Optimization glossary

Value proposition

What is a value proposition?

A value proposition is the essence of the value that your product or service provides to the customer. It is a promise of the benefits that you deliver. A strong value proposition articulates your product’s benefits as well as reasons why people should buy from you instead of from your competitors.

Having a clear and compelling value prop on your website and landing pages is the key to driving conversions online. By clearly articulating the benefits and competitive differentiators of your product, you can better turn prospects into customers.

Your company's value proposition can be presented in many forms. Most commonly the value proposition is conveyed through words, but you can also incorporate images, video and other media to help convey your message as well to your target market.

Value proposition format

There is no specific format that an effective value proposition has to follow, but there is a general structure that can be helpful to model.

Value propositions typically begin with a headline or a value statement. This is a single sentence that clearly conveys the core benefit of the product or business. For example, on the Optimizely homepage the value statement is “Deliver the best experiences for every customer across desktop, mobile web and mobile apps.”

The headline is then followed by benefits and features, often presented in the form of bulleted lists. These benefit statements expand upon the value statement and add further details as to why a visitor should buy your product. Some of the benefits and features listed on the Optimizely homepage include “Easy implementation,” “Code-free visual editor” and “Best-in-class integrations.”

Finally, the value prop can be enhanced by adding elements of social proof such as customer logos and case studies, which build trust and further convey the value of the product. Feature comparisons with competitors can also help to differentiate your product from others on the market.

Taken together, all of the elements above combine to form a compelling value proposition that conveys that value of your business.

Qualities of a strong value proposition

The following are some things to keep in mind when creating or improving upon a value proposition:

  • Clear - A good value proposition should be written in plain English and clearly articulate the advantage of a product to the target customer. It promises real outcomes while avoiding business jargon and overly complex ideas.

  • Concise - A strong value proposition is as long as it needs to be and no longer. People browsing on the web have short attention spans, so it’s important to cut out any unnecessary words, sentences, and paragraphs to get to the point.

  • Benefit-Oriented - Although product features are important, buying decisions are more influenced by what benefit the product will have on the customer’s business or life. Try to frame your features in a way that conveys the benefit that your product provides to your target audience.

  • Build Trust - Trust is one of the most important factors for online buyers. You can build trust with customers through social proof, case studies, trust seals, and other elements that convey that you are trustworthy and that the claims you make are true.

  • Differentiate - When selling online, your competition is every other business in the world in your niche. Online buyers like to comparison shop a lot, so make it clear how your product excels and is different and what your competitive advantages are, to convince prospects to buy from you.

  • Avoid Hype - It’s important not to go overboard when promoting your product or it will have a negative impact on trust. Don’t oversell your product and avoid unsubstantiated claims.

Value proposition examples

The following are unique value propositions from leading companies that may help provide inspiration when articulating your own value props:

  • Casper: “No More Sleepless Nights” - Clear, concise and benefit-oriented tagline that instantly communicates the value that Casper offers.

  • CrazyEgg: "Website Behavior Tracking at an Unbeatable Price" - Instantly communicates what value the software offers ("behavior tracking") along with the company's competitive advantage ("unbeatable price").

  • Lyft: “Rides in Minutes” - Extremely concise value prop (only three words!) that instantly communicates what Lyft does and what the main benefit is.

  • Bitly: “Shorten. Share. Measure.” - Another three-word long value proposition that clearly and concisely communicates the benefits that Bitly offers.

  • Zoom: "#1 Video conferencing and web conferencing service." - If you can claim that you are the best at something, that can be a strong unique selling point, which Zoom highlights in their value proposition.

  • Dollar Shave Club: “A Great Shave for a Few Bucks a Month” - Price is a key benefit that resonates with many potential customers, and a selling point that Dollar Shave Club clearly communicates in their value prop.

  • Pagely: "We help the world's biggest brands scale and secure WordPress." - Pagely builds trust with their value prop by using the fact that they work with major brands as social proof for their product.

The above examples of value propositions are primarily taglines and catchphrases, but a value proposition doesn't have to be a single sentence long. A fully developed value proposition on a website can be a combination of an attention-grabbing headline, followed by three to five bullet points that highlight the benefits of a company's products, followed by examples and proof points that support the company's claims.

How A/B testing can help optimize your value proposition

A/B testing is a method you can use to test out different elements of your value proposition and improve your website’s conversion rates. In an A/B test, two different versions of your page are shown to a user, and conversion data and statistics are used to determine which version performs better.

When you’re trying to articulate your value proposition, it can be difficult to identify what value statement or benefits will resonate the most with your potential customers. A/B testing takes the guesswork out of creating your value prop and allows you to use real data to make decisions.

With Optimizely, it’s easy to setup an A/B test to learn more about your target customers and which messages resonate with them. Get started now!