Your Mailing List Is a Test Market

Ana Lucia Novak
Ana Lucia Novak Marketing Strategy, Trainer, Coach, Social Ana Social Marketing

Posted on November 25th 2012

Your Mailing List Is a Test Market

ImageYour mailing list is a great way to promote your products and stay in touch with your customers. You may not realize it, but it also serves another purpose. You can use your mailing list as a test market for new products and services you may be thinking about offering.

A test market is a limited group of people you offer a product to in order to receive feed back before you put the product up for sale to the general population. Using a test market will allow you to get feedback on your product. Your test market may suggest adding a feature you hadn’t thought of or offer other advice which will be helpful in fine tuning your product.

Your mailing list is a natural choice for a test market, as they have already expressed interest in the type of products you offer. For example, if you have sold an information product on starting a home based business before, perhaps you can use your mailing list of people who have bought that product as a test market for an information product on marketing techniques. You already know they are interested in starting a business; therefore, they would probably appreciate learning how to market their new business.

You can choose to offer your test products at a normal rate, a reduced rate, or even for free. Let them know that you are still working out the “bugs” and that the product you are offering may be different from the finished product you are going to sell to the general public. Letting them know this in advance can ward off any ill feelings; if one of the people on your mailing list buys a test product and later sees a similar product with slightly different features for sale, they may feel they got ripped off.

If you are going to offer the product at a reduced rate or give it away for free, let them know you would appreciate their feedback in exchange. Have a form set up online where the customer can fill out their opinions and advice. Ask them to leave a recommendation that you can use on the landing page once the product is finished.

You can also use your mailing list to get feedback when you are in the development stages of creating an information product. For instance, you can send out an email with a link to a questionnaire form and ask them to fill it out. If you know the general topic you would like to create a product on, you can ask your test market what are their three biggest questions about that topic. If you end up receiving a bunch of questions in the same general areas, you know that is the area of content you would like to focus your product on.

If you have a service based business, you can still use your mailing list as a test market. You can ask what type of services they would like to have. If you offer tangible products, you can ask your test market what type of new products they would like to see you carry and which features can be improved upon in your current inventory.

Ana Lucia Novak

Ana Lucia Novak

Marketing Strategy, Trainer, Coach, Social Ana Social Marketing

social media architect, strategist, & trainer on social media methodology, flow, audience reach, relationship management
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Comments

Joanna Wiseberg
Posted on November 25th 2012 at 7:26PM

What great timing on this article! Sometimes the most obvious and easiest methods are overlooked. We're planning on using this method for a couple of new exclusive collections we acquired along with a promo piece. Clients still need to see, touch and feel a product. If a salesperson can't be present, this is the next best thing. 

Kent Ong
Posted on November 26th 2012 at 10:45AM

Hi Ana, the reason is our mailing list is highly targeted and they already have relationshipn with us. That's why it is easier to get genuine response from them to test a new product.

Jamus
Posted on April 13th 2013 at 3:33PM

I could not disagree with this post more if I tried. Testing to an already customer is THE most foolish thing ANY business can do.

What if the product sucks? Free or not.

You have now potentially lost an established customer, which will have cost you money to get on your list , lost the time it took you to build a relationship with there, to the point where they have trusted you enough to either sign up or buy from you.

And now you want to send them something to "test" it? Ludecrious AND propostorous!

Test your products of services on NEW prospects and use them for as guine pigs and get feedback. Then once you've got a proven model that converts THEN tell your list about it. It will then convert EVEN BETTER. Or you can build even MORE good will and give them it for free now it's FULLY TESTED.

Thats's how I build relationships with clients.

Cheers,

 

Jamus