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Jan 22, 2018

How to Write a Value Proposition that Grabs Attention

You only have a few seconds to catch visitors attention when they land on your website homepage.  In these few seconds, you need to immediately differentiate yourself from your competitors, make it clear what you do and who you do it for.  By doing this, your visitors will have a clear understanding of how you can help and the value you can provide. 

To get this message across quickly, a carefully crafted Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is used at the top of your homepage.  A unique value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered and shows the main reason why someone should buy from you instead of a competitor.

Your UVP is not something you should rush.  It is one of your most important conversion factors and requires careful consideration. It may take some time and testing of variations to get right.  Once you've figured out what resonates best with your target audience, it will ultimately help increase conversion rates.  

Here are a few tips on how to write a value proposition that grabs attention:


1. Know Your Target Audience 

In order to come up with a powerful UVP you need to know your target audience.  You need to have well defined buyer personas so you know who exactly you are talking to and what their pain points and challenges are.  When putting these together make sure you talk to different departments as they will have great insights e.g. your sales team, your customer service teams etc.  These are the people who are out there talking to your customers on a daily basis.

Having buyer personas and knowing your target audience is key for creating any type of content if you want it to resonate with your audience and add value.


If you don't have well defined buyer personas then I would recommend you start with these.  You can download our guide "How to Define Buyer Personas" which includes a free template to get you started.


2. Brainstorm 

Once you really understand your target audience, the best place to start is with a brainstorming session.  Don't give the task of crafting your UVP to a single employee. Have one person take responsibility for it,  but you will have much better success if you make it a collaborative effort.

Get your senior management team together along with anyone else you feel will have valuable input and brainstorm ideas.  Look at your buyer personas and answer questions such as

  • Who is your target customer?
  • What challenges and pain points are you trying to solve for them?
  • What is it that you do that is different from your competitors? How are you unique?
  • How does your product or service solve visitors problems?
  • What exactly you will provide to customers - the benefits and how your offering solves their challenges or pain points

During your brainstorming session you may well find that different people have different ideas about the value you provide.  So doing this as a team can be very valuable and also help ensure you are all on the same sheet when it comes to getting a unified message across to potential customers.  

If you want some tips on how to be effective with your brainstorming check out HubSpot's recent post 'Brainstorming: You're Doing It wrong'.


3. Be Customer Focused

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is making their UVP business focused. Don't make it business focused - it must be customer focused. Think like your customers - use words like 'You' and 'Yours' instead of 'We' and 'Our' if you can.   Put yourself in their shoes.  Make it about them and not you.


4. Don't Try to Appeal to Everyone

Don't try to serve everyone and cast too wide of a net.  If you are serving a particular industry vertical, then you should focus on including that in your UVP.  Maybe that's what differentiates you from your competitors. 

You may feel like you are cutting out potential opportunities by doing this, but it is more likely to help you bring in more qualified leads.  


5. Answer Common Problems

Try and solve some of the most common problems and pain points with your UVP e.g. Google's 'A safe place for all your files' addresses the common concern on security. When you are choosing a cloud provider for storage, this is generally the first concern or question that comes to mind and Google answers that straight off the mark giving you confidence to look into their product further.


6. Things You Shouldn't Do

These are some of the things that we always see and should be avoided...

  • Don't use jargon
  • Don't use acronyms
  • Don't make it a slogan or tagline
  • Don't say you are the best at something unless it's true and you have data to back it up. Your audience will see right through it.
  • Don't talk about features - talk about value - Many SaaS companies make this particular mistake.
  • If you're a tech company, don't use tech language unless your target audience is guaranteed to understand it!


7. Test and Get Feedback

When you're finished your first draft, get some feedback - maybe from existing customers, employees, peers, people who have never been on your site before etc. Test out a few variations.  Ask things like

  1. When you landed on the site, what benefits do you think we provide?
  2. Are the benefits we provide valuable to you?
  3. Who do you think we provide our products/services to?
  4. Was there anything you thought was unique about the website and what we offer?
  5. Are you aware of any other websites that have similar offerings and benefits?
  6. How does our site compare to theirs?
  7. Do you think any of our competitors have a better UVP?

Testing, tweaking and feedback is is a critical factor in getting this right.  


8. How to Present your UVP on Your Homepage

 Generally speaking, there are normally 3 main components ...

  • Main headline - Make this stand out more than the Subheadline - larger font, bold etc
  • Subheadline  
  • Visual - Image or Video as the background of the UVP (or sometimes beside it)

Below your UVP you should have a 'call to action' - a button (or buttons) so that the visitor has a clear idea of what you want them to do next e.g. 'Start Free Trial'. 

Sometimes companies also like to include bulleted lists of benefits.  Just keep it short and concise if you think it will add value.


9. Examples of Great Value Propositions

Here are some of my favourite homepage UVPs to inspire you...



BidRecruit's UVP hits the nail on the head.  The homepage is clean and it's easy to read their UVP quickly.  They get across the value they add instantly and who they help in relatively few words.  The word 'pain' in the main headline should resonate with any HR and Hiring Managers.  Having hired many people over the course of my own career, 'Pain' is definitely something that resonates with me when it comes to recruitment!

How to Write a Value Proposition that Grabs Attention - BidRecruit 2


Google Drive

In just 7 words, Google Drive gets it right. It's clear and concise and you know exactly what you're getting.   Anyone who visits this page can see that it's somewhere you can store files where they will be safe which is one of the main challenges people face when looking for a cloud provider to store their files. 


This key message obviously works for them as it hasn't changed much over the course of the last 5 years: 

How to Write a Value Proposition that Grabs Attention - Google Drive UVP Example



The old Unbounce UVP was one of my favourite SaaS UVP's.  The Unbounce UVP is a powerful one and the main headline accomplishes a lot quickly. 'Build landing pages fast, get more conversions'.  If I was a visitor looking for landing page software, this UVP immediately addresses 2 of my main concerns - get it done quickly and get conversions.  Their sub-headline clarifies additional value, which will be very important to a particular group of buyers - that anyone should be able to use their product, so if you don't have experts that won't be a problem.  

How to Write a Value Proposition that Grabs Attention - Unbounce UVP Example



Stirpe's specialty is online payments.  Stripe gives confidence immediately to it's visitors by telling them straight up that they are processing billions of dollars every year.  Anyone looking for an online payments solution will want to go with a company who is dealing with large volumes of payments.

One thing though...not many companies can really say they are the 'best' so unless you can prove your the best you might want to avoid this!

How to Write a Value Proposition that Grabs Attention - Stripe Example 


To wrap up, your homepage's value proposition is why people will look further around your website. Getting across relevancy, value, and unique differentiation is key to a successful UVP that gets your message across and drives conversions.

Learn from the brands above. The simpler the UVP, the better, as long as you get the key points across quickly.  By carefully crafting it, you can immediately show the value your business can bring and answer the question 'Why should I buy from you?'.  

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January 22, 2018