5 Tips to Craft a Better Value Proposition
Value propositions are everywhere—some good, some bad.
Essentially a value proposition is your statement of what your company does best. But a lot of people have trouble communicating that in an easy-to-understand manner.
Let’s imagine that you explain what you do simply and concisely. Clarity alone doesn’t cut the deal. Does your value proposition matter to the end user? Does he/she care about what you have on offer?
There are several other questions you need to tackle before you’ll nail your value proposition.
Today I will be walking you through that process so you can craft a better value proposition.
#AmReading: 5 Tips to Craft a Better Value Proposition
First off… understand what goes into a value proposition
- What problem the product solves and how
- The benefits associated with using the product
- Why and how the product is better than the competitor’s
Have you heard of Red John? He’s a fictional character in the TV series The Mentalist. Red John is a serial killer, a psychopath.
After every murder, he leaves his signature, a smiley on the wall drawn with the victim’s blood. He draws it and arranges the lights in the room in such a way that the smiley is the first thing anyone entering the crime scene notices.
The value proposition on your site is Red John’s smiley. It has to be the first thing that visitors notice about your site.
The reason? Incredibly short attention spans and a burgeoning number of competitors.
An article on the UK edition of Telegraph is titled, “Humans have shorter attention span than goldfish thanks to smartphones.” We are increasingly becoming more and more distracted.
In the above picture, a whale goes by, but the man sees nothing. Did you?
This isn’t exactly good news for conversions. But fortunately…
The article also states that, “While digital lifestyles decrease sustained attention overall, it’s only true in the long-term…They’re better at identifying what they want/don’t want to engage with and need less to process and commit things to memory.”
So if your value proposition makes sense to your visitors, they will pay attention. And you can train your visitors to pay attention.
Let’s look at some brands that are doing just that, and learn a few tips in the process.
Make your value proposition stand out
Heatmaps taken from Attensee’s original landing page indicated that, while visitors were spending time on the headline, they were quickly becoming disinterested.
Most areas were in the blue or green zone, indicating very low interest with what’s on the page. The interest dropped almost to zero as visitors reached the end of the page. Clearly, there was something amiss.
Attensee believed their value proposition was hitting the mark, so they hypothesized that it wasn’t standing out enough. They conducted an A/B test to find out, placing a yellow background behind their value proposition in the test version.
It worked. This is the heatmap with the new landing page. As you can see, the value proposition is showing more views.
This small change did another thing as well. It increased conversions by 12%. Not bad for a yellow background, is it?
The lesson is clear. It’s important not only to clearly state your value proposition, but to make it stand out as well.
Convey the benefits that matter most to your customer
Many websites place their value proposition in the headline. That ensures it’s seen right away. But does it highlight the value people are looking for?
In this case study from MarketingExperiments, a gasket-repair site tweaks their headline to find the optimal message for their visitors.
This was the existing headline: “Simple Fix for Blown Head Gaskets”
For the test, it was changed to this: “Repairs Blown Head Gaskets in Just One Hour”
This simple change led to a 58% increase in conversions. The key change? Conveying that the website would repair gaskets in an hour.
Time must be important to gasket users (gaskets are used in running parts of engines), which may be why they responded so well to the new headline.
It mattered to them.
So should your value proposition.
To discover what matters most to your customers, start by asking them what they hoped to find on the website with their visit. You can do this with a tool like Qualaroo, which pops up with questions when the user scrolls down a webpage.
Once you know the purpose of their visit, or the information they’re looking for, you will be able to better craft a value proposition that makes sense to them.
Use the words your visitors use, not industry jargon
Prior to SEOMoz rebranding itself as Moz, they asked existing clients as to how they would describe the service to a friend.
Taking inspiration from the data, they improved the website copy to reflect these very sentiments. As a result, they added an additional $1 million in annual revenue.
Take a look at Uber’s landing page for drivers, which is pretty clear about which program drivers should sign up for.
They know their audience very well and have identified their needs as a result.
Basecamp is a true master at conducting split tests and continually improving their messaging. Their landing page showcases them as everyone’s app.
They also deliver their strongest benefit in the clearest of terms: “Chaos, Organized.” It’s almost reminiscent of the Biblical creation story.
Visual elements like the green arrow guide site visitors to the sign-up link. By connecting with customers’ core problems and clearly telling them what to do next, Basecamp is able to easily drive conversions.
You can do get the same results by crafting a value proposition that addresses your customers’ core issues, and giving them a way to respond.
Augment your value proposition with social proof and testimonials
A mirror neuron is defined as the neuron that fires both when we act and when we see someone else performing the same action.
It was born from an experiment where monkeys were observed reaching for food. Electrodes were placed on their skulls to record brain activity. The researchers were astounded to find that the same neural regions became active when the monkeys saw other monkeys or humans reaching for food.
Social proof works in much the same manner. Be it reaching for a cup of tea or happy smiling faces on an eCommerce site, positive social proof works in your favor. Our brains our wired to trust other people.
You can show people with happy faces, itemize the number of customers you serve, or use a video testimonial. The key here is that people should be able to relate to your message—and that it support your value proposition.
Qualaroo does that with a video.
Here’s how Basecamp users the sheer power of numbers to prove that they are the best.
It’s always possible that you have a big competitor who has figured it all out. They have more sales, an extremely good landing page and better rankings. It’s not a bad idea to look over their shoulders and take some inspiration.
But in many cases, refining your value proposition—including how you present it—will make all the difference.
- make your value proposition prominent on your landing page
- use language that customers understand
- support your strongest benefits with social proof