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What Is The Grunt Test? Does Your Website Pass It?

by Kim Garmon Hummel, on Apr 19, 2023 7:16:00 AM

A neanderthal and a bear walk into a bar. 

The bartender says, “What’s your story?” 

The neanderthal says,“Bear with me.”

Now that you’re rolling your eyes and wondering how such an abysmally bad joke made it past the careful eye of Sauce editors, here’s a different scenario:  

A neanderthal clicks on your website. 

Ok, I know this takes a stretch of the imagination, but in the words of our prehistoric friend, bear with me.

Suspend your disbelief, and ask yourself: what can this neanderthal learn about my business from the top portion of my homepage? 

If our good friend the neanderthal can identify what your business does, why it matters, and how to take the next step, eureka! Your website just passed the grunt test and is clear to convert visitors to customers.

What Is A Grunt Test?

Terrible dad jokes aside, the grunt test is part of Donald Miller’s StoryBrand framework methodology that acts like a litmus test for clarity. Why does clarity matter? Because it takes people about 50 milliseconds to decide if they like your site or not, and whether they’ll stay or leave. There isn’t a millisecond to waste on website copy that doesn’t cut straight to the point.

The grunt test is more than just a memorable thought experiment—it’s a tool that can lead to higher conversions. 

With the grunt test, you can clarify your message and communicate your business’s value in the most basic terms. It cuts through the fluff and prioritizes clarity over cute phrasing. 

The grunt test should answer 3 questions:

  1. What do you sell?
  2. How does it help me?
  3. How do I buy it?

    A caveman should be able to answer all these questions while staying above the fold.

Above The Fold: Refers to the visible part of a webpage before the user scrolls down. This means the fold is where the loaded page first cuts off at the bottom of the screen. Anything beneath this point is below the fold. -Semrush

What Do You Sell?

You’re super familiar with your products or services— so much so that it’s easy to think your offering is super obvious to everyone. Chances are, your website visitors disagree. Unless you specifically name what it is you want people to buy, you’re leaving room for your visitors to wonder, question—and bounce, meaning, they leave your site. 

When you use crystal-clear messaging, it doesn’t mean website visitors are too dense to comprehend complex language. On the contrary, people will appreciate how easy it is to know exactly what you sell. Nobody has time to waste deciphering vague catchphrases or cagey website headers, so optimize your user experience and cut right to the chase. 

Tell people what you sell.

How Does It Help Me?

Ok, so you sell credit card processing software?

In the words of the celebrated singer-songwriter Shania Twain, that don’t impress me much.

But do you know what will impress your website visitors? Connecting your product or service to real, intrinsic value. 

That credit card processing software? Meh. There are tons of other vendors out there that sell the same service—maybe even the same product! 

But credit card processing software that rescues you from a troubleshooting headache with 24/7 customer support, saves you time with super easy setup, or puts money back in your pocket with low transaction fees? 

Now you have your customers' attention. 

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is to assume their customers know the value of their product or service. Don’t make your customers do the legwork for you! Not only is it a shabby customer experience, but many customers just won’t do it, and you’ll lose business. 

Tell people what you sell. Tell people why it’s valuable.

How Do I Buy?

Our friendly neanderthal is extremely impressed by the value your credit card processing software can add to their cave-dwelling life. So much so that they’re ready to take the next step and book a demo. 

Remember, we haven’t scrolled an inch—we’re still above the fold of your website!

Without scrolling, hovering, or moving the mouse—is the next step toward buying clear? Does this caveperson have an obvious button to click on that will take them to a demo landing page? 

Within the StoryBrand framework, your Call To Action (CTA) is your cash register. Even if it doesn’t say “buy now” or “checkout” a CTA button guides visitors one step closer to purchasing. 

The last thing you want to do is make people (or neanderthals) wonder how they do business with you. Uncertainty doesn’t sell. Clarity does.

Do this, and even a neanderthal will be able to do business with you. Your messaging will be clear, and you’ll win more business. 

Looking for some StoryBrand inspo? Check out our blog where we highlight prime examples of StoryBrand at work.

Tell people what you sell. Tell people why it’s valuable. Tell people how to buy it. 

Benefits of A StoryBrand Website

  • Clarity. Your customers know what you sell, why it matters to them, and how to buy it. There’s no vague language to get lost in or cause confusion. 

  • Increased Credibility. Fancy words won’t make people believe you, buy from you, or remember you. But clear messaging that tells them exactly what they need to know? That wins every time.

  • Grow Your Business. People can’t buy from you if they don’t know what you do. It’s plain and simple: a clear, consistent, compelling message will attract customers. 

  • Unify Your Team. Your website messaging isn’t just for your website. You can use it as a framework to unify your team around a central message. The answers to your website’s grunt test can help your sales, marketing, and operations teams distill the answers to what you sell, why you sell it, and how you can make the buying experience smoother.

Note: Does this remind you of RevOps? You betcha it does. StoryBrand and RevOps do more than play nice together—they’re two entwined cogs in the engine of serious revenue growth.  

Capture Your Audience With Stories That Sell and a Website that Works From Sauce Agency

The grunt test is an easy way to determine if your website is working for you. And when we say “working,” we don’t mean “looks nice.” A beautiful website is great, but if it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do (i.e. drive revenue, add leads to your sales or marketing funnels, sell your product) it’s not working. 

Many people get stumped once they realize their website doesn’t pass the grunt test. How do you start creating the clear, concise, captivating messaging that converts your target audience into customers? That’s where a StoryBrand certified agency comes in.

A StoryBrand agency like Sauce composes website copy that is finely focused, and exhilaratingly explicit. Our StoryBrand guides have been trained and certified by Donald Miller’s team at StoryBrand HQ, and we have years of experience to add to that initial training. Don’t leave your website messaging or website redesign to chance. Schedule a call today to #GrowSmarter through a website that works and stories that sell with Team Sauce! 

Are you ready to #GrowSmarter? Schedule a risk-free call with a Growth Guide today!

Topics:RevOpsWeb DesignStoryBrandCustomer ExperienceContent CreationDigital Marketing StrategyStories That SellWebsites That WowRead

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