Marketers: Are you testing your message before using it?

I’m willing to bet that most of you create a company or product/service message, often in the form of a Message Map. But are you taking the critical next step and testing your message before using it in marketing content and campaigns?

Since you only get one chance to make a first impression on your target audience, testing your message before using it is crucial.

Testing your message prior to using it to create marketing assets enables you to:

  • Adapt quickly to audience reactions: This is an important step because you still have time to incorporate audience feedback into your message before using it in campaigns.
  • Ensure audience engagement: When you know your message is relevant, you’re much more likely to cut through the clutter and capture your audience’s attention. After all, they’re likely seeing more than 8,000 messages a day. You want yours to be one they pay attention to.
  • Improve marketing ROI: If you test your message before using it in campaigns, those campaigns will get better results. This saves time and money on campaigns that don’t resonate with your target audience.

Clearly, the benefits of testing your message outweigh the time and effort it takes to test it. If you’re new to message testing, here are some ideas for testing your message:

  • Conduct a focus group. Focus groups are one of the best ways to get real feedback on your message. Organize a group of clients and/or prospects and present your message for reaction and discussion. If you can’t get everyone together at one time, then conduct one-on-one interviews to gauge reactions from clients and prospects. Whether you conduct the focus group internally or use an outside facilitator, create a moderator’s guide to ensure you get the information you need. Moderator’s guides usually include questions about where the target audience gets their information along with questions about how they react to your message.
  • Create a survey. If testing your message in person isn’t an option, you can create a survey to send to clients and prospects. It may be helpful to have salespeople mention the survey to get a higher response rate. Many marketers also offer a small gift card to recipients who take the time to fill out the survey.
  • Listen on social media. Test different social media posts with your messaging and then monitor for reader reactions. Analyze the feedback given by your target audience.
  • Perform A/B testing. Create different versions of your messaging and show or send them to different segments of your target audience. For more on A/B testing, read this blog.
  • Use heatmaps and other website analytics. Click tracking and heatmaps can help you understand where on your website users are interacting with your messaging most. Other metrics, such as time on page and bounce rate, can also help you determine the effectiveness of your messaging.

You only get one chance to make a first impression on your target audience. Testing your message before using it can be critical to marketing success.

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