The One Line of Code That Will Kill Your User Tests

Code is a developer’s problem… right? Mmmm, maybe, but when it goes wrong it can sure derail your user testing in a hurry. There is one inconspicuous line of code that can ruin your UX testing and, as UX professional, it’s your responsibility, not your…

Code is a developer’s problem… right? Mmmm, maybe, but when it goes wrong it can sure derail your user testing in a hurry. There is one inconspicuous line of code that can ruin your UX testing and, as UX professional, it’s your responsibility, not your developer’s, to get right. What am I referring to? This: […]

The 3 Little Known Factors That Dictate Successful User Tests

“What a waste of time” the researcher says as they throw their hands in the air. This scene is more common than we, as UX professionals, would like to admit. One of the biggest frustrations for user researchers revolves around participants either not t…

“What a waste of time” the researcher says as they throw their hands in the air. This scene is more common than we, as UX professionals, would like to admit. One of the biggest frustrations for user researchers revolves around participants either not turning up, or dropping out mid-way through a remote user testing session. […]

Become an Expert: How to Prove You Are an Expert

How do you become an expert? Well, it starts by first deciding you want to be an expert then putting in the time to gain expert knowledge. In this video, I break down a key way you can not only become an expert but also prove it.n}} Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Transcript: How to […]

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How do you become an expert? Well, it starts by first deciding you want to be an expert then putting in the time to gain expert knowledge. In this video, I break down a key way you can not only become an expert but also prove it.n}}

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How to convince people that you are really the true expert at whatever. (cool rock music) It starts by actually being an expert. Yeah, no shit, Sherlock, right? You need to know what you’re doing before you can start selling yourself as an expert. You need to be the real thing. I mean, I guess it’s weird that we even need to talk about these things. On the internet, I mean, nobody knows that you’re actually a dog, right? First thing, you need to decide that you even want to be an expert. ‘Cause maybe you’re better off doing something else. For me, when I decided that I’m gonna be an expert at something, it actually was an inspiration for a book called Now, Discover Your Strengths. Now there’s a follow-up, Strengths Finder 2.0 and maybe there’s even more out there, but basically, it’s a natural talent. Kind of a test, a methodology there done by the Gallup Organization. So anyway, my talent said that, the book told me that like, I’m good retaining information. I’m good at taking action. I’m good at learning fast. All these things that were made me suitable. Like, all these traits that made me suitable to be an expert. And I decided, yes, I want to be an expert at this one thing. And then you need to learn all you can about this subject. Read all the books, read all the articles, ’cause in the beginning when you’re just getting started it’s very hard for you to tell what’s a good source and what’s not a good source. So you need to rely on other people giving you recommendations and eventually, you’ll build up enough expertise to be able to distinguish between good and bad sources for information. And of course, there’s no substitution to actually taking action and doing it and getting results. Be it conversion optimization analytics, you know you name it. Whatever it might be. What’s really good investment is like if you’re trying to get coaching from people who’ve been there, done that. So, like, pay people money to show you the ropes. To get you from A to B. And so if you have the actual expertise, well then, people that you do work for will start referring you. So that’s one way where how you can convince people that you’re an expert when somebody else says, yeah, this guy is the shit. So you just need to be proactive at showing that you know your craft. (cool rock music)

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Be Proactive: What I Should Have Done Earlier in Life

You can improve your private and business life just by being proactive and incorporating good habits into your routine NOW. In this video, I break down the things in my personal and professional life that I should have started earlier and why it’s important to focus on longevity. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Transcript: What’s […]

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You can improve your private and business life just by being proactive and incorporating good habits into your routine NOW. In this video, I break down the things in my personal and professional life that I should have started earlier and why it’s important to focus on longevity.

