Value propositions effectively make the decision process easier for your visitors by limiting the number of available choices. Most people aren’t going to look beyond decisions you make for them.
Given that more often than not, too many choices result in analysis paralysis where no choice gets made, isn’t it better to just offer the minimum number of choices.
The inability to understand the differences in choices and the purported analysis that goes into needling through the differences between supposedly good choices is a lot of work. And people tend to avoid unnecessary work.
When people consider a purchase they’re shuffling through dozens of sites making decisions in split seconds. If you have an appealing, target and exclusive Value Proposition at the very top of the page, there’s little friction left stopping them from choosing you.
But first what’s a value proposition?
A value proposition or Unique selling proposition is a unique offer or statement that is different from your competitors.
When lots of brands start offering similar value propositions then customers are going to see through that. It won’t be unique any longer. Such tuning out is detrimental to business success.
Until a product or service enters the picture that makes their ears perk up again.
Something uniquely refreshing, adds value and doesn’t make them think too hard.
A strong value proposition, when met by a targeted audience, eggs them on to engage with the site.
Not every visitor will be interested in clicking through but with the correct value proposition, we can increase the odds of that happening.
Good and bad value proposition examples
A value proposition isn’t a hotch potch of big words. It’s for anyone visiting your site to read and be able to understand the goal of the site.
Here’s an example of what a value proposition should NOT be.
It reads: Agile Alliance supports people who explore and apply Agile values, principles, and practices to make building software solutions more effective, humane, and sustainable.
It isn’t clear who the solution is for. Is a visitor supposed to identify himself as wanting to build humane software solutions?
Is someone landing on the site going to be able to understand what the site is about, who it concerns with and what it does. Odds are not. All it does is manage to string a hodge podge of words.
Instead, use the right words.
What are they?
The right words are ones that the customer uses to describe your business in their own language.
Here’s an example from Aweber:
Simple, Personalized email marketing. Followed by a secondary statement that puts additional emphasis on ease of use.
It’s clear what their UVP is. It’s about simplicity of using the platform and yet being able to deliver personalized emails.
They want customers who want an easy-to-use solution and that’s their target market.
Your copy might be written by an Ivy-league graduate who campaigned for Obama.
But your customers aren’t from Ivy-leagues. And since you’re writing for them use their words to describe your proposition.
The truth is you cannot simply guess what that is. Any attempt at that is only going to spew more trouble. Instead interview customers, talk to them, collate feedback. Visit forums and discussion boards where they hand out. Read through reviews and then arrive at your copy.
A value proposition is not a slogan or catchphrase.
What are the characteristics of a great UVP?
A great UVP should be easy to understand and clear.
- It should communicate results the customer has had from the product.
- Should be able to differentiate itself from others.
- Best avoid hype. Best, Amazing, the most are better not used.
- Uses simple words so that it can be understood in few words.
The three-pronged process to value propositions
What’s your value proposition
Correctly identifying your value proposition starts with right and clear thinking.
All you’ve to do is answer the question as succinctly as possible.
What do I do that’s better than anyone else?
If it’s a service based business there are probably many things you do well but one thing trumps everything else in quality.
Pizza Hut sells the most pizzas in the world but its market proposition is delivery speed. It’s on this single statement that it built a thriving business—Get your pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free.
Piping hot pizza, customized to your tastes, made and delivered to your home in under 30 minutes. Identify that core strength of yours be it quick delivery, excellent customer service, design, quality of the product, money-back guarantee or something else that you do like no one else. And don’t think that big competitors with their deep pockets can outrun you. What they gain in size they lose in speed and optimization. Being a giant generates fear among others. However, giants are slow and have a lot of catching up to do.
Again don’t focus on the small potatoes that everybody could do. Free shipping is a standard, not a unique value proposition and while it can assuage delivery concerns it’s good only as a secondary benefit.
Answering free shipping or plastering it all over the site as the VP is proof that you didn’t work hard at researching and arriving at the value proposition. It doesn’t make your customers excited about doing business with you.
Use keyword research to form an idea of the right value proposition
You need to be able to boil down your Value Proposition to 3 or 5 key phrases and start doing keyword research from that list. Don’t worry if you feel that you found better terms when researching. You might have to let go of a few ones and accept new words in the list.
Next, use those keywords in your web copy and especially when crafting the value proposition. It’s essentially answering two questions. One, what are people searching for and two What are you able to provide?
For instance, let’s you say you provide a handy solution in the form of a towelette to people who suffer from underarm sweating.
Your value proposition and copy below could consist of keywords like excess underarm sweating, itching, burning, and smell. Plus in your keyword research make sure who your target audience is—males or females? You could describe various real-life situations that raise hell for people with this particular condition and reinforce your Unique Value Proposition.
Here’s a simple example of such keywords.
Many a great value propositions don’t do any good for their brand because they’re well-hidden. It was not the intention when creating it but due to the communication gap between different departments or simply due to poor design choices the VP gets lost among a million other things.
Since the importance lies so much on the single sentence that can make or break things the pressure to get it right is above everything else. If visitors like it they may read more of the page and engage. If they don’t they’d leave your site, just like that.
Is there a fool-proof way to get it right?
Enter the 5-second test.
Just because a value proposition is short, in easy-to-understand language doesn’t mean that visitors are going to be overjoyed discovering it.
Being unique is good but rarely enough.
Your visitors are going to want it. You should be able to create a desire in them.
It’s been a long-held belief that if you just come up with something really unique and different then that is enough to define a unique value proposition.
The truth behind a high converting UVP is that people should really want it.
It’s a simple idea. People are flashed your site for not more than 5 seconds and then proceed to answering questions based on what they saw. If the page communicated it’s value proposition clearly, people would have no doubt describing the site accurately.
5 Second Test can help you with that. In a 5 Second Test, people see your site
They write about what they remember. They write about what they feel the site does and what the product is about.
If the answers are correct the value proposition isn’t clear.
Test 10 or more variations of the page and find out which one gets you answers as close to reality as possible.
A UVP shouldn’t be hidden. Because it’s not something to hide. All main website pages should clearly state the UVP be the home page, product page, blog page, the about us and contact us pages.
Everywhere the user glances it should be evident why he’s here.