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Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2008 at 8:08 am

Mini Case Study: Unique Value Proposition & a 33% Conversion Lift

By Brendan Regan
December 23rd, 2008

In case anyone has ever questioned our emphasis on the power of the Unique Value Proposition, we thought we’d publish this brief case study.

Unique Value Proposition (or Unique Campaign Proposition), is a brief, concise statement about what makes your website/business unique, and why customers should buy from you and not your competitors.  It’s been a central part of our Persuasion Architecture methodology from day one.

At our recommendation, our friends over at Accepted.com ran a UVP test on their website.  We worked together to draft a few versions of their UVP, worked with the designer to make it look professional, and ran an A/B/C/D test with three versions of their UVP against the control.  The UVPs expressed the length of time Accepted.com has been helping customers, how much success they’ve had, and the problem that customers are looking to solve.  The control was a stock photo graphic without a UVP statement.

The result?  Sure, you might expect some sort of lift.  How about an over 30% increase in conversion, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in extra sales?

So if you haven’t sat down and brainstormed your Unique Value Proposition, maybe take 30% of a day and work it out.  Then test it and let us know what happensIf the test seems daunting, try crafting a Unique Campaign Proposition and testing it in campaign messaging, assets, and landing pages.

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Comments (22)

  1. Great post. How about some screenshots of the different UVP’s tested and the percentage of change recorded for each one? That would illustrate the point as well as provide insight.

  2. I would love to hire someone to write a Unique Value Proposition for me but I am unsure who would be good? Do you have any suggestions?

  3. [...] GrokDotCom has been talking about Unique Value Proposition (UVP) for some time now and today published a case study on how it can help conversion. [...]

  4. 33 percent is massive. I love thinking in percentages, because when you think about stuff like this:
    an increase in conversion from 1% to 2% conversion rate is double the money.
    That’s a battle I like to fight.

  5. Great post. Seeing test cases like this just reaffirms my belief in constant testing to achieve greater conversion rates.

    Brendan, can you let us know how long this test was run for?

  6. @ ibmiked: of the 3 variations tested, 1 performed worse than the control, and was quickly disabled. the remaining 2 both did around a 30% increase.

    @ audio bible: we’re looking into that for you

    @ mikie wakerman: the test ran around 2 months with quite a bit of traffic.

  7. Thanks, Brendan Regan.

    I will wait for your reply.

  8. Which part of this site do you consider to be the “Value Proposition”?

    I assume that this is it?:

    Accepted.com, the premier admissions consulting and application essay editing service, helps you:

    * Write right.
    * Save time.
    * Distinguish yourself.

    The Wall Street Journal praised Accepted.com for helping applicants “overcome what may be the most daunting part” of the college and grad school application process: writing the essays.

    We have been helping applicants like you gain acceptance to top schools and land great jobs since 1994 (on the web since 1996). We provide exceptional advising and editing services along with a website of invaluable information.

    Thanks

    SS

  9. Do you think a value proposition is important for all businesses? How about for a lingerie site such as ours?

  10. I’m sure it is possible for there to be be exceptions to needing a UVP but in 11 years I have never come across one. Great article; it would be interesting to see the variations.

  11. @silversinus I believe the UVP is actually the statement in the header “guiding clients worldwide through the admissions maze to 2000+ acceptances at top schools since 2004.”

  12. Love Her Lingerie,
    You do a pretty good job with your value proposition in the header. The Satisfaction Garaunteed is powerful and the Security logos are essential in creating trust with your customer base. I would move your UVP of ‘We offer the latest styles at the LOWEST PRICES!’ into the header. Right now it’s buried below the fold and really is one of your strongest selling points (assuming it’s true).

    Additionally, you have a yahoo shopping cart. There is a company that can increase your sales 5-15% by modifying your checkout flow. Check them out – http://www.Amadesa.com. They’ve had great success with yahoo checkouts.

  13. Yes, I’m also curious as to exactly what the UVP is – the header statement or the home page copy. As a copywriter, the UVP is the first thing I hunt down and identify – but I’m used to integrating this into the copy. To me, it seems to be an implicit part of good copy.

    Are you arguing that it makes a difference to set the UVP aside in it’s own separate statement? Highlight it? Even identify it for the audience: Here’s our Unique Value Proposition (Or why we’re different from all the rest – to sound more conversational)?

    Please clarify because the conversion rate is so compelling!

    Sarah Clachar
    health copywriter

  14. 10 years ago this was called a Unique Selling Proposition – It appears to have been turned politically correct, or at least a new keyword developed anyway.

    http://www.hyperformancemedia.com/USP.htm

    – SS

  15. @Sarah Clachar (and all): To clarify, the line of copy above the global navigation is the UVP b/c it is a single sentence. The copy in the active window below the navigation could be called an “expanded UVP.”

    Yes, we are arguing that the UVP should be more visually prominent than standard homepage copy (although it doesn’t have to be in the header). Someone arriving at the site should be able to scan and very quickly find the UVP, and the rest of the homepage copy can serve to reinforce it.

    As far as highlighting the UVP for visitors, it’s definitely not about subtlety ;) Many sites call out their UVP by asking the question: “Why Shop at XYZ.com? Because we have the widgets the other guys don’t, and we offer free shipping both ways.”

  16. So it seems that UVP and “Positioning” are essentially the same thing. Correct? UVP simply explains the positioning?

  17. @Mark B: Positioning usually refers to product positioning, but what if your website sells multiple product lines? UVP is akin to brand positioning, but it also must give visitors that reassurance that they’re in the right place, e.g. “Welcome to XYZ.com, your source for all things XYZ, where we pay shipping both ways!”

  18. that’s a testament to good testing.

  19. I want to follow up on this article with some stats of my Google Website Optimizer.

    I am presently running a test with 3 versions. The original home page has no UVP, then there are 2 different versions of an UVP, so 3 different versions of my home page.

    Well, both of the versions with an UVP are out preforming the original version of my home page by 36.8% and the other by 81.0%. Who would have thought an UVP would make such a difference on my home page alone.

    Next I plan to add a UVP on every page of my webiste, not just the home page. :-) I am very happy.

  20. I have been testing it with my website title on google. I changed the UVP on the title and saw an increase of roughly 40% in CTR.

  21. 33% is a huge improvement.

  22. [...] has an impressive body of research on this topic, and I’ve had some success with testing value proposition, [...]

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