There are many ways to test customer acceptance of a digital or physical product offering concept or service. Some marketers use focus groups while others use mailing lists and surveys. The internet has provided yet another platform for evaluating new product acceptance that involves landing pages. A product landing page is a web page designed to promote or sell a product. It can also be designed with the purpose of converting visitors into leads. This works by offering something valuable to the visitor, such as an ebook or free guide, in exchange for filling out a form that provides contact information. Visitors come across a product landing page after clicking on a paid ad, through a link in an email newsletter, by clicking on a social media post, or after clicking on a search result.
A product landing page can sell any type of product. Landing pages aren’t just for e-commerce. They can be used to sell courses, memberships, physical products, services, software, coaching, consulting, or pretty much anything else. You can also test: business model concepts; service ideas; product feature ideas; sales funnel ideas. In this blog, I will focus on physical product landing page testing but the following thoughts can also apply to any type of product or concept.
A great product landing page provides a dedicated space where traffic from other marketing channels like paid ads, social media posts, or marketing emails can be sent to become buyers. Think of a product landing page as a virtual elevator pitch for the product offering. Each landing page should contain everything a visitor needs to know to make a purchasing decision.
Step 1: Refine the product concept offering by focusing on the target market need. In other words, customers don’t buy products or services … they purchase outcomes and aspirations. Instead of selling the product’s features, the landing page story might focus on outcomes obtained from using the product … outcomes like: better sleep or faster pain relief. The landing page must reference the target audience’s needs and pain-points otherwise, the offer won’t resonate with them. No matter how great the idea, it won’t get validated if you can’t communicate the concept offering clearly to the visiting audience. The landing page must showcase three information points:
- The problem/pain-point that the product offering solves;
- The benefits and unique selling propositions (USP) of the product offering;
- How the product offering answers the visitor’s need.
Be sure to refine the concept offering into a 30-second elevator pitch (the “Hook” followed by the“Story” which is followed by the “Ask/call-to-action”). Test the pitch with friends & family that fit the target market to insure it makes sense.
Step 2: Build a landing page. Landing pages are quick and inexpensive to set up. It’s a big reason why they’re a popular testing tool. Because I recommend starting this testing method during the vetting stage before the final product is finalized, the branding or visual design of the page is less important than the offer for now. If you feel comfortable creating your own landing page from scratch, go for it by using platforms like WordPress.! However, using a page building tool can be an easier and quicker option. You can also use a page builder like: Swipe Pages; Leadpages; Unbounce.
The landing page headline and story content have two distinctive functions. The headline should capture the visitor’s attention and pique their interest further. It should be a bold, problem-focused “hook” (to use an elevator pitch term). Address the visitors directly, appeal to their emotional side, and clearly describe the user top pain point the product will solve. In this way, the headline will convey the value of what is offered and maximize the chances of the visitor taking action. If your elevator pitch unique selling proposition (USP) can be boiled down to 10 words or less, make it your headline.
The story content gives the visitor a taste of the solution and keeps them wanting more information (think elevator pitch “Story”). The headline might capture the visiting audience’s attention, but it’s the story content that explains the real value of the product offering. Match the story copy length to the product that is being sold. More complex or expensive products need more explanation and detail to convert the visitor to act. At the same time, short copy works best for inexpensive or straightforward products that require minimal explanation.
People want to see and experience the product they’re thinking about buying. So, visualize the offering for the visiting prospect. Remember, humans respond to visual data far more quickly than text … up to 60,000 times faster. Using high-quality product images and video can evoke a more emotional response. It gives a more tangible experience … all of which is crucial when the visitors can’t handle the product and see it like they can in a retail store. So, try a mix of imagery on your product landing page. Videos can help explain complex products or demonstrate features and outcomes. Original or stock images can engage visitors’ emotions and build trust.