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What’s the one thing that I wish I had started earlier on? (energetic rock music) Somebody asked me the other day on Facebook, what is the one thing that I wish I had started years ago, earlier than I did? Business-wise, it has to be blogging. I started the CXL blog in 2011, and I was hesitant to start the CXL blog ’cause, A, I’m not a native English speaker. B, you know, I was shy, like, I don’t know. Maybe people will start calling me out. I’m not sure if I am the most knowledgeable person about X, Y, Z. Do I have the authority to even write about this stuff? All these doubts and hesitations, and none of it was actually really valid. I mean, you can have somebody proofread your content. It’s okay if you’re not the smartest person on the planet. You’ll grow, you’ll learn. But if you put yourself out there through content marketing, for me, it was blogging, ’cause I’m a writer. Some people are, you know, good at other mediums. The sooner you put yourself out there, the sooner you’ll start building a following. Your name will get out there and you’ll build relationships with other people writing about similar things. You start going to events, you start working on name recognition. All these things that down the line that immensely, immensely, immensely valuable things. Like blogging has built the business I have today. Blogging has brought me an immense amount of relationships. So everywhere I go to a business conference people know who I am because of blogging. And it could be even bigger had I started it years ago, so that is my piece of advice to you. Start some form of content marketing right now. And, personally, invest in your health. You know when you’re in your 20s, and you’re invincible and immortal, it’s easy to ignore this stuff. Feels like, ah, I’m gonna go for a career, or whatever, whatever you’re into. I spent the second half of my 20s and the first half of my 30s being overweight, I didn’t exercise at all. 10 years hadn’t exercise, up to, like, three years ago when I turned everything around. So now I’m like, oh my God, I just wasted 10 years with doing nothing, I could be way further ahead when it comes to, like, I kickbox, I lift weights. I could have 10 more years of experience and progress here, but, no, I neglected my health. It’s never too late to start. So that is one of my regrets is that I didn’t start sooner, but I’m glad I did three years ago, to get to where I am now. And you should do the same, ’cause this is the best, the cheapest investment you can make into your productivity, your happiness, wellbeing, longevity. (energetic rock music)

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Job Search: What Job Should You Take? (Not an Easy One)

Do you want to maximize your growth potential? If you are looking for a new job, do you know which job you should take? Definitely, not the easy one. In this video, I give you my reasons why you should not take the next “easy job” and what to look for during your job search. […]

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Do you want to maximize your growth potential? If you are looking for a new job, do you know which job you should take? Definitely, not the easy one. In this video, I give you my reasons why you should not take the next “easy job” and what to look for during your job search.

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You’re trying to find a job. But what kind of a job should you take? (upbeat music) When deciding on this job or this other job, you have all these opportunities in front of you, which path should you go for? I think you should choose a job that gives you the most responsibility because that means growth. Jump in somewhere where the work is hard, where it’s complicated, maybe you don’t even know what you’re really doing. I mean you need to have some base level skills, but a place where you can really push yourself and grow. Because you don’t want to go to a place where it’s gonna be easy. You’re not gonna grow, you’re gonna be stuck in that easy job for a long, long, long time. So you want a lot of responsibility, freedom to do stuff, to try, you know, a culture of experimentation. If that is a place where you can try out things and you don’t get burned for failing at some experiments. Especially, when you are young, especially, when you don’t have kids to feed and so on where you can take risks. You know, sure we all care about money. But, value the experience, the growth, the responsibility you can get more than anything else.

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User Testing a User Testing Tool

I realize the title of this article sounds unbelievably meta but stick with me. This was exactly what we had to do when reimagining the Loop11 participant interface used during usability studies run by our customers. The context you need for this artic…

I realize the title of this article sounds unbelievably meta but stick with me. This was exactly what we had to do when reimagining the Loop11 participant interface used during usability studies run by our customers. The context you need for this article is that Loop11 is a remote usability testing platform used by UX professionals around the world to test […]

New to an Agency or Consulting? How Do You Get Clients?

If you just started an agency or became a consultant, where did your first clients come from? In the beginning, finding clients, let alone the right clients can be difficult. You can go to friends and family, but that gets old real fast. In this video, I give you my best advice on how you […]

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If you just started an agency or became a consultant, where did your first clients come from? In the beginning, finding clients, let alone the right clients can be difficult. You can go to friends and family, but that gets old real fast. In this video, I give you my best advice on how you can not only get clients but form valuable relationships with industry leaders and peers.

