The best way to test your product idea

You have your million dollar idea but now you want to know the best way to validate it on the cheap.

The closest, truest form of validation you can get for your idea is having potential customers pay you (even a little bit) to make your idea a reality. 

The second closest method of validation is by finding your ideal customers and simply getting feedback from them on your idea, having them take a step of interest around your idea.

There are several ways to find your perfect first customers. Today we’ll focus on one of the most effective of those methods that allows you to find your customers online – and, you don’t even have to leave your room for it. So what’s this solution for validating your ideas?

Landing Pages

These are simple one page sites that talk about your idea, the problem, your solution and are hyper-focused on having the users take some action – such as providing their email address to receive future updates. This shows their intent.

But where can I create a landing page on the cheap? Good question. The thee most notable and reliable players in the space are Unbounce, Leadpages, and Instapage.

But how do I decide between them? You can’t go wrong with any of them as all the successful companies use them and they all basically do the same thing, but their pricing is a little different. Instapage leads the pack at a $129/mo price-point, then Unbounce coming in at $99/mo, followed by Leadpages coming in at $37/mo at it’s lowest tiers. We recommend getting a trial, playing around with the tools and their interface to see which one you’re most comfortable with and sticking with that one.

But tell me how will they help me with testing my ideas

Let’s say you have a two business ideas. You could create two landing pages with different copy. Spend $100 on Google ads for each and see which gets you more traffic. This is the exact strategy Tuft & Needle used when gauging if they should start their mattress brand. They created a landing page that said they were launching a direct to consumer mattress company and spend a few hundred dollars on ads and say people were clicking on the add and actually interested. Now they do over $100 million and continue to remain completely bootstrapped (self-funded).

Not convinced with that approach yet? You might think it doesn’t apply to you. Maybe because you’re a product or a brand. Well let’s say you’re selling something, in that case you could literally sell the item before you manufacture thousands of pcs of your product.  Let’s say you have a couple ideas for a brand and the product. Well, create just a sample of each product. Take great pictures and throw them up on a Shopify or Squarespace site. Then spend no more than $100 on Google ads to serve targeted ads to see if you get any sales. Then once you get some sales you can go ahead and make the product. This is kind of like doing your own pre-launch crowd-funding campaign (hello, Kickstarter).

Can this also be used to grow sustainably over the long term? No. But it will prove to be an extremely efficient, easy, cheap way to test your ideas for a cheap. Count me in! 

What are some hacks you’ve successfully used to test your product ideas? Share with the community by posting in the comments below!