Lean product development says the first step of any new product launch is “get out of the building and talk to your customers.” After all, why would you build something that customers won’t buy?
Once you’ve gotten out of the building and are closer to understanding customer requirements, the fastest way to confirm product/market fit by testing your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) through landing page optimization to prove your assumptions at scale.
So what is a MVP?
A MVP is a concept popularized by Eric Reis in his book the Lean Startup. A core tenant of the Lean Startup methodology is
“the build-measure-learn feedback loop. The first step is figuring out the problem that needs to be solved and then developing a minimum viable product (MVP) to begin the process of learning as quickly as possible. Once the MVP is established, a startup can work on tuning the engine. This will involve measurement and learning and must include actionable metrics that can demonstrate cause and effect question.”
In short, a MVP is a product with just enough features (too hot, too cold – just right!) that allows you to ship a product that works for early adopters and for which people are willing to pay.
The goal is to quickly learn which features customers want most. A landing page can be the perfect MVP research tool because it allows you to fine tune and test offers to narrow and validate your product’s value proposition.
With a landing page to test two (or more) different versions of your MVP, promoted through PPC or social media sharing, you can generate leads for your product and see which version resonates best with customers. You can then fine tune based on your learnings.
Here are a few of the landing page optimization elements you should test:
Headline: use as few words as possible to explain what your product does and the benefits that should be expected. Visitors read headlines first then either decide to read more or they simply leave the page.
Total value proposition: the headline, copy, call to action and offer comprise your total value proposition – a promise of the total value to be delivered. It summarizes the reason a visitor should register for your offer.
Call to action: how do you get your customers to engage and demonstrate product interest or buying intent? A call to action can be an online form, a buy button, an invitation to chat with a customer service representative or a phone call with sales.
The offer: an offer is a promise of value in exchange for something else of value. The offer is very specific – whether the promise of a free newsletter in return for registration on the website or $19.99 for a monthly subscription.
With simple A/B testing on your product variations, offers, call to actions, value proposition and more, you test different versions of your landing page. By doing so, you can isolate different variables and determine which (if any) are most or least appealing to your site visitors.
At the end of the test, you should see a difference in conversions from one version of the landing page to the next. If you don’t see any results, something is not working and you should start over.
If you do see a big difference in conversion across your test pages, congratulations – you are getting closer to delivering an value proposition that resonates with your customers.
DON’T STOP NOW
Keep testing so you can continuously improve your landing page.
The short story – use landing page optimization to valid your product/market fit and make sure you aren’t burning money on offers no one wants. Take a linear approach to problem solving – tackle the biggest problems first and then the next one. The best wisdom for landing page optimization is summarized on a shampoo bottle – wash, rinse, repeat. Test, test and keep testing. Landing page optimization is a viable way to find product/market fit.