How To Use Simple Video Pro To Increase Your Video Conversion Rate

Since launching my video tutorials I have wanted to setup some tests to increase video conversion rate using a plugin like Simple Video Pro or Easy Web Video.

As part of my Google Webmaster Guidelines experiment I have integrated a few tracking points to track things like email sign ups, social actions, affiliate clicks, and downloads which I have setup as goals & events in Google Analytics.

I will be reporting on those metrics as part of that experiment but at the same time I want to optimise the conversion rate of the videos.

I have discussed and published a post on conversion rate optimisation before so if you’re not familiar with what it is then check it out.

The Problem With Video

I’m still getting used to producing videos at the moment. While they are great for teaching people it is often difficult to convert a viewer into a subscriber or affiliate sale.

This is because you have to rely on the user to take manual action. It isn’t like an image where they can just click through to a link.

Usually this involves typing a URL into the address bar that is shown in the video which leads to a really bad video conversion rate.

The Solutions

What I needed is a way to embed an e-mail sign up form and clickable elements into the video itself. That just isn’t possible with YouTube hosted videos.

I discovered a few solutions for this-


Wistia provide an advanced video player as well as hosting the videos for you. They allow you to place clickable banners into the videos and had some pretty nice analytics.

What really drew me to this service was you ask for a users e-mail address before they started the video. I thought that would be perfect on video 3 in a series for example BUT there’s a problem. It doesn’t integrate with Aweber or similar services; you can just export a raw list of the e-mails to manually import into Aweber.

It looked like the winner on the surface, but no e-mail integration was a killer.

Easy Video Player

Reading around online Easy Video Player had some fantastic feedback and did everything I wanted it to do.

That was until I clicked the Buy Now button and found out it was $127! Just for the player it was $127! On top of that I would have to move the videos over to Amazon S3 which would see even more costs.

Easy Video Player is certainly one of the most advanced players out there but there had to be something cheaper than that.

Easy Web Video

The Easy Web Video service also had the majority of the features I was after. You could easily integrate e-mail forms and add clickable buttons.

There were some other cool features like automatic trigger points where you could make things appear underneath the video at predetermined timings.

In fact the only reason I didn’t go with Easy Web Video is because I came across….

Simple Video Pro

Simple Video Pro is a wordpress plugin so offers direct integration into the site. It allows you to insert a clickable logo, clickable banner ads, clickable splash images, trigger point reveals, social media buttons and completely custom html.

In terms of customisation options and choices, Simple Video Pro is by far the best. The custom HTML section is especially useful and you can pretty much do anything you want. The only drawback is you can only add 1 of each item listed above. So you couldn’t have a clickable banner 2 minutes in and then again 8 minutes in etc.

What set this apart from the competition was the fact that I could use the videos I already had hosted through YouTube.

That is a huge benefit and huge cost saving as hosting them on Amazon S3 or similar service can be expensive.

Simple Video Pro allows me to pull any video in from YouTube and insert overlays on top. Perfect!

The Video Conversion Rate Case Study

After settling on Simple Video Pro as my new player of choice I needed to work out the best way to utilise it to increase video conversion rates.

It really does offer a lot of options and it’s easy to go crazy by adding social icons, banners and custom HTML but for the purpose of this test I decided to keep things simple.

My only goal was to increase the video conversion rate for my primary goals which are email subscribers, affiliate clicks and resources downloads.

I know from YouTube’s analytics that 60% of viewers watch the entire video. I decided at the end of the video I wanted to display some custom HTML.

This is what users currently see at the end of a video-

end of video

Just a bunch of related videos on YouTube, which is fantastic….. if your YouTube. Not so great for conversions.

I had a play with a few designs and finally settled on this-

simple video pro video conversion rate optimisation

So at the end of the video users get presented with the option to subscribe or find out more about things mentioned in the video. Pretty sweet huh?

I decided to setup a split test in Google Analytics (known as Content Experiments) to test the original page against the new page and see which one offers the best conversion.

