Trying to understand what referral marketing program messaging will prompt your advocates into action can be frustrating, confusing, and even contradictory. But optimizing your message for your audience is important. Look at the great American novelist, William Faulkner. Faulkner never wrote for his audience. In fact, in one of his most well-known novels, The Sound and the Fury, he took on the first person persona of a mentally disabled man who had no sense of time. The first sentence was three pages long and gives the reader an instant headache trying to understand it. Now, it’s mostly only read by professors and their ill-fated students.
But the reason behind Faulkner’s foolish, frustrating and frazzling writing still applies to referral marketing messaging today. Faulkner was trying to have his writing structure communicate the feeling of the character. And trust me when I say by the end of the novel I did feel confused, unable to understand anything, and convinced that years have passed since starting the novel. But for a brand this means communicating enthusiasm and excitement.
So how can Faulkner’s many lessons be applied to optimizing your referral marketing program? In four ways.
4 referral marketing program messaging lessons from William Faulkner
1. Make your message unique but not too unique
Faulkner reason for his outrageous writing style was based on his determination to breakaway from tradition and deliver a new kind of novel. Breaking away from tradition and providing a fresh message is something we all strive to do. For the last decade the digital world has been in constant flux. This has resulted in a continual redefining of the status-quo and how we communicate with customers and buyers . But everything has its limits.
I have seen referral emails and registration pages make a message too unique to the point where it becomes confusing. As we learned from Faulkner, that won’t get you engagement. Always choose clarity over trendiness and uncommon word play.
But if you still crave a one-of-a-kind display, try creating unique graphics and images to add in. An example of this is ADP. ADP did a great job at creating unique but specific images that communicated what they wanted advocates to do.
2. Testing referral marketing program messaging might be your best friend
Obviously, focus groups and message testing weren’t exactly around in Faulkners day, otherwise he might have gone in a different direction with his writing. But like how the scientific method is a necessary part of discovery for science, testing your messaging is prudent for anyone with a referral marketing program. The message testing process is similar to the process of the scientific method:
- Research your customer or partner personas
- Construct two different messages
- Display one version for specific period of time and then display the other
- Analyze data
- Ask if either message resonates with the majority of customers or partners
- If the answer is no start again
- If the answer is yes apply that one to your referral marketing program
This process allows you to figure out Go to the full article.