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– So you just started an agency or became a consultant, how can you find clients? (confident music) Being a consultant or running an agency is like any other business. Overnight success just doesn’t happen. You need to work for it. So like you think you start an agency, and clients start coming in? It’s not gonna happen, so what do you do in those situations? I mean, your first thing to turn to is people you know. Your existing social network, your social capital. You can pull in some favors, friend of a friend needs something. You can go down that route, but that will deplete itself very quickly, and you don’t also wanna be that guy that is constantly trying to sell to your friends or friends of friends so, like, people don’t wanna hang out with you. So you know that’s limited. Cold calling? Well, unless you are amazing on the phone, I don’t recommend it. I mean, I’ve done cold calling plenty in my early career and when I was in sales. It’s brutal. It will kill you. And who the hell wants to buy agency services, consultants, over a random cold phone call? Not many people, right? You need to sell to people who know who you are. That is your best bet, so how can you do that? So one is, events. You go to your local meetups, any meetup you can go to that might have people in your target audience, and just be a helpful guy, a normal person. Talk to people, understand what’s going on with them. Form a relationship first before you pitch them. You know, make them like you, and then later on, you can follow up and say, “Hey, by the way, remember how you were telling me about your problems with X, Y, Z? I can help you with that.” So that’s one way to go about it. Attend conferences, seminars, you know, all kinds of events where people come together. Seth Godin once said, well he was asked, “When is the best time to start promoting my book?” And his answer was before you start writing it. So it’s the same thing with your business, so the best time to start acquiring customers is before you even start your business. I started CXL, the agency, in 2011. Day one, we signed up a bunch of B clients, and we never looked back, and how did I do that? Well I had been blogging for three years, prior. You know, at a different domain name, different market, but people knew who I was, so I had built social capital. I had built name recognition. I could sell to these people right away. So that’s exactly what consultants and agencies should do is to use some form of content marketing to show your expertise, ’cause essentially, you are in the business of expertise. So you might be the best adverts guy on the planet, but if nobody knows, you know, they won’t hire you, right? So you need to promote yourself, and the best way to do that is through some form of content marketing, whether it’s blogging or you’re active on social media, you do video, podcasts, you know, whatever, and if you don’t wanna host your own, like, you can be a guest on everybody else’s show, if you have some interesting stuff to share. So don’t expect an overnight success and start investing in some form of content marketing right now and do it like your business depended on it, ’cause it does. (confident music)

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Business Email: Don’t use a “NOREPLY” Address

Have you ever received an email from a “noreply@” address? Of course, you have! This is a “standard practice” that many companies do that removes the human element from your emails. Do you want your customers to open and engage with your emails? Don’t be a robot. In this video, I give you an easy […]

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Have you ever received an email from a “noreply@” address? Of course, you have! This is a “standard practice” that many companies do that removes the human element from your emails. Do you want your customers to open and engage with your emails? Don’t be a robot. In this video, I give you an easy step to make your emails more human.

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Your company is sending emails. But what should the sender name be, on those emails? (rock music) Whatever you do, at least don’t send emails out of a @noreply email. So you’re sending emails to me, but I cannot send emails to you? That doesn’t kind of jive. And essentially you need to be customer-centric right? So it’s, you want people to respond, you want engagement. So it’s like yes reply would a better one. But of course don’t put like, machine names into the sender, sender names and emails. Use a human name. Who is actually sending out this email? Is it Linda? Is it Suzy? Is it you? Whatever your name is. Make it come from you. So let’s say your name is Linda, and I’m subscribing to your newsletter. And then you quit and move on, and Robert takes over, and Robert starts sending emails. I don’t know who Robert is, so when I see an email from Robert, I’m like who the hell is this guy? I’m gonna unsubscribe. I’m gonna hit spam. So people change, that’s normal. People will you know, do stuff. So, and you are a company. So, the better way to do this, while still keeping a human face to emails, is to send from John at this company, or you know, Pep from CXL sends emails. Or if you know, my colleague Wade sends emails, then it’s Wade@CXL. So we always know, ah, this is this company, it’s just somebody else. So be a human, don’t use no reply, and don’t use robots. (rock music)

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Manager Trouble, What Do You Do? (Value Your Craft & Yourself)

Are you having issues with your manager? What do you do when your manager just doesn’t get it and it’s difficult to get work done? Value your craft and yourself, don’t work for a manager that forces you to do your job wrong. Learn what you should do if your manager pushes back. Stand up […]

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Are you having issues with your manager? What do you do when your manager just doesn’t get it and it’s difficult to get work done? Value your craft and yourself, don’t work for a manager that forces you to do your job wrong.

Learn what you should do if your manager pushes back. Stand up for yourself and what you believe in. Do quality work for quality people.

