Adding Video into Your Sales Outreach in 6 Steps

Jenny Coppola


Recently, we ran an outbound prospecting test of 200 leads and found that including video in our outreach efforts led to a 140% higher click rate. Let that number sink in.

It’s no secret that making a real connection with a prospect or lead can be tricky. After all, you might be the friendliest salesperson on earth, but if the prospect on the other end of the line doesn’t even open your email, you’re out of luck. One way to overcome this challenge and combat the stigma associated with sales? Start adding video into your sales outreach efforts.

Thinking strategically about how and when you want to use video in the buyer’s journey can help you create more impactful (and delightful) videos. Let’s walk through the process step-by-step so you can start closing more deals!

1. Set your goal

When you think of video, chances are your brain conjures up images of highly polished Super Bowl ads or sleek Facebook video campaigns. And while those types of videos are great for building brand awareness or increasing reach, their primary goal isn’t as granular as sales outreach videos are. Sales videos might not be as glamorous or as polished, but that means you can make a lot more of them and also more easily track their efficacy.

Be strategic about what this one particular video should accomplish. Try tying it to a goal that can actually be measured through this medium. There are a number of goals you can achieve by using video in your sales process, including:

  • Boosting click-through rates
  • Scheduling more calls
  • Decreasing close time
  • Nurturing an existing lead
  • Introducing yourself to a contact
  • Improving brand touch

Make sure you choose one key goal from the start so that your analysis can remain focused once your results start rolling in. Now, who are you going to send your video to?

2. Choose a contact

Deciding who will receive your custom video depends entirely on the goal you chose in step one (aren’t you glad you only picked one goal?). For example, if your goal is to schedule more calls, the contact you choose to reach out to will likely be a new lead that hasn’t received any communication from you yet. On the other hand, if your goal is to introduce yourself to a contact with video, you’ll be passing a lead on to another person on your team, so this lead will already be relatively warm.

Look through your CRM and try to determine where your sales process could benefit most from the helping hand of video. We’ve found that videos are particularly great for prospecting, outreach attempts, reconnecting with cold leads, confirming meetings, or following up with no-shows, but this could easily vary from business to business.

“Look through your CRM and try to determine where your sales process could benefit most from the helping hand of video.”

For example, Bluleadz, an inbound marketing agency based in Tampa, uses video to follow up with their prospects after a phone call goes well and a proposal has been sent through. Then, they send a custom “Welcome Aboard” video in their next email. By incorporating video into their sales outreach efforts, Bluleadz “ … closed 63% of the clients we’ve sent these videos to, compared to 46% of client’s we did not.”

Check out an example of the type of video they send after their proposal email:

3. Brainstorm ideas

One of the best parts of making these one-off sales videos is that you don’t need a script. Since you should be striving for an authentic, human-to-human connection with your prospect or lead, delivering a natural performance is ideal. Instead of scripting everything out word-for-word, jot down a few notes about your prospect to reference while you’re recording. The following key pieces of information are a great place to start:

  • Name
  • Location
  • Role
  • Goals
  • Opportunities
  • Hobbies

Still feeling a little overwhelmed by the endless possibility of videos you could create? We know that one of the biggest barriers to entry when it comes to video is just figuring out what to create. Luckily, we’ve found that when it comes to sales outreach, these two types of videos are super effective for engaging with your lead.

The Video Voicemail: These are short, digestible videos that are usually made on a one-off basis. As a salesperson, you can easily establish your credibility by creating a video voicemail that provides value to your prospect or lead, while also building trust. Check out this friendly little ditty from our very own Erika:

Want some handy tips for a creating a video voicemail? You got ’em:

  • Keep it under a minute
  • Explain the reason behind your call
  • Include a tip or a free resource
  • Add a CTA at the end
  • Show their company website
  • Smile more than you think you should!
  • Add a dash of personality

The Quick Demo: A quick demo video can help answer a question or highlight a feature. They’re perfect for engaging with leads in a more personalized, helpful way. Creating demo videos can also be useful for sales professionals who work in the SaaS space, as selling a product that’s not physically tangible presents unique challenges.

