This week, while working through CXL Institute’s Scholarship program where they have numerous minidegrees from Growth Marketing to Conversion Optimization, I was working through building unique value propositions, message hierarchies and what to do from starting with your first website copy draft.

What is a Value Proposition?

According to helpscout.com; A value proposition is a simple statement that summarizes why a customer would choose your product or service. It communicates the clearest benefit that customers receive by giving you their business.

Crafting Effective and Unique Value Propositions

It is critical for you to explain to your website visitor exactly why they should use your product or service as soon as they land on your website. You literally have SECONDS to give them something that would persuade them to stay and the secret to this is you have to keep it simple and concise. Visitors become all the more wiser and can pick up if you are using generalities in your Value Propositions and even copy.

There are a few aspects you need to answer through your value proposition:

  1. “Reason to buy” 
  2. “What’s your differentiator?” 
  3. “What’s in it for me?”
  4. “Why should I choose you (over X)?”
  5. “What’s your unique advantage?”

But when you really think about it, ask yourself this question when going through your website copy: 

  1. “So what?”
  2. “Okay, prove it.”

Because most prospects visitors are most probably not going to know your brand or business as well as they know brands and companies like Nike and the like, who have been building brand-awareness successfully for years and most prospects will come in sceptical and you need to show then exactly how your product or service will change their lives.

Remember that the lower your prospect’s awareness is of your brand the more you need to do in terms of copy and storytelling, because the still need to get to know you, whereas for a brand who’s prospects have higher awareness of their brand just needs to make sure they lead their website visitors and prospects to the quickest way through the funnel/website to get to paying and ordering their desired product or service.

How to brainstorm the “best” Unique Value Proposition

1. List Your Product’s Key Features  

2. Pinpoint Those That Are Unique  

3. List Customer Pain Points for Each Feature  

4. Define Desirable Outcomes for Each Pain  

5. Score Pains/Outcomes by Severity & Frequency  

6. Edit Top > Scored Pain/Outcomes Into UVPs  

7. Score the UVPs (and go with the best one!) 

What are Message Hierarchies?

What works the best to keep someone intrigued? A story! And a well-told story always keeps the attention fixed; well, most of the time, right?

Why is storytelling critical to selling? Here is a quote you might find valuable:

“Human thoughts tend to arrange themselves in story.  Therefore synchronizing your  to the visitor’s thought sequence requires a story-based framework.”

Todd Lebo, Marketing Experiments Lab

A story normally has different stages to it; a setting, rising action or intensity, falling action and a resolution and that is basically what message hierarchy helps us to achieve; to make sure that we keep our visitor or prospect’s attention throughout the website journey.

This comes back to how aware are your visitors and prospects of your brand or product? Because it will determine how your website copy will look and how much thereof is necessary.

Give high-awareness visitors a way to “get to their point” ASAP, but frame the home page story hierarchy around a clear Unique Value Proposition.

Formatting & Laying Out Your Sales Page

Here are some critical design factors that can dramatically affect your copy’s effectiveness: 

  1. The position of each copy on the page
  2. The size of each piece of copy on the page. 
  3. What order you put your pieces of copy in. 
  4. The amount of space/clutter around your copy. 
  5. The typography of your copy. 
  6. Directional cues toward (or away from) your copy. 
  7. Color contrast vs. background, imagery, buttons

As with most things in life, certain laws apply to the way we as humans behave and the way we behave towards different sized icons, buttons and text are no exception. In this section reference was made towards Fitt’s Law, stating that the bigger the object, the more accessible it is. And simply applying design tools like wireframing your website and where the copy should be are excellent ideas. This gives not only perspective to you, but also to the Designer you might be asking to design the final website.

Some Software references that were made were:

  1. Balsamic
  2. Sketch
  3. Marvel

Some of these software items are free or have trials available, but you will need to test each of them to see if they are user-friendly and effective in how you’d like to make your Wireframes. Some of these programs are also only compatible on Mac and not Windows. So, make sure you make the right choice!

At the end of the day the principle of testing the copy is still very important. It does not mean that if you see only a slight increase in conversions clicks you need to sit back and be satisfied. At the end of the day the effect on the revenue is what matters and the increase thereof. Through testing and monitoring changes can lead to even better results. Just don’t give up!

Yes! There are exams!

I have encountered the first test of my minidegree at the end of this section and what a pleasant surprise. Because, these days most courses skip tests and you are able to fly by without testing or applying the knowledge you’ve acquired. The pass rate of this test is also 90%, which is a great benchmark if you want to make sure that your students really know what they are talking about. For those who need a second chance because they might not have made it the first time, CXL gives you another chance to get your 90% every 6 hours. So, make sure you know your stuff! Trust me, the questions are tough and you need to make sure you concentrate in “class”.


Thus far this minidegree has only been more valuable than words can describe. It provides loads of resources and packs hugely valuable knowledge which can be applied and tested immediately. This is really good information. CXL definitely sets a higher bar, which I really do appreciate!