Research With and Without Cash
One of my favorite ways to research a market is to put up a survey, and then drive traffic to it using Google Adwords.
If you find it costs you an outrageous sum of money to generate visitors, you’ll have to go after different keywords…or you’ll have to accept the project may not be the big money maker you expected.
If it’s costing you 40 cents per visitor and you get 1 out of 10 to fill out your survey, each survey is costing you $4. It’s very reasonable to expect you will only be able to sell 10% of those who would fill in a free survey, so now we’re talking $40 per sale (in other words one out of hundred is buying).
If your product does not have a $40 profit capability (through upsells, downsells, and backend possibilities), then it’s not a practical project for you on those keywords.
There are several reasons why I really love researching markets this way.
1. You get answers directly from people who respond to the same advertising you’ll be doing.
You’ll find people have different mindsets when they land on your web page. People coming from an affiliate are much more likely to buy than people who find you cold (such as through PPC advertising). People can even have wildly different viewpoints based on the keywords they used to search for your site. If you plan to do any type of Adwords advertising, having survey results directly from them is better than results you may receive from previous customers or other sources of advertising.
2. You’re testing your keywords and ads on Google at the same time.
You don’t state you’re running a survey in your Google ads. In fact, you try to model the ads you’re running in Google as closely as possible to the ads you’re run when you’re done. In a majority of cases, it will be the exact same ad you’ll use once the survey is finished. Once the survey is done, you simply pause the campaign until your product is ready to go. Once it’s ready, start up the campaign exactly where it was when you paused it.
3. It’s hard to lie to yourself with the facts staring you in the face.
It’s very easy to lie to yourself about the potential of your product until your money is on the line. Your mind will play tricks on you and tell you how EVERYONE needs and wants your product. It will claim there is a huge audience prepared to buy what you’re offering. It will even tell you how you can make millions without having any backend offers.
You start an Adwords campaign, and cold hard reality slaps you in the face. Your first sale might come at a loss. Or some of the high traffic keywords are more than you’re willing to spend starting out. This type of testing makes you face reality early in the process.
How about Doing Researching Without Cash
The negative factor above is it costs money to do your research this way. How about doing your research without spending any money.
If you’ve had the chance to listen to my 90 minute interview with Daniel Levis, “Grow Your Customer Lists 4 to 7 Times Faster,” you would have seen he uses an entirely different research strategy.
Instead of spending money to generate survey results, he goes to where people are already congregating such as forums and the comments of popular blogs.
He looks for their pain points, aspirational statements, and plain old questions.
What issues are causing them problems. What types of emotional phrases do they use? What do they wish was available to them? What types of questions keep popping up constantly?
As Daniel spends times in both the forums and blogs, he is creating a spreadsheet listing by copying and pasting these direct comments. After collecting all his information he then puts together several dominating categories to paste each of these statements in. Once you’ve put together the comments, you’ll see which items are the most important.
Once you’ve went through all this you’ll be able to see exactly which approaches have the best chance of success in your market. And you did it without spending any money. The disadvantage of course is that while you know how to approach the market correctly, you didn’t get any financial numbers back…so you have no idea what expenses it may take to advertise there.
How to Research On An Active Product
Another way to generate good research information without spending any cash is to run exit popovers on your sites where you ask people, “What is their biggest question about _____.”
Or you could be even more point blank by asking them, “Why did you choose not to purchase at this time?”
If you decide you need more in depth information, then you could run a split test script to send a portion of your visitors (perhaps 10%) over to a survey page instead of sales page. You have to judge what percentage of your sales you’re willing to give up to get back good information, but this enables you to keep money coming in while doing the survey.
Your research is NEVER over. Yet, you can do much of it totally for free without affecting the sales of your products and services.Related Entries:
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