Value proposition is the #1 thing that determines whether people will bother reading more about your product / service or hit the back button.
What is a value proposition?
A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered. It’s the primary reason a prospect should buy from you.
In a nutshell, value proposition is a clear statement that
- explains how your product solves customers’ problems or improves their situation (relevancy),
- delivers specific benefits (quantified value),
- tells the ideal customer why they should buy from you and not from the competition (unique differentiation).
You have to present your value proposition as the first thing the visitors see on your home page, but should be visible in all major entry points of the site.
Use the right language
Your value proposition needs to be in the language of the customer. It should join the conversation that is already going on in the customer’s mind. In order to do that you need to know the language your customers use to describe your offering and how they benefit from it.
What the value proposition consists of
The value proposition is usually a block of text (a headline, sub-headline and one paragraph of text) with a visual (photo, hero shot, graphics).
There is no one right way to go about it, but I suggest you start with the following formula:
- Headline. What is the end-benefit you’re offering, in 1 short sentence. Can mention the product and/or the customer. Attention grabber.
- Sub-headline or a 2-3 sentence paragraph. A specific explanation of what you do/offer, for whom and why is it useful.
- 3 bullet points. List the key benefits or features.
- Visual. Images communicate much faster than words. Show the product, the hero shot or an image reinforcing your main message.
Evaluate your current value proposition by checking whether it answers the questions below:
- What product or service is your company selling?
- What is the end-benefit of using it?
- Who is your target customer for this product or service?
- What makes your offering unique and different?
Use the headline-paragraph-bullets-visual formula to structure the answers.
What makes a good value proposition?
- Clarity! It’s easy to understand.
- It communicates the concrete results a customer will get from purchasing and using your products and/or services.
- It says how it’s different or better than the competitor’s offer.
- It avoids hype (like ‘never seen before amazing miracle product’), superlatives (‘best’) and business jargon (‘value-added interactions’).
- It can be read and understood in about 5 seconds.
Boosters for your value proposition
Sometimes it’s the little things that tip the decision in your favor. If all major things are pretty much the same between your and your competitors’ offer, you can win by offering small value-adds. I call them boosters.
These things work well against competitors who do not offer them. Boosters can be things like
- Free shipping
- Fast shipping / Next day shipping
- Free bonus with a purchase
- Free setup / installation
- No setup fee
- No long-term contract, cancel any time
- (Better than) Money-back guarantee
- A discounted price (for a product)
You get the idea. Think what small things you could add that wouldn’t cost you much, but could be attractive to some buyers.
Make sure the booster is visible with the rest of the value proposition.