How To Test a Product Idea With a Landing Page

brown and white pomeranian puppy on macbook

Have you ever wondered how successful products come to be? It’s not always because of the idea itself, but also because of the landing page. Testing a product idea is essential in making sure that it is something that people will want. By using a landing page, you can test your idea and see if people are interested in it.

In the article, you’ll learn how to use a landing page to test a product idea step by  step, including scenarios for a fictitious business.

What is a Landing Page

A landing page is a single web page that is designed to capture leads and convert them into customers. Landing pages are typically used to promote a product or service, but they can also be used to generate interest in a new venture, product idea or to drum up support for a cause.

In general, a landing page focuses on only one thing and asks the visitors to take one action.  For example:

    • a fashion retailer can use a landing page as a lead generator for a fashion outfit of the week  
    • a dog trainer can use a landing page to generate leads by offering a free download of an ebook on teaching your dog to sit 1 hour
    • a career coach can use a landing page to generate leads by offering an audio file version of her recent blog post.
    • a digital product designer can use a landing page to create a wait list for a product launch
    • an online teacher can use a landing page to create a wait list for an upcoming course that’s only released once a year

You can see that these landing page examples are for lead generation, but landing pages are also often used to test product ideas before developing an entire website, saving you time and money.   I’ve personally used landing pages to source Beta testers once I have a product ready for user testing.

Sidenote:  for the purpose of saving space, when I refer to a product, it could be a physical product, digital product, an in person service or digital service

sample landing page to test a product idea
Sample Landing Page Image

Benefits of Using a Landing Page for Product Testing

A landing page is a great way to test an idea before investing time and money into developing it. Landing pages are simple to create and can be used to test different aspects of an product idea:

    • identifying the target audience, so the reader knows if they are the right type of person
    • talking about a problem, so the reader can resonate with that problem (making them more interested)
    • offering a solution piques their interest <- these are the people that will provide you the best feedback
    • telling your reader what you’re proposing for a product idea and the call to action (sign up) if they are interested in learning more or possibly beta testing it for you
    • the content of the page is focused with a clear message about one product
    • no navigation, so there’s nothing to distract the reader
    • collect feedback from people regarding what’s important to them and not important to them with your product idea
    • landing pages can be easy to setup if planned out ahead of time
    • for most solopreneurs and small business owners, landing page can be diy’d and there’s no need to hire a website designer
    • you can have landing pages are part of your existing website or on a unique domain name (.com)
    • some email list providers offer landing pages are part of their subscription such as MailerLite
pros and cons, weigh up, to compare-2028471.jpg

Drawbacks of Using a Landing Page for Product Testing

There are a few potential drawbacks to using a landing page for product testing:

    • It can be difficult to measure the effectiveness of a campaign if you’re not tracking visitor behavior or conversion rates.
      • can be solved by using a third party app, some are available for free
    • It can be difficult to get accurate feedback from visitors about the product.
      • this can be minimized by clearly stating what’s expected if you are running a beta testing program
    • You may not be able to get as many visitors as you’d like because landing pages aren’t the best for SEO (search engine optimization), so you have to invest a bit more time manual market research (more on this below). 
      • Social media such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even TikTok (depending on the product) are great places to instantly share the link to your landing page.  This needs to be done effectivily to reach the widest audience without looking spammy, so if you’re already on social platforms, you’re ahead in the game.
      • Platforms such as Pinterest not so much, as it takes Pinterest a few months to index your Pins into their ecosystem.  You need instant access to your target audience so if you want to use Pinterest, consider running promoted pins.
    • Landing pages are not effective for all types of products or services.
      • Some products or services are more effective if they are sold online. And, some products or services are more effective if they are sold offline…BUT, this is all part of the testing 🙂
    • If you’ve never used a landing page to test product ideas before, you may want to take some extra time to learn more about them, so you know what to plan out and what to expect. 
      • Using landing pages to test product ideas isn’t a quick thing to do as with any market research. 
      • If you are extremely tight on time or have zero interest in doing some of the grunt work, you’ll need to hire a website developer that has marketing experience and knowledge of landing page design to build it out for you.

