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Product Communications Framework and Guide

Create compelling communications based on your technical truth.

Introduction: How do we write better content for technology products? 

Technology products require a modular and agile approach to writing. Have you ever had a set of LEGO bricks that you played around with to create a plane, house, or skyscraper? We think about Product Communication similarly. We choose from a set of communication components to develop and shape the different Product Communications content you need: blogs, sales enablement assets, landing pages, and more.

Product Communications make clear your product’s value to technical and business audiences. In our approach, you should create communications assets from factual components based on a solid technical and strategic foundation, your “technical truth.”

  • Communications Assets include webpages like product-, service- or persona pages, Value Maps, Product Data Sheets, and more.
  • Product Communication Components include micro-copy, like taglines and CTAs, as well as longer text elements, like positioning statements and Value Cases. (More on these later in this document.)

This guide and our website are living documents, which we update from time to time as we learn and gain more experience. Get in touch and let us know if you would like to be notified of updates to our content.

Before we start, some technical communication values to write by


  • Put yourself in your audience’s shoes to understand their challenges, needs, and context.
  • Use language that will resonate with your audience, e.g., business terms for business readers and technical terms for developers.
  • Pitch your writing to your audience, but help others learn. No one will hold against you explaining jargon and technical terminology, and you will help people new to your topic get up to speed.


  • Translate complicated and abstract technology concepts into clear, compelling product communication.
  • Clearly structured writing and assets are more easily consumed and, therefore, more effective. See our Writing and Editing Guide for more on formatting: headers, lists, avoiding walls of text, etc.  


  • Empathy, clarity, and accuracy help build trust.
  • Show that you understand your reader’s challenges. They will identify themselves in your writing, trust you more, and keep reading. 
  • Be transparent and honest about what you can’t offer to build trust. Don’t sell vaporware ;-)
  • Avoid hyperbole. It totally, massively, always helps, too.
  • Use (and explain) technical terminology accurately to build trust. 

Our product communication principles

The Product Communications Framework follows our Writing and Editing Guide.

The best (most effective) product communications are: 

  1. Tight: Every word takes up precious real estate. Make them count. 
  2. Specific: Use the most precise version of a word or phrase. Don’t generalize or be vague.
  3. Accurate: Make factual statements supported by evidence.
  4. Clean and Consistent: Grammar, spelling, style, and tone should be professional and consistent with your voice and tone. 
  5. Compelling: Tell stories. Use words, verbs, rhythm, and language that resonate.
  6. Functional: A text has a job to do. Make sure it’s doing it.

All of the Value Map components are also components we use in Product Communications. The Value Map process produces the communication components you need to create content assets for your B2B product or service. Use the Value Map as your single source of truth to build communication assets, following our comms values and principles (see below). 

To learn more about the intersection of Product Communications and the OSP Value Map, see Product Communications and the Value Map in this guide.

Tips for effective content writing for your tech

“Good” Product Communications applies these principles at every scope, from the smallest (e.g., a tagline or caption) to the largest (e.g., whole pages, websites, or campaigns).

#1: Tight

“The goal isn’t brevity for its own sake but clarity” - Frank Conroy. 

Every word takes up precious real estate. Make them count. 

Interesting verbs: Replace “has,” “does,” “gives,” “stays,” or “keeps” + a noun with a more precise, more active verb. 

  • Before: TYPO3 gives marketers the tools they need to simplify the many decisions they have to make on a daily basis.
  • After: TYPO3’s tools simplify your daily decisions

What to cut: “With” or “of” or “that,” go see if you can tighten that up

  • Before: A CMS with a developer focus
  • After: A developer-focused CMS

Don’t use ten words if you can use five.

  • Before: TYPO3 puts the support, flexibility, and features you need at your fingertips so you can start high-value projects quickly.  
  • After: Launch projects quickly with TYPO3’s flexible Core and 24/7 support. 

#2: Specific

Use the most precise version of a word or phrase. Don’t generalize or be vague.

