Creating a Sales Funnel for a New Product: Part I

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Before you can even begin to create your sales funnel, it's critical to first research the market viability of your product idea.

If you're a true entrepreneur, you probably have a million ideas zooming through your brain at any given moment. When you get particularly excited about an idea, it can be hard to be objective about it: Is there really a need for this product? Will people pay for it? Is someone already making this?

Even (and perhaps especially) if you're part of the target market for your product, it can be really hard to separate yourself from your idea and to know if there's a genuine need for it.

It's easy to get so excited that you move right past the planning and research stage and right into creating and marketing your product. The problem is that this is a great way to waste a ton of time and money.

Fortunately, there are some easy ways to get a sense of the market viability for your product, even if you only have a small research budget.

(By the way, we've covered this topic briefly in the past if you're looking for even more tips for determining market viability).

Keyword Research

It's never an exact science, but researching popular keywords can give you an idea of how popular a product may be. If you've come up with a completely original idea, you're likely not going to be looking for product searches, but you can look for questions related to the problem your product solves.

Check out the Competition

If your product is similar to one that's already on the market, make sure you're doing some sleuthing €" sign up for your competitors' mailing lists and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Watching their social media interactions can be very telling. For instance, if you see a common complaint mentioned again and again on their Facebook pages, this gives you a pretty good indication of ways you can improve your product and increase its market viability.

Talk Directly to Your Target Market

Conduct focus groups, call up people you may know in your target market, send out surveys, ask questions or create polls on your Facebook page. Any way you can think of to ask people who are actually part of your target demographic. There's no substitute for going straight to the source.

Just don't assume that because someone indicates they think it's a good idea that they'll actually buy it. Surveys are a good way to get general information, but take them with a big grain of salt.

Look for Unmet Needs

Visit online forums in your niche to get a sense of any unmet needs in your niche. Again, this is by no means an exact science, but can give you a general idea of whether your product is actually needed.

Use Dry Testing

Perhaps one of the best ways to see if there's an actual need for your product is to use dry testing. Dry testing is the process of selling a product before it's been created.

While it can definitely give you a good sense of viability, BE CAREFUL. It can easily make people feel misled or duped if done incorrectly.

It basically involves creating a sales page, but instead of the €buy now€ button leading to a payment page, it leads to a page that explains that €this product is not yet available. Get on our list to be notified when it's ready.€€ Be really careful not to string people along.

Once you've conducted some basic market research, it's time to start creating your sales funnel. I'll cover this topic in my next post, so be sure to watch out so you don't miss it!
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