Your Value Proposition: (Boost Conversions for Free?)

Michael Costin

August 4, 2020

Hey there!

Quick question for ya…

How much would you be making if your conversions increased 145% overnight?

How about 200%?

300%?

And all without spending a single extra cent on advertising.

Now imagine what you’d be doing with all that cash. Hiring better talent, scaling your digital advertising (We know a great SEO company, by the way), taking trips to Bali – Why not? You’ve got the money.

And all it takes is about 12 little words. 

Sound good? You’ll love this article.

Today we want to talk about one of the lowest-cost – and also most POWERFUL – business optimisation strategies: 

Your company’s value proposition.

Get it right, and your conversions could skyrocket (We’ll show you cold hard proof). 

Get it wrong, and it creates a downward spiral that kills conversions. And worse, if you lose conversions because you don’t clearly communicate your value, then all that good advertising is money down the drain.

In this article, we will:

  • Walk you through what a value proposition is (And how everyone gets it WRONG)
  • Why it’s so important
  • How to optimise it for some quick wins
  • Examples of great value propositions to shamefully rip off
  • Some really awesome memes

What is a Value Proposition (And How Most of Businesses Get it Completely Wrong)

Your company’s value proposition is a clear and concise articulation of the following:

  • What you do
  • What’s in it for the customer
  • Why buy from you instead of a competitor


More simply, it’s an answer to the question “why should I buy from you?”.

Think of it as your company’s unique identifier on the market. This is what you wake up early in the morning for (After hitting snooze once or twice four times).

Remember, nobody buys a feature. They buy a benefit. They buy the future reality you paint for them after they purchase.

It’s one of the simplest and most important aspects of advertising…

BUT ALMOST EVERYONE GETS IT WRONG!

We speak to a lot of business owners every month. The majority – from small businesses to huge multinational firms – do not clearly articulate their value to clients. They usually do the following:

  • They don’t have a value proposition (Very bad)
  • They have one, but it’s very generic like “we’re the best” or “we’re the most trusted with the most advanced tools”
  • They have one that’s unique but it’s too long and not impactful


We actually find that often, business owners or marketing managers can seem to be more interested in low-ROI minutia like changing button colours, adjusting images, or playing with the subheadline on their web page.

How ironic is it that the heaviest hitting conversion factor is hitting them smack dab in the face and they aren’t even aware?

Why Your Value Proposition Matters More Than You think

A value proposition that clearly defines what makes your company a better choice than your competitors is one of the most powerful advertising factors, and it could make the difference between closing the sale or losing it to a competitor with a better one.

In fact, your value proposition is one of the dominant conversion rate factors on your website.

That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.

In a mind-bending study conducted by MarketingExperiments.com, changing the value proposition into a concise, benefits-driven piece of copy and placing directly in the reader’s view resulted in the following:

  • +145% in conversions for the Down & Feather Company
  • +300% in conversions and +81% to conversion rate for the University of New England
  • +200% in conversions and +69% to conversion rate for Co-Brand news


That’s up to 300% in conversions WITHOUT SPENDING A SINGLE CENT MORE ON ADS.

Let’s do a quick comparison of costs to drive home just how inexplicably mad that is. Here are the ballpark figures for getting that type of extra revenue:

  • Improving Your Web Design: $5,000 on the cheap end. Up to $20,000 for a full custom site.
  • Paid Ads: The average cost PER CLICK is $1-$2. Meaning 1,000 clicks costs you $1,000 – $2,000. Of course, if you do it right, the ROI is HUGE. But it’s a lot more complicated than playing around with about a dozen words.
  • Improving Your Value Proposition: $0.


The best things in life are free. But our clients are in business to make money and so are you. So your value proposition matters A LOT!

Google and Facebook ARE NOT magic conversion boxes that instantly turn a stone cold prospect into a customer. If you pay to capture a lead, warm them up, then send them to a web page without a clear value proposition, you’ve wasted everyone’s time and your money. And worse, you lost an easy sale. 

If you do not make the value of doing business with you clear, nobody is going to buy from you.

Let’s try a little thought experiment...

Imagine you want to find a digital marketing company in Sydney (We still know a good one 😉 ).

You fire up Google, caress the keys a bit, hit Enter, and click the top result. And this is the first thing you see on the page:

Are you interested in partnering with this company? We sure as hell aren’t.

They don’t tell you why you should buy from them or what makes them better or unique. Actually, they don’t even really say WHAT THEY DO!

