How to Test Your Customer Communications to Use Language That SellsMarch 26, 2023 - 11 minutes read
Building trust and inspiring engagement with better content.
When it comes to promoting your business and connecting with your customers, content is still one of the planet’s most powerful marketing tools.
Did you know? Good content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less.
But to create a real impact with your content and consumer communications, you have to speak in a way that is natural, conversational, and strikes a chord with your audience. In short, you have to speak your customers’ language.
Testing your content and communications is one of the most effective ways of earning the best results from your consumer communications—from blog posts to email, social media, online chat, helpdesks, and beyond.
Let’s explore the best ways of testing your customer communications and speaking to your customers the right way.
Why speaking your customers’ language counts
Gone are the days when a plastic promotional message or ad slogan would generate buzz and, ultimately, sales.
In the retail and eCommerce sector, personalizing your content to your audience and using terms or phrases that are natural or familiar will spark engagement and inspire loyalty.
Speaking in the right tone and voice will help you cut through the noise, establish authority in your niche, and earn a healthy return on investment (ROI).
Read: 10 tips for improving your customer service content for consumer communication inspiration.
“Our job is not to create content. Our job is to change the world of the people who consume it.” —Andrea Fryrear
How to test your communications and speak your customers’ language
Now that you know why it’s important to speak your customers’ language and test your consumer communications, we’re going to explore tips and approaches you can take to put theory into practice. Let’s get started.
Try some language-based market research
One of the best ways to gauge the phrases, words, and language that will resonate most with your audience is with a little market research.
Conducting language-based marketing research will empower you with direct feedback on your messaging, as well as the specific words or turns of phrases you use.
Hosting online and in-person workshops to specific segments of your audience will allow your consumers to give engagement ratings (typically on a scale of 1-5, although you can set this up in a way that works best for your business) while choosing their favorite version of a specific piece of content.
You can do this for campaign content or consumer messaging across channels, including:
- Email communications
- Paid advertising content
- Blog content
- Campaign hooks or taglines
- Customer service content
- Product, web, or landing page copy
- Mobile app content
You can carry out language-based customer support content for every type of customer communication imaginable. Select snippets or examples you want to test, choose the right audience segment, and start gathering that feedback.
Read: How proper customer segmentation can lead to more sales for practical advice on how to group your customers.
Take to social media
Another effective way of testing your customer communications for success is by trying a little social listening.
By looking at your competitors and exploring how their followers interact with them, you can build a solid profile of general conversational tone as well as common words and phrases. Searching for trending topics and relevant hashtags will also help you connect with active social media conversations and take note of language.
Compile your research into a document along with your market research feedback, and you will have a library of intelligence to work with when creating your customer communications.
Read: A small business owner’s guide to social listening to get started with your language collection efforts.
Do a little split testing
Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is a powerful means of understanding which messages and word combinations drive the best results.
With A/B testing, you can create two versions of a piece of content and run both to see which one performs best. You can use A/B testing platforms to gather performance data and decide which words, phrases, and sections of text are driving the most engagement and producing the best results.
This beginner’s guide to A/B testing will help you get things off the ground and gather performance data on your consumer communications.
“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.”—Peter Sondergaard
Set up feedback loops
Setting up concrete feedback loops will give you the means to connect with consistent insights based on your communications and specific pieces of content.
Feedback loops are processes that allow you to gather insights on your content or the performance of your content after an interaction. Feedback loops come in many forms and will push you to keep evolving your communications to meet the needs of your audience head-on.
Here are some examples of feedback loops for your inspiration:
- Incentives (discount codes or discounts) for providing communication ratings in emails
- Feedback and rating forms after a helpdesk, online chat, or purchasing interaction
- Regular meetings to discuss content performance insights and market research feedback to plan future initiatives
- Customer follow-up calls to speak to consumers directly, ask questions, and gather comms-based feedback after certain interactions
Set up feedback loops that work for you and your retail or eCommerce business. You will enjoy a steady stream of intelligence for improving your communications, in addition to showing your customers that you value their feedback. This, in turn, will build trust.
Read: How to scale your business with user-generated content for tips on using positive feedback to your advantage.
Sweat your data
By working with all of your available data sources, you will be able to get to know your customers on a deeper level.
Knowing more about your customers’ interests, behaviors, and browsing patterns will give you the tools to craft content and communications that hit the mark. Look at all of the data sources you have at your disposal and start sweating the information as much as you can.
By looking at content that has performed the best over certain timeframes as well as certain consumer interactions, you will be able to streamline your communications in a way that drives the best results for your business.
Here are two resources that will help you on your journey:
- A step-by-step guide to creating buyer personas for your business
- A guide to using data to improve your business’s eCommerce strategy
Collate your language insights
Once you’ve started gaining momentum, you can gather all of your research and feedback insights into one document or platform.
Collating insights will give everyone in the business the tools to craft content that wins. Plus, having central access to your discoveries and data will help you create a content style guide that you can use to make sure that all of your copy and content is 100% consistent across the board.
This hand-picked guide will tell you all you need to know to create a word-popping style guide:
“Traditional marketing talks at people. Content marketing talks with them.”—Doug Kessler
Today’s successful retail and eCommerce brands work to provide their customers with a sense that they are engaging with a real person regardless of where they are in their journey or the channel they’re using.
Speaking to your customers conversationally and in a way that sounds familiar is pivotal to offering a brand experience that results in engagement, loyalty, and growth.
In addition to the top tips above, to level up your consumer communications, you should:
- Write as if you were speaking out loud
- Ensure language and style consistency across channels
- Break up long streams of information into bullet points where possible
- Use marketing action words to create excitement and urgency
- Always ensure your words offer value or help solve a problem
We hope this guide helps you level up your consumer communications and accelerate your business growth. Work through these tips step by step, and you will have an effective language testing strategy that will work in all possible scenarios.
We wish you the best of luck, and for more brand-boosting tips for your retail or eCommerce business, check out our essential guide on creating effective content ideas.