single offer I’ve seen scale into the 8-figures via webinar or VSLs was selling to an audience or target market that was in REAL and IMMEDIATE pain. We are not selling band-aids for paper cuts… We are selling to what my copywriting mentor Gary Halbert called “A STARVING crowd!”

And we are not selling something that “masks the symptoms” or provides temporary, incremental relief… Or worse yet “prevention”… We are selling the PERMANENT CURE to the ONE THING that is keeping them awake at night.

Every product or service solves a problem… However, the BIG money only comes from solving BIG problems.

3) Make an Irresistible, “IQ Test” Offer: My rule is, your offer must be so strong that if a prospect REALLY understands the value proposition, and they don’t buy… They feel stupid for passing it up. You want to stack the value SO FAR in favor of your buyer, they feel foolish not to buy.

While I teach my clients there are 5 different components of an IQ test offer, one of the most important of those 5 is your risk reversal (guarantee.) If you can make your guarantee SO STRONG that it FULLY moves the risk in the transaction from the shoulders of the buyer, to the shoulders of the seller your sales and conversions will skyrocket.

You want your viewer to think to themselves, “With a guarantee THAT strong, these people would go broke if the product/service didn’t work!”

Another of the 5 components of my “IQ Test Offers” are adding bonuses that are so strong they can be (and often are) stand-alone products that sell for more by themselves than the total investment for this offer.

Bonuses shouldn’t be an afterthought… They should add massive, complementary value to the core product or service.

4) Develop a “Competition Proof” UVP (Unique Value Proposition): You’ve probably heard about the importance of having a good USP (Unique Selling Proposition) …

But personally, I prefer to call mine UVP’s… Unique VALUE Propositions. This is a subtle but critically important distinction. USP puts the emphasis on “selling”. UVP puts the emphasis on VALUE. And that makes ALL the difference in the world.

That’s because money itself is a measure of exchanged VALUE. The more VALUE you deliver and communicate, the more money you’ll make as a natural result.

So, a true UVP communicates a VALUE that is so one-of-a-kind, so unique and different, you are basically inventing a new category. Your UVP explains why everything they have tried hasn’t worked up to this point, why YOUR solution is not just a “better” choice, it’s the ONLY choice.

5) Relentlessly and Continually Test EVERYTHING: There is not ONE single 8+ figure offer I’ve found where the client wasn’t OBSESSIVELY FOCUSED on split-testing.

And not just testing a few headlines or price points, one or two times… But CONTINUALLY testing each and every touch point and element in the entire sales process.

Testing what I call the “micro-conversions”. Each decision point… Each potential click… Every webinar slide or VSL scene… Is an opportunity to optimize and improve conversions.

And the best part is… Each of the micro-conversion improvements creates a compound effect with the other improvements.

So, a 5% boost on the registration page, a 5% boost in show up rate, a 5% boost in stick rate, a 5% boost in conversion rate… Doesn’t add up to just a 20% boost in conversions… Those improvements compound with each other for a MUCH bigger total boost in sales!

6) Communicate With and Persuade The Subconscious Mind: I’m sure you’ve heard that people “buy with emotion, and justify with logic”, which is 100% true.

However, what most “gurus” fail to teach is HOW to most effectively trigger those desired emotions, or even WHICH emotions are the most effective to engage.

According to the “Triune Brain Theory” the human brain is composed of 3 distinct structures layered onto each other.

At the root is the “Lizard brain” which is the oldest and most primitive brain structure. This is where your base level, fight, flight, hunger, anger, fear and sexual desire feelings reside.

The next higher structure is the mammalian brain (or mid-brain.) This area of the brain is newer, and more developed. It is the seat of our “higher” emotions such as love, happiness, joy and hope.

And the highest level and newest brain structure is the neo-cortex. This is the ONLY part of our brain that processes verbal language. It is also the seat of our logic and reasoning.

Because the lower parts of the brain cannot process language and words, just images and feelings, to properly communicate with those deeper level structures (where the emotional buying decision is made) we must use stories, metaphors, and imagery.

It’s only AFTER leading the lower brain structures and subconscious to an emotional buying decision, do we then appeal to the neo-cortex to justify the decision via logic and reason.

7) Master Video-Based Persuasion and Presentation Skills: Far too many “copywriters” are applying tactics and language structures that were developed for WRITTEN copy and communication, to video-based persuasion channels like webinars and VSLs.

And this USED to work “okay”…

However, to compete in today’s competitive, video-persuasion market, you have to step up your game. Particularly if you want to break into 8+ figures.

