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Good Characters: Message Variable Best Practices


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Best PracticesBrand Experience
Published 05/23/23
6 minutes read

Conversica’s variable-based conversation architecture makes it easy to personalize the messaging your Revenue Digital Assistant™ sends. But that doesn’t mean anything goes.

Some messaging choices perform better than others—and with more than a billion interactions under our AI belt, we’ve seen and analyzed it all.

Today, we’re looking at some of the top-performing message variables from our users and what sets them apart.

Analysis Background

We found the top and bottom-performing message variables by pulling lead metrics and evaluating them based on the highest and lowest Conversation Rates, Conversation Qualified Rates, and unsubscribes.

We looked at variables for:

  • Conversation Starter
  • Informational Statement
  • Product Description
  • Question Goal

Variables with fewer than 100 messaged leads were removed from the sample. The 10 message variable phrases with the highest Conversation Rate, the 10 with the highest Conversation Qualified Rate, and the 10 with the lowest unsubscribe rate made up the list of top-performing message variables. The 10 message variable phrases with the lowest Conversation Rate, the 10 with the lowest Conversation Qualified Rate, and the 10 with the highest unsubscribe rate made up the list of bottom-performing message variables.

We assessed the variables based on a few factors to identify best practices, including character and word counts, repeating words, use of pronouns, and use of filler words.

Conversation Starters

The Conversation Starter is your RDA’s opening line in the message. It’s a great opportunity to help them sound more human and reflect brand tone & voice.

Character and Word Count Best Practices for Conversation Starters

Top performing conversation starters had fewer characters and words


Performance Averages for Sample of Conversation Starter Variables

Performance of best and worst conversation starters

Examples of Top-Performing Conversation Starters

  • “Thank you for choosing [Company Name] to help you achieve your [Category Name] goals!”
  • “Thank you for your continued support of [Organization Name]!”
  • “We look forward to cheering on the [Team Name] with you during the homestretch of the regular season!”
  • “You still have money on file with the [Team Name] from past seasons.”
  • “I hope you are getting excited for the 2022 MLS Season.”
  • “I hope you are having a great day.”

Best Practices for Conversation Starters

  • Conversation Starters in the range of 60-90 characters and 9-20 words perform the best. Limit conversation starters to 100 characters. It’s meant to be brief and used as your greeting and should not include any offerings.
  • Offerings and specifics should be utilized in other variables like the Product Description and/or Informational Statement.
  • Conversation Starters should be attention-grabbing and positive. This will draw in your lead to read more.
  • Negative Conversation Starters resulted in less engagement and increased unsubscribes.
  • Reduce the total number of words and avoid filler words, run-on sentences or large paragraphs in messaging.
  • Shorter Conversation Starter variables that start with “I hope,” “I understand” or “I’m glad” were among the top performers.

Product Descriptions

The Product Description variable details what your RDA is promoting to the leads in the conversation.

Character and Word Count Best Practices for Product Description

Brevity and clarity is important for product descriptions


Performance Averages for Sample of Product Description Variables

Best and worst performing product description performance

Examples of Top-Performing Product Descriptions:

  • “a wholesale account with us”
  • “a boat at [Company Name]”
  • “[Product Name]”
  • “renew your seats for next season”
  • “our products and services related to ______, ______ and ______”

Best Practices for Product Description:

  • Shorter Product Description variables perform the best. We recommend keeping your product description under 60 characters and briefly describing the product or product name.
  • This variable should not contain too many descriptive words or do anything other than talk about a product or service.
  • Product Descriptions that started with the words “a quick call,” “a quick chat,” “a discussion,” “learning about,” or “a platform” had low Conversation and Conversation Qualified Rates.

Informational Statements

The Informational Statement generally gets to the heart of why you’re reaching out to the lead. What do you want to happen as a result of this interaction?

Character and Word Count Best Practices for Informational Statement

Best practices for informational statement length

Performance Averages for Sample of Informational Statement Variables

Performance for best and worst informational statements

Examples of Top-Performing Informational Statements:

  • “I see you’re interested in speaking to sales and I am happy to forward you to one of our representatives.”
  • “Let me know how we can help you and I can get your inquiry to the right person.”
  • “To ensure you remain up-to-date on your season ticket account, please contact your representative directly or go online to update your method of payment.”
  • “Ensure your season ticket membership is not interrupted and you can watch your WCF Champions all season long!”

Best Practices for Informational Statements:

  • Informational statements should follow the character and word count suggestions above. This variable should not exceed 200 characters.
  • Pain point approach: state the possible pain points for the lead and how you can help.
  • The Informational Statement should be used to talk up your brand and show how you can provide value to the lead. Make sure it is direct, clear, and concise.
  • If your Informational Statement references a promotion, avoid mentioning any specific dates. The Informational Statement should not be date-specific because it could be sent out to leads after the end date for the promotion has passed.
  • Make sure that the words and phrases you use in your Informational Statements aren’t repeated within your own phrasing or elsewhere in the email. For example, if you wanted to include the phrase, “Please let me know if this is the right email,” this phrasing would be repetitive, because the question that follows in the email also asks, “Is this a good email address to send information to?”
  • Avoid asking questions in your Informational Statement or including any phrasing that could be answered like a question. This can cause your assistant to be less accurate because leads may answer the question in your Informational Statement instead of the question your AI expects them to answer. This can result in miscategorized leads.

Question Goals

The Question Goal is what you’re offering to the lead as a next step—a piece of content, a link, a demo, more information, etc.

Character and Word Count Best Practices for Question Goals

Best practices for question goals


Performance Averages for Sample of Question Goal Variables

Performance metrics for question goal

Examples of Top-Performing Question Goals:

  • “a link to our demo to learn more”
  • “a link to view our [Description] online resources”
  • “more information about [Product Name]”

Best Practices for Question Goal:

  • The question goal variables that contain more pronouns perform better than question goal variables without pronouns, especially when discussing a particular link. For example, question goals like “a link to our instructions” or “a link to download our app” perform better than question goal variables like “a link to the Report” or “a link to schedule a free demo.”
  • For Drive Action: Standalone conversations where the RDA is driving the lead towards a meeting, clients should use the Question Goal variable and not the Product Description variable.
  • Impersonal words do not get as much engagement and filler words aren’t necessary.

The Takeaway

These best practices help improve leads’ likelihood to engage in conversation and turn hot, and reduce likelihood of unsubscribes.

Of course, even following every one of these tips to the letter won’t 100% guarantee success—every company, audience and conversation is unique. But following the example of our top-performing users for naming assistants, messaging cadence, segmentation and more will increase the likelihood that you’ll join their ranks.

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