How Does Lean Startup Approach Make Lead Generation Easier?

October 13, 2022

This article will discuss the potential benefits of the lean startup methodology even after the initial launch.

There are numerous reasons to embrace the lean startup approach, which suggest always starting with an MVP to product development. Why You Should Start with an MVP For Your Digital Product? covers all the reasons in detail. This time, we will talk about another benefit of embracing the lean startup approach, which hasn’t been mentioned as much as others: what incremental benefits it brings you when you start lead generation at the beginning?

You can create a solution in iterations by using an MVP that is created using the lean startup methodology (along with many other practices, such as the build-measure-learn cycle or agile development). With the fewest resources possible, especially the time, you try to create a solution that people are willing to pay for. Thus, lean startup approaches turn digital product development into a road you are seeking for product market fit one step at a time.

Actually, your main focus should be on launching your MVP, which materializes your value proposition in the shortest amount of time and with the fewest resources. After that, you’ll measure and set goals to find out what you need to know for the following iteration. In the interim, you will do everything in your power to increase your market and user knowledge. Thus, you will have the opportunity to start the processes that a traditional initiative following a linear development process would only start after the launch.

What is Lead Generation? 

Lead generation is a marketing strategy that entails figuring out who your audience is, how to best reach them, and why they are interested in your products or services. Following your explanation, you ask for contact information if they are still interested.

By establishing a growth funnel (aka marketing or sales funnel depending on your goals), it allows you to identify your leads, determine the ways you can reach them, and ultimately expand your sales or user volume. 

There are far too many ways to figure out who needs the solution your product offers and who is willing to pay for it. For instance, by producing the appropriate content for your audience, you can use social media as a low-cost method to generate leads, or you can use search ads to focus on people who are actively looking for a solution. Your ultimate objective, no matter how you go about it, should be to capture the interest of potential customers and communicate your value proposition to them. These efforts are all very similar to what you would put forth for an MVP in a lean startup. 

Typically, a digital enterprise use one of the following for lead generation in the beginning:

  • SEO.
  • Social media.
  • Search engine ads.
  • Social media ads. 
  • E-Mail.

Whether it embraces lean startup approach or not, almost all digital powered enterprises reach their audience by using a combination of these methods. On the other hand, prospective users who have volunteered to share their contact information with you so that you can reach them will have different degrees of conversion potential depending on the method you reach out.

 Lead scoring, also known as identifying potential customer value, is a process where you assess which methods the information obtained has a higher conversion potential. We can say that you collect leads with the highest possible score if you have adopted the MVP approach. There are a number of factors that make the potential customers you acquire using the MVP approach more valuable, also known as quality leads.

How does an MVP Provide Quality Leads?

As we mentioned earlier, the MVP approach suggests launching a product that gives you the opportunity to test your assumptions in the shortest time and meanwhile using the least of resources. MVP is the first version that highlights the distinguishing feature that reflects the vision of the product. In other words, it promises a strong start where you have incredible advantages such as testing your idea, getting feedback from real users, a clear focus, and making critical decisions based on data.

You can gather knowledge that will help you develop a roadmap for your marketing and sales during the entire process of validating your ideas. You can figure out who will be your first users and how to find new ones incrementally.

What does an MVP Offer?

Depending on your product vision, budget, timing, features, target audiences, and other factors, basically everything that goes into making your product, you will need a unique MVP strategy. However, no matter what your strategy is, you ultimately aim to reduce uncertainty in the market. In the meantime, you can gain invaluable insights to shape your post-launch growth plan, without the need to use extra resources or change existing operations.

With a focus on lead generation, we talked about three of the most popular methods for validating digital products using the lean startup methodology.

1. Gather your potential customers’ contact information with a landing page.

One of the simplest ways to test your product idea is with landing pages. While adding a form to the landing page of an existing product to use it for lead generation is quite common, the landing page of a product without even an MVP yet can still be useful. The information you gather along the way is useful for your future marketing strategies even though your primary objective is to determine whether the people to whom you are displaying the landing page are your potential users and whether they will exert any effort on your idea, such as sharing contact information. The only thing required of you is to closely monitor this process using various web analytics tools, for example, to train your