Value Propositions: What, Why, and How to Use Them

8 min read

When convincing a potential customer to buy your product or service, it all comes down to one simple question.

Why?

Why should they try your product/service instead of another from a competitor? If you can’t offer value in your message, then you lose out on a sale and worse, stunt your growth.

So, how do you instill value, gain an advantage over the competition, and most importantly, close a sale?

It all starts with a well-written value proposition.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about value propositions — what they are, why they’re important to your sales funnels, and how to use them most effectively.

What is a value proposition and why is it key to your sales funnel strategy?

Value propositions are key to sales funnel strategies

The value proposition definition is the message you create that tells potential customers about your product or service. It also explains why customers should do business with you and not with your competitors.

A value proposition lists clear benefits potential customers will enjoy with you and exactly how what you offer will help them in their daily activities.

Where do you find value propositions? Value propositions can be found on the landing pages of your sales funnels.

Value propositions are a wonderful tool, but they need to be written in a clear and concise way so you can instantly build value and trust with potential customers.

The proposition should also cater to the questions potential customers are asking about your product.

Also, a value proposition should show potential customers how your business will ultimately solve a pain point they have.

As you can see, your value propositions need to be compelling so that they ultimately turn a potential customer into a loyal customer.

However, it’s important to note that value propositions are not slogans, so don’t think of them like that.

In short, value propositions are a critical component to your sales funnels.

Whether your product is well-known or new on the market, value propositions are a necessary element that can help drive in more sales.

What is a customer value proposition?

A customer value proposition (CVP) is the actual benefits a customer gains by paying for your product or service.

The idea is similar to a value proposition in that the customer understands exactly what the outcomes are when purchasing your product and how it will address any issues they are facing.

How to write a value proposition

How to write a value proposition

When creating a value proposition, it’s important to first answer the following questions:

  • What is your product?
  • What issue does it solve in order to improve a customer’s life?
  • Who are your customers?
  • What’s your advantage compared to competitors?

Once you have those questions answered, you’ll need to rephrase them in a clear and concise way.

A value proposition should only be 2-4 sentences long. Anything longer could potentially drive your customers away.

If bullet points answer the questions better, then use them instead of the paragraph format.

Just be sure that you are catering to your audience with your value proposition format and wording.

Remember, you can reiterate your value proposition on other landing pages of your sales funnels. Emphasize parts of the message that makes sense for that specific landing page.

Next, you’ll need to create a headline that clearly describes the ultimate benefit of your product.

You want to offer a hook for those visiting your landing page of your sales funnels and this is it — so make it count!

Ultimately, during the creation process, be sure to revisit the value proposition with a fresher pair of eyes.

And if you can, get feedback from other creative minds. A few other opinions can really help. but don’t involve a huge number of people because you’ll run into “too many cooks in the kitchen.”

Where should you place value propositions in your sales funnels?

Now that you know what value propositions are and what good ones look like, where do they go in your sales funnels?

A value proposition should be one of the first things a potential customer sees when entering a sales funnel, so keep your value proposition top of mind.

It should appear on the landing page, above the fold.

In addition, it should appear throughout your sales funnels, in order to drill your simple messaging into the minds of your potential customers.

So don’t be afraid to add value proposition wording throughout the majority of your landing pages in your sales funnels.

Other value proposition best practices

Below are six best practices to keep in mind when creating a value proposition for your sales funnel.

1. Think like your audience

What type of person are you trying to cater to with your product? Keep that answer top of mind when creating a value proposition.

Your language should definitely relate and clearly answer the questions they are asking about your product.

If you don’t know your audience, then it’s time to do some research.

Send out surveys and get their input. The better you can appeal to them, the higher conversions you’ll have.

An additional way to appeal to your audience is to stick with “you” pronouns instead of “we.”

2. Don’t be vague

You need to be specific with your writing so there’s no confusion, especially when describing benefits and results.

The last thing you want is for your customers to be led astray and expect an outcome that you don’t promise.

Each sentence or bullet point in your value proposition should be short and should clearly communicate specific benefits they will receive.

3. Create value propositions for separate products, services, and buyers

According to a Hubspot survey, 52% of organizations develop unique value propositions for separate products or services.

