When it comes to fighting for a user’s attention on the internet, you’ve literally got seconds.
And while capturing their attention can feel like a superhuman hurdle to tackle, you’ve already got a secret weapon that can make the difference between your audience hitting the Buy Now button or leaving them scrambling for the back button.
What is it?
Your hero message.
In the article below, I’ll break down everything you need to know about a hero message including what it is, why it matters, and how we write hard-hitting hero messages for our partners.
Let’s dive in…
What is a hero message?
A hero message is the very top section of your landing page, homepage, or any other page on your site.
It’s usually made of a big headline, an additional sentence or two that supports the headline, and then finished off with a clear call to action button.
Why your hero message matters
The hero message is the first thing a reader sees and it’s the place where they make near-instant decisions about your business like:
Is this company legit?
Is reading this worth my time?
Can I find what I’m looking for?
…and a lot more.
Too often, companies stick to fluffy, vague, and totally forgettable hero messages that leave readers thinking way too hard about what the page is trying to say.
And when readers have to think too hard, they bounce.
They don’t have time to waste trying to understand industry jargon and definitely don’t have time for vague.
Take this hero message example:
Not only is there no CTA button to be seen, but the copy is so vague and jargony. It fails to answer some pretty important questions like:
- Who is this company?
- What do they sell?
- Who do they help?
Turns out, they’re an accounting firm that offers virtual bookkeeping and consulting services. But you’d never know that unless you went digging around their site.
Their hero message fails to capture attention and because of that, it risks their chances of getting a conversion.
What Henderson’s Hardware Store can teach you about your hero message
Let me drive this home with a story.
I live outside of a sleepy mountain town where a new hardware store moved in. I knew it was a hardware store because the big sign out front said just that, “HARDWARE STORE.”
When I popped inside, I learned that their name was actually Henderson’s Hardware Store but in the interest of saving space on the sign, they left out the Henderson’s portion.
But what if they had done the opposite? What if they just went with “Henderson’s” instead?
Folks driving by would have no idea what Henderson’s was, made, or sold. Was it a furniture store? A jeweler? A barber shop that specialized in pompadours? Who knows!
Your hero message is a lot like that sign outside of the hardware store.
It should make it clear to onlookers who you are, what you do, and what folks can expect from you.
How to write a great hero message
Great hero messaging usually starts with your value propositions. When written well, your value props are the clear-as-day reasons why your customers should buy from you.
They highlight what you do best—better than anyone else—and how you make your customer’s life better.
Here at Tuff, we guide each one of our partners through a Value Prop exercise that makes it easy to narrow down their audience, key pain points, and how their offer solves those pain points.
From there, we infuse those value props into their messaging. Depending on where customers are in their stage of awareness and the marketing funnel, some value props will resonate more than others.
So we often A/B testing various value props against each other until we find those that clearly hit home.
Here’s an example from one of our long-time partners, Xendoo. Check out their hero message:
Like the example I mentioned earlier, Xendoo offers virtual bookkeeping, tax, and catch-up services to small businesses.
From our value prop exercise, we learned that Xendoo’s audience is made up of small business owners who are strapped for time.
They’ve tried other bookkeepers and CPAs only to realize that the person they hired didn’t understand the nuance of their industry or even worse… left them feeling ghosted and in-the-dark on the progress of their books. Ultimately, Xendoo’s clients didn’t get into business to get weighed down by keeping their books or chasing down CPAs.
And that’s where Xendoo came in.
When we reworked their hero message, we used the headline to drive that point home. In the subhead (the 1-2 sentences under the headline), we highlighted other key value props like the dedicated team that each Xendoo client gets and their expertise across various industries.
Then we used a small bit of microcopy above the headline to clearly spell out the services offered.
When pulled together, we created a hero message that made it instantly clear what Xendoo did, who they helped, and the value that they added to their client’s life and business.
Hero message examples that work
Here are a few more hero message examples from our partners.
Why it works:
- It explains who they are: Teachable is in the digital course creation and knowledge business.
- It explains what they do: Teachable makes it easy to create, sell, and build a knowledge business.
- It explains how their services benefit their customer: They help people turn their side hustles into full-time, legit businesses.
- It has a clear call to action: The black button clearly stands out against the white background and the button copy wastes no time mentioning that it’s free to start.
Why it works:
- It explains who they are: Comqui helps businesses put their media in front of millions of customers, everyday.
- It explains what they do: They put your media in front of millions of customers each day through their reliable digital display hardware and media players.
- It explains how their services benefit their customer: Multi-location digital media displays can get complicated, FAST. Knowing this, Comqi’s hero message drives home that it’s easy to set up their display hardware and media players—requiring only a power source and an internet connection.
- It has a clear call to action: The CTA is clear and easy to find. Prospects don’t have to go digging for it.
To sum things up
Hero messages are worth your time and effort because they make the difference in whether your audience will stick around to see what you have to offer or not. So the next time you need to write one, answer these questions.
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- How do you make your customer’s life easier?
- What action do you want your customers to take?
With those few answers, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a great hero message that gets clicks and pulls in the leads.