You get a great idea for a new product, and your excitement has you jumping ahead to create it. But then, that voice in your head says ”Survey your List!” But what if you don’t have a List…or it’s too small or segmented to give you reliable data about the viability of your new product idea?
In this post, I want to give you several ideas on getting “Survey” data…even if you don’t have a List.
Know Your Desired Outcomes!
The first thing to do is to be clear on your goals for the Survey? Let’s assume that your focus is to get a new product on the Market.
* One of the first things you want to know is whether likely prospects are even interested in such a product.
* Next, you might want to discover how much they would pay for such a product if you made it available.The best way I’ve found to get the answer to that question is by making sure the prospect doesn’t feel you’re trying to sell them anything in the moment.
*Wouldn’t it be nice to know how a prospect might go about buying such a product. Would they attend webinars, search for information on youtube, do a google search on the relevant keywords, etc.
* You might even use the opportunity to ask the survey audience what features would be important to include in the product.
Make It Enticing!
Next, it’s important to have as few questions as possible, so you don’t intimidate your respondent, so see if you can consolidate the questions above. And, you should always be mindful that your prospect should have a compelling reason to answer the survey…in other words, make it as easy as possible to engage in the survey. For this reason, I would not require an optin process to get to the survey. That alone would chase away most of your potentials. (However, you could put it at the bottom of your Survey…”If you would like more information about such a course, if it is developed, please go to this link and give your first name and email address.”)
In addition, you might offer a contest in which all respondents had a good chance of winning. Perhaps you’d give out five $30 Amazon gift certificates…or a $60 certificate for the most usable response. Alternatively, you could let survey respondents know that when they complete the survey, that they’ll be redirected to a page where you’ll reward them with valuable free content, such as a pdf, a short video, etc….all without requiring an optin.
Now, what are the ways you can get this Survey data without a List.
The answer here is only limited by your creativity. Start with the low hanging fruit and work your way toward the more imaginative.
1) Family and friends
This is the obvious first place you should look. There’s nothing like a face to face (or phone call) response. This will also help you refine your questions for the online approaches.
2) Existing clients, if you have an off-line business
For example, if you are a service provider, professional, or retailer, you may have many customers or clients who already know your services. And, just because they are not on an email list, doesn’t mean they can’t speak to an information product related to a service they are already receiving from you.
3) Contacts you’ve met online…or at Live Events
Oftentimes, we go to Live Events or have interacted with other members of courses we’ve purchased online…and have a stack of such contacts collecting dust on our physical or digital shelves. Here’s a great opportunity to nurture those relationships by asking for help with a survey response.
4) Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter friends
Now, we’re getting to the Gold! You already probably have hundreds, if not thousands, of contacts on these platforms. Here are several approaches.
a. Post a several line “Status” Update (especially on your Business page, for Facebook). Simply ask for people to help you out by taking a quick survey on your topic. Entice them with your post and let them know there’s a reward on the other end.
b. Remember that you can leverage your reach by posting on others’ walls (especially business pages), thus extending who sees your survey request virally. But here are several rules. First, find people who have a subject area related to yours, so you’re addressing the right audience. Second, be a giver initially. Post good comments and support the other person first, before you ask the favor. And finally, don’t abuse the social media platforms by spamming. Be strategic and add value . For example, you might give valuable content first…and then invite the reader to help you in return by completing the Survey.
c. To really have fun with this..and attract more people, you might attach an interesting, or funny, picture to your post that will generate interest.
5) Forum participation
Take the theme above and apply it to forums, facebook groups, etc. Again, make sure you are in such a group where your prospect hangs out. Then, give value and build credibility by answering others’ questions. Soon, you’ll be at the point where people will bend over backwards to help you out with a heartfelt and serious request for survey participation.
6) Youtube videos
This is a huge potential audience for respondents. But remember that, as the 2nd largest search engine, you’ll get video views that are random (non-targeted), as well as people focusing on keyword phrases. So, accordingly, you’ll want to review these survey responses separately from other batches..or provide a way in the survey for respondents to identify that they are indeed in your niche.
And, the entertainment factor is huge on Youtube…so don’t miss the potential for your video being shared to expand your viral reach. With that being said, I’d probably create a highly enticing and entertaining short video…but related to your subject. For example, let’s say your proposed product is nutritionally-oriented recipes for dog food. Your video might show a series of clips of dogs eating scraps under the table, licking an ice cream cone, etc. You create interest with the video and then transition by saying something like “Is your dog eating the way you’d like? Please click on this link and take my brief survey to see how your pet can gain greater nutrition and have a little fun, too!”
My last suggestion is…do your own Survey…
7) Go to Amazon.com.
On Amazon, search by the keywords which are relevant to your topic area. Find the books that are the leading sellers in the niche. Study their table of contents to see what topics are being covered. If people are buying books on the topic, you already have the validation you seek. So this is a great way to start your outline.
These days there are several free survey sites available to you, such as SurveyMonkey and PollDaddy. These walk you through the process of easy question setup, with a number of options for display and gathering data.
Hopefully, now, you have the tools and the confidence you need to gather the intel you need.