Why a Fake Door Test with a Landing Page is way more than a Landing Page

Landing pages are becoming an integral component of a product’s go-to-market strategy. They are often used as a vehicle to communicate a new product or an idea that a company would like to bring into a certain market, addressing a specific yet unknown target audience. 

However, a potential customer visiting your landing page and perhaps converting into a signup or a purchase, only covers a part of your customer journey. But this is exactly what is needed to run a fake door test to understand market demand for your product before building it. To understand your customers in detail and get valuable insights into which target audience is the one with the highest demand for your idea, you need to collect data across the whole customer journey.

Teams that understand this are using fake door tests with landing pages (aka landing page tests) to refine and iterate their products and ideas based on the data they get through such a test that covers the whole customer journey. It takes considerable effort to really test every aspect of the customer journey. A single landing page does not allow you to really dig deep and gather the data from all aspects of it.

In this article we explain the key differences of a fake door test with a landing page (aka landing page test) over just a landing page, and why you should go beyond single landing pages when testing market demand for product ideas or variants. By conducting fake door tests along the whole customer journey, you are able to really understand your target audience across all channels and touch points, fast forward your market research, get more consumer insights and improve your product development processes.

What is a Landing Page?

Essentially, a landing page is an elevator pitch on a single website with value propositions and visual representations of your product, dedicated to one specific goal, e.g. a signup or a purchase. Your potential customers can view this landing page and ultimately decide whether they would purchase your product or sign up for the service you are testing market demand for.

Landing pages are often used for pre-sales and single-purpose marketing activities to generate new interested customers for a product idea. By being dedicated to a single goal, landing pages need to have clearly identical Call-To-Action buttons (or CTAs) that are dispersed throughout the page. These CTAs can for example lead to a field where visitors can leave their email address if they are interested in the product they see on the landing page.

Landing Pages only cover Parts of the Customer Journey

Landing pages are usually built with a dedicated landing page builder such as Unbounce or other no-code builders. In most cases, these builders provide you data such as the amount of page visitors and conversions of any kind (e.g. signups for a product idea you are communicating through the page).

It’s possible to gather deeper insights with a single landing page, but manually. For example, by comparing the budget you spent to acquire traffic on the landing page with the number of conversions, you could estimate your future customer acquisition costs (CAC). Common landing page builders only offer limited reporting capabilities to analyze your campaigns and represent just a single part in the customer journey for the brand or product you are testing the demand for.

To understand how consumers behave across the whole customer journey with anything else that might not happen on the landing page itself (e.g. marketing ad spend and performances, lead management emails and double-opt-in confirmation emails), you would have to export or integrate data from different tools that are external from the landing page builder (in case they are set up), to manually conduct a deeper analysis. This can be time consuming and takes a lot of patience and effort, but it is crucial if you want to understand market demand for your idea, as there's more than just user behaviour on the landing page to look at which we'll explain below.

What you really need to run a Fake Door Test

There are several valuable data insights along a customer’s journey with your landing page that you would miss if you are using merely a landing page. Below are insights that you can gather if you conduct an actual fake door test.

Marketing Ads to Generate Traffic for your Landing Page

You should begin by understanding how to get the highest amount of leads for your product at the first touch-point of the customer journey. When testing market demand for your product idea, this would be the marketing ads which acquire traffic for your landing pages. The performance of these ads can provide you with valuable insights about:

  • How much budget is required to attract leads for your product or service,
  • Which target group has the highest demand for your idea,
  • In case of multivariate testing: which variant of your product shown in the ads generates the best cost-per-clicks and click-through-rates (see our best practice article for multivariate testing here).

If you’re conducting a manual fake door test using pieced-together tools, you would require an integration of your landing page builder with the ads manager account you are using (e.g. Facebook), or you would have to export the ads campaign and landing page data and compare them yourself.

Lead Management Emails and Double-Opt-In Confirmations

Another point within the customer journey takes place after a lead signs up for the product you offered via the form you have on the page. For example, if you are collecting registrations via email from landing page visitors (single opt-in), you would need to email them asking for confirmation to send them regular marketing updates (double opt-in confirmation). When conducting a fake door test, the currency is a lead leaving his/her email address when converting on your landing pages. This is a crucial insight if you want to understand how high the market demand for your idea and the trust in your brand really is. Without looking at this stage of the customer journey, you would never be able to understand this ultimate KPI of trust in your offering.

Besides providing a strong indication on the seriousness of the usage intent of your potential customers, this insight also provides you with an overview of your generated leads’ quality, as you are able to understand if there are no fake email addresses and contact details put in when signing up on your landing page.

Resolution Landing Page to avoid disappointed Customers

Fake door tests with landing pages help you understand market demand for your new consumer product, before you build it. This means, when performing a test in the real market, the actual product might not be ready to ship or is not even produced. Whilst this is a huge time advantage and can save you a lot of money for developing a product that nobody wants, there is a slight chance that potential customers converting on your landing page for the product idea might be a disappointed that there is no real product yet.