This makes sense as you want the same customers buying product A to also buy a separate product you sell, product B.

Look at your sales funnels as a whole and see if you could benefit from multiple variations of value propositions.

This again helps build your customer relationship by instilling more value and trust.

Additionally, in the same survey, they found that 45% of organizations target specific value propositions for specific buyer personas.

So, after you do your research and understand your audience better, be sure to incorporate different wording and split test to see what gets you the best results.

4. Incorporate social proof — if possible

A great way to build trust and add value is from positive customer reviews and expert testimonials, AKA social proof.

Social proof can also work within your value proposition — a short sentence length. Any more than a sentence and your value proposition is no longer a proposition and is instead a regular review.

Use those numbers to your advantage, especially if you have other expert endorsements. It’s a great way to establish value quickly.

5. Read and reread

After crafting a value proposition, read and reread it again to make sure it not only covers the important topics, but can be understood in less than 8 seconds.

If you can’t read it straight through, then you’ll need to continue crafting it. You don’t want to lose a potential customer because they got lost in your messaging.

Better yet, share your value proposition with 3-5 people and see if they can answer the four questions posed earlier.

That will be the ultimate test to see if your value proposition is effective.  

6. Change it up

Lastly, your value propositions should be reworked every two to three years.

Why?

Your value and benefits should be evolving and growing the same way your target audience is.

Chances are you won’t be attracting the same people year after year and instead, have a more diverse target audience due to your growth.

And these changes don’t need to be a 180 degree turn. Instead create copy that does an even better job of describing your business value.

It’s a good practice to keep in mind as you can take a step back and look at how far you’ve come.

Value proposition examples

So, what do good value propositions look like? Below are five examples of businesses that have compelling value propositions.

Slack

The main benefit of this project management and collaboration tool is helping coworkers stay connected.

They have a great headline/hook: “Imagine what you’ll accomplish together.” This sentence alone tells the audience that their main focus is in collaboration and helping you achieve that.

Stripe

This is a good example of using a type of social proof within a value proposition. They write, “We handle billions of dollars every year for forward-thinking businesses around the world.”

By using “wisdom of the crowd” social proof, it quickly builds value as well as a sense of trust. It’s also a persuasive tactic in order to steer your potential customers away from competitors.

MailChimp

This email automation tool is a good example of how to use a variety of value propositions to appeal to different buyer personas.

Currently on their homepage, they have a value proposition that is specifically targeted for marketing/communication/development departments looking to grow their audience in the new year as well as what they can do during the holiday season.

Meanwhile, on their About Us landing page, they have their main value proposition about how their tool engages current and future target audiences. It’s a more universal value proposition, as they appeal to a diverse and expanding customer base.

Evernote

Here’s another example with a great headline/hook: “Feel organized without the effort.”

Following their headline, the note-taking app emphasizes exactly how you’ll become more organized within the app.

In addition, Evernote has a simple web design to the right of the text, with their product on both a laptop and on a phone, showing off its versatility without having to write it out and make their value proposition even longer.

GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting does a good job of clear and concise messaging with their value proposition. Their headline and copy revolves around providing a professional product.

In fact it uses the word “professional” twice to get its message across, without sounding too redundant: “Professional meetings deserve a professional online meeting software. That’s GoToMeeting – simple, reliable and effective.”

In addition, they included a hook before inserting the value proposition — “Our customers love GoToMeeting” — which again is a great tactic to keep the reader engaged in wanting to learn more.

Then after the value proposition, GoToMeeting introduces the audience to their user numbers — again, using “wisdom of the crowd” social proof.

What to start implementing now

Even if you’ve already created a value proposition, chances are you can probably refine it, as we pointed out earlier.

Brainstorm in order to enhance your value proposition messaging. You can always include others. They’ll probably point out something that didn’t even cross your mind.

As you finalize your value propositions, implement two to three of them and split test them to see what gives you a better conversion rate.

See if it makes sense for you to have specific value propositions for multiple landing pages within your sales funnels.

With practice and split testing, you’ll be well on your way to not only add value to your work, but more importantly, build trust and positive relationships with customers.

What has your experience been with value propositions? What value proposition best practices do you follow? Sound off in the comments below!

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