Message Mapping: What Is It and How to Create One?

Message Mapping: What Is It and How to Create One? cover

How can message mapping support your company’s communication with customers and drive product engagement?

This is one of the questions we answer in this article. We also show you how to create a message map for your SaaS!

Let’s get to it!


  • A message map is a document outlining what and how the organization should communicate with customers, aimed at helping teams articulate a clear and consistent message about the product.
  • Utilizing message mapping ensures all team members’ alignment in their communication across various channels. This establishes a clear and cohesive brand message and increases brand credibility.
  • Message maps allow organizations to differentiate themselves effectively from competitors by creating clear and distinct messaging that highlights the brand’s or product’s unique value proposition.
  • Message maps contribute to an improved customer experience and drive satisfaction by tailoring product messages to address relevant user needs and pain points and setting realistic expectations.
  • A message map typically includes a core message, supporting points, proof points, target audience, brand voice, and guidance on tailoring messages for different marketing channels.
  • The process involves researching the target audience’s problems, needs, and motivations, and creating user personas representing key customer segments.
  • Conducting competitor analysis enables you to identify key differentiators and identify effective messaging strategies.
  • Use customer and market research insights to clarify your value proposition, focusing on how the product addresses customer needs and stands out from competitors.
  • When creating the message map, focus on clear and accessible design and format.
  • Integrating the brand’s tone of voice into the message map is crucial for consistency and reflecting the brand’s personality and values across all communications.
  • Once created, the message map should be shared with relevant stakeholders across the organization.
  • It’s important to test messages with a sample of users and use A/B and multivariate tests to gauge their effectiveness and refine them based on engagement.
  • Message maps should be continuously updated to reflect changes in the product, customer needs, and the competitive landscape.
  • Want to see how Userpilot can help you with message mapping? Book the demo!

What is a message map?

A message map is a document outlining what and how the organization should communicate to the outside world.

Message maps serve as a guide for product managers and customer-facing teams on how to articulate a clear, consistent, and compelling product and company message.

What is the importance of message mapping?

Message maps bring multiple benefits. Let’s explore 3 main ones.

Consistent and clear communication

Message mapping ensures that all team members are on the same page regarding how to talk about the product. Thanks to that communication across various channels, like in-app messages, marketing materials, support resources, or social media, is consistent and aligned.

This consistency allows you to establish a clear and cohesive brand or product experience. This prevents customer confusion and increases brand credibility, which is essential for long-term customer relationships.

Competitive edge through differentiation

Message maps allow organizations to differentiate themselves effectively from competitors.

That’s because clear and distinct messaging can help the target audience understand the unique value proposition of the brand or product better and make it more memorable.

Optimized customer experience and satisfaction

Message maps contribute to positive customer experience and drive satisfaction.

They help teams tailor product messages so that they address relevant user needs and pain points.

It also ensures that you communicate clearly what the product can do and what it can’t. This sets realistic expectations and helps avoid customer dissatisfaction.

What are the key elements of message mapping?

A message map typically includes:

  • One core message – the central idea or the main message about the product; it’s usually a concise statement that conveys the product’s unique value proposition or the main benefit it offers to customers.
  • Supporting points – key points that support, explain, or elaborate on the core message; they often include features, key benefits, and differentiators that make the product stand out in the target market.
  • Proof points – data, case studies, testimonials, or other forms of evidence that support the message; they provide credibility to the claims you make about the product.
  • Target audience – who the audience is and how to tailor messages for different segments.
  • Brand voice – the tone and style of communication that resonates with the target audience and makes the messaging engaging and appropriate.
  • Marketing channels – guidance on what channels are best for different target audience segments and how to tailor messages for each of them.

How to create an effective message map?

Creating a message map is a methodical process. We’ve created a 9-step guide to help you navigate it.

1. Research your target audience

The first step when building a message map is customer research.

The purpose of the research is to identify the key pain points, needs, preferences, and motivations of your customers. These are the points you will address in your messaging.

In addition to these, data on their demographics, like age, professional background, or geographical location, can be useful when defining customer personas.

Finally, customer research is an opportunity to capture the language your target audience uses so that you can emulate it in your communications.

To collect the data, you can run surveys (email and in-app), conduct interviews and focus groups, and analyze their conversations with your customer-facing teams.

In-app surveys to inform message mapping
In-app surveys to inform message mapping.

2. Create personas for different customer segments

The second step in message map development is creating user personas representing the key user segments. Personas help you understand your audience and empathize with them. Planning communication with an actual person is more focused.

What details should you include about your personas?

  • Bio – their imaginary name, title/company/industry, favorite brands. Add a photo to make it more realistic.
  • Goals and KPIs
  • Wants and needs
  • Pain points

Feel free to use Userpilot’s template below to create user personas for your SaaS product.

