VideoPal

Welcome to my in-depth Videopal review. VideoPal is all the rage at the moment. It’s a joint venture between developer Paul Ponna and an old astronomy colleague of mine, Todd Gross.

Todd used to be a weatherman on Boston TV and a little over 10 years ago realized that there was an opening in the Internet Marketing arena – video. He brought his video-making expertise to the IM scene and has been involved with and released many video-based products over the years.

I don’t know Paul Ponna but he too has released many products over the last 10+ years as well.

What Is VideoPal?

VideoPal is a web-based (cloud) service which creates videos that play on your designated webpage using talking characters to deliver that message. It’s a new way for marketers to grab their visitors’ attention.

The short version of this review is in this video

A VideoPal is an animated character that’s overlaid on your webpage that delivers a message to your audience. All VideoPals are filmed on green screen so their background is transparent. This means you just see the character appear on your page.

There are 4 types of VideoPal:

  • 2D animated characters
  • 3D animated characters
  • Human characters delivering a pre-scripted message
  • You – you can create your own green screen video and become a VideoPal yourself.

VideoPal AvatarsVideoPal Avatars

All characters talk when delivering a message. The human characters deliver pre-scripted messages. The 2D and 3D characters use Text-To-Speech technology to convert written text into good quality speech. Mouth movements do not always match what’s being said but that’s to be expected from an animated character that’s used to say a lot of different things on different websites.

The sales page says that VideoPal uses the best Text-To-Speech processor available and having listened to a number of the provided voices, I’d have to say that the speech quality is very good, though some voices are better than others.

I’ve listened to quite a few voices online from text-to-speech services and most can easily be spotted as being synthetic. VideoPal voices are definitely a cut above the average.

There are 8 2D characters (with 2 variations of each), 8 3D characters (with 2-3 variations of each) and 11 Human characters (2 female, 9 male).

Personally, I would have preferred a few more choices be available and I would rather have seen 5 female and 6 male Human characters. Additional characters are available if you buy one of the upsells though.

Using VideoPal

It’s pretty much all point and click. Select the VideoPal you want to use.

Voices

If you selected a 2D or 3D character, paste in the text you want your character to speak or you can upload an audio file if you prefer (you can get professional voiceovers recorded on Fiverr for example). The third alternative is to record your own voiceover directly in the app for your character to speak.

VideoPal Voice ScreenThe VideoPal “Add Speech” screen. Click the image for a larger view

If you use the Text-To-Speech option, you have 23 languages to choose from, English is the predominant language (and you get 5 flavors of English). Within each language are voice options. Most languages offer at least one male and one female voice. Som languages (like Japanese) only offer one voice option. Others, such as US English,  offer 7 voices.

With the Text-To-Speech options, message can be a maximum of 2,500 words long. That should be more than enough without starting to bore your audience.

Calls To Action

The purpose of using a VideoPal is to grab your visitor’s attention and get them to do something. So several types of Call to Action are provided:

    • None – you character just says something to your visitor
    • Button – Add a button to your VideoPal to direct the visitor to a discount, coupon, offer, another page, etc. A Countdown timer can also be added. If a timer is active, the button won’t appear until the timer counts down to zero. You could use this to keep visitors on your page, waiting for the button to appear, thereby reducing your bounce rates. Just a thought!
    • Optin Form – you can have an optin form appear with your VideoPal. It’s an easy way to start building your email list, especially as your character is talking directly to your visitor. The supported autoresponders are Aweber, GetResponse and SendLane.

VideoPal Calls To ActionVideoPal Call To Action Screen. Click image for a larger view.

Playback Options

You have some control over when and where your VideoPal appears. You can have your character appear at the bottom left or right or top left or right. Since some characters are not full bodied (i.e they’re cut off at the knees or the waist), having characters appear at the bottom of your page seems the best choice.

You can offset your character left/right and/or up/down by a set number of pixels if you want to have more control over exactly where they appear.

Your character can appear as soon as your page loads or after a set number ofo seconds. If the Autoplay option is ticked, your character will launch into their message immediately. Otherwise they’ll appear with a Play button over them and your visitor will have to click that to see the message.

An alternative is to have your VideoPal appear when your visitor tries to exit your page. This is a great option for hitting them with a discount offer or maybe asking them to sign up for your newsletter.

You can also have your VideoPal automatically walk off the screen after their message has been delivered.

Another way to make your VideoPal stand out is to darken the page behind the character while they speak.

VideoPal Playback OptionsVideoPal Playback Options screen. Click image for a larger view.

An interesting feature that I haven’t played with yet is to have a video from YouTube or Vimeo play after your character has delivered their message. Just be aware that such videos won’t have transparent backgrounds.

Video Creation

The final stage is to create your video which involves just clicking the Create button. The video is created on the VideoPal servers where it resides. There is no file to download and then upload to your own website.

Instead, you’re provided with some Javascript that you copy and paste into your website.

Where To Put VideoPals

The thing to remember about a VideoPal video is that it’s supposed to deliver a specific message. So putting the same VideoPal on every page of your website probably isn’t the best idea.