So you click back and see the next result: LocalDigital.com.au. So you click and this is what you see right off the bat:

Aside from being by far the best looking SEOs in the business, this company tells you exactly what they do (Digital marketing), what’s in it for you (Hit your growth targets), and what makes them different (They show you proof).

As a totally unbiased 3rd-party with absolutely 0 ties to this company, we would 100% work with them.

And notice something the other guys didn’t do? A nice button that says GET A PROPOSAL. This is key – you must make your clients a solid offer immediately. This is how you get leads.

What Makes a Great Value Proposition, Anyway?

Good question…

The higher-level, philosophical answer is:

“A good value proposition is one that clearly conveys the value of doing business with your company in as few words as possible”.

Great. 

That’s like saying the Large Hadron Collider is “just smashing two beams together at the speed of light and analysing the quantum dust that results”.

It’s a lot more complicated…

The most important factors of a good value proposition are:

It’s Concise and Clear

Alright, so I may have re-watched The Sopranos for the seventh time during the COVID period. I’ll ease up on the memes. But Tony has hit the nail on the head (Maybe it shouldn’t have squealed…).

The more concise and clear your value proposition, the easier it is for your visitor to extract value and the simpler it is to decide to make a purchase.

Extra words, long-winded statements, cliches, and complex grammatical structures (dependent clauses, passive voice, etc.) are like ice on a windshield: They obscure the reader’s journey. Just get straight to the point without trying to impress.

Want to see a company that nails it? Check this out:

Boom. Simple. Concise. Easy.

Here’s a rule of thumb: 5 seconds or less.

That’s how long it should take to read your value proposition.

Be Specific

You don’t have to clarify specific results per se, but be as specific as possible in what you do and how the visitor benefits.

Again, cliches have no business being in your value prop. Don’t just say you’re the best, tell us why. Did you win an award? Did you 10x someone’s conversions?

Notice in this excellent Sydney SEO company’s page, they got specific:

Hit your growth targets in 2020. A very specific benefit. 

God those guys are great.

Uber gets even more specific. They tell you exactly how the app works:

Clearly Differentiate Yourself

Simply telling your visitor what you do is not enough. You must clearly explain why they should choose you and NOT a competitor.

That could be as easy as saying who your ideal clients are, like Unbounce here:

This is software for marketers. Could be better, but it’s good enough.

Or, you could go full on Slack and start throwing some weight around. This is pure alpha dog stuff here:

That’s really it. 

Be specific about what you do and how your customer benefits. And be sure to differentiate yourself from your competitors. 

Sometimes these steps overlap. Sometimes a single sentence conveys all three of these things perfectly.

Let’s look at a couple of examples quickly to inspire you.

Examples of Great Value Propositions

This is pure, unapologetic value prop domination right here. It checks all the boxes.

 

  • Simple and Concise
  • The Benefits (Easiest way to pay your employees)
  • Differentiation (Easiest implies “easier than others”)

 

Then they give a powerhouse offer 2 MONTHS FREE with a simple signup form.

Bravo. More businesses should be like Zenpayroll.

Listia

Listia’s design looks a bit too Nickelodeon for our tastes, but man do they smack you in the face with a great value prop.

First, they say exactly what they do and what you gain (Free stuff). Then, they differentiate by showing the big names they work with and throwing in some social proof (100 million items!). Plus, a clear and easy sign up form.

Note: Notice how they convey a lot of their value visually. A picture is worth a thousand words!

Quartzy

Little to know explanation needed here, we think.

You know what they do, you see how you benefit, and they tell you why choose them (80,000 scientists and 25,000 labs).

Proven

We think you know the drill by now. What they do, what you gain, some proof, and an easy signup.

And last but not least…

Fundly

Doesn’t get better than this. The headline is an absolute killer that says exactly what this service does and why it’s amazing. Then the subheader is even better. The Facebook signup button is right in your view and says FREE.

Then, some proof down at the bottom. And all in just about two dozen words, most of them communicated visually.

So that about does it for this post.

All too often we speak to business owners who want to throw more and more money at advertising channels to drive growth, without giving much thought to whether they’re converting that traffic properly.

Getting a rock solid value proposition in place, focusing on benefit driven copy and making the benefit of doing business with you over the other options is vitally important. 

So, how’s your value prop?

About Michael Costin

Michael is the co-founder at Local Digital. He has a decade of experience in the digital marketing space, and is a big enough nerd that he's well practised in all the common digital marketing channels, from SEO to copywriting, paid social to analytics and tracking.

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