Posted by randfish
It takes a lot of time to put together a marketing plan, a landing page, or even a full web app. Wouldn't it be nice to know if what you are building is going to be successful?
In this week's Whiteboard Friday, we will be cover the tools and tactics that you can use to test your product before it launches. Please leave your own methods and feedback in the comments below!
Howdy, SEOmoz fans and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we're talking about tools and tactics to test your product and marketing before you launch it, before you invest in it.
The reason this is so important is because you're going to take a lot of time and effort to put together a marketing plan, to put together a landing page, to put together a product, to put together an entire website. A lot of the time, before you launch, you get this feeling like, man, is this thing going to really work? I don't know if it's going to take off. I want to be sure.
This is exactly why you need these types of tactics because you're going to build something. You're going to make that investment, but if you can learn a lot about your customers, about the visitors who are coming to you, about your percentage of conversion, about how much people like the product, about what they're going to do, if you can get that critical feedback before you actually launch, you're going to do so much better. This ranges all the way from how you title a blog post to a full launch of a software product or a physical product in the real world or whatever it is that you're marketing and making.
So, number one, this is very, very common, but a lot of people still don't use it, which is before you invest in all of the organic inbound marketing channels, things like SEO and social media and content marketing and doing press outreach and outreach to bloggers, all of this stuff, you can actually buy keywords through PPC just by flipping on an AdWords account, flipping on a Bing account, and then sending traffic from the search results over to your web page.
Now, the thing about this is you need to have a functional page here, but it doesn't have to be complete. What you really want to understand is you want to understand how interested are these visitors in my potential product? This doesn't necessarily require building out the full feature set, building out the full product.
In fact, we can do number two, beta launch pages. So what this is, is essentially saying here is a teaser. In this page, I'm going to put a teaser of the product that I'm going to build, but it's not yet ready. I will build it soon, or I'll have it launched soon. Sign up to get the email invitation and maybe leave us some feedback about the wire frames or the comp screens that we've shown here. Or ask them two or three survey questions on this beta sign-up page. You can embed something from Google. You could embed a Survey Monkey survey. The Google hosted apps has got a survey that you can embed on web pages.
Whatever it is, you can get that feedback by buying traffic to this page or earning it and building out merely a launch page that says, "Yes, I will build this in the future." If you get that feedback that's basically, boy, we got 1,200 visitors to the page and only 6 of them filled out that they wanted the email and the rest bounced. There's something wrong with this. There's something wrong with the product. There's something wrong with how the page is selling the product. People are not excited about it. The people you thought would be most interested in this, the ones who are searching for exactly what you're trying to build, are not interested, and that's a really bad sign. But knowing that before you invest all of that engineering effort and architecting effort and production effort and the launch is so much better than launching blind.
Number three, you can actually do this and apply it, not just to products but to blog posts, to content, to viral content, to an infographic, to a video, to whatever you want by running surveys, simple surveys of your users or your friends or a beta test list or you can use anonymous lists. You could try something like Mechanical Turk or a FIVERR – we'll talk about those in a second – to test that viral content or even to give you preferences of topics and headlines.
So I could run a survey that's headline one and headline two and headline three, and oh look, most of my users said they liked headline two. That's the one I'm going to go with. That's the one that clearly has got the best launch potential, and I can use that survey data to say, "Oh, this is the right thing to do," and therefore increase my chances of having that viral impact.
Number four, the final one here, there are some great tools that you can use to get this testing up front, and this is not just testing necessarily for a headline or for an app, but to test landing pages and their performance, to test a marketing campaign or a message, even to test the usability of websites. I urge you to give these a try, so Feedback Army, this is something that SEOmoz's own Joanna Lord likes a lot, Five Second Test.
You can buy users on FIVERR to perform more complicated tasks. This is $5 a task, but a lot of people will volunteer their time, and you can certainly put up ads saying, "Hey, for five bucks I want you to go run through this whole app and give me all these feedback pieces." For 50 bucks, you can get 10 people giving you serious, intensive feedback. Silverback App. There are a few other ones that will let you do this as well.
Now, the process here is less about which specific tool you use and what you use it for and more the idea. What I want you to take away from this is that you don't have to do the full launch to get feedback and know how things are going to perform. You can do early, up front testing, make something people want, and then see it perform in the wild in a wonderful, wonderful way.
All right, everyone. Thanks for joining me for this edition of Whiteboard Friday. See you again next week.
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