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Transcript:

What do you do if your manager just doesn’t get it? (rock music) So let’s say you work for a manager, and your job is to be the content marketer, so you wanna write some really good shit. Some in-depth posts, stuff that will help people, but your manager says, “No no no no, “we just need as many as possible for SEO, “just gonna put these with 300-word articles out there, “we need 70 a month, or whatever.” What do you do in that situation? Or, the other day, I was talking to somebody who says they have conversion optimization program, they were running A/B tests, and her boss forces her to deploy tests where the statistical significance is 65%. That’s like flipping a coin, you don’t know anything. And I mean, don’t even get me started when you should end A/B tests. The main point is that if your manager just doesn’t get it, and makes you do bad work, what are you do in that situation? First of all, you should try to educate. You should try to educate the manager about why it’s important to be better, why it’s important to know your statistics, ’cause otherwise, we’ve rendered the whole CRO process useless. It’s just a waste of money. Or, you know, we can’t build a good brand if we’re publishing rubbish content. And whatever it may be, value your craft. Be a specialist. Be somebody who has standards. Stand for something. And if your manager still doesn’t get it, and you’re getting a lot of pushback, move on! Quit! Go somewhere else! Lots of companies run where they value your kind of people. It’s your life. It’s not worth wasting. So don’t work for a jerk boss. (rock music)

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Using Message-Mining to Pinpoint a High-Converting Value Proposition for Your Product

There are already a bazillion resources out there that spell out how to “craft the perfect value proposition.” In fact, the whole concept of “unique value propositions” (UVPs)  is — at least at first glance — really Marketing 101 material. So why keep talking about it? For one very good reason: Most courses & books […]

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There are already a bazillion resources out there that spell out how to “craft the perfect value proposition.” In fact, the whole concept of “unique value propositions” (UVPs)  is — at least at first glance — really Marketing 101 material.

So why keep talking about it? For one very good reason:

Most courses & books on value propositions FAIL to show you how to actually create value proposition through empirical, quantified research.

Instead, they give you a pile of pretty worksheets, diagrams, and fill-in-the-blank frameworks that encourage you to do little more than sit around the office, brainstorming overly-complicated, run-on mission statements that never even once get put in front of actual customers.

Even extremely practical value proposition books and courses from seasoned and accomplished business experts usually limit the material to  conceptual frameworks. Few of them flesh out the full, end-to-end process of pinpointing your strongest value proposition through actual customer research and analysis. And really, the research (and of course subsequent testing) is the only thing that will indicate whether your new value proposition is actually the right one.

How this article here is different

That’s where this piece fills in the blanks: Once you’ve finished the following exercises, you’ll truly understand how to properly collect and quantify messaging research from your target market and transform it into a powerful unique value proposition — one that’s strong enough to serve as the guiding star for your business for years to come.

At its core, a unique value proposition is an incredibly basic, straightforward concept. Your unique value proposition is simply a clear, logical answer to the question:

“Why should I choose  you, instead of someone else?”

This is a question that —  as customers — we instinctively, unconsciously ask ourselves every single time we think about buying a new product.

It’s what we look for, but can’t articulate

Whether we’re shopping for a vacation package in Maui or just looking for plain old car insurance, we run that same question through our heads over and over again, relying on it like a dowsing wand to help us home in on the best possible bang for our buck in an increasingly noisy, ad-filled world.

Unfortunately  as soon as we switch from the role of Customer to the role of Marketer, 99% of us develop a striking inability to give a clear, b.s.-free answer to this question.

Instead, we resort to absurdly complicated explanations we’d never use in a real, everyday conversation, stuff like:

“We synergize next-generation micro- and macro-technologies, revolutionizing the landscape of business solutions in the cloud.”

… or we take the high-drama/low-substance route, opting for ambiguous, 4-word non-statements like:

“Innovation. Strength. Power. Tomorrow.”

To counter this handicap, many business books offer fill-in-the-blank exercises and worksheets for entrepreneurs to help clarify their thinking.

Rely on your customers to come up with your value proposition

What all of these books fail to recognize is how naturally & easily we come up with great value propositions as customers.

We are in fact incredibly adept at coming up with clear, honest, relevant value propositions … when we’re the ones deciding whether to buy.

So, rather than waste hours trying to come up with another awkwardly verbose value proposition on your own, why not just get your customers & prospects to TELL you what your best value proposition is, straight-up?

You’ll be amazed  at how much easier and more effective this is than trying to come up with one yourself.