The Process of Using a Landing Page for Product Testing

Testing a product idea with a landing page can be an effective way to gather feedback and validate the concept. The page should be designed to capture the attention of potential customers and if appropriate, provide clear instructions for completing a survey. Once completed, the data collected will help determine whether or not the product is viable.  

Sidenote: I don’t know who you are and what product idea you may have so,  will use a ficticious product idea to give you a better understanding on the process or using a landing page for product testing.

Scenario:  you are a dog trainer that specializes in basic obedience training

Step 1: Choose a Product Idea

Scenario:  With the recent pandemic, you’ve taken a hit on your training services and you’ve seen other trainers offer obedience training online.  You have two options:

    • Develop a training program as an online course, setup a membership site and then market it on social media with a bunch of paid ads
    • Do some market research and test the idea first to see if it’s something people want before you build the course.

Step 2: Research the Competition

When it comes to launching a new product, there are a few things you need to do before jumping into development – first and foremost, you need to make sure that your idea is viable. One way to do this is by researching the competition.

To do this, you’ll want to look at what they’re selling and how they’re selling it. Are they using a landing page? What are their prices? Are their products popular?

Once you’ve got a good understanding of the competition, it’s time to start thinking about your own product. What does your idea offer that the others don’t? Is there a market for it? Can you make money off of it?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, it might be a good idea to rethink your product.

Scenario: You check out other online dog trainers to see how they are offering their services. 

    • How have they structured their website?  
      • is information easy to find?
      • do they have a blog to give value to readers?
      • what type of lead generation are they using?
      • what’s their pricing like?
    • You read the ratings and reviews, make notes of what people liked and disliked. 
    • You look at their social media profiles, how are they using content marketing as part of their strategy?  are they posting and not replying to comments?  are they posting valuable information to help dog owners?  what type of comments are people leaving?  make notes on these comments
    • How are the dog trainers engaging with their audience.  Is it obvious that it’s them or a person they’ve hired to work their social media account?
    • You’re spending a lot of time with the feedback people are leaving and then analyse what people like, dislike, questions they are asking, complaints they are making.  All of this is helpful because you also get an idea of the language (words) people are using so when doing your own testing, you don’t use industry jargon if it doesn’t make sense to them.
    • After doing all the research on your competition, stalking them on social media, looking at their website, analyzing the comments from their audience.
woman in yellow and black floral dress sitting on brown wooden chair

Step 3: Plan Your Landing Page

Once you have your competition research done and decide you want to create a landing page to test out your new product idea, it’s time to plan your landing page.   You can use your computer or pencil and paper to sketch.

Your landing page should have the following:

  • a headline that grabs the attention of your target audience
  • introduce the problem your target audience has
  • introduce your solution and describe what your product idea is and why it’s valuable
  • use images and video that represents your target audience and product is use
  • a single call to action at the bottom of the page if people are interested in your idea, to pop in their first name and email address to be possibly chosen to be beta testers of your new product.
  • sketch out a thank you page that appears after the reader clicks the button and on that thank you page, ideally a video of you thanking the reader and asking if they’d be open to a zoom call if you had some more questions to help with your research.  

Scenario:  Now that you have your research completed, you decide to test out the idea of offering basic obedience training in the form of an online course.

    • you sketch out a simple landing page based on what you’ve seen during your competitor research
    • the words you use are what the reader would understand, no industry jargon
    • you’ve also noted what people complained about, which was the lack of support from some of the competition once training was done
    • you have some photos of you working with a dog from a local animal shelter
    • you record a video talking about your idea
    • and you record a video for the thank you page asking for permission to contact the reader if you have more questions

Step 4: Choose the Tech to Create a Landing Page for Your Product Idea

There are two options, you can host the landing page on your existing website, store it on it’s own .com site or use a third party feature.  These tips apply if you are building the landing page yourself or having someone build it for you.

