Before people transact with you they ask themselves a series of questions:
What does this organisation offer me / what do they do exactly?
Why should I choose this particular organisation?
What’s special / different about this organisation?
Regardless of the nature of the transaction – a purchase, an enrollment, attendance, a donation or some other form of support; the questions are there. Sometimes prospects ask themselves these questions distinctly and investigate but most times they simple assess you sub-consciously.
How convincingly and succinctly you answer these questions has a huge influence on how many people are converted from browsers into buyers. (And again we mean “buyers” in many forms from donors to volunteers.)
You answer these questions with your value proposition.
Marketing fundamentalists rate value propositions highly as you’ll see in our post about conversion formulas which really is worth reading.
How well do you explain what you do, the value you offer and that you are worth choosing?
Value propositions are easily mistaken for other parts of the marketing game including: mission, vision and values statements (urgh!) and slogans. One thing all three have in common though is that initially, you’ll express your value proposition in words. Short, sharp, persuasive words.
You have to decide what aspect of your many and varied positive qualities you wish to highlight to get the prospect’s business. You might draw a longer bow than you initially think appropriate.
Some value proposition examples: Let’s say you offer an online conflict management classes for parents of teenagers: Teen Tamers.
“Teen Tamer is the convenient, online parenting skills course. Eight sessions in your home to a happier home.” (Emphasis on ease, speed and convenience.)
“The Teen Tamer program was created by real parents of real teens, living in the real world. Let them teach you to tame yours.” (Emphasis on the practicality of the content and empathy of the teachers. Highlights the lack of psychologists and theoretical experts.)
“Our online Teen Tamer program allows you share your challenges, but not your identity.” (Emphasis on privacy.)
Too few nonprofits make their value proposition clear enough, fast enough, persuasively enough. Conversion XL has an interesting post about this.