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Mastering Message Testing: Best Practices and Tools

Luisa Quinn
•  06.04.2023
Discover how message testing can help you understand your audience, refine your messaging, and increase conversions.

Message testing is an essential part of the user experience (UX) process. It helps UX researchers, designers, writers, and information architects ensure their messages are clear, concise, and compelling. By conducting message testing for your product, you can be sure that its language will be clear and effective in relation to your target audience.

In this article we’ll take a closer look at this research method, explain the nuances of messaging testing, its benefits, provide examples and show how you can conduct your own message test with the help of tools like UXtweak!

What is message testing?

message testing

Message testing is a process of analyzing and evaluating the effectiveness of a company’s marketing message in resonating with its target audience. 

It involves experimenting with different marketing message versions to determine which works best. By conducting message testing, companies can identify the most effective messaging strategy to use with the chosen target audience or even define new segments of users.

Why is message testing important?

Message testing helps teams to evaluate and refine the effectiveness of their brand communication to improve its impact on your target audience. 

Some of the most common benefits of message testing include:

  • Helps in understanding the needs and preferences of your target audience
  • Ensures that your message is clear, concise, and easy to understand
  • Provides insights into how your message resonates with your audience
  • Increases the likelihood of achieving desired outcomes such as conversions and engagement
  • Enables effective communication by identifying gaps or areas for improvement
  • Saves time and resources by eliminating ineffective messaging before deployment
  • Allows A/B testing to compare different versions of messages for optimal results

What is an example of message testing?

message testing

Here is a quick example of message testing:

Suppose a company wants to launch a new energy drink targeting young adults into fitness and sports. They have created two taglines for their product:

“Power up your workout with our energy drink.”

“Get the boost you need for your active lifestyle.”

To test which tagline resonates better with their target audience, the company can conduct message testing by following these steps:

  1. Gather a representative sample of the target audience.
  2. Show each participant one of the two taglines and ask them to rate it on a scale of 1-10 based on how well it communicates the idea of a high-energy drink that can help with workouts and an active lifestyle.
  3. Collect the ratings and analyze the results to determine which tagline performed better.
  4. Based on the findings of the message testing, the company can choose the saying that resonates better with their target audience and use it in their marketing communications.

How to test messaging?

how to do message testing

You can conduct message testing in 4 simple steps:

  1. Prepare the message
  2. Choose the message testing method
  3. Prepare the questions
  4. Conduct the test and analyze the results

1. Prepare the message

Before testing, developing accurate messaging and identifying the communication channels that will reach your target audience is essential. By experimenting with different variations of your messages, you can determine which ones will have the most outstanding customer appeal and resonate best with your audience.

When preparing your messages and the test itself, make a bullet list of factors to consider:

Accurate messaging: Ensure that your messaging is clear, concise, and accurately represents your brand, product, or service.

Target audience: Identify your target audience and tailor your messaging accordingly.

Communication channels: Determine which channels will be most effective for reaching your target audience, such as email, social media, or direct mail.

Variations of messaging: Test different variations of your message to determine which resonates best with your audience.

User testing tools: Use user testing tools like UXtweak to get qualitative feedback from potential customers.

Quantitative research: Conduct quantitative research by measuring copywriting performance through A/B testing or other methods.

2. Choose the message testing method

The method you choose will depend on your specific goals and audience. However, there are two main types of message testing: qualitative and quantitative

Qualitative methods involve open-ended questions that allow participants to share their thoughts and feelings about the messaging. 

Quantitative methods, on the other hand, involve closed-ended questions that can be analyzed statistically. 

Below, we’ll go a bit further into the topic and explore the 5 common methods used for messaging testing.

3. Prepare the questions

When writing message-testing questions, it’s essential to consider factors such as clarity, truthfulness, value proposition, tone of voice, and emotional appeal. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing questions for your message test:

  • Clarity: Ensure the message is clear and easy to understand.
  • Truthfulness: Ensure the message accurately reflects reality and is not misleading.
  • Value: Ensure that readers will find value in the message and be compelled to act upon it.
  • Appeal: Craft a message that appeals to your target audience’s needs, desires, interests, values, or beliefs.
  • Timeliness: Create a message relevant to current trends or topics of discussion within your industry/niche.
  • Relevance: Make sure the messages are pertinent to both your product/service and your customers’ expectations.
  • Uniqueness: Your messaging should stand out to benefit potential buyers.

By considering these factors and using qualitative and quantitative research methods, you can ensure that your messaging testing framework resonates with your target audience. 

Below, we’ll provide a few examples of message testing questions that you can add to your study or use as an inspiration to write your own.

4. Conduct the test and analyze the results

After you have your test ready, all you need to do is send it to the participants and gather data. Make sure that the people who participate in your test are representative of your brand’s target audience. This way you’ll be able to get the most accurate and valuable data about their preferences.

Now all you have to do is analyze the results of your study. This can be time-consuming but if you’re using a user testing tool like UXtweak, it basically does all the analysis for you, organizing the user data into graphs and tables that are easy to read and present to stakeholders. 

Examples of message testing questions

How visually appealing is the message? Does it stand out on its own or blend in with other content? 

Here are some questions that can help you find these things out:

Factor to Consider

Example Questions/Tasks

Clarity

- Did you find the message easy to understand?
- Were any parts of the message unclear or confusing?
- Did the message use any technical jargon you were unfamiliar with?
- On a scale of 1-10, how clear and straightforward was the message?

