We run 2 types of MVTs here at Fullreach. The first is for testing our own products. The second is for our clients – these are mainly done when they are preparing to present to VCs, but it can be done to test a product idea they’re thinking about.
For both types of test, we use the following process.
- Find a hypothesis that has to be true for your business idea to work.
- Create a simple landing page with high quality content and a very clear action.
- Run carefully targeted ads leading to the landing page. Be sure to target exactly the audience you are interested in – otherwise the data you gather will be useless.
- Run a/b tests with variations of the offer / action. See which version gets more sign ups.
- Analyse the data carefully.
4 key tips to help you successfully launch your first MVTs
Here are some handy tips to bear in mind when implementing the process I just outlined.
MVT tip 1: Leave plenty of time at the end of the process for analysis
In my view, MVTs are less of a science and more of an art. You need to do a lot of interpretation, and to be creative both in coming up with test cases, and in analysing your results. This last part is critical to the process, and you should plan to dedicate plenty of time to it. You need to be really hard on your business idea. Do the results really de-risk your business? What other hypotheses do you need to test?
Asking the tough questions now will help you out a lot in the future.
MVT tip 2: Make sure the hypothesis you are testing is crystal clear
For your test to be effective, it has to provide an unambiguous answer to a clear question. What’s more, this question has to be fundamental to the viability of your business idea.
From my experience, this is a difficult task, so take your time and involve as much brain power within your team as you have at your disposal. Try to find that one assumption that is make or break for your idea.
MVT tip 3: Get a great marketer onboard
Marketing plays a critical role in the MVTs we run. Typically, we create a landing page and run ads to it. So you’re going to need marketing expertise to ensure the page and its copy and visuals are on point. You’ll also need the ads to be engaging so people click on them. Budgeting the ads carefully is also critical – it can be easy for a marketing budget for your MVT to get away from you.
Most importantly, these ads need to be targeted correctly. That’s because you will be basing all your decisions on the data based on these people’s actions. So if some of them are not actually your target audience, you’ll have a faulty set of data. And this can mean making completely the wrong decision for your business.
MVT tip 4: Get the balance right in what your promise test participants
With an MVP, one benefit you derive is that you actually have a product (however basic it is) to offer your customers.
With an MVT you don’t. So, how do you get them to actually take part in your test? In our experience, explaining that the product is a work in progress and is coming soon is usually effective. If the product you’re proposing is interesting enough, people will still click.
I’ve even heard of e-commerce stores running MVTs to products they don’t even have yet, and simply stating they’re “Out of stock” when the user tries to buy them. I’m not sure about this approach (is it dishonest?), but you’ll definitely have to find the balance between managing customer expectations and keeping them interested enough so you test works. Again, your marketing expert will be a valuable resource here.
Time to try MVTs
Hopefully, the steps and tips I’ve shared in this article can help you get started with your first MVT. As I mentioned earlier, MVTs are more of an art than a science. So the most important thing is to get started and discover what works best for you. After all, that’s the beauty of MVTs – they’re quick and cheap to build and you don’t lose too much if they don’t work out.