Research has found that people trust recommendations from strangers almost as much as they believe recommendations from people they know. It’s a phenomenon known as Social Default Bias … take advantage of this bias in the product landing pages. Adding third-party endorsement (sometimes called social proofing) to a product landing page helps build trust with skeptical visitors and maximizes the chances of responding to the call-to-action (CTA). There are several ways to add social proofing to a landing page: include positive reviews from users; embedded tweets, Instagram posts, or other social media posts people share about the product idea. Include testimonials with names and photos of happy users; maybe even add counters or popups indicating the number of pre-sales that have been made. By the way, don’t wait until the launch to begin collecting user testimonials and reviews. Even if the product isn’t yet available (as in, a “coming soon” landing page), you can always give early access or a preview of the product to social media influencers, friends and colleagues, journalists, or anyone else who might provide feedback or endorse the product. That way, when launching the product, there will be plenty of third-party endorsements ready to list on your introduction announcement landing page.
The thing that makes landing pages a reliable product offering test is that people take action (think about the elevator pitch “Ask or call-to-action”). It’s a form of commitment. Once the visiting audience is primed and ready, make sure it’s as easy for them to actually make that commitment. Remember, the call-to-action (CTA) on a product landing page is not just a “buy” button. Your CTA might be adding their email address for notification when the product available. Your CTA should consist of everything a potential customer needs if you are asking for a pre-order … remember, someone may be giving you money before your product offering is ready. Even if someone enters an email address to get on your waitlist, that is still a significant commitment. Essentially, they are permitting you to pitch the product once it is ready. Those on the waitlist may purchase the product offering as soon as it is available. Someone willing to sign up for a waitlist is more reliable than someone telling you what you want to hear in a focus group. The call-to-action (CTA) should be direct and concise using first-person language.
Step 3: Stay in contact with the prospect. Whether you’ve set up the landing page for pre-orders, a waitlist, or just an email list for more information, regularly keep in touch with the prospect audience. When the time comes to make available the product offering, the prospect audience should be primed to purchase. However, they won’t if you ghost them. The ROI of mailing lists is the strongest when you regularly keep in contact. Remember that mailing list etiquette still applies.
Newsletters offer one way to reach the visitor audience but even informational emails or regular mail postcards can work. Regular communication can be a source of useful information. Get a better understanding of your target market needs by asking them about it. Send them surveys. Conduct interviews. Find out exactly what attracted them to the offer and how it can be made better. Your prospect audience can also make fantastic testers. If you’re working on a new toothbrush, invite them to be a user or beta-tester. If you’re writing a book, invite some of them to review your transcript for feedback. Your audience prospects are the perfect contributors to help improve the product.
Step 4: Refine and iterate the landing page thru testing. It’s a good idea to refine and re-test the landing page. It’s hard to get the offer perfect on the first try. Testing variations of an offer and landing page will vet your product idea and the presentation content. In other words, iterating your product concept and landing page content will help you make a “go/no-go” decision. But what makes up good results? A rule of thumb is to aim for 25% conversion rates and 100 opt-ins. Anything better and you’re doing exceptionally well.
If you’re getting low traffic and poor results, your priority should be to get more visitors to the landing page. Make sure it’s optimized for organic search (SEO), even if you promote the page on social media or by using paid ads. Test your sales funnel to ensure a no-friction and positive experience. Last but not least, don’t forget to check that it looks great on all devices (tablet, desktop, mobile).
Then, re-evaluate your conversion rates. However, if you’re seeing good traffic flow but not the conversion rates you’re hoping for, iterate on the landing page. For example, maybe the product unique value propositions should focus on a different pain point? Only after you’ve tested several refinement iterations and are still getting poor conversion rates should you evaluate whether the whole business concept is a no-go.
As you can see, using a landing page to test a new product concept isn’t complicated but it requires knowledge of the target market and a refined business concept. All of this is obtained when vetting your business concept. The whole landing page process can be summarized in four steps. All it takes is well thought out content, a few presentation iterations, and you can swiftly identify if you’re sitting on the next billion-dollar product idea. Now, all you have to do is get some visitors to that landing page!
For more thoughts, view the free video “How to Research Your Business Model Concept” and be sure to get the book “Small Business Thoughts Real-Time Strategic Planning” on Apple Books.
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