You’ll be much more effective with your webinars and VSLs by studying Billy Mays informercials, than you will copying Gary Halbert, print salesletters. (As much as I loved and learned from Gary!)

With video-based persuasion, you need as much focus on the imagery, background elements, audio quality, vocal tone, speaking pace, cadence, and body language, as you do on the words that are being said.

The tone of voice, vocal emotion and verbal CERTAINTY of specific phrases can make a DRASTIC difference in response rates and sales.

I’ve split tested 2 different speakers (voice talent) to do voice-overs of the exact same copy and had one speaker convert 500%+ better than the other, using the same script.

So HOW you say things on video is often just as or more important than WHAT you say.

So, there you have it…

The Top 7 Lessons I’ve Learned From $500,000,000 in Webinar and VSL Sales!

Again, if you read through any of these and thought to yourself, “I already knew that” stop and ask yourself a couple of questions…

  • Are you REALLY doing ALL 7 of these things in your offers?
  • And if you are… Are you focused on them, and practicing them to a level of MASTERY?
  • How many hours have you spent on the phone in the past 30 days interviewing your target customers?
  • How deeply do you REALLY understand their fears, hopes and dreams?
  • Do you know the top 3 things they DON’T like about buying products or services like yours?
  • Is your offer REALLY an IQ test?
  • Do the prospects who don’t or can’t invest ACTUALLY feel like they are missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime?
  • Have you FULLY reversed the risks involved (and not just financial) in buying from you?
  • (Often the risk of looking or feeling foolish is a bigger reason they don’t buy than the loss of the money they invest.)
  • Have you fully identified your UVP (Unique Value Proposition) to a level and in a way that your prospects KNOW you are not just the “best” but the ONLY option they have to solve their problem?
  • Could any other competitor use the same UVP and it make sense?
  • How many test rounds have you run on each step in your funnel in the past 30 days?
  • Do you even have ANY split tests running? (Be honest with yourself here…)
  • Are you effectively communicating with all 3 of your prospects brain structures?
  • Which part of your VSL or webinar is focused on “lizard brain” triggers?
  • What imagery are you trying to use to communicate with the mammalian brain?
  • What WORDS are you using to help the neo-cortex justify the emotional buying decision you’ve embedded into the deeper brain structures?
  • Have you mapped out the dominant emotions you want to trigger or beliefs you want to install in your prospect’s subconscious?
  • Where would you rank you (or your voice/on-screen talent) in regard to your MASTERY of video-based persuasion?
  • How about vocal tone, pacing and inflection?
  • Do you story-board and plan out each “scene” in your VSL at both a strategic and tactical level?
  • Does every image or background element in your video carry a specific persuasive purpose?

If you can’t answer YES to all of those questions…

Perhaps you don’t (yet) have the level of mastery of the “basics” you thought you did.

Which is fine… If you want to make an offer that does a few hundred thousand dollars… You probably don’t need to focus this obsessively on mastering all 7 areas I mentioned above.

However, I have not seen ONE SINGLE webinar or VSL based offer scale into 8+ figures without EVERY SINGLE one of these elements in place.

Sure, there are a few offers I can think of that scaled to 7 figures on the strength of just one or two of the above. (Usually an IQ Test offer.)

But the unfortunate part for those marketers is… If they engaged all 7 of these (particularly a commitment to continual, ongoing testing), they could be doing 10x the volume they are currently doing.

Often an offer that works GOOD out of the gate, costs you more (opportunity cost) long-term than one that doesn’t quite break even.

That’s because when an offer works good… You put $1 in ads and get $1.5 to $2 out, you don’t bother testing and just scale your spend.

However, had you relentlessly focused on testing and implementing ALL 7 of the lessons above, perhaps you could have had a funnel that produces $5 or $10 or $50 (LTV) for every $1 of ad spend.

So, whether you are just getting started, or you’re an online-marketing veteran, hopefully, you can see how MASTERY of these 7 Lessons can dramatically improve your results with webinars, video salesletters or any other kind of online video-based persuasion.

If you found these 7 Lessons helpful I’d love to hear what you found most valuable (or any questions you may have) in the comments below!

Eric Graham (7 Posts)

As an in-demand professional speaker and the founder and CEO of multiple highly successful online and offline companies Eric Graham helps entrepreneurs, authors, speakers and coaches maximize their incomes and magnify their impact on the world. On this blog he shares valuable, actionable and insightful content (articles, videos, tips, opinions, ideas and news) that you can immediately put to use in your business and your life. Follow Eric on Twitter!


Speak Your Mind

*