Getting useful data from your customers

As I mentioned before, a unique value proposition is really just an answer to the question “ Why should I choose  you , instead of someone else?” To answer this question effectively, you ultimately need to know:

  1. What your prospect is looking for
  2. What outcome(s) they desire
  3. How you achieve those outcomes BETTER than anyone else

Image source

In the bull’s eye graphic above, you’ll note that a good value proposition is built on a strong foundation of  knowing what your customer wants.

Once you have this critical information, picking and choosing which product and brand attributes you should talk about with your customers becomes trivial. (This is where a lot of other value-proposition exercises fail — they don’t force you to actually talk to your customers about their desires and build your value proposition off of this feedback first, which is ultimately a recipe for disaster.)

So to find out, objectively, what our customers want, we turn to an often -used -but -frequently -abused marketing tool: surveys.

A better value proposition with just 2 surveys

Before going further, let’s just make sure you have everything in place to send and collect your surveys. You will need:

A reliable, easy-to-use survey tool

Popular choices with free plans are Hotjar, SurveyGizmo, SurveyMonkey and Typeform. I myself prefer using Hotjar for its simplicity and on-site surveys & polls. (To implement website surveys and polls with Hotjar, you will need to add a code snippet to your website HTML. Installation guides for specific CMSes like WordPress, Drupal, Shopify, etc. and tag managers like Google Tag Manager can be found  here.)

A reliable email marketing tool

There are a ton of these tools to choose from. Popular choices include MailChimp, CampaignMonitor, GetResponse, Intercom and InfusionSoft. (I personally use MailChimp.)

A large(ish) list of customer email addresses

You should have at least a few hundred paying customers you can send a survey to. If you haven’t already, export these emails from your payment processing app and import it as a distinct list in your email marketing tool. It’s crucial that this list be made up exclusively of people who have  spent money on your product(s) or service(s). The more recent their transactions, the better.

Whom to survey?

To get the data we need, we’re going to send surveys out to two distinct audiences (one survey each):

AUDIENCE #1: Your Customers

(a.k.a people who made the decision to spend money on you)

AUDIENCE #2: Your Website Visitors

(a.k.a. people who are thinking of spending money on you)

Make no mistake: Your previous customers — especially your happy, repeat customers — are the ones who have the clearest sense of what your product’s most desirable attributes are.

However, because they’ve gone and actually bought your product and now know everything about it, they may no longer have accurate recall of what their mindset was like BEFORE they bought your product.

This is why we also survey your website visitors — to get a sense of what’s on their mind in the moment when they’re thinking about buying.

Once we find some overlap between  what your website visitors are looking for and what your customers love most about your product , BAM — we’ve officially nailed down the fundamental components of your new value proposition.

No customers or traffic yet? No problem!

Pre-launch businesses & startups have special challenges when it comes to pinpointing the right value proposition, due to a lack of traffic & customers to mine messages from.

That said, there are still things you can do to make sure your launch copy messaging is relevant and on-point to your prospects. Check out these blog posts for a full breakdown of the tactics I to suss out great, data-driven product messages for my pre-launch clients:

https://kantan.io/blog/the-most-powerful-customer-development-tactic-youre-not-using.html
https://kantan.io/blog/the-art-of-message-mining-for-saas-products-part-deux.html
https://kantan.io/blog/the-hidden-dangers-of-review-mining.html
https://kantan.io/blog/survey-for-startups-prelaunch-businesses.html

So without further ado, here are the exact survey templates I use to gather this critical data from site visitors and customers (including the invitation copy I add to emails and popups to elicit a high response rate):

Link to Customer Visitor Survey

(survey created in Hotjar, invite and link to survey deployed to paying customers via email marketing software, e.g. Mailchimp, GetResponse, Campaign Monitor, etc.)

Link to On-Site Visitor Survey

Deployed via Hotjar popup survey. Note that the popup invite copy for this survey includes a headline that says “Calling all {{ product-related identity }}!”

For this you should come up with some kind of inclusive-but-distinctive label that helps call out the exact prospect you want to hear from. Here are some examples:

For Petdoors.com, I used the label “Calling all Pet Lovers!”

For a wiper-blade vendor, I used the label “Calling all Car & Truck Owners!”

(If you can’t come up with a label easily, you can also call out your prospect with a question they’re likely to say yes to. A simple go-to question headline you can use is “Looking for a {{ your product category }}?”)

