- 🧠 How to validate SaaS features
🧠 How to validate SaaS features
PLUS - The sales process Rob Walling used to grow Drip to millions in ARR...
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How Rob Walling grew Drip to millions in ARR
How to validate features before you build them
Running a one-person content team
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How To Validate SaaS Features
Your backlog is sacred. The biggest mistake you can make is adding to it unnecessarily.
The best way to prioritise features is always talking to customers, but often they are hard to reach or unwilling to talk.
So what can you do?
This week I’m sharing a powerful way to validate feature ideas without user interviews.
And it’s called ‘ghost pages’.
What is a ghost page?
It’s a dummy page you set up and put behind an intriguing button to gauge users’ interest in what it does.
When a user clicks on the button, they are taken to a page with more info letting them know it’s coming soon.
Here’s how Buffer used this concept to validate their entire product:
This is sometimes called ‘fake door’ or ‘painted door’ testing, but I prefer the term ‘ghost page’ as it makes you sound so much cooler… 👻
By clicking the button, you know the user showed at least some interest in what was behind it.
And critically you save time building features customers might never use.
But before you go ahead, make sure to…
When overused, feature testing of any kind can get annoying - users don’t always appreciate being used as lab rats.
The easiest way to avoid this is simply to randomly sample your users so that only 5-10% will see your test.
But if you’ve already segmented your customers, then get more sophisticated and tailor your tests to the ideal audience.
This could be as simple as only testing with those on a ‘pro’ plan.
Follow up with clickers
Now that they know what might be coming next, interested users will be more likely to talk to you.
So send them an email and try to understand why they clicked, and what they hoped to see when they did.
Plus, they might beta-test the new feature for you, if you ask nicely 😊.
Tools for ghost pages
As usual the more you pay, the less work you have to do…