You are excited about your product or service that you want to sell online. Or – maybe you want to create some training videos, or write a book. The questions are: Will anyone want to buy your product if you create it? And . . . how can you find out?
Beta Testing Is the Answer
What does that mean? The short answer is to make a “rough cut” – put it out there and see how many people like it. You give away a “free sample” – a piece of the product to get people interested. Then, sell the complete product at a steep discount.
For example: You have a good topic (you think), but aren’t ready to write a book. You would rather create an audio product. This is how you would approach your beta test.
Record 7 to 10 audios for your series. Introduce them on your blog by giving away #1 and #2 as samples and get feedback from the customers/listeners.
You can do the same thing with videos if you are more comfortable with that medium. Create a series of 10 videos and make #1 and #2 available on YouTube, and study the feedback carefully.
Another option for a video product is to give away audio “excerpts” of the series. In other words, give them enough to get them interested in the series and wanting more. Then, offer the “Beta” product at a very low price.
Be very clear about what you are doing. Develop a statement similar to the following:
“Our product is in the early stages – we are offering it as a trial run to help us find and fix problems. Please, do not expect it to be completely polished. When it is finished, it will be sold for a lot more than we are asking now. Since this is a Beta Test product, we are selling it at less than half-price.”
Be sure to discount your product adequately. If you plan to sell the finished product for $197.00, you may want to sell the beta product for $87, or even as low as $17.00. You will have to decide what is going to be most effective for your target market.
The purpose for the beta test is to find out if there is enough interest in your solution to your targeted market’s problem that people will pull out their credit cards and pay you for it.
Sales Are Proof Positive
When you make a few sales, you can breathe easier. You have proven research that your product will sell and that you are marketing to the right group of people who will buy it. If you make NO sales, you also have an answer and need to make some adjustments.
Other Reasons for No Sales
- It is possible that the lack of sales result from your execution – not from the product itself. There may be people who would buy your beta test product and also your final, finished product, but you did not reach the right group.
- Another possibility is that you were targeting a group who would be interested, but you did not reach enough of them. Depending on the product and the price point, you may need to show the product to 50 – 100 people in order to make one sale.
- Maybe you reached the right people, but your copy did not explain the solution well enough to capture their attention and result in a purchase
All of the above factors should be considered and noted. They are all part of your market research. Collect, sort, and study the data that you collect, which will help you decide whether you want to try another beta test after changing one or more of the variables.
The best part of a beta test is that it can be done quickly and easily. Once your product is ready (in the rough), it takes very little time to present it to your test group. Your first set up may take a few days, but you should be able to make changes and send out iterations of the first beta; or set up new betas for entirely different markets in 24 hours, or less.
See what I mean – solid market research that is inexpensive and almost painless.