The only difference between the pages is the video player. One of them uses the standard YouTube player and one of them use Simple Video Pro with the custom HTML display at the end of the video.

Other than that, the pages are identical.

I’m running this test across the entire Ultimate Guide To Tiered Link Building series right now.

The Results Are In!

After a bit of a delay, the results are finally in and they are very interesting indeed.

What I have learnt is going to change the way I do videos on the blog forever.

So let’s get into it-

Player Email Subscribe Aff Click Resource Downloads
YouTube 1.33% 1.20% 0.39%
SimpleVideoPro 1.82% 3.04% 1.22%

Here is how it looks in Google Analytics-

simple video pro results

Was It Worth It?

Overall the new video player delivered a 37% increase to email subscriptions and a 153% increase in the number of affiliate clicks.

Not bad considering the HTML splash doesn’t pop up until the end of the video.

I have also used email subscription popups to try and improve subscriber conversion which added a 44% increase in email conversion.

So when you compare the results of both of those – I would say the video popup performs much better due to the extra affiliate click conversion it offers.

Are you making the most of your traffic?

Hold Up A Minute

When I set this experiment up I was just testing the water with a quick and simple split test.

While the custom html popup does increase video conversion rate substantially, there are a few things that I want to try to improve it further such as-

  • Creating a better design for the custom HTML
  • Using the ‘reveal’ function to make a banner pop under the video after x seconds
  • Overlaying product banners within the video itself
  • Taking users to a specific URL automatically when the video ends

As you can see there is certainly a lot more to explore with the plugin to improve conversion even more.

SimpleVideoPro has certainly helped me to increase engagement and boost conversion with my visitors.

Now I just need to leverage my video conversion rate further.

32 Responses

  1. Justin Ritter

    Thanks for sharing another great piece Matthew…

    I’m creating a series of Online Courses where I won’t be hosting or uploading the video lessons to YouTube. Therefore I need to host the videos somewhere I can keep them private and locked down, plus I want to add clickable links, CTA’s, affiliate links, etc..into my videos. I found a video hosting company that provides the marketing features similar to Simple Video Pro along with their hosting packages… I’ll drop you a note once I’ve gained some experience with their service and share my results. Thanks for the good work you share here!

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 10th, 2018 at 5:26 am

      Look forward to hearing from you Justin.

  2. Marcel

    Hi Matthew

    Thanks for the great tutorial. How do you made your opt-in form? I purchased the plugin now, but my opt-in looks terrible and I miss the “skip this step” button. Hope you can help me out!
    Best Regards

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 17th, 2015 at 9:23 am

      Which optin form and which plugin?

      • Marcel
        August 17th, 2015 at 10:14 am

        I use mail chimp with simple video pro 2.2

        • Matthew Woodward
          August 18th, 2015 at 2:32 pm

          ahh I see, I’m using LeadPlayer here which got discontinued so I’m not going to be much help sorry

  3. Arpit

    nice defiantly try it

    • Matthew Woodward
      October 20th, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      Good luck =D

  4. Andy

    Awesome tutorial, thank Matt

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 5th, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      No worrys :)

  5. Adrian Hayman

    It is now possible to add a clickable link to a Youtube video. This is a new feature that was introduced recently. Basically you need to enable “monetization” in your channel settings and associate your website (your squeeze page). Then in video manager add a Note Annotation with your message such as “Click Here to get some free smoothie recipes”, and click on the “Link” box and type your website name again.

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 30th, 2013 at 11:37 am

      I guess you’ve never watched one of my videos to the end :)

  6. Apix

    Nice plugin. Thanks for the report

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

      No worrys :)

  7. Stan

    Quick question for you, what plugin or method are you using to display the social buttons at the end of your post WITH your “Please Share” graphic to the right of it?

    Thank you.

  8. Iain

    Great post Matthew.

    It’s really interesting to how what the conversion rate was on video.

