What makes the difference between a potential customer buying your product or buying a competitor's product?
Is it the marketing? Your name behind the product? Raving testimonials?
You see, what really determines whether a customer buys your product or a competitors is the value proposition of the two products.
If you are a little bit fuzzy as to exactly what a value proposition is and how you can create one that sells like crazy, don't worry. It's all here.
What is a Value Proposition?
A value proposition is a simple idea.
It is the cost vs. benefit analysis every customer mentally does before buying that leads to their buying motivation.
What is their buying motivation? Consider buying motivation as a simple equation:
"Motivation = Perceived Benefits - Perceived Cost"
It's that simple.
If you want more customers to buy, then you have to learn how to increase the perceived value and decrease the perceived cost.
What to Include in Your Value Proposition
Before I delve into how you can start creating your proposition, let's look at what your proposition should include.
Any great value proposition will include 4-5 basic elements. Now even though the elements themselves are simple, optimizing them to display maximum value and lead to maximum conversions can be a challenge.
Here's how I recommend positioning your value proposition when you feature it on a website or landing page.
1. Use a nice big headline.
Like I said, basic right?
What you may not realize is that writing intriguing headlines can be the hardest part of the whole value proposition, because you have to effectively intrigue the reader and prep them to buy while explaining your product in less than 1 sentence.
2. Include a subheadline
Now once you have crafted a masterful headline, it is time to expound on the main idea a little bit with a subheadline or short paragraph.
Remember, you have the reader's attention. The headline did that. It's time to sell them on the product, explaining all of the benefits and touching on those pain points that it solves.
Be brief. You'll lose the customer if you get long winded.
3. Present a bulleted list of benefits.
The third thing you should include is a bulleted list with all of the benefits customers will receive from using your product.
Really take your time on these. Craft them to hit the pain points that your customers need solved.
If you don't know what problems your customers are facing, I highly suggest that you forget about this article for the time being.
Instead, go read up on how to run effective market surveys before creating a product.
4. Include some nice testimonials (optional)
While this isn't entirely necessary, the human brain loves feeling like it is a part of something bigger. The proper use of (real) testimonials will help to convey the quality of the product.
Be sure to use the psychological tactic of social proof to increase conversions.
5. Show a video.
While some value propositions rely solely on images, video is often more effective. Videos allow you to be perceived as more of an authority figure to your audience.
You don't need to go overboard with this. In fact shorter is better. Keep it under 5 minutes long. Summarize your main bullet points with lots of visuals.
How to Create a Clear Value Proposition
Now that you understand the anatomy of a value proposition on a website or landing page, it is time to discuss the most important part of the proposition: clarity.
You only have a couple of seconds to win over your customer before their attention span flies away to the next article or shiny object. It's crucial to be crystal clear and concise in your offer.
So, how do you do this?
1. Eliminate fluff.
If there are any words that your proposition can live without, cut them out.
Extra verbiage will make your offer less clear. Worse, it might even confuse the customer and prevent them from converting.
For example look at the following proposition from Kissmetrics:
"Giving you the knowledge you need to make better decisions"
Simple and clear.
What if it read something like this?
"Kissmetrics is the number one online resource for people looking to holistically optimize their online marketing to improve revenue via maximizing conversions and boost their click throughs."
This version is filled with industry jargon and unnecessary explanation.
Whereas the first version, was clear, to the point, and explained what you can expect in one sentence, the second version drones on and one, filling potential customers heads with confusion
2. Explain what you are offering immediately.
You will have plenty of time to convince customers of everything that is great about your product in your video and bullet points.
For your headline, however, skip the details and explain in layman's terms WIFM.
"What's in it for me."
For example, SoundCloud's value proposition gets the idea across clearly:
"Hear the world's sound. Experience trending music and audio."
3. Use the subheading or video to explain your product's superiority.
Once you have drawn the customer in and explained what they can expect out of your product, you have the chance to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Avoid putting specific opponents down. Instead, focus on the industry as a whole.
Explaining to potential customers the benefits of your product or service is at the core of all good copywriting, marketing, and sales.
Learning how to craft a crystal clear value proposition for your product will give you an advantage in all aspects of your business.
Plus, it will send your sales through the roof.
How do you approach writing a value proposition?