Highlight the unique and special aspects of (or relevant to) a product, service, company, or persona.

  • Before: TYPO3 CMS was designed to support enterprises with the effective tools, systems, and frameworks that they need. 
  • After: TYPO3 CMS supports enterprises with a User Access Management system, 24/7 support teams, and centralized Digital Asset Management. 

Less fill: Eradicate filler adjectives popular in tech-speak, like “efficient,” “innovative,” and “streamlined.” 

  • Before: Get streamlined workflows that are customizable for editors’ and publishers’ needs. 
  • After: Customize workflows to match your internal editing and approval process.

#3: Accurate and true

Make factual statements supported by evidence.

Don’t make claims you can’t back up.

Features are better than meaningless claims: Don’t use phrases like “the best” or competitive comparisons that cannot be substantiated. 

  • Before: TYPO3’s editing tools are better than other CMSs. 
  • After: TYPO3’s structured content and flexible workflows help editors tick off their task list. 

Back up your claims with evidence. 

  • Before: TYPO3 has best-in-class security features. 
  • After: TYPO3 was ranked first among open source CMSs in addressing vulnerabilities by SecurityRankerTM. 

#4: Clean and Consistent 

Grammar, spelling, style, and tone should be professional and consistent with the client’s voice and tone. 

Get help: Use the available tools to double-check grammar and spelling issues. Helpful tools include your computer operating system, Google Docs, Microsoft Word, LanguageToolGrammarly, or DeepL Write.

Use American spelling (OSP default, varies by client, taste, and location!)

  • Before: Choose your favourite colour scheme.
  • After: Choose your favorite color scheme. 

Favor universal clarity over regional language or idioms.

  • Before: Some managers can’t see the wood for the trees
  • After:  Some managers can’t see beyond their daily tasks. 

Write right: Adapt tone and style to customer, situation, and context. Different people and companies address the world with different words. OSP creates content that our clients are happy to put their names to.

For example, striking the right balance between stuffy, formal language and too-casual language that sounds more conversational than written.

  • Before: TYPO3 is really great for developers. 
  • After: TYPO3 is ideal for developers. 
  • Before:  Review testimonies from our satisfied customers.
  • After: Hear from our satisfied customers. 

No FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt). No negative copy. Rather than criticize competitors, frame the challenges you solve for your clients—and highlight how you do it well.

  • Before: Many content management systems come with a high risk of security vulnerabilities. TYPO3 keeps your installation protected with advanced security practices upheld by a dedicated team, a great developer experience, and a community of 500+ contributors to boot.
  • After: Keeping your website secure should always be top of mind. TYPO3 has the lowest number of vulnerabilities among enterprise CMSs, as rated by Security Management. 

#5: Compelling

Tell stories. Use words, verbs, rhythm, and language that resonate.

Use exciting verbs and nouns. OneLook Thesaurus is a great resource. 

  • Before: TYPO3 helps agencies create digital value. 
  • After: Agencies thrive on TYPO3

Use direct address whenever possible

  • Before: A strong, extendable core that’s community-driven
  • After: Install TYPO3 Core and extend it as you go. 

Play with language: Try alliterations, varying rhythms, and metaphors—anything that grabs attention. 

  • Example Article Headers Before:
    • How Open Social got its start
    • The Open Social feature set focuses on community
    • The future of Open Social
  • Example Article Headers After:
    • Open Social origin story
    • Features focused on community
    • The (funded) future of Open Social

Borrow effective syntax and sentence structure from examples around the web:

  • Why not turn “Marketing smarts for big ideas.”
  • Into “Security teams for peace of mind.”?

Shout it out: When in doubt, read your text aloud to find the right rhythms.

  • Before: Our CMS is secure, scalable, and fast.
  • After:  Our CMS is fast, secure, and scalable. 

#6: Functional

A text has a job to do. Make sure it’s doing it.

Product Communications is functional writing. Everything we write has a purpose and a goal. 