Check out these tips for making a demo video:

  • Keep it 2–5 minutes long
  • Teach your prospects something
  • Trim the beginning and end
  • Customize your player color to match your brand

4. Create and edit your video

Here comes the fun part — creating and editing your video. We’ve compiled some helpful tips that should make creating your first sales outreach video super easy. Remember, as a guiding principle, always try to be yourself. An authentic tone will come across loud and clear in your finished product, but so will a super cheesy one, so keep it real.

Declutter your screen: See all of those pinned bookmarks in your browser? Get rid of ’em! Your audience isn’t interested in all the links you have open (or at least, they shouldn’t be if they’re paying attention), so close all of your tabs and put your computer on “do not disturb” mode. This will ensure that you don’t receive any pop-ups that can ruin your screen recording.

Position yourself for the webcam: A few small tweaks to your setup can make all the difference. Be sure to put your laptop above your eye line, sit facing a window so you aren’t backlit, and make sure you’re sitting about an arm’s length away from your screen.

Start and end the video with your face: This is all about ensuring you maintain that human connection with your prospect or lead. Introduce yourself at the start of your video just like you would on any normal sales call, and then close it out with a friendly goodbye that leaves your viewers feeling great.

Emphasize specific points: If you’re using Soapbox, our free webcam and screen recording tool, you can use the zoom feature to emphasize key points throughout your video. If there’s something specific that you’d like to highlight, the zoom feature will allow you to hone in on a particular portion of the screen recording. For instance, if you’re showing how your product works, you might want to zoom in for greater detail on a specific feature.

We’re saying goodbye to Soapbox on 9/1, but you can still [record video] ( with Wistia.

Create a custom thumbnail: We also recommending showing a human face in the thumbnail of your video. If you’re using Soapbox to create your sales outreach video, show your smiling face in the context of the split-screen layout. This will give viewers an idea of what they’re about to watch. The bottom line is thumbnails offer a first impression of your video and can help improve your play rates, so make sure your video has a compelling one!

5. Send your email

Chances are your primary mode of communication with prospects and leads is email. So why not utilize and optimize this channel for success? Let your recipients know there’s a video in the email by including the word “video” in your subject line and email text. At Wistia, we’ve found that using a thumbnail image with a big play button increased our email click-through rates by 20%, so that’s obviously a must-have.

“Let your recipients know there’s a video in the email by including the word ”video" in your subject line and email text.”

Speaking of thumbnails, link the thumbnail in your email to the video on your landing page. While embedding your video directly within your email is possible, it doesn’t always make for a streamlined experience. Plus, doing so means you strip out any of the data you could be collecting on your video’s performance, so stick to a clickable image when it comes to email. Last but not least, try to only use one primary call to action, like, “Watch the video to learn more.” You don’t want to ask too much of your viewers, so keep it simple and direct!

6. Track your success

Arguably one of the best things about using video in your sales outreach efforts is your ability to measure success. Here at Wistia, we love experimentation and testing, so we recommend A/B testing your emails with and without video and taking a look at the metrics (number of meetings booked, opportunities created, deals closed, and average close time, for instance) to help you determine how effective your video was in reaching your goal.

Plus, if you happen to use Soapbox Pro to create sales videos, you also have access to our Activity and Alerts feature, which was made with this specific use case in mind. When you create a video, you’re able to see whether or not someone viewed your video, how long they watched, and whether or not they interacted with your CTA links. Plus, with Alerts, you’ll receive push notifications that let you know the second someone watches your video. Here’s what that looks like in practice:

You’ll see the video’s thumbnail, its title, the percentage of the video watched during that session (rounded down to the nearest 25%), and the CTA status (whether it exists, and if it was clicked). Pretty nifty!

Start making sales with video

There you have it! Soon, you’ll be on your way to creating awesome sales outreach videos that can help you close deals and make more personal connections with your prospects. Remember, the more videos you make, the more comfortable you’ll start to feel — don’t get discouraged if you need to do a few takes before you really get in the groove. Once you start seeing the positive effects of sales outreach videos rolling in, you (and your teammates) will be itching to make more.

Jenny Coppola


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