Truthfulness

- Do you believe the message accurately reflects reality and is not misleading?
- Did the message make any claims that you think are exaggerated or untrue?
- Do you think the message is trustworthy?
- On a scale of 1-10, how truthful do you believe the message is?

Appeal

- Did the message appeal to your needs, desires, interests, values, or beliefs?
- Did the message speak to you on a personal level?
- Did you find the message exciting and engaging?
- On a scale of 1-10, how appealing was the message to you?

Timeliness

- Do you think the message is relevant to current trends or topics of discussion within the industry/niche?
- Did the message reference any recent events or developments pertinent to the topic?
- Would you consider the message timely?
- On a scale of 1-10, how times do you believe the message is?

Relevance

- Did the message speak directly to the product/service being offered?
- Was the message targeted to the appropriate audience?
- Did the message meet your expectations for what you want to see from this brand?
- How relevant was the message to you on a scale of 1-10?

Uniqueness

- Did the message stand out to you from other similar messages from competitors?
- Was the message memorable or distinctive in any way?
- Do you think the message was creative or innovative?
- On a scale of 1-10, how unique was the message compared to others you have seen?

Tools for message testing

message testing

With the right message testing tools, businesses can save time and money by avoiding costly mistakes and ensuring they deliver the right message to the right people. These tools allow companies to test different messages and get feedback from their audience before launching a full-scale marketing campaign. 

Here are a couple of message testing tools and methods that you can use to test your company’s messaging:

Surveys

Surveys can be a powerful method for message testing. To use surveys for message testing, you should first identify your target audience and create a set of messages you want to test. 

Then, design a study that includes these messages and ask respondents to rate each letter based on its effectiveness in conveying the intended message. You can also ask open-ended questions to gather feedback on why certain statements were more effective than others. 

Finally, analyze the survey results to identify which messages resonated most with your target audience and refine your messaging accordingly. 

UXtweak has an excellent survey tool that allows you to set up the scenario to emphasize, filter the audience and design the process to get the best outputs from your message testing.

A/B testing

A/B testing is another research technique that can be used for message testing. To use A/B testing for message testing, you should first create two different versions of your messaging, each varying in one specific element (such as the headline or call-to-action). Then, randomly divide your target audience into two groups and show each group one of the messaging variations. 

Track which variation generates more engagement (such as clicks or conversions), and use this information to determine which version of the messaging is more effective. You can then refine your messaging based on these results and continue to test different variations until you find the most effective message.

Preference test

Preference testing is a type of message testing that allows you to compare different versions of your marketing messages and determine which one resonates the most with your target audience. In a way, it’s quite similar to A/B testing, except there are some differences that make this method stand out. 

To conduct a preference test, you can create multiple versions of your message, ask participants to choose the one they like best and rate each one based on their preference. Once you have identified the most preferred message, you can use it as the basis for your marketing campaigns.

You can set up a free preference test using UXtweak’s Preference Testing tool

5-second test

A 5-second test is a quick and straightforward way to test the effectiveness of your messaging. You will need a specialized platform to perform this test, and to jumpstart your process, we recommend UXtweak’s 5-second Test Tool.

This message testing method involves showing participants a message (such as an advertisement or website landing page) for only a couple of seconds, and asking them questions about what they remember or what stood out to them. 

5-second tests are perfect to help you find out whether your message is clear, memorable, and engaging enough to capture the attention of your target audience in a short amount of time. 

Prototype Testing

Prototype testing involves creating a preliminary version of your message (such as a website or app prototype) and testing how participants interact with it. Participants are asked to perform tasks related to your message and provide feedback on their experience. 

This can help you identify any usability issues, confusion, or areas for improvement in your messaging. 

To conduct prototype user testing, you can use tools like InVision or Figma and UXtweak. All you have to do is paste the link to your prototype to UXtweak, set up a study and send it out to the participants.

This can help you refine your messaging and improve the overall user experience.

Conduct Message Testing with UXtweak

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Conduct Message Testing with UXtweak

Wrapping up

We hope this article was helpful and introduced you to all the various ways how you cat test the messaging of your own product!

This research method can help teams save time and resources by eliminating ineffective messaging before deployment, increasing engagement, and ensuring the delivery of the right message to the right audience. And with the right tools mentioned above, you can set up a message test in a matter of minutes.

Register for your free account at UXtweak and use it to conduct message tests for your product!

Message Testing

What is messaging testing?

Messaging testing evaluates how engaging and compelling messages are in terms of the target customer’s response. It involves testing different messages to measure how well they resonate with customers and generate desired customer behaviors. 

This testing helps to gather insights into customer preferences, reaction times, clicks, views, engagement level, and other metrics that provide valuable information for honing messaging to best meet customer needs.

How do you test your message?

You can conduct message testing in 4 simple steps:

  1. Prepare the message
  2. Choose the message testing method
  3. Prepare the questions
  4. Conduct the test and analyze the results

There are multiple different ways to test your message, including using user testing tools like UXtweak or conducting quantitative research to measure copywriting performance.

What is an example of message testing?

Message testing is a research technique used to evaluate the effectiveness of a message in communicating a specific idea or concept. An example of message testing can be coming up with two different versions of taglines for a new product and analyzing which one performs better.

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