A product page shows your site visitor the benefits of adopting your offering, the challenges it helps them with, and how it solves those challenges. Furthermore, it needs clear calls-to-action or calls-to-value, snappy headers and taglines, pricing information and options, etc. 

A blog post about some aspect of the same product or service contains different elements. Compared to a product page, a blog may include (for example) anecdotes, tell a story, or explain the context of your solution that led you to create it. 

A tagline is a catchy summary representing your brand character, designed to attract the reader’s attention.

Be aware of what kind of asset you are creating and what components it needs:

  • Each of those components is there for a reason and has a specific job to do.
  • Follow the best practices outlined in this guide for each. 
  • Keep a sharp eye out for deviations from the purpose of your asset.
  • Stay focused, eradicate the irrelevant.

Product communications and the OSP Value Map

The Open Strategy Partners Value Map is a methodology and toolkit we use for content ideation and insight generation. Once yours is up and running, you'll never be stuck for content ideas again!

We typically start most engagements with a Value Map (VM) of the client product or service we are working on. To create your VM, together with you and your stakeholders, we:

  • Conduct a deep technical analysis of your offering.
  • Capture all its features.
  • Organize the features into logical-functional groupings.
  • Map the relationships between the functionalities and the business value they deliver.

You get a comprehensive inventory of the following modular components and entities from which we can create messaging, positioning, and content assets.

Product-based VM Component/Entity Hierarchy: 

  • Product (or Service)
    • Tagline
    • Positioning Statement
    • USPs
    • Solution Statements
  • Feature Category
    • Name
    • Tagline
    • Value Case
      • Benefit 
      • Challenge 
      • Solution 
  • Feature Area
    • Name
    • Tagline
    • Value Case
      • Benefit 
      • Challenge 
      • Solution 
  • Feature

Read more about the Open Strategy Partners Value Map and how it helps you align your communications with your vision, strategy, and technical truth.

Definitions, best practices, and examples: product communication components

Taglines: 2-8 word headlines

What is a Tagline, and what is its purpose? 

Taglines are short sentences or fragments, typically found at the top of the page or as section headers, meant to grab attention while introducing content that follows. They’re often the most verbally playful and brand-driven statements.

Tagline Examples

  • Free and open, it’s our heart (Elastic
  • Marketing smarts for big ideas (Mailchimp)
  • Work on big ideas without the busywork. (Asana)
  • Your tech is complex. Your message shouldn’t be. (Open Strategy Partners!) 

Tagline Best Practices

  • Keep taglines short and rhythmic. 
  • Try alliteration, wordplay, and rhyming. 
  • Feel free to use fragments. 
  • Capture brand character and values.
  • Make taglines clever, attention-grabbing, and pop out at you.
  • Look for opportunities for interplay between tagline, graphics, and the context of what’s around them.

Brand and Product Positioning Statements

What is a Positioning Statement and its purpose? 

Positioning Statements describe what a product does and what value it delivers (for an implied or explicit audience).

The formula for the skeleton of a Product Positioning Statement is:

“[your brand], in [product category] helps [your audience] achieve [benefit/value you deliver] who [need/challenge] by [how you deliver value].”

The formula for the skeleton of a Brand Positioning Statement is:

“[your brand], in [service category] helps [your audience] achieve [benefit/value you deliver] who [need/challenge] by [how you deliver value].”

We then, of course, transform it into a polished, colorful, compelling statement. 

Product Positioning Statement examples 

TYPO3 Delivers Blazingly Fast, Flexible Websites (tagline as context)

Powered by an enterprise open source CMS, and backed by a vibrant professional community and a commercial ecosystem—use TYPO3 to connect to your customers and compete in today’s landscape with the richest digital experiences.

Container-based development tools for local and live. (tagline as context)

Development can be daunting, and the team at DDEV understands that. Working in DDEV means a simpler development workflow, allowing you and your team to focus on what you do best: crafting creative, compelling online experiences.