Once you set up and deploy the two surveys above, it should take just a few days to get most of the responses from your customers, and up to a few weeks to get a sufficient number of responses from your website visitors.

Your visitor survey response rate can vary drastically depending on your website’s volume and quality of traffic, but you should expect a decent number of responses to your customer survey.

I generally see response rates well above 10% for most of my clients. So if you send the survey out to 500 customers, you should get more than 50 responses back.

Once you’ve collected enough responses (more is always better, up to about 200 responses for each), you’re officially ready to start mining your data and discovering your business’s new & improved value proposition.

Mining survey data for killer UVP messages

Now that you’ve collected your survey responses, it’s time to extract the key insights that will define your UVP:

Step 1: Determine what matters most to your visitors

Generally speaking, prospects who are thinking about buying your product have certain requirements already in mind. They might be concerned with price, whether your product has a specific feature, or whether your company adheres to specific ethical standards.

The most effective value proposition for your product is one that clearly meets one or more of your visitors’ key requirements — the more closely matched it is to your visitors’ mindset, the more compelling (and higher-converting) it will be (as an aside, Oli Gardner does a fantastic job of spelling out the importance of message-matching here.)

This is precisely why we included Question #4 in our visitor survey …

What matters MOST to you when choosing a {{product category}} like {{product name}}?

(List 5 or so product attributes and/or features that you suspect matter to your prospects in a single-choice, radio button format, along with an option to choose “Other” and elaborate.)

In all likelihood, one or two of the options you listed will have been chosen far more than the others, thus dictating what the general focus of your value proposition should be.

Again, as an example, here’s the distribution of responses I got for petdoors.com:

What matters MOST to you when choosing a pet door?

More than 50% of respondents are looking for durable or weather-resistant pet doors over any other factors (including price).

Just looking at these preliminary results, our value proposition is already starting to take shape.

Step 2: Flesh out how your product meets customer needs

By now you should have a pretty clear (if somewhat general) understanding of what your customers want, which means you officially have the foundation of your value proposition.

(In the case of the pet-door supplier, we know that what our customer wants are durable, water-resistant pet doors.)

But our understanding is still pretty vague — we need vivid details and descriptions of desirable outcomes to really get our customers to see the value of our product. The more we can describe these outcomes in clear specifics and support them with proof points, the more credible and compelling our offer becomes to our customer.

To get this information, we turn next to Question #2 of our Customer Survey:

What would you say is the #1 problem {{your product}} eliminates or lessens for you?

Now, the way we’ve set up this question — a.k.a. asking an open-ended question and collecting paragraph answers — is both good and bad.

On the one hand, by collecting paragraph text answers, we get the benefit of colorful & candid descriptions straight from our customers’ mouths. These descriptions can be an absolute boon for writing compelling headlines and hooks, as Joanna Wiebe from Copy Hackers explains in great detail here.

On the other hand, open-form answers are hard to analyze at a glance (unless you’re whiz at  automated text analysis, but that’s a whole other can of worms). Some tools offer built-in word-cloud visualizers, but they really don’t cut it.

 

Unfortunately, quantifying the frequency of key messages from open-form survey responses requires a little elbow grease, but categorizing each message with a clear label and then using pivot tables in either Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to gather and sort the frequency of each message cuts down the tedium of the process by a huge  margin.

Don’t know how to analyze open-form feedback with Pivot Tables?Get the full, step-by-step  methodology (with clear screenshots of each step) in my free ebook: https://kantan.io/uvp_book (skip to page 35!)

Once you’ve gone through and labeled the message themes of your survey responses for Question #2 and summarized which themes come up most often, you should have one or two clear contenders for the top pain-points eliminated by your product (and by extension, the outcomes they desire most).

Going back to my example of the pet-door supplier, the most common problems that customers said were eliminated by Petdoors.com’s products came back to:

  1. limiting their pet’s freedom/happiness
  2. having to get up all the time to let pets in and out
  3. worrying about pets while being away from home
  4. coming home to messes and accidents

Now we’ve got a much more emotionally-charged, contextual understanding of specific pain points our customers want to eliminate, which really beefs up the foundation of our value proposition.

Step 3: Identifying Uniquely Desirable Attributes

The last step of analyzing our survey data is determining what customers find UNIQUELY desirable about our product. Once we have this final piece of the puzzle, we know everything we need to know to create a killer unique value proposition, namely:

  • What the person is looking for (captured via Question 4 of visitor survey)
  • What outcome(s) they desire  (captured via Question 2 of customer survey)
  • How you achieve those outcomes BETTER than anyone else (still need this!)

