With value props in hand, you have to fully write them out before you can use them. The trick to writing out value props is to say a lot with a little. This is the principle of information density, which aims to avoid giving the visitor surplus labor in the form of too many words to read.
Here’s how to write value props with high information density:
- Iterate copy until it can’t be better — Don’t write a paragraph with the first phrasing that comes to mind then never touch it again. Instead, write a dozen variations until you find the most enticing and concise variation. To be sure, ask others to rank your best ones.
- Remove unnecessary words — Every word existing on your page must be necessary. If you can remove a word without it reducing how enticing, clear, or useful a sentence is, remove it. (Excess verbiage increases the visitor’s labor, which triggers their impulse to skim.) A tip: avoid clichés like revolutionary, incredibly powerful, best-ever, and so on. Other products claim these qualities, so visitors are blind to them. It’s better to specifically describe how you’re different.
- Don’t pitch everything — The more visitors are given to read, the less they read in total. So don’t trigger their reflex to skim. Instead, take an 80/20 approach: Always identify the two or three sub-points that convey the most value.
Keep your refined value props on hand. You’re going to be using them shortly throughout your page.
Counterintuitively, concise doesn’t mean short
Every client I work with at some point asks, “Why is the landing page you made for us so long?”
My answer: So long as every word provides unique and compelling value, it’s okay to err on the longer side. Length provides more surface area so that you can appeal to more customer types. I don’t use length to be redundant. I use length to be holistic. Succinct doesn’t mean short. It means a high ratio of ideas to words.– Paul Graham