Brand Positioning Statement examples 

[SkillDisplay Certification Platform]

SkillDisplay’s Micro-Certification platform is built for step-by-step development. Structured curriculums help learners methodically grow their skills, confidence, and hiring potential—and receive the digital credentials to prove it. 

Positioning Statement Best Practices: 

  • They are specific and non-generic. 
  • Try swapping another tech product or service into the statement—if it’s easily substituted, drill down into more detail or specificity. 
  • As a workflow process, try filling in keywords for each square bracket item; once that is completed, try working on compelling and colorful copy. 

Other Positioning Statements

Positioning Statements for Feature Areas or Feature Categories

We also use positioning statements at the Feature Category or Feature Area level. The micro-statement template would then be:

[Feature Area] helps [your audience] who need [need/challenge/use case]  achieve [benefit/value you deliver] by [how you provide or deliver value]. 

The components would then be specific to the Feature Area. 

If we fill that out, we get the following:

[Agency-ready] helps [agency owners] achieve [efficient, professional solutions] because [Symfony PHP-based, ease of use, adoption, developer experience]

And with a bit of polishing:

As an agency-ready CMS, Sulu helps agency owners deliver professional solutions while reducing costs. Sulu’s excellent developer experience and easy onboarding for Symfony developers ensure you can spin up and maintain projects repeatably and scalably.

Positioning Statements for a Target Audience

For positioning statements targeted to a specific audience, the template is:

[Your product] helps [your audience] achieve [benefit/value you deliver] who need [need/challenge] by [how you provide or deliver value].

Suppose we fill that out using Sulu CMS as an example. In that case, the raw draft is:

[Sulu] helps [developers] achieve [great developer experience] who need [easy onboarding and maintenance] by [Symfony, adoption, familiarity].

And after some polishing:

Sulu CMS is built on the popular and widely adopted Symfony PHP Framework, speeding onboarding and helping developers achieve productive flow faster. Team members, new and old, can provide efficient operations and maintenance.

Positioning Statements for an Industry Vertical

For positioning statements targeted to a specific industry, the template is:

[your product] helps [x vertical] achieve [benefit/value] who [need/challenge] by [how you deliver value].

Filled out:

[Sulu] helps [marketers] achieve [brand consistency] who [manage widely distributed, independent editors] by [structured content].

The polished version:

Sulu helps marketers achieve brand consistency, even when many editors are distributed across departments. Sulu’s structured content and Blocks approach gives editors the freedom to build attractive, individual content without violating brand guidelines.

Features, Feature Areas, and Feature Categories


What is a Feature, and what is its purpose? 

A feature is the “atomic unit” of functionality or attribute of a product or service, i.e., what it does. 


Create, edit, generate, provide, enable, empower, improve [All strong, active verbs that imply a doer]


  • Edit in the frontend or backend with drag and drop, copy and paste, spell checking, and other standard text editing functions.
  • Manipulate images directly in the CMS backend: Crop and resize images, add frames/borders, watermarks, overlays, and more.
  • Automatically generated responsive images deliver an optimized experience on every screen size.
  • Use the intuitive interface to control element positioning and page layout. 
  • Bulk edit pages and preview content before publishing.
  • Create dynamic and responsive forms with a drag-and-drop form builder.

Feature Areas

What is a Feature Area, and what is its purpose?

Feature Areas are logical-functional groupings of functionality—collections of Features. They:

  • Summarize and distill the essence of the Features contained within them.
  • Describe what the Features collectively achieve.
  • Are technical answers to business challenges:
    • Q: How does your solution solve Challenge X?
    • A: Feature Category Y addresses Challenge X.

The name, tagline, and value case represent the distillation of the component Features while following their respective best practices (e.g., for Taglines or Value Cases) and the Product Communication Principles

There is a precise scope the Feature Area content should hit:

  1. Specific enough that it doesn’t stretch into product-level ideas or be too general or vague.
  2. Broad enough to include the essence of all the feature areas below. 