Question #3 in our customer survey is the one that really draws out your brand’s most uniquely desirable attributes:

Why did you decide to choose us over other options? Can you recall if anything in particular appealed or stood out to you?

By asking this question, we prompt our customers to tell us how we edged out the competition in their eyes. Again, to get clear answers, you’ll need to analyze the open-form answers using pivot tables, but once you’re done you should see some key themes stand out in your final summary table over all the others.

In the case of Petdoors.com, two key reasons came up far more frequently than any other:

  1. product sturdiness
  2. having the widest selection of products and parts

Step 4: Putting It All Together

It’s official, you should now have everything you need to craft a well-researched value proposition. Here’s how it all comes together in the case of Petdoors.com:

  1. What our prospect is looking for:
    • Water-resistant/durable pet doors
  2. What outcome(s) they desire:
    • Pet happiness & freedom
    • Not having to let their pets out all the time
    • Not having to worry while at work
    • Avoiding accidents
  3. How we achieve those outcomes BETTER than anyone else
    • Our pet doors are sturdier and higher-quality than those at retail stores
    • We offer a larger selection than anyone else, so you get exactly what you need

Our final task is to weave these messages together in a clear, compelling way and stick it on our website (ideally as an A/B test, if you have the traffic to support it).

Here’s where it’s handy to have a few of those madlib-like fill-in-the-blank copywriting formulas to fill out. We’ll start an amazingly simple, effective formula for creating a clear, standalone UVP statement:

The  [ Exclusive Attribute/Adjective ]

[ Product Type Your Visitors Are Looking For ]  that

[ Solves Your Customers’ Most Commonly Cited Problem OR  Achieves Your Customers’ Most Commonly Cited Desire ]

“Exclusive Attribute/Adjective” refers to any descriptors you can use that sets your product apart as exceptional. Common terms might be “Only,” “Largest,” “Smallest,” or “Most [insert adjective here].”

The “Product Type Your Visitors Are Looking For ”  part of the statement (aka the most common response to Question #4 of your visitor survey is critical, as it’s the one part of the statement that immediately orients your customer and lets them know they’re in the right place. It may seem boring or obvious, but if you leave it out you increase the chances of a viable customer tuning you out because you didn’t let them know explicitly that you offer what they’re actually interested in!

Finally, the last part of the statement, “Solves Your Customers’ Most Commonly Cited Problem OR Achieves Your Customers’ Most Commonly Cited Desire,” is where you stick in those desirable outcomes (or eliminated pain points) you gleaned from responses to Question #2 of your customer survey.

So in the example of Petdoors.com, I might write my base UVP statement as follows:

The Largest Selection of Sturdy, Water-Resistant Pet Doors That Give Your Pets Complete Freedom To Come & Go As They Please

Note that every word of this value proposition (besides ‘the’, ‘of’, and ‘that’) did not come from me …  I swiped it all from my customers’ feedback .

Now, if you decide you want to test your new UVP on your website (which I highly recommend), a great way to do so is to re-format your UVP into a strong headline and sub-headline combination, and where possible, sharpen your copy with vivid, punchy words and action verbs.

To illustrate, here’s the final headline & sub headline copy I came up with for Petdoors.com:

Shop the World’s Largest Selection of Built-to-Last, Water-Tight Pet Doors

Give your dog or cat complete freedom to come and go as they please … While keeping your home insulated, secure, and “pet accident”-free.

Just to recap here: Virtually every word of this headline & sub-headline combination comes from customer feedback, not from personal preference or writing style.

And when we tested it, this copy went on to  increase the pet door supplier’s e-commerce transactions through the home page by 51% and 92% more revenue per user.

Conclusion

Great value propositions are indeed powerful, revenue-boosting business tools — but only if they’re based on a foundation of strong, specific customer desire. So if you’ve been struggling with your own value proposition and having a hard time thinking of an angle that really works, it’s time to put your pen down, throw out those worksheets and start reaching out to your customers.

Because while you might not be able to see it, they know exactly what your brand’s best value proposition is. All you have to do is ask them!

The post Using Message-Mining to Pinpoint a High-Converting Value Proposition for Your Product appeared first on CXL.