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  • Value PropositionCrafting a value proposition that speaks to your target audience can make a world of difference.

    People have wants and needs. And if you can explicitly address those wants and needs in your value proposition, you are much more likely to get more leads, and in turn more customers.

    But how do you craft a successful value proposition? You can address features, value branding. There are so many choices. But just assuming which part of the offer you should address can get you into a whole lot of trouble.

    In today’s post, I want to share with you a video from MECLAB’s Marketing Experiments, in which Austin McCraw discusses testing your value proposition using email.

    What is a Value Proposition?

    In the presentation, Austin provides one of the clearer definitions of a value proposition hat I’ve come across. As he puts it, a value proposition should simply be an answer to the following questions:

    If I am your ideal prospect, why should I purchase from you rather than any of your competitors?

    The answer to this question should be both appealing and exclusive. In other words, what is it about your product or service that a prospect cant get anywhere else (something that they actually want!).

    Testing Your Value Proposition with Email

    One of the best tools that you have at your disposal for testing a value proposition is your email list. You can test multiple different propositions.. The amount of propositions you are able to to test at one time largely depends on the size of your email list (you want to get a statistically significant result after all).

    Email is great for this kind of testing for many reasons. Austin explains four of them in the presentation:

    1. Ease of changes. It doesn’t take much to change an email and test different content.

    2. Large sample size. This is important for statistical significance of your test. Even if you don’t have your own email list, or at least not a list that is large enough for testing, you can always test on other other people’s lists (there are plenty of places to acquire one).

    3. Highly competitive environment. The is a huge battle for attention in people’s inboxes. While this may seem counter-intuitive, the competitive environment is actually a great thing for testing because if it works in a competitive environment…then you now it really works.

    4. You’re already doing it. You are likely already marketing through email (if not, you should be!). And if  you’r not marketing, then you’re definitely using email for other purposes. This isn’t a new or expensive technology that you have to learn and implement.

    Value Proposition Testing with Email: The 5 Step Process

    As outlined in the presentation by Austin, testing your value proposition with email involves a 5 step process:

    1. Identify potential claims of value. These are your potential value propositions. Brainstorm and map out ALL the option. These can be things like reliability, ease of use/process, low rates, payments plans, service quality, etc.

    2. Estimate the “Force” of each claim. Austin uses the term “force;” this is really the effectiveness. In order to be effective, the claim has to be both appealing and exclusive. The claim is even better if its is both credible and clear.

    3. Testing: Round 1. The first round of testing should test the subject lines of your emails. Adjust the subject lines based on a certain value proposition, then track which ones get a better response. Which claims stand out?

    4. Testing: Round 2. Once you figure out which value propositions stand out in terms of subject lines, you can move on to testing copy. Austin mentions five key places where to integrate testing of variable in the body copy:

    5. Interpret and implement. Once all testing is done, interpret the results and implement your findings.

    Three Things to Keep in Mind Before Testing

    In order to be able to get significant results, you have to be willing to take significant risks. “Playing it safe” will only get you the same results you’ve always been getting.

    That being said, you also have to be willing to be honest and admit when you were wrong. Don’t get invested in certain ideas when the data is showing you to change course.

    And finally, know what you are testing. High response rates to emails don’t always equate to high profitability. Sometimes you may be better off collecting less leads that buy more. It’s important to track down the line to see which customers are the most poriftable…because that’s who you want to target.

    The Value Proposition Testing through Email Presentation

    And finally, I want to end today’s post about with the actual presentation from Austin McCraw. There are certainly some valuable insights and nuances in there. So if you have a spare half-hour or so, make sure to check it out:

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    2 Responses to Value Proposition Testing: Optimize Through Email in 5 Easy Steps

    1. Cecil Woods says:

      Recently, I went through a value proposition workshop for our upcoming Optimization Summit 2013 in Boston led by Adam Lapp, Associate Director of Optimization and Strategy, MECLABS.

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