Feature Categories contain: 

  • The Feature Area Name
  • A Feature Area Tagline
  • A Feature Area Value Case
  • Multiple Features

Example Feature Area names from TYPO3

(Under Feature Category: Smart Content Management):

  • Authoring Experience
  • Content Planning
  • Content Models, Metadata Management, Tagging and Search, SEO
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM)

Example Feature Area names from the OSP Value Map

(Under Feature Category: Richer Product Communications, Faster):

  • Accurate, Compelling, Consistent Messaging
  • Baked-in Best Practices, Templates, and Workflows
  • Produce Better Content Faster

Feature Categories

What is a Feature Category, and what is its purpose?

Feature Categories are larger logical-functional groupings of functionality—collections of Feature Areas. They:

  • Summarize and distill the essence of the Feature Areas contained within them
  • Describe what the Features collectively achieve.
  • Are technical answers to business challenges
    • Q: How does your solution solve Challenge X?
    • A: Feature Category Y addresses Challenge X.

The name, tagline, and value case represent the distillation of the Feature Areas while following their respective best practices (e.g., for Taglines or Value Cases) and the Product Communication Principles.  

There is a precise scope the Feature Category content should hit:

  1. Specific enough that it doesn’t stretch into product-level ideas or be too general or vague.
  2. Broad enough to include the essence of all the feature areas below. 

Feature Categories contain: 

  • The Feature Category Name
  • A Feature Category Tagline
  • A Feature Category Value Case
  • Multiple Feature Areas

These broader categories summarize the product’s features at a level that more people can understand at a glance. They are more likely to interest business decision-makers who don’t need all the technical details. However, drilling down, their component Feature Areas and Features contain the granular technical truth developers, and similar personas need. 

Example Feature Categories from TYPO3 CMS:

  • Massively Multisite and Multilingual
  • Digital Marketing Enabled
  • Open Extensible Customizable
  • Professional Open Source
  • Universal Frontend User Experience
  • Secure, Performant, Scalable
  • Smart Content Management

Example Feature Categories from the OSP Value Map: 

  • Better Communication Strategy
  • Richer Product Communications Faster
  • Deep, Wide, Technical Foundation
  • Better Collaboration, Sales, and Onboarding


What is a Benefit, and what is its purpose? 

The benefit statement is what gives value cases their magic. It goes beyond the solution statement to demonstrate the solution’s value in measurable terms. Try to be concrete and use evidence where possible. For example, “X saved me seven clicks or 30 min of developer time.”


  • What is the result or outcome of solving the challenge using the solution above?
    • Better X, faster Y, easier Z.
  • Why does it matter? To the devs? To the marketers? To the whole organization? 
  • How does this make someone’s day better? Dev, PM, end-user, site-owner, (any/all target personas) … How does this:
    • Make my job easier?
    • Make things faster? More efficient?
    • Cheaper? More profitable?
    • Increase conversions?
    • More energy efficient? 


  • Achieve [a thing, outcome]
  • Gain efficiency by [X]
  • [Do a thing] simpler, easier, faster, with less effort, avoid repetition, 
  • Flexibility, extensibility, openness, accessibility
  • Value, quality, expert-level
  • Reliability, predictability, planability 
  • Supports best-practice in [X topic], industry-standard 


  • Authoring Experience: TYPO3 provides an intuitive and easy-to-use authoring experience. Content editors can independently create, review, and publish their content.
  • Multisite: Manage any number of websites within a single installation.
  • Content Models, Metadata Management, Tagging and Search, SEO: Make your website easier to find for potential customers. TYPO3 provides you with the tools to implement your SEO strategy.
  • Marketing Campaign Management: Connect your digital marketing funnel directly through TYPO3’s backend without repeatedly switching between systems.


What is a Challenge, and what is its purpose? 

A benefit that doesn’t solve a challenge is irrelevant to your audience. We must know that our solution and its benefits address actual needs, problems, or challenges. 

