So you have a product idea, a concept or even a fledgling thought on what could be a great idea. What do you do with that? How do you get user feedback without building a whole website or the entire product? These are the questions you should be asking if your plan is to get some serious validation on your idea before you spend any money.

Good news is, you don’t need to spend any money to know if potential buyers value your idea or not. There’s tons of tools that let you do this for free. Here’s how

1. Frame your value propositions and offerings in 2-3 sentences. Be sure to include what you want your target audience to know. Appeal to the needs you know of, and mention the problem you are solving. Let’s take Product X as a case for the following points.

For Example: ‘Product X allows you to do X with the ease of X’

2. Add a call to action. You don’t want viewers to only know about the product. You want the interested ones to get in touch with you, and to find out how to buy your product or service. A call to action is the most crucial part of your message to potential customers: It tells them what to do if they’re interested.

For Example: ‘Like Product X? Buy it at ‘ or ‘Sign up here to know more!’

So that takes care of the message. How do you communicate it, though? And, more importantly, how do you get feedback on who’s interested and what is their profile like?

3. Build a landing page. You don’t have to know how to design or code. You don’t need any professional website experience. All you need is steps 1 & 2, and the services of some awesome landing page websites. LaunchRock.com and UnBounce.com allow you to do A/B testing with multiple landing pages. You can set up different pages with different messages, and see which one appeals to who.

Your landing page essentially contains your message and a way for the viewer to sign up or provide their info. This gives you insights into

  • The demographic that is interested
  • What interested them? Was it Page A or Page B? What do they prefer?
  • Is anybody interested at all?

An easy metric is email sign ups. Chances are, that if a viewer won’t readily give up his email address to you he is very less likely to buy the actual product. You can experiment with other metrics, as suitable to your need.

4. Promote that Page. You now have a landing page with a clear offering and a call to action. Now work on promoting it’s visibility to the right audience. If Product X is for single moms, then you want single moms viewing your landing page. Not teenagers or 70 yr old veterans.
The mechanism and filters you use to promote your page will decide the audience it gets.
Popular methods of promotion are Google and Bing Ads. Each have simple targeting tools and provide sufficient data on results. FaceBook Ads allows you to further segment the target audience based on a number of factors. So, if Product X is to be viewed by single moms, you can target FaceBook users who ‘like’ single mom groups or who have the ‘single’ relationship status.

Regardless of the method you use, you will receive the required response and feedback if you manage the above factors correctly. Also feel free to take your idea and speak with as many people as you can. Taking the single moms example again – you want to know as much as possible about business in the field. Speak with single moms, single mom support groups, divorce lawyers, maternity stores or any other stakeholder remotely connected in the field. This will reveal the facts and figures that you didn’t know you didn’t know. The unknown unknown is a powerful thing indeed.

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