For example:

  1. if you have an existing website
    • create a new page
    • remove the header, footer and any sidebars to remove distractions
    • build it is using whatever page builder you’re using
    • build your thank you page
    • integrate your email service to gather leads (if you don’t have an email service, I recommend MailerLite as their free version offers so much flexibility)
  2. if you want to use put the landing page on it’s own domain name (yourdomain.com) this is how I do it for my clients:
    • Through Siteground, register the domain name
    • setup the hosting – the smallest plan is fine and it’s economical
    • install WordPress through the Siteground interface
    • install the following once you log into WordPress
    • Astra theme (free)
    • Elementor page builder (free)
    • Ultimate Addons for Elementor (free)
    • Siteground Optimizer (included with the hosting plan)
    • Siteground Security (included with the hosting plan)
    • configure all the settings inside of WordPress, customize Astra theme for typography and colours and build the page, thank you page and integrate the email service
  3. if you want to use the landing page feature of an email provider, I recommend MailerLite even with their free plan, you get 5 landing pages.  The step by step tutorials can be found on their website.

In full transparency, I wholeheartedly believe in owning your own real estate, so option 1 and 2 is what I recommend EVERY TIME.

Scenario:  you have an existing website with everything listed in option 2

woman using laptop computer

Step 5: Choose a Landing Page Template and Build the Landing Page

You have two choices:  build from scratch or use a template.

I’m a firm believe of never re-inventing the wheel if there’s a better way of doing it and template do jus that.  There are many different templates available online, so you can find one that suits your needs, BUT if you are using the Astra theme and Elementor (even the free versions), they have a few templates included that will do just fine. 

Astra has Starter templates and you’ll notice that a notification appears on your website recommending you install them (again it’s free).

Elementor has a dedicated spot inside the builder for Landing pages and they are pretty nice!

One thing is not to get caught up in look of the landing page template.  You’ll be customizing it anyways.   At this point, take what you planned in step 3 and build your landing page.

Scenario:  As the dog trainer, I would take the free Elementor landing page called “Dog & Cat Food Delivery” and customize it for the online dog training idea.

Step 6: Test Your Idea with the Landing Page

This is where you’re going to share the link to your landing page.   The goal is to get as many people to know about your idea, even if they aren’t your ideal customer, because they may know someone who might be interested.

    • Tell fellow business owners, associates, supplier, friends, family and anyone that you come in contact with that you’re thinking about offering a new service, what it is and share the link to the landing page.  Big tip here:  do this politely
    • Use the power of social media, by creating a post with a really nice images related to your new idea, include the link in the post.
    • Create a TikTok video or Instagram Reel if you talking about your idea and stop the link in the caption.
    • Email your current customers
    • Create a blog post about your new idea including the link to your landing page.  Share that blog post on Medium.com
    • For faster results, you can use paid ads on social.  Even with a small budget you should be able to get some people responding depending on your idea.

Scenario:  For the online dog training idea, this is what I would recommend:

    • create TikTok videos of you working with a dog in person, transition to you talking, sharing you want to help more people and the idea you have.  Ask people to check your landing page to give you feedback.
    • repeat the above with Instagram Reels and make your link in bio the direct link to your landing page
    • create a series of posts, carousels, more reels and even an Instagram Live around the theme of your idea, making sure you come across was wanting to help more people and you need help with some market research.  You can ask people to DM you if they are interested in providing feedback and you can share your link with them direct.
    • this idea needs to be done carefully, but checkout some facebook groups of dog owners, look at the rules for posting and if it’s allowed, share your idea and you’re looking for some feedback.
    • contact local animal shelters, because a lot of dogs that are taken to the animal shelters are because owners can’t handle them due to poor behaviour, you might be able to get some feedback direct from them – if you can help these types of dogs, you are providing a solution to a HUGE problem – really hone in on this
Golden Retriever lying on bed

Step 7: Analyze the Results

What if Nobody Responded?

If you have no response to your landing page, that doesn’t mean your idea is a flop.  There are too many variables at play. What’s going on at the time, maybe the landing page itself doesn’t resonate with people (graphics, copy etc).  Jump to step 8.