Challenge statements appear at two levels of the Value Map hierarchy: the Feature Area (FA) and the Feature Category (FC) levels. The challenge statement should address/be relevant to the entire group (FA or FA), but not more (then it wouldn’t be specific enough). 

Challenges are one of three elements that comprise Value Cases (the combination of Benefit, Challenge, and Solution statements). 

Definition: “needs,” “problems,” and “challenges” are synonymous for this purpose

Example Challenges

  • Complexity within your organization
  • Difficult tasks
  • Limitations
  • The desired state isn’t fulfilled or not easily met.
  • Result, process, or criteria needed

Example Challenge Keywords

  • Chaos
  • Inefficiency
  • Complex
  • Should not
  • Technical bottlenecks
  • Without X, it’s impossible to Y
  • ...which is time-consuming
  • ...which is unnecessarily complicated
  • ...which lacks X
  • Wasting money, time, or resources 
  • Off-brand
  • X can break your site or project
  • X can be a headache
  • Customers/users are upset when...
  • X decreases conversions or visits
  • Downtime
  • Loss of reputation if X
  • X presents a business risk or technical risk
  • Slow, late, delayed, repetitious

Examples from Feature Area Value Cases

  • Authoring Experience: When publishing content across multiple channels and in multiple languages, any technical bottleneck will affect your editors’ ability to produce good content efficiently.
  • Multisite: In many popular content management systems, serving many websites and domains will create chaotic and inefficient installations.
  • Content Models, Metadata Management, Tagging and Search, SEO: Writing great content isn’t enough. Potential customers have to find you in search engine results in the first place.
  • Marketing Campaign Management: When people think of marketing campaign management, they think of time-consuming and unnecessarily complicated switching between several marketing applications and interfaces. 


What is a Solution, and what is its purpose?

A solution statement directly addresses the challenge statement. It answers the questions:

  • “HOW does it solve the challenge and provide the benefit?”
  • (and/or) “WHAT does the product do?”

At the Feature Area level, the solution statement boils up the features within its feature area into a single statement. 

At the Feature Category level, the solution statement boils up all the features represented within that Feature Category. 


  • How is Technology X (TYPO3) implemented to solve Problem Y?
  • How do we solve the challenge? 
  • What (technical or other) group of features, functionalities, processes, configurations, integrations, or extensions helps solve the challenge or need?


  • Technology, process, system (e.g., TYPO3 CMS, extension, package, distro, integration)
    • … Is, has, uses
    • … Does, provides, offers
    • … Helps, enables, unlocks

Example of Solutions at the Feature Category Level

  • Smart Content Management: TYPO3 provides a comprehensive content-creation and -management platform with outstanding content workflow support.
  • Multisite, Multilingual: TYPO3’s powerful and intuitive multisite features support large international web projects with translation workflows and multilingual content structures. Integrate with translation management systems and manage separate translation workflows for each language.

Examples of Solutions at the Feature Area Level

  • Authoring Experience: TYPO3 is a centralized, easy-to-use platform for content publication. With role-based access and streamlined production and translation workflows, you can maintain quality and production velocity while publishing in multiple languages and on multiple sites and channels.
  • Multisite: TYPO3 offers efficient tools for managing multiple websites and domains in one place and versatile options for sharing content and configuration between them.
  • Content Models, Metadata Management, Tagging and Search, SEO: TYPO3 provides all the tools you need to implement a great SEO strategy to increase visibility and conversions.
  • Marketing Campaign Management: Tightly integrate different marketing services directly into TYPO3 for hassle-free digital marketing. 

Value Cases

What is a Value Case? 

Value cases combine three elements—Challenges, Solutions, and Benefits addressed by the product. Together, they make a fully fleshed-out argument for how and why a product meets given business needs (also making them typically the longest blocks of text on a product page).

