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Autoplay Revisited

“Turning autoplay on always improves conversions.”

That’s what the gurus say.

And then one day working with one of my clients, we did something stupid.

We tested the idea.

And what do you know?

In our case, we discovered turning autoplay on suppressed conversions!

The tactic of turning autoplay on as a way to boost conversions has been around just as long as the infamous Belcher button.

It was a quick way to bump conversions.

Basically what it means is when a visitor hits the video sales letter page, the VSL AUTOMATICALLY starts playing.

Common knowledge says turning autoplay on improves engagement and conversions because the visitor is forced to watch the video.

They don’t have to click “play”.

Logically, it makes sense.

Except when you test it and then you find out differently.

In light of my client’s experiment, we have a new, perhaps different theory.

Our theory is that when autoplay is turned off, visitors are not shocked by the audio suddenly starting. It’s not disruptive.

The ones interested click “play” because they want to watch the VSL of their own volition.

It isn’t being forced on them.

They watch because THEY WANT TO WATCH and this improves engagement, and ultimately conversions.

44% engagement was a shocker to me. Which is why I wrote this email.

The non-autoplay conversions are more than double autoplay.

Now, am I advocating you turn autoplay off?


I am advocating you TEST IT yourself.

The hardest part about this business is that we don’t know how high is high.

We start where we start, and then we try to figure out how to improve.

We struggling trying to discover out what’s suppressing conversions.

The thing that absolutely kills you though is MAKING ASSUMPTIONS.

This is why it’s so important to keep an open mind and test–even those very things you have a particular affection towards.

In other words, sometimes it may be necessary to kill your babies.

So try the experiment yourself and let me know what happens, ok?

I’d love to see if this is a sea change in overall behavior of visitors.

Nil Obstat (“Let nothing stand in your way”)


P.S. FYI: There’s another thing you’ll notice about the charts.

The smooth versus rough disengagement over time.

By the way, where you see that first big drop off in engagement?

That’s the first call to action. People are clicking through to the order form. 🙂

They’re watching because they want to watch–and more of them are buying. Almost double.

Sometimes, you really have to study these charts to glean the insights.

Good luck with yours and if you need help, just reach out. – Matt

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