    Too bad you messed up slightly. I hate it when I make mistakes that could have been avoided.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 2nd, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      Just one of those things – wont happen again with the next test :P

  9. Mart

    Hi Matthew been looking at trying to add an opt-in form to some new videos that I am making for a small site that I have and was thinking about trying Voo player then saw this great post. Now I think I have another potential candidate in simple video pro player – just wondered have you any views/experience or info about using Voo player?

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 9th, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Haven’t heard of that before but will take a look thanks!

  10. Peter

    Hey Matt,

    Great post. I bought the plugin, but can’t find any info. on using the custom HTML. I’ve put some standard links in the box using HTML, but they don’t show up. Wondering if you can point me in the right direction. Thanks!


    • Matthew Woodward
      April 27th, 2013 at 2:44 pm


      Have you just written in pure html a href links? You’ll need a div with a black or white background as well

  11. Casey Dennison

    Nice little case study, Matt! The results are actually pretty good. You tracked this over 6 months, right?

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 27th, 2013 at 2:42 pm


      No it was done until Analytics decided it had enough data to decide a winner.

  12. Brian Dean

    I’m loving these case studies, Matt!

    Just one question about the SimpleVideoPro video: did you still have your affiliate link at the beginning of the video description too?

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 26th, 2013 at 3:51 pm


      Nope just as it is there and you can see on some videos now.

  13. Jason Theofilos


    Really enjoying the experiment, but I wanted to just comment on your subscriber / signup conversion – you need to offer more than just "get the latest updates" – like in one of your posts you need social media interaction to download your files, which I happily did because I wanted to see your footprints, and your targets list.

    Give people a reason to hand over the email.. a reason they can't do with out – you know how it works :)


    • Matthew Woodward
      August 25th, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Hi Jason,

      While I agree that offering something to download would increase subscriber conversion I think the trade off you make for that gain is a less responsive list.

      At the moment people sign up purely because of the quality of the content on the site which means they are desperate to see more of it. The general idea is that each and every post I produce should have people falling all over themselves to subscribe.

      By offering something free like footprints etc they might not have even read the content yet and just signed up for the freebies. They would be less inclined to open emails from me because they've already got what they want.

      It's something I will probably have a play with in the future be pretty easy to setup a split test for that as well :P

  14. Michael Cox

    Yea that looks really good on the end of the videos sure it will improve conversions, although.
    one problem I spotted though you now cant change the quality of the video its stuck at 360p,
    i think its just because the overlay stops you executing Youtube features. Is there no.
    settings in Simple Video Pro so you could still allow them to change the quality? I think
    the quality is important especially for tutorials if people are following step by step and.
    need to see the little boxes you are clicking or not clicking on the bots etc, you could also.
    lose traffic to Youtube people not liking the quality and simply going to Youtube and searching.
    "The Ultimate Guide To Tiered Link Building Part 4" or whatever just so they can see the videos.
    a bit better. I personally watch all tutorial videos on highest quality and if it was me visiting.
    your site to watch a video I would end up on Youtube.

    Hope this helps..

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 22nd, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      Yes losing the ability to switch the quality of the video is a problem. At the moment there are no settings to change that it is something I picked up on and wasn't sure about. If I wanted to be cruel I could leave the videos unlisted at youtube so they could only be watched through this site and then request opt in to download them in HD. Not sure if that is over stepping the mark though, will put some more thought into it and speak with the Simple Video Player guys who can hopefully enable the change in resolution option soon.

    • Michael Cox
      August 22nd, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      The guys there should be able to fix this no problem you would think, its only really a button you want added to click a already existing button on Youtube, I'm surprised they didn't add that to the original code, is it a free plugin?

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 23rd, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      I've already emailed them to see what they can do, there is another feature I want to see as well :P

      Its not free but pretty cheap at $37, the proof will be in the pudding of these results though even if it increases conversion by 1% its money well spent.

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