Are you tired of pouring your heart and soul into a product only to have it met with silence and zero sales?
Fear not, for we are here to unveil the secret sauce to ensure that you never launch to crickets again! It’s all about product validation, a critical step in your entrepreneurial journey.
Let’s explore three powerful ways to validate your digital product idea!
What is Product Validation and Why Is It Critical For Success?
Before we dive into the methods, let’s clarify what we mean by “product validation.” In essence, validation means confirming that real people are genuinely interested in buying what you sell. This is crucial because it minimizes the risk of investing your precious time, energy, and resources into an idea that lacks demand.
While it’s great to get followers on social media or a bunch of friendly messages encouraging you, that’s not product validation and 99.9% of the time will NOT lead to sales.
What will lead to sales when you launch your next product? Three things…
Method 1: Asking for Feedback
The first strategy for product validation is simple yet often overlooked—ask for feedback. Engage with your audience via emails, DMs, or social media and present your product ideas to them.
The goal in these conversations is to hear that the problem you want to solve with your offer is met with excitement. While this may seem like common sense, it’s astonishing how infrequently it’s done. Remember, you’re not looking for definitive answers here; instead, you’re gathering qualitative data.
Here are a couple of feedback tips:
- 🧪 Test Your Concepts: Create content that aligns with your product ideas. For instance, if you’re considering a course on motion graphics, publish content related to each concept. Monitor audience engagement and interest to gauge which topic resonates the most.
- 🙋♀️ Surveys and Polls: For more structured feedback, consider sending out surveys using tools like Tally, Typeform, or Google Forms. Ask specific questions about your audience’s pain points, preferences, and what they’re looking for in your product.
- ✨ Dive into Their Aspirations: Pose open-ended questions like, “How would your life change if you knew how to X, Y, and Z (related to your product)?” These responses can provide rich insights and even serve as testimonials down the road.
When you’re in the first stage of product validation (asking for feedback), it’s a great idea to collect and keep that feedback somewhere where you can come back to it. Don’t forget, this is just the first stage of three stages of product validation!
Method 2: Build a Pre-launch List
The second stage of product validation is creating a pre-launch list, a tried-and-true method to assess interest and generate excitement. The steps to building a pre-launch list are:
Create a pre-launch page that captures email addresses
Keep your pre-launch email capture page simple but compelling. Clearly communicate the value of your product and why people should join the pre-launch email list. Include visuals, even if they’re mock-ups, to make your idea more tangible!
Tease a launch date on your pre-launch page
Provide a rough timeline to set expectations, such as “Winter 2023.” This gives potential customers a sense of when they can expect your product.
Should you share the price of your offer or not?
Deciding whether to disclose the price of your offer on your pre-launch page has pros and cons.
- PRO: You attract more highly qualified leads who know the investment.
- CON: Sharing the price might deter those who need more convincing.
- Consider your target audience and decide accordingly!
Promote your pre-launch page everywhere!
Just because you create a pre-launch page DOESN’T mean people will find it randomly! Promote it to your existing audience through social media, interviews, relevant groups, other email lists, etc.
Set a pre-launch list goal
We find that setting a goal amount of email signups for your pre-launch list can help you make a decision to move forward (or not) with your product idea. Aim for an achievable list goal while also taking into account how many sales you hope to get in your first launch. Remember, keep your expectations LOW and know that your first launch is not your last launch!
Method 3: The Pre-Sale Strategy
The third and final stage in your product validation arsenal is the actual pre-sale. This strategy involves offering your product for purchase before it’s even developed!
You’ve built a list of potential interested customers, now it’s time to sell your product to them. You don’t want to just send one sales email and you don’t want to leave the pre-sale open-ended. We recommend a 5-day pre-sale with a discount as these are your very first customers! Send one sales email per day throughout the entire pre-sale period (yes, 5 emails in a 5-day period!)
For your pre-sales page itself, you can simply expand your pre-launch landing page. Add more details, benefits, visuals, and a clear timeline. Don’t skimp on building the pre-sale page out, but overall remember to emphasize the transformation your product/service will create for your customer.
Pre-sales are great because…
- Once people start buying your product during the pre-sale, you’ll be motivated to follow through and deliver on your promises.
- Securing payments upfront gives you the financial resources to develop your product.
- Your pre-sale customers become advocates and early adopters, eagerly awaiting the launch and ready to spread the word.
Be sure to clearly communicate the timeline for product delivery, reinforcing the sense of trust and excitement among your customers. These folks just gave you money for something that doesn’t exist, reward that trust by delivering on your promise to them!
Product Validation Wrap-Up!
Product validation is the essential bridge between a great idea and a successful product launch. By following these three validation methods—asking for feedback, building a pre-launch list, and executing a pre-sale—you’ll not only gauge interest but also gather valuable insights, secure early customers, and create a sense of anticipation.
With these strategies in place, you’re well on your way to launching a product that resonates with a hungry audience, minimizing the risk of launching to silence and zero sales. So, entrepreneurs, validate, launch, and soar to new heights!