Any company that offers a product or service has a value proposition; whether or not they know it is a different matter however. Commonly, companies find themselves looking for a way to get a potential customer interested in their product or service, only to get progressively more frustrated as new offers and sales just don’t return the results they were hoping for. This is where a well-communicated value proposition comes into play.
The application of a good value proposition can be broken down into two parts: identification and communication.
Identifying your Value Proposition
An effective value proposition should answer the following question:
If I am your ideal customer, why should I choose you over your competition?
Answering this question is simpler than you may think, but it may take a little reshuffling at the business end to discover your best value proposition.
To become the best choice for your ideal customer, you must differentiate from your competition by exceling in one element of your offer; whether that is “voted UK’s number one retailer of oven mittens”, “97% of our customers would use us again over any other retailer” or “unbeatable price match guarantee”. Look at the claims your competitors are making, and ask yourself how you can stand out from that crowd with one short, effective sentence.
In most cases, the ideal prospect wants to know what they get from choosing you, or why you are the right choice for them; they don’t want to think and they don’t want to scour your website to stumble across valuable information or offers.
If you use the first few seconds of their attention to talk about the industry you are in, the founding of the company or the team in head office rather than your unique selling point then they will simply retort with a simple “so what?”, and leave to find a competitor who is willing to put their offer on a plate.
Simply put, your value proposition is what your customers get from choosing you that they would not get from choosing a competitor.
Communicating your Value Proposition
Now comes the trickier part, effectively expressing the value proposition.
There are many things to consider when refining an effective value proposition; in the latter stages of testing we would look to incorporate congruence, continuity and credibility through all stages of the conversion process, but for now let’s concentrate on some easy to digest, actionable principles.
Two of the most powerful weapons in your VP arsenal are your header and sub-header; with these you can grab attention, highlight your unique selling point, add credibility or direct to conversion. It’s vital that your header acts as a quick, effective means of engaging visitors in a conversation, and drives them to read on by earning their interest.
Here’s an example of an ineffective header and sub-header:
“Find out how our specialist software can save you time and money”
“At Daniel Travis Brown software ltd, we have a great range of accounting software solutions, read on to find out more! “
And now a more effective, amended version:
“Save time and money with our range of custom-built accounting software packages”
“We will put together an accounting software package that meets your needs entirely, all for the unbeaten price of £79! “
The original version prompted the reader to find out more; already we were opening with a task for the visitor, without giving them any real information. We then followed it by prioritising the company name in the sub-header and failing to mention the competitive price that is on offer.
In the amended version, we grabbed attention immediately with “save time and money” and then went into further detail in the sub-header, mentioning the “unbeaten price” and custom-built package.
This gives the customer all they need to read on; they now know about the low price and product/service, and many of them will now be closer to converting than they would ever have been with the previous headline.
Now, an Ineffective Real-World Example
Compared to an Effective Real-World Equivalent
Notice the first example gave no information about the service; instead they tried to convince the reader to read on without giving any incentive. The second example however immediately shows the hosting service is: reliable, secure, located in the UK with onsite engineers, allows hosting of multiple websites, features 24/7 support and more. In the top right there is information about a 70% three month discount and below is an award from computer shopper. All of the information is clear, easy to digest and most importantly gives multiple incentives to the user, driving them to read on.
There is much more to expressing an effective value proposition than simply revising your headline, but this is a great starting point and will help you learn the principles or value identification and communication.
For help identifying an effective value proposition and more on our CRO Services, call the Web Vitality Heroes today for super powered conversion rate optimisation