Humans, by nature, are visual learners. In fact, almost 90% of all the information our brains process is visual. So to best communicate a message, it only makes sense that including a visual element improves the effectiveness.
We decided to run an experiment to increase conversions for one of our pre-sale efforts using video. Here’s the experiment we ran, the results we achieved, and some ways to put our learnings into practice.
Qwilr is a tool for creating web-based sales proposals and other documents. While the web-based nature is what sets our pages apart, it also means that users need to transfer their documents into our product.
According to research, companies with strong pre-sale efforts have higher close rates for new business and renewals. With that in mind, while users are on their free trial with us, we offer a document conversion service: The customer sends us a current proposal or sales page they have, and our team converts that existing document into a Qwilr Page.
Though almost everyone is impressed with the end product, our team found there was one issue: When we build a Qwilr Page for someone, they don’t learn how to do it themselves, and they may have a tough time envisioning using the product themselves. Since our document conversion services aren’t a permanent fixture, that could be problematic.
Our team hypothesized that adding a video explaining how a Qwilr Page is built would increase conversions to paid plans, because users would have a better understanding of how the product works. Our exact hypothesis was: If we use video to give greater visibility into the process of building a Qwilr Page, then Qwilr will convert more leads to customers.
How we ran the experiment
To control for bias, we split groups into two cohorts. The control group received Qwilr Pages without a video, and the other cohort got their Qwilr Page with a video.
To further control the experiment, we only used videos from one Qwilr rep. This way, we could measure the difference between those who received a video and those who didn’t, as well as compare against the performances of other reps. We ran the experiment for a total of three months.
As our hypothesis was centered around video engagement, we updated our tactics throughout the experiment to optimize for video views.
Initially, a video was sent as a link in an email which also contained the link to their Qwilr Page. After a few weeks, we switched from sharing the video as a link to sharing it as a GIF in the email to help increase views. A few weeks after that, we also added the video to the Qwilr Page.
Loom’s role in our success
We were already Loom users, but Loom has a few key features that made it even more ideal for this experiment.
First, because Loom lets you record video of your screen and camera at the same time, our document conversion team could explain different parts of the Qwilr Page in real time. As they described a certain feature or function, they could scroll to that section of the Qwilr Page. That visual context was important, as people tend to learn better with video as opposed to text.
Second, most video recording tools require a number of steps. With Loom, you simply record your video, and you get an instantly shareable link. Being able to produce videos quickly was paramount in our ability to run the experiment. If the process wasn’t seamless, like it is with Loom, we simply wouldn’t have had the bandwidth.
Since Loom is easy to use, we didn’t have to invest additional time and resources in training our staff how to use the product. All you do is download the app and start recording.
Related reading: Notes from a Founder’s Playbook: Why I Send Loom Video Messages to Welcome New Users — The Loom Blog
What we learned
So what did we learn from our experiment?
Adding videos to emails significantly increased conversions, by as much as 57%.
Prior to the experiment, the overall conversion rate was 28.6%. During the experiment, that overall conversion rate grew to 37.9%. Those who viewed the video had the highest conversion rates, at 57%.
In all, we were able to see that the overall conversion rate during the experiment was 37% better than when not running the experiment. To further control, we also looked at another rep’s performance (who was not including videos) over the same period, and their conversion rate didn’t change.
Some lead sources performed better than others, but all saw a positive increase in conversion when we added video. To get the most video views, the best option was to include the video in multiple outreach efforts (first in the email, and also in the actual Qwilr Page), so there were more opportunities for the prospect to interact with it. By updating the way we presented the links to the video, we were able to increase overall views, which led to higher overall conversion.
Use video to your benefit
No matter what product or service you offer, you need to communicate your core message, and using video is a great way to do that. Research shows that videos are more engaging and that we retain more information from video than we do from text-only sources.
Consider the messages you want to communicate and how asynchronous communication with video could help: You might add videos to help documentation to give more context or clarity, or to give “tips and tricks” on product pages to demonstrate use cases.
In our case, adding video to our sales outreach resulted in a 37-57% increase in sales conversions. By including videos in sales outreach, we were able to show our prospects how easily they could create a Qwilr Page themselves, without the assistance of our document conversion team.