Dear Voice Over Professionals around the world,

Companies that produce explainer videos like us here at Gisteo love you. And we need you…a lot.

We need you like a rooster needs the dawn. We need you like a donut needs a hole. We need you like a joke needs a punchline. Like a parent needs patience. Like Taylor Swift needs heartache and like Donald Trump needs hairspray.

You get the picture. You’re obviously a critical part of the explainer video equation and we can’t live without you.

But please, please, please…stop clicking on our Google PPC (pay per click) ads!!!  The explainer video space has become fiercely competitive over the past few years. Did you know that some of the most relevant keyword combinations such as “explainer videos” or “animated explainer video” or “explainer video production” etc. etc. can cost up to $20 or more per click?  There are some that even cost $50-$90 for one measly click, especially if you choose the option to outbid others in the auction and automatically appear at the top of the results. Yes, it’s true and it’s painful.

We know that you certainly don’t click our PPC ads out of malice. Heck, many of you might not even know when you’re doing it at all.  Just in case, let’s take a closer look at PPC ads vs. organic results (the “free” search results that show up in Google).  Check out screenshot below:

You see the results at the top where it says “Paid Ads?”  Those are the ones we’re paying the mega bucks for. The area marked “Organic Results” are the natural results that Google produces and we don’t pay for those obviously. Gisteo ranks well (first page) for plenty of keywords while we have work to do on others- hence why paid search is part of our strategy and that of many other explainer video companies.  Organic search is fair game for you or any supplier who wants to reach out to Gisteo (or any company in any sector for that matter). The PPC ones are what we’re asking you to kindly reframe from clicking on.

But wait!  How do we know the difference between when you’ve clicked on an ad vs. finding us via organic search? Well, any semi-sophisticated marketer uses conversion tracking, heatmaps and a host of other tools that let us know where our inquiries are coming from…so, yeah, we know.

For example, conversion tracking showed that we just paid like $12 for this email inquiry from “Mike” below (confidential information has been blacked out):

At Gisteo, we get inquiries like Mike’s almost daily. Oftentimes we get 3-4 on any given weekday. When we’re running PPC campaigns, this number can go up considerably.  That means that we’re paying literally hundreds of dollars sometimes per week just to have explainer video voice over professionals send us their contact information, demo reels and half-hearted email introductions.

Newsflash to you guys: we know where to find you if we really need you most of the time and you’re not a scare resource these days. It’s not bad for you to reach out so that you’re on our radar, but just know that you’re up against a lot of competition and others who are doing the exact same thing. We completely understand that emails can be part of your lead generation/outreach efforts so go ahead and contact us but just don’t do it via the paid ads! Type our url into the browser or open up a new tab if necessary and find us on Google…then visit our website and send us your message.

Oh, and since we’re all business people here trying to make a buck, one suggestion if you’re going to contact an explainer video company like Gisteo: try to add value when you do knock on our door. Use some basic sales techniques to “warm” us up vs. simply sending a canned, cut & paste note like Mike above did. Come on, stroke our ego a little bit! Why do you really want to work with us?  What is it about our company in particular that caught you eye?  Did you see one our explainer videos somewhere that you absolutely loved?  What can you offer to entice us further to want to work with you?  These are just some basic ideas, of course, but little things like this can help when you’re sending us a cold email and trying to stand out in a pack.  You might also want to check out some classic books like Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People for a bit of timeless wisdom on seeing things from others’ perspectives and winning over new customers. Mike breaks almost ever rule discussed in Carnegie’s book with his email and, sadly, 99% of all voice over talent emails to us at Gisteo bear an uncanny resemblance to his.

Ironically, only a few explainer video voice professionals that have contacted us at Gisteo over the past 7 years have sent an email that truly made us go “wow!” and want to do more than just drag the email over to our handy “Voice Over Talent” folder.  Since you, as voice over pros, should have your finger on the pulse of the industry, we would think that maybe some one, some time might say something like “I’ll be happy to refer Gisteo to customers on my email list in exchange for XXX” or “I’ll feature some of your work on my blog if you include me on your roster…etc. etc.”  But, alas this just hasn’t been the case– in our experience at least.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Thank you in advance for understanding our position on this important matter and we do indeed look forward to future (non-paid) conversations!



8 Responses

  1. Thanks for the article. Great advice and timely as well. I appreciate that you took the time to give advice to help not only yourself, but voice over talent as well.

  2. What a well-written piece! Thanks for giving us (VO talent) an inside view of what it’s like from your point of view. Appreciate the time you took to craft such an informative (and entertaining) letter.

  3. Read this article on medium and came here to comment just to let you know that I really feel your pain. My company Again Studios get emails from voice over artists everyday, sometime 3-4 times in a day. On an average in a given month, I get more enquiries from voice over artists than clients who want to hire us.
    At first I used to save them in my “voice over artists folder” but now I don’t, unless they catch my attention . It’s just too many emails to save and manage.
    I am seriously thinking about adding a big button on the front page of my website which would says “Voice Over Artists Click Here”.

    1. Ankit

      I’m really sorry to hear about this, it must be so frustrating for companies like yours. I have been guilty of this in the past but completely accidentally and without fully appreciating the system and the repercussions for you guys!

      I’d really love to know what companies like yours would like from VOs like me reaching out? Obviously for a start try and find you through organic searches, but beyond that, what small gestures of goodwill and help could we offer you? is there something concrete we could do that would help in any small way?

      I’d love to know what I could do to be less of a nuisance and more of a help!

      Tom Fellows

  4. Thank you for this gentle reminder, and great advice. It must be extremely frustrating for you and companies like yours! I’ll pass this on to my peers and hopefully we can get this important message out there.

  5. Thank you for the information, sometimes in our marketing efforts, we just point and click not considering how it might ultimately affect our potential clients. I will definitely share this article with my LinkedIn community.

  6. Well, I’m certainly sorry to hear you’ve had this experience from the VO community. Everybody knows you should only click on the paid ads of the big banks…or at least I thought everybody knew this.

    Looking at your portfolio, I can see that you’ve been well served by the VO talents you have hired.

    I’ll mention your company on my next podcast episode. That won’t get back the PPC coinage drained by the VO herd, but it’s something.

    — Dan Hankiewicz

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