User persona template
User persona template.

3. Conduct competitor analysis to study their messaging

Competitor analysis is the next step in the message-mapping development process.

Through competitor analysis, you can identify features or benefits that set your product apart from others in the market. It can help you understand what customers expect from the product.

Last but not least, the analysis will give you insights into competitors’ messaging strategies – what works and what doesn’t, so that you can improve on them.

If you’re not sure who your competitors are, run a Google search on the keyword that best describes your product, for example, ‘social media management platform’ and see what comes up.

Next, head over to their websites and analyze their content, features, and pricing plans.

Competitor research in Google to inform message mapping
Competitor research in Google to inform message mapping.

4. Clarify your value proposition

Creating a message map is a good opportunity to review and clarify your value proposition.

When explaining why the customers should purchase your product and not your competitors, focus on how it addresses their problems, needs, and desires. Focus not on the features, but the benefits.

Clarifying your value proposition will help you write a compelling positioning statement that resonates with the target audience, differentiates the product in their eyes, and carves out a unique niche for the product in their minds and hearts.

5. Create your own message map

Having done the research and reviewed your value proposition, it’s time to create your message map.

For the document to be effective, make sure it’s designed and formatted in an accessible way. Use colors, visual aids, bullet points, and symbols to convey the hierarchy of ideas and aid understanding.

Start with the core message outlining clearly and succinctly what your product does and how it benefits your customers. Work your way down and list all the key points and supporting details.

Message mapping template. Source: SlideBazaar
Message mapping template. Source: SlideBazaar.

6. Integrate brand tone of voice in key messages

The message map isn’t only about what to say but also how to say this. That’s why it’s vital to integrate your brand’s tone of voice into the map.

Think about it:

You want all the team members involved in the product to use consistent messaging that reflects your brand’s personality and values.

Giving them examples of how to use the language will be much more effective than trying to describe what the tone of voice should be like.

Adjectives like ‘professional’ or ‘conversational’ are too ambiguous, and you shouldn’t expect your teammates to conduct an in-depth analysis of all the existing communications to figure out what they mean. Many of them won’t be able to do it or have the resolve.

7. Share the message map with stakeholders for consistent messaging

When the message map is ready, don’t keep it to yourself!

One of the main purposes of the map is to align messaging across the organization, so share the love with relevant stakeholders.

This includes the marketing, product, customer success, support, and sales team, as well as the organization’s leadership.

The odds are that representatives of each of the key functions were involved in developing the map at one stage or another. Now, make sure that everyone who is involved in communication uses it to craft their messages.

Start by sharing it in a meeting, highlighting its key elements, and make sure it’s easily available, for example, through the company knowledge base or in a shared drive.

8. Test messages to gauge their effectiveness

No matter how well-researched and thought-through your message map is, there’s no guarantee that your colleagues will nail every single message. Even if they follow the guidelines to the T, some communications may not resonate so well with customers.

That’s why it’s important to test your messages with a small sample of users before releasing them to a wider audience.

A/B and multivariate tests are an effective method to do this.

Start by selecting a representative user sample. Your analytics platform or CRM system can help.

Next, create multiple messages and send them simultaneously to equal subgroups in the sample and track their performance. Choose the one that drives the biggest engagement.

Message A/B testing
Message A/B testing.

9. Continuously update your message maps

Message mapping is not a one-off exercise.

As your product evolves, customer needs and preferences change, and the competitive landscape shifts, your communication needs will change as well.

For example, you may expand into another market with competitors offering similar benefits to your product and you will have to adjust your messaging to effectively differentiate your product.

As you identify new needs and challenges, make sure to update your map to reflect them.

Message mapping with Userpilot

Userpilot is a product growth platform with advanced analytics and feedback features that you can leverage for message mapping.

Userpilot’s analytics enable in-depth customer behavior analysis, which gives teams a deeper understanding of user needs and pain points.

Userpilot heatmap analysis
Userpilot heatmap analysis.

You can gain further insights by collecting customer feedback via in-app surveys and the feedback widget. Apart from ideas, they also allow you to capture the voice of your customers that you could later replicate in your communications.

Userpilot survey templates.

It gets even better.

With Userpilot’s AI writing assistant, you can refine your message and microcopy and run A/B tests to compare their impact.

A/B testing in Userpilot
A/B testing in Userpilot.


Initially, message mapping may seem like a pointless exercise and a waste of time.

However, a thoroughly researched and well-designed message map is priceless. It enables organizations to communicate effectively and consistently with their customers at all stages of the customer journey.

If you’d like to learn more about Userpilot and how it can help you design a solid message map, book the demo!

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