Message match is when the message from one part of your funnel matches what the user sees when they land on the next part of your funnel.
Basically, message match means being consistent from start to finish. While message match mostly relies on the words involved, you can amplify the match with subliminal cues like color, font, images, and other design elements. A strong message match helps you increase conversions by reassuring visitors they are in the right place, which subconsciously builds trust in both you and your offer.
As hard as we work to get attention on our offers, message matching helps us keep more of that attention all the way through the process.
Why Is Message Match So Important?
Attention. Or lack thereof, really.
As you know, a confused mind does not take action. This is true at every stage of your funnel, in every funnel, in every part of your business. Message match reduces confusion in direct and indirect ways.
So you can keep the attention you do get and…
Earn their trust.
Aside from common sense, trust is the most important factor online. You need to deliver what you promise. And that starts way before anyone clicks Buy Now or Schedule a Consultation.
Clarify Your Main Message Parts
This is where the Storybrand framework really comes in handy. By identifying all 7 parts of the framework, you’ll have the building blocks for your entire funnel. Better yet, it will be easy to remain consistent and achieve the message matching your funnel needs.
- Who is the hero [your customer]?
- What do they want?
- What problem do they have that is keeping them from getting what they want? And how does having the problem make them feel?
- What is your plan for helping them solve the problem and get what they want
- What is the call to action [your CTA]?
- What does success look like for the hero [your customer]?
- What does failure look like? What happens if they don’t solve the problem?
Answer these questions as succinctly as possible and keep them handy as you create all the parts of your funnel.
Great Message Match Examples
Here is a Google ad for email marketing service:
And the landing page:
This is great message matching. The ad saysKlaviyo Email Marketing and the page nearly screams Email Marketing.
Here is a Facebook ad from Digital Marketer. (And btw, I should note that my level of expectation is really high with Digital Marketer…I mean, they TEACH marketing, after all, so they should definitely have great message match.)
And here is where you land when you click Learn More:
GREAT job! It doesn’t get much better than this.
Poor Message Match Examples
Here is another ad for email marketing service:
Which leads to this page:
This is a poor message match because none of the words are the same. The user has to read and think a little too hard to understand that they landed in the right place. There is a weak link between email marketing in the ad and marketing […] email in the landing page headline, but that’s it.
Also, notice that the keyword phrase (email marketing service) doesn’t show up in either the ad or the landing page copy. There is always the chance that email marketing service is not the primary keyword phrase they were targeting, but something is off somewhere, for sure.
Here’s a surprisingly poor message match. Surprising because it’s from a company that TEACHES marketing. I suppose that proves no one is perfect, eh?
Here is the ad (seen on Facebook):
And here is where you land when you click Learn More:
Apparently, Ryan doesn’t know about message match, either. This is not a total fail, but it’s close. That first gray block at the bottom has the match, but it’s not conspicuous enough. Worse, it’s far enough down the page that depending on the device you’re using, you’d have to scroll to see it.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Message match needs to be instantaneous!
Considering what type of device is likely to be in use is part of it, too. This ad was on Facebook. Lots of people use their phones to scroll through social media, and if you tapped this ad on your phone, how many swipes up would have to do to see that first gray block?!
No Message Match Example
And yet another ad for email marketing service:
And the landing page it takes you to:
Uh…no. I am most definitely NOT ready to talk. About what? There is seriously no clue on this page about what this company does or what they sell — much less any message match with their ad.
With a cost-per-click of $67.07 for this keyword phrase, Braze has got to be burning money like firewood running this ad! Yikes!
There is not a single connective element between the ad and this page except the word Braze. No mention of email, email marketing, or an email marketing service. Total fail.
Pay Attention to User Intent
Your conversion rates — whatever the conversion you’re after — will also suffer if you don’t consider user intent. That’s actually part of what’s wrong with the Blaze example above.
My search term was email marketing service. My intent was to research email marketing services, not sign up. So when I clicked through to that landing page, I was expecting to find information about pricing, features, limits, etc. to add to my research. Instead, I found this over-eager nonsense.
When you’ve got someone wanting information about your product or service, do you ask them to buy? No! You give them the information they want. Duh!
It’s true that we can’t always determine user intent, but there are almost always clues available. Even if you get everything else right, not matching user intent can kill your conversions. The Braze ad is a great example of why.
Building trust is the name of the game for every online business. Message matching helps to build trust from the very first point of contact. Whether your funnel’s point of entry is an ad on Facebook or you send an email, people show their trust with that first click. The more they see what they expect with each click, the more likely it is they’ll keep clicking all the way through your funnel.
This is why it’s important to map out your customer journey. You need to know all those points along the way that will need to ‘match’ to reinforce the trust you’re earning. Not only from your potential customer, but from Google, too.
The bottom line? When they click, what they see when they land had better match the message that sent them there.