This can be anticipated by setting up a resolution page, where your potential customers would get directed to after confirming their signup on the landing page they visited. The resolution page is a crucial piece of communication when testing demand for ideas or product variants before building and launching. It helps you to be transparent and honest with your potential customers, by not keeping them uninformed about the current status of the product they just signed up for.

Note that, before collecting any email address or other personal data from consumers, you need to inform them on your page (e.g. in a pop-up after clicking "add-to-cart" and before requesting any personal data, such as an email for adding them to your newsletter list) that your product is not available. It’s crucial to make sure they are aware of this before they submit any personal data. We have an additional piece that easily explains on how to tell consumers your product is not available. You can find it here.

Customer experience can start well in during your fake door test already

Distinct Customer Journeys across different Ads, Landing Pages and Lead Management Emails

To be able to fully understand which value proposition or key features have the highest demand, you should set up distinct variants of your customer journey, each of them primarily visualizing a distinct product value proposition or key feature along all touch points (i.e. ads, landing pages, lead management emails). When doing this, you should be able to collect and analyze data from all variants, using the tools you have chosen, preferably in an aggregated view.

The following company is one of those that did this very successfully using Horizon, as you can see in one of our case studies. They planned to build the MVP for their mobile app for a global divers community. The team utilised Horizon and multivariate testing to decide which key features to include in their MVP. As a result, they got the required data to create a product that was on par with the needs of its customers indicated in their Horizon dashboard to translate this data into an indication about the market demand.

Using landing pages as an example, you would need to create different landing page variants which are focused on distinct key features right at the beginning of the page within the header section, with a clearly distinctive headline, sub headline and header image on the right. We have created a best practice piece for you about what you need to take care of when doing multivariate testing, you can find it here.

With just one landing page and no proper test setup in place, you would never be able to understand which key feature has the highest market demand from your target audience, without aggregating all the data from each variant and analyzing it manually with a lot of effort.

Fake Door Tests can cover the whole Customer Journey

The differentiation between landing pages and fake door tests using landing pages is what and how much more you are capable of achieving with a fake door test. With a fake door test, you will be gathering data from the initial contact with your customers via ads, to visits and interactions with your product(s) on the landing page(s) up until the double-opt-in and final confirmation emails. With these insights, you will be able to make a fully-informed, non-biased decision on market demand and the chances of success for your product in development or for your initial MVP.

A fake door test represents all stages of the customer journey, while a landing page alone just covers a part of it (on-page behaviour) where you would have to integrate, aggregate and analyze all third party data in a manual and time-consuming way. You are able to understand how potential customers behave across each touchpoint, which will help eliminate uncertainties within your market research, consumer insights and product development processes with pure data.t. Using only a landing page, you would be flying blind in many aspects of the customer journey and would therefore never be able to really understand how high market demand for your product is, or if there is even demand at all.

Fake door tests enable you to choose between measuring demand for an idea of a product or services, or even for single aspects of it, such as branding, pricing, feature sets, value propositions and much more, in no-time.

Thinking of starting a test? We got you. Here’s a handy checklist of how to structure a fake door test with landing pages: How to structure a test.

How you can setup your Fake Door Test in one Day & No-Code

Fake door tests are much more valuable than just landing pages if you really want to understand your customers, gather unbiased and robust  market data or prioritise the product features with the highest demand during  development. However the setup of a fake door test, along with all the components  that are necessary especially with multivariate testing (ads, landing pages, lead management emails) can be very complex.

Here at Horizon, we are building a simple no-code software specifically for fake door tests with landing pages as essential part, to help teams build products that customers really love. Our tool unifies all the required functionalities and components to run a test out of our all-in-one tool. We even provide more in-depth and aggregated results and insights, all displayed on a powerful performance dashboard. With this, you have the ability to benchmark fake door tests where you tested market demand for different product ideas against each other. You can connect your landing page and its variants (landing pages with different aspects), set up your distinct ad campaigns and let Horizon provide you with all the results you need for an informed decision about market demand for your product ideas and variants, with a valid customer demand score for the product idea in your Horizon dashboard, to help you make the right decisions in no-time.

With Horizon, you can setup your fake door test one day & no code. All features and capabilities that are needed to speed up market research efforts, increase customer insights and build products that customers love.
Fake door tests in one tool.

Sign up and try yourself here. It’s free.

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Written by
Nikara is experienced in digital business development, she used to work for Vodafone in New Zealand and is now crushing Business Development & Marketing efforts at Horizon on our mission to redefine how to build products that customers really want. Niki has won the People’s Choice Award with one of her ideas in the past. She has always been passionate about launching successful digital products herself, by understanding very early what the target market and consumer needs are. Now she wants to leverage this experience at Horizon.
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