Message match is the ability for your destination or “landing” page to match the content and messaging of the upstream ad you arrive from. Good message match is the foundation of conversion optimization and helps to ensure a smooth experience for your customers.
Aaaaaaaand here’s an example of how to get it horribly wrong…
While checking my email the other day I spotted a sponsored ad at the top of my Gmail inbox.
The ad was for a Lenovo ThinkPad X301 laptop computer
You can see it below:
I’m a Mac guy these days but I like to check out ads to see if they’ll send me to a decent landing page experience. What I was expecting was a nicely designed, simple landing page with large graphics and specs for the Lenovo X301.
Here’s what I got:
That’s Really Bad Message Match
Not only do they show 5 laptops on the page, but the only one they don’t show is the one they were advertising. WHOOPS!!!
If you’re spending money on paid advertising, you may as well be throwing it directly out the window if you’re designing experiences that bad. The solution? Always use a landing page designed specifically for your advertisement. It may cost you a bit to develop the page initially, but for a retail company, the template will be the same for much of your product line, and the net result will be a big lift in conversions.
To Make Matters Worse
Not only was that a terrible landing page experience, but the page had a big banner at the top of it advertising something else. You can’t expect to have measurable campaigns if all you do is drive your customers in circles from one page or promo to the next. Keep it simple and keep it focused.
Driving it Home – A Bad Christmas Message Match Example
You may have seen this video as it’s done the rounds, but it exemplifies the concept of poor message match.
Mini spoiler alert – they give her a gift inside a box of Swiffer Wet Jet refills. You need to get about 0:30 seconds through for main idea.
In this example there is a happy ending, but if the father hadn’t suggested she open the box she would have written it off as a bad present and probably gone upstairs to cry.
Parents can be so mean. Remember to treat your customers to a better experience this Christmas.