Think of them as being page specific. So you have one talk about one product you’re reviewing and/or promoting and a different one for another product on a different page.

This way you can have as many VideoPals as you want on your sites, doing different things – offering coupons and discounts, directing visitors to secret pages, collecting email addresses etc.

There’s no limit to the number of VideoPals you can create and no limit to the number of sites you can add them to, though unless you buy the Agency upsell, you can add the Javascript code to sites you personally own.

As it turns out, you can add VideoPals to any website! When you create your video, you’re asked for your website address. This is used in a special links that you’re given along with your Javascript code.

This link points to a page on the VideoPal site which masks your URL but places the VideoPal on this page. Think of it as masking your page link in a similar way to how the Pretty Link plugin masks links in WordPress.

What’s the point of that? you might ask. Because you’re not limited to using just your own URLs. You can use any URL you want here. See what that means? You can overlay your VideoPal on ANY website or page you want, even sites you don’t own!

You could offer a competing product, a better deal, a coupon that gets you a commission, redirect to your own site, get optin signups. Now do you see how powerful this feature is?

You do have to promote your special link for this to work. VideoPal doesn’t hijack an existing site so someone going direct to a site won’t see your VideoPal video. They’ll only see it if they go through your special link. Every VideoPal video you create also has it’s own special such link.

The Upsells

There are 4 upsells in the sales funnel (I bought all 4 so I could review them). Only the first upsell extends the functionality of the product and you may not even want that. The other upsells complement the base product rather than extend it.

Upsell #1: VideoPal Deluxe Upgrade – One Time $44 Payment

VideoPal Deluxe

This option, at least during the launch phase, gives you new 2D, 3D and Human characters very month (without a monthly fee).

You also get new Audio Voiceovers each month to add to characters to boost sales and signups.

Additional Text-To-Speech voices will be unlocked every month.

You also get VIP support and all your characters are hosted on the VideoPal servers so you don’t have to worry about them using up your own bandwidth.

Plus, Deluxe members get access to the latest release of the software before lesser members.

Recommendation: I think this upsell is definitely worth getting if you’re an internet/affiliate marketer. If you only sell your own products, then you probably don’t need the additional characters and voiceovers.

Upsell #2: VideoPal Agency License – One Time $67 Payment

VideoPal Agency License

This upsell is for those who want to sell the VideoPal service to others (i.e. you make and deploy VideoPals for your own clients).

You can remove the VideoPal branding from videos. However, you cannot replace that branding with your own which I think is a bit mingy.

This upsell comes with additional video tutorials that show you where and how to sell a VideoPal creation service.

Also revealed are several sites where people are looking for exactly this kind of service.

Recommendation: Only needed if you plan to sell this service to your own clients.

Upsell #3: VideoPal Social Traffic Suite Pro – One Time $17 Payment

VideoPal Social Traffic Suite

If your site(s) are low in traffic, this automation software schedules, posts, automates and syndicates your content to 10 most powerful sites on the web to get you free traffic on demand.

It works on all devices since it’s a web-based technology. You don’t have to install anything – just login and start automating your traffic generation with the push the push of a button!

Recommendation: If you need traffic to your site(s), it’s a low cost tool to help bump up visitor numbers.

Upsell #4: VideoPal Profit Campus – One Time $27 Payment

VideoPal Profit Campus

This is an additional video tutorial course designed to help you get the most out of your VideoPals.

It reveals the secret strategies, tools and resources that Paul Ponna and Todd Gross use on their six-figure websites e-commerce sites, local business sites, blogs and affiliate pages to boost their profits 10 times.

You also get live case studies of their websites and also client websites and see how you can turn tiny VideoPal videos into profits.

Recommendation: If you’re going to be using a lot of VideoPals and you wan tot know the best strategies for their use then this course is worth the investment.

Real World Use

I’ve now created a couple of VideoPals and the creation process is simple. It really is point-and-click simple with a bit of pasting/editing of text for the character to speak.

Adding them to a page is simple – copy the provided Javascript and paste it into your required page or post.

Since a VideoPal runs via Javascript, the code can be added to any webpage, not just WordPress sites.

What I Like

  • VideoPal is web-based so all video creation is done online. This means you can use any device that has a browser to create videos.
  • All your VideoPal videos are hosted by the VideoPal servers. This reduces the load on your own server(s) and none of your bandwidth is used to serve videos.
  • Video creation is simple being point-and-click.
  • You can create an unlimited number of VideoPal videos and serve them to an unlimited number of websites that you personally own. There are no restrictions in this regard.
  • Text-To-Speech gives very good quality voices that don’t sound as synthetic as those provided by other TTS services.
  • The software isn’t just aimed at English speakers. All the common languages are covered and with a bit of scripting you could have a character speak your visitor’s local language.
  • VideoPals don’t impact on page load times. They only appear after your page has fully loaded.
  • You have some control over where characters appear on screen and options for when the videos play (immediately, after a set number of seconds or when a visitor goes to exit your page).
  • The options to simply deliver a message, redirect a visitor to an offer, coupon, etc. via button and to collect email addresses from visitors.
  • The ability to put a VideoPal video over ANY webpage online using the special link created for each of your videos.

