Personal video messages are a great way to stand out and to boost response rates when prospecting new customers. But to do it right, it takes more than just pressing record and reading the same old script. My name is Tyler Lessard, and in this Chalk Talk we’ll discuss the latest best practices for creating personal video messages proven to convert.

Top sales teams are using personal video messages to boost their response rates by up to five times, and they’re doing that by creating messages that are personal, relevant, and specific to that individual. Perhaps most importantly they are creating messages that are human, that showcase that there’s a real person on the other side of that message to help create empathy with that prospective buyer. They’re not only creating the right types of messages, but they’re using different types of messages at different stages of their sales cadence to test different things and to see what may resonate best with each individual prospect.

So let’s talk about the types of messages and how you can use them at different stages of your sales cadence to maximize your response rates.

Sales Selfies

The first types of messages that we see people using today are the webcam or selfie videos. This is where you simply click record using a tool like those that Vidyard provides, on your laptop to record a quick personal message It might simply be an introductory message, like “Hi, my name’s Tyler. I’m from Vidyard. And we’re helping businesses like yours solve problems A, B, or C.” Simply having a human talking on camera as opposed to a long text-based email can help you boost response rates.

But what can help you boost it even more is by having something like a whiteboard where you can write the individual person’s name or their company name right inside a specific message. This works because it can create a thumbnail image for your video that gives that person a visual cue that this message is just for them, and it hasn’t come from some automated email marketing blast.

When somebody sees their company name or perhaps a message that simply says “Hi Joanne,” they know that I’ve recorded this specifically for them, and therefore are much more likely to respond. Now the whiteboard works really well because I can simply wipe this off, write the next name in, and record my next video. It’s a very efficient way to do highly-personalized communications at scale.

Now, you can use a webcam video to introduce yourself and the problem you’re solving, but you can also use it as a way to introduce a related resource. You may already be sending emails to introduce the new ebook your company’s released, or an upcoming webinar or a new video that you’ve launched. What if instead of just writing a text-based email telling somebody they should check it out, what if you record a quick message introducing the resource and explaining why it’s relevant to them, and why you think they may find value in it. That can be a great way to not only boost response rates to that related asset, but you might also find value in the people that engage in your video. They may not take the next action, but you know they’ve now watched it, they know who you are, and you’ve created a much better connection with them than just being one of 100 text-based emails that they tend to ignore.

When you’re doing these selfie or webcam videos, consider your lighting and your audio and your surroundings to make sure the videos look and feel professional. Smile, be friendly, be casual. This is the time to create a personal connection, not to read a script and to be stiff on camera.

And finally, think about what your thumbnail image is going to be. That could make the difference between a click-through and not, so use tricks like the whiteboard. One of our reps was selling to a shoe company and they genuinely held up one of that company’s shoes on camera. And sure enough, that person clicked through because they were interested to see what that person was talking about. Be creative and think about what that visual cue is to get them to connect!

Sharing Your Screen

The second type of personal video message you can create is the screen capture video. And this is where you use a screen recording tool like those provided by Vidyard to record something relevant to that individual. Use it as a visual cue in your thumbnail image, and show that this is something they want to watch.

So for example, you may want to pull up a website that might be relevant to the conversation. It could be your website, it could be a customer success story, it could be a product page, and this gives you an opportunity to talk about how that’s relevant to them. But what works even better is bringing up their website. Imagine you work at GE and you get a video in your inbox with GE’s website and somebody in the corner talking about it. Now, that might generate a response because that person is very interested and curious – what is this person talking about and why are they on my website? But then you quickly convert the messaging into how you can help them solve a related problem, and bring it all home.

The other thing you can try, probably not early on in your cadence and use it with discretion, is pulling up their competitor’s website to talk about how that company is doing something interesting or how you’ve helped them solve a specific problem. That just might get their attention!

The other types of videos you can do are pulling up a social profile or a social article that is relevant to that individual. Let’s say I’m prospecting Karen Smith at GE, and I go onto Karen’s LinkedIn profile and I record a quick video of myself in the corner scrolling through her LinkedIn profile. But what I’m doing is quickly saying, “Karen, I see that this is your role in this company. Based on that, I may be able to help you do A, B, or C. I’d love to chat to learn a little bit more about what problems you’re trying to solve.” That can be a great way to visually get Karen to click, because when she sees her own LinkedIn profile she’s going to be curious. But then quickly convert the messaging into something that’s relevant to the conversation you want to have. You can also pull up a social share or an online article that they recently engaged in, to share your perspective on that article and again to transition back to the conversation you want to have.

These are all ways to give somebody a visual cue in that thumbnail image that this message is specific and individual to them, which is the big magic to helping drive your response rates up by three, four, or maybe even five times.

Getting the Timing Right

With respect to when to use these types of videos in your sales cadence, early on in your sales cadence think about doing a website capture video but at a company level. So let’s say I’m prospecting GE. I might do a video when I’m on GE’s site, but then send it to 10, 15, 20 people at that account to see who’s going to engage in it. It’s a very efficient way to do a scalable, personalized message to multiple people at the same account.

The next thing I may want to try is a webcam video to introduce myself. Now, I’m getting a bit more personal and talking specifically to that individual – how I can help their role and solve some specific problems for them? As I move through, I may have sent an email, left a voicemail, and maybe I now bring up their LinkedIn profile or a recent article that they commented on or shared. This is now a much more personal connection, and I’m going to talk about how I can help them with the related problem or something that’s specific to them as an individual.

And finally, late in my sales cadence, now’s the time to pull out maybe the competitor website video or one final selfie video with a custom message to see if I can get their attention before I move onto my next prospect.

So lots of different ways in which you can use personal video messages to stand out, to create thumbnails that people just can’t resist, and to boost your response rates by up to five times.

My name is Tyler Lessard, and this has been a Vidyard Chalk Talk.

Jon Spenceley

Jon is the former Content and Social Media Manager at Vidyard, and is passionate about helping companies get the most out of their video. In his spare time, Jon’s an amateur longboarder, distiller-in-training, and is a sucker for breakfast foods.