  • Benefit: This is all about WiiFM (What’s in it for me). How will adopting your product or service transform your reader’s day, life, or business? In many formats, we lead with the Benefit, painting a picture for our readers of what life would be like if they adopted our wonderful product or service.
  • Challenge: The reader identifies themself as your target audience when they recognize the challenges they know from their work and day-to-day situation. Here, you show empathy for your reader (you understand their problems and needs) and confirm the hopes you sparked in them with the Benefit.
  • Solution: Tell your reader how you and your offering with solve the Challenge(s) they are facing and deliver them to the transformation you promised in the Benefit.

Value Case Examples

Here are three of the Value Cases that we use to describe aspects of the OSP Value Map:

Accelerate consistent, fact-based communications that drive growth. [Benefit] Enable all stakeholders to communicate about your product consistently, accurately, and compellingly. [Challenge] To create a better communication strategy, you need to capture the value of your products in your customers’ eyes, what sets you apart from your competition, and plan the messaging to sway new customers. [Solution] Pour your collective knowledge, experience, and expertise into the OSP Value Map structures and methodology to rapidly ramp up your professional communications operations.

Tame the Complexity of Communicating about your Complex Product. [Benefit] Increase the volume and quality of content published, plus increase the autonomy and mastery of your authoring teams. [Challenge] Technology is complex. Communicating and writing about it is even more complicated, and your communication strategy is only as strong as its execution. [Solution] Accelerate your asset creation and approvals by combining technical truth with reliable writing and editing processes.

Unified product data accelerates asynchronous collaboration. [Benefit] Empower team members—current and new—to gain or refresh product knowledge quickly and efficiently so they can start delivering value, making sales, or contributing sooner. [Challenge] Siloed information stored in multiple systems blocks onboarding, remote collaboration, and sales. Teams must act without the whole picture or wait for time zones and calendars to align before they can get up to speed. [Solution] A living library of your product’s truth — technical information, target personas, published assets, etc. — enables self-service research and preparation.

Value Case Best Practices

Write your challenge, solution, and benefit statements separately (on three individual lines) before combining or reordering them. They should correspond directly with one another. In other words, the solution should address the challenge, and the benefit should result from applying the solution. 

Call-to-Action (CTA)

What is a CTA, and what are they for? 

A call-to-action is a concise (2-8 word) phrase directing the reader to do a specific thing. The reader can do that by clicking a link or button in the UI. A CTA may guide your users toward the next steps. Some people call these statements “direct CTAs.”

CTA Examples 

  • Sign up
  • Book a demo today
  • Get in touch with us
  • Reserve yours today
  • Pre-order your copy
  • Join our waiting list
  • Ask us anything 
  • Add to cart
  • Buy now
  • Get yours

CTA Best Practices

  • Cut what you can cut without changing the message. 
  • Use direct address. 
  • Keep it simple and focused on the action and/or direct outcome.
  • Be clear about what the following step will be after clicking the link.
  • Choose words that inspire enthusiasm, interest, or action, and match your company’s voice and tone—yes, all of that in eight words ;-)

Call-to-Value (CTV)

What is a CTV, and what are they for?

A call-to-value summarizes the benefits or paints an aspirational vision of the result of taking a given action—clicking a link or button—rather than telling us to “do the thing.” They can be used standalone and as context for a CTA, right above or below. Some people call these statements “indirect CTAs.”

CTV Examples

  • Grow your audience
  • Extend the life and value delivery of your website.
  • Solve your biggest challenges with us.
  • Start your journey to improved ROI today.
  • Secure your spot in this life-changing course.
  • Take the first step on your new career path.
  • Get started with free tools, and upgrade as you grow.

CTV Best Practices

Address the audience’s needs, aspirations, and desires:

  • Why should I do the thing you want me to?
  • What’s in it for me? (WiiFM)
  • What is the direct benefit of “doing the thing”?
  • Summarize the benefits into a single statement.

The OSP Content Writing Guide for Tech Products and Services by Jeffrey A. McGuire is licensed under CC BY 4.0