How not to write a value proposition: 7 examples to learn from

Premature positioning without translatable proof crashes your credibility.

The job of a value proposition is to gravitate your prospects towards your business.

Humans are constantly looking to benefit. Use this behavior to your advantage.

Let’s look at the value propositions of various websites and audit the copy for conversions.

Ready? Cool.

Stop defining your company with a weak adjective

The above value prop is – braggy.

Also, I had never heard of Cypher learning until now. Adjectives like best, world-class, and high-quality mean nothing.

High-quality just means high-quality. There’s no other way to say it or measure it. Because the one thing that defines this word is “quality” which is subjective.

That is why your value proposition should never depend on adjectives to define it.

Adjectives can never communicate the real value your business offers. Behead the adjectives out of your value prop and focus on bringing the outcomes to the forefront.

Why your value prop is not your USP

Few days back, Peep Laja, the founder of ConversionXL tweeted how the concept of USP is obsolete and I agree with him.

Because in 2020, it’s impossible to be running an extremely unique business.

Especially, if you’re in a SaaS market – you know how crowded this industry is. So describing your brand as unique in 2020 is definitely not a good idea.

how to write value propositions
how to write value propositions

What the absence of a value proposition does

What should your value proposition communicate

My first thought goes – how do you make your results colorful? Colorful pie chart? Colored graphs? Rainbow data?

I feel confused and I start wondering about what the product actually is.

Unfortunately, it’s a web development company.

Solution: They could have actually spoken about the approach they mention in the CTA and position their brand with a clarified message.

Why it’s important to state the biggest benefit – FIRST

How Edgecase can complete your value proposition

Nobody actually needs more data in this data-saturated world.

So saying “Need more data” in one of the headings is not only useless, but also intimidating.

And having data is not a benefit. It’s actually a liability to deal with if you don’t know how to tackle the data overflow problem every company faces today.

So if you’re a company offering a solution to analyze, organize, optimize and monetize your data, you should as well state this fact in your value prop and lead with it to bring in conversions.

Otherwise, you confuse your readers. And confused readers get off the wagon ASAP.

Lesson: Lead your value prop with your biggest benefit

Keep your first screen clean

How not to write your value proposition

Again, here’s another value prop starting with an adjective. We know what the problem is. So let’s talk about the UX here.

The goal of a business website is to make your reader’s job easy.

You start with clean websites. The screenshot of a login portal to the left is confusing and meaningless. It doesn’t add any value in to the message.

The objective of your message is to take your reader from one awareness stage to a deeper, better understanding of your brand.

When you add screenshots like these, that make the reader think hard, they panic and quit the page. 

Conclusion: The reader cannot grasp what this company is about until they read the tiny text that uses two keywords (AI and data analytics) in an unnatural sentence. 

Solution: A hero section with no image is better than having a confusing, deviating image with an unclear value proposition.

Avoid writing unprofitable value propositions

It’s narcissistic to state your own name in the value prop.

Instead, take this opportunity and use your online real estate to own your message, connect with your audience and bring them closer to your brand.

3 simple ways to make your brand more approachable

  • Write an engaging value prop with a call to action with an immediate value add like in the below example. Appsumo doesn’t waste a second in adding value to their audience.
  • Connect with the ideals of your audience. Connect with a belief your audience stands for. Meetup does this so well! Their value prop says – “The real world is calling”, which connects with us on so many levels because we’re all fighting this digital age and screen toxicity. We’re all striving to make our lives a little bit more outdoor-ish. The gist is – to find out how you can match with your audience’s mindset and convey that.
  • State your why loud and clear just like 450GSM. They’re not afraid to break the rules. The moment you land on the homepage, it’s clear where you have come. No clever tactics, no desperate messaging to sound badass – only clear messaging.

Action steps to writing a clear value proposition

  1. Avoid adjectives – because adjectives repel clarity and are subjective
  2. Highlight the biggest benefit
  3. Use social proof to write your value proposition if you can
  4. Connect with the values and beliefs of your audience
  5. Connect with your reader’s mindset and intent
  6. Clean UX around your value prop means higher conversions
  7. Stop trying to be unique and focus on being useful to your readers

Any questions? Ask me in the comments.