What I Don’t Like

  • Rather than just being able to turn off the VideoPal branding (if you buy the Agency License upsell), I would have preferred an option to rebrand with my own brand.And you can only have an active affiliate link if you enable the VideoPal branding.
  • When the VideoPal branding is enables, “VideoPal.io” appears beside videos. Even though this can be linked to the sales page via your affiliate link, it does mean that visitors can easily bypass your link simply by typing videopal.io into their browsers. Being able to rebrand or change this text would resolve this issue.
  • I discovered a major problem with viewing VideoPals in Internet Explorer. I added a VideoPal to one of my own product pages which happens to feature 3 videos on it. All are set to not autoplay.Yet, when the VideoPal concludes its message and exits the screen, all 3 videos start playing simultaneously. Hardly a good visitor experience.

    I did report the issue to VideoPal support who basically said IE’s broken, nothing they can do. That’s not good enough. While only 5% of internet users now use IE, that’s still millions of people. I think for this reason that there should be an option to make VideoPals not play in IE.

    This bug may be in IE but, nevertheless, VideoPal owners should be protected from it. It only seems to be an issue that affects pages that have videos on them already (but then, many marketers do use videos on their sales and review pages).

    UPDATE: After I reported this bug to VideoPal support, it now appears to have been fixed.

  • There are a limited number of 2D, 3D and Human characters to start with. These will be enough for many users but internet and affiliate marketers will probably want greater variety (that’s why I recommend picking up the VideoPal Deluxe Upgrade).
  • I said in the What I Like section that I like that videos are hosted from the VideoPal servers because it saves on our bandwidth. But the downside is what happens if/when VideoPal goes out of business? All your videos will disappear and no backups or copies of them are available.

Conclusion

So is VideoPal worth buying from a sea of shiny new objects?

One issue we face as internet and affiliate marketers is that visitors are becoming blind to ads and other traditional ways of interacting with visitors.

Popup windows (e.g. signup forms routinely get closed because they’re in the way of what they want to read.

VideoPals are a new way to interact with your audience. Their novelty will attract attention and you’ll therefore get more clicks and signups.

Using the strategies in the VideoPal Campus course will help make the most of your VideoPals.

My recommendation, especially if you’re an internet/affiliate marketer is to buy VideoPal and the VideoPal Deluxe upgrade.

If you see yourself selling the service to others, then you need to get the Agency License. Otherwise, it’s an expense you can pass on.

Whether VideoPals will turn out to just be another passing fad (like Peel Ads) is anyone’s guess. Even if they are, getting in early means you can utilize the technology before it becomes commonplace and passe.

And you only need a few sales of whatever you’re promoting to recoup the cost of the software.

While I have some caveats about the service (the issue with IE and what happens if/when VideoPal ever goes out of business), I do think this is a tool worth investing in.

The unique, eye-catching, attention-grabbing nature of the VideoPal videos is a huge plus for any marketer, whether you’re selling your own product or service or you’re selling other people’s goods.

And that edge that this tool gives you will translate into more sales and more signups.

What’s not to like on that basis alone?

My Bonuses

If you order through any of my links on this page, you’ll get these bonuses (the bonuses will be available on your JVZoo receipt pages):

For Buying VideoPal:

Bonus #1:

Green Screen Profit With Giveaway Rights – Learn from 3 Time Emmy Award Winning Meteorologist Todd Gross how to use green screen for your Internet Marketing.

Bonus #2:

Get Another FIVE Todd Gross Videos

Bonus #3:

Get Another FIVE (5) Bonus 2D Characters Videos

For Buying The VideoPal Deluxe Upgrade:

Bonus #4:

Social Commerce WordPress Plugin – this converts your WordPress Site into a Facebook friendly destination – especially for your social eCommerce customers

Bonus #5:

The Social Marketing WordPress plugin – allows you to offer incentives for users sharing your products or services on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

Bonus #6:

WP Viral Click WordPress plugin – built to help you automatically generate content for your site from an external web page.

Bonus #7:

WP iAsk WordPress plugin – allows you to incorporate a survey feature into your WordPress-powered website. With this plugin you can create surveys with different types of questions and control how it appears in the page. What’s more, you’ll have the ability to gather important results and statistics of the answers supplied by the respondents.

Bonus #8:

List Building Excellence – discover how to build an email list Of 1,000 subscribers in 30 days and profit from your first newsletter.

Bonus 9 & Bonus 10

…inside VideoPal member’s area

Bonus #11:

Resell Rights to www.vectorsfiresale.com – Get 595 character images + 70 animated characters + many more icons and vector images.

Bonus #12:

VideoPal OptimizePress Template.

Bonus #13:

Platinum Membership in my Niche Site Institute internet marketing training site (normally $37/mth).

You can learn more about the bonuses on this page (links on that page will get you the bonuses too).

Click Here To Order Your VideoPals Today!


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Filed under: Video Marketing