Action Page Strategy

Can You Name Your Headline’s ‘Value Proposition’?

Minute read
Can You Name Your Headline’s ‘Value Proposition’?

Okay, back up—what’s a ‘value proposition’?

Think of your value proposition as the reason your reader should care about investing their time in your page. Importantly, think about this from your reader’s perspective (not yours). Once you can name it, use your headline to articulate it. Why? Because this is what your supporter needs in the split second it takes them to decide whether spend time on your page or someone else’s.

For example, a headline could promise...

  • The opportunity to make a difference by intervening in an urgent situation or by calling out a villain (think petition/advocacy)
  • The chance to learn something novel, useful, positive, or interesting (think news/listicles/victories/offers)
  • The reveal of a secret that’s been kept hidden (think exposés)

Weak propositions fail to promise value in exchange for your reader’s attention. They might simply be too vague. Or, they might highlight a problem without identifying that the page exists to help solve that problem. Most readers will be willing to confront something upsetting, if they’re assured upfront that the emotional expense won’t be in vain.

Less effective:
“He was ‘cooked alive’ on a live export ship. Take action!” (says: hopeless situation ahead; it’s too late — this victim is beyond saving; I’ll just upset myself if I read more)

More effective:
“Stop live exporters ‘cooking animals alive’ on ships!” (says: animals are in danger but I can help them if I read this)

From: 6 ways to make page titles click-worthy (not click-baity)

Get a free weekly digital strategy tip:

Name Email
privacy policy.

We respect your data. View the privacy policy.

Unsubscribe any time. We respect your data. View the privacy policy.

Karen Nilsen

Hi there! I’m Karen. I’m on a mission to reach my former self. Had I known 10 years ago what I know today, I could have achieved more good, made fewer mistakes, and had more weekends. Every time we share what works, we win faster. Let’s create digital experiences that move people — that grow our base and fuel our movements. Are you with me? Please share this with someone you know who wants to up their digital game!

Like this tip? Share it!