You Have Reponses

You’ll have to come up with the number of responses you get to determine if your idea is viable.  I’ve done product testing with 10 responses and used these 10 people as beta testers.  

You can continue to promote your landing page or copies of a tweaked landing page to continue market research.

Either way, jump to step 10 if you feel your idea is viable.

Step 8: Tweak the Landing Page

I would look at the landing page, make a copy of it and on that copy, tweak the words.  Make only one tweak at a time so you know what’s working.  This is called AB testing.  It could be one image that turns people off, or the colour of a button.  You never know and that’s why marketing is all about experimenting.  

Tip:  take a look at using HotJar which  allows you to understand how users experience your landing page.  See where users click, move and scroll on your landing page.   HotJar visualizes user behaviour in the form of heatmaps and you can see what users see.  This might give you an idea what element people are looking at before they leave the landing page if they didn’t signup.  HotJar have a free version which is easy to setup.

Once you’ve made the tweak, repeat step 6 by contacting new people or you may want to consider running some ads on social media. Even with a small budget, it will get your idea in front of more people.

Step 9:  Repeat Steps 6 - 8 until your satisfied with the results then move onto Step 10

Step 10:  Beta Testing your Product Idea

This step is beyond the scope of this post, but I’d like to share the basics on how you can work through this step.

Create a list of questions to ask the people who expressed interest in your product idea.  Contact them and ask if you could do a follow-up with them to ask a few more questions.  If you find that the person might be a good fit for your product idea, ask if they’d like to be a beta tester of the product idea at no cost to them in exchange for feedback (which can also be used as testimonials for your website later)

For beta testing, depending on your product idea, you can offer a one on one live session via Zoom or build a prototype of your physical or digital product.   This is called building a MVP, which is a minimum viable product aka a prototype.

During the beta testing of your product idea, it’s important to remember that the goal is to get feedback, listen to problems that come up and if appropriate, incorporate solutions into the next lesson.  

You’re also using this beta testing to see if your product idea is worth developing into something more or if it’s something you really want to do.

Scenario:  The magic number is 10 because it’s the number of people you can handle at a time. 

You contact the people that responsed to ask a few more questions as part of your market research.  Ideally, get them on a Zoom call so you can do an assessment if your idea would be suitable for them.  If you feel that the dog and the owner would be a good fit.   Ask them if they’d like to be a beta tester where you’ll coach people one on one via Zoom to learn about their dog.  You’ll also share a pre-recorded training video with the training homework.   This might be easier especially if you have a dog you can use for demonstration and bonus points if you have someone to help you film the video.  You don’t need anymore more than your smart phone, an slightly overcast day either in the early morning or late afternoon for filming or use good lighting if filming indoors.

The beta testing is provided to the dog owner at no cost in exchange for feedback, which can be used as testimonials on your website later on.

During the beta testing of your product idea, it’s important to remember that the goal is to get feedback, listen to problems  that come up and if appropriate, incorporate solutions into the next lesson

You’ve determined after working with your 10 dog owners that you have enough feedback to warrant developing a formal online dog obedience workshop

woman in blue long sleeve shirt using macbook

Conclusion

Recently, I did a beta test of a course I was developing and the beta test saved me.  What my product idea started out as, transformed into something completely different that was so much more successful and required much less work to build out.

The most important takeaway is asking questions and listening…really listening to what people had to say. What problems they have, can you offer a solution, what the best way of deliverying that solution, asking more questions, testing, tweaking, testing, tweaking, getting feedback etc. etc.

See the pattern?  the majority of the work took place before I even built the formal product, which is in it’s final stages.  Can you imagine if I would have invested 9 months of building the product based on my initial product idea without testing it first… that’s 9 months I’d never get back.  

Testing your product idea is an essential part of the process. By following the steps in this article, you can test your first to see if there’s any interest in it, instead of spending a lot of time, money and energy building out the product first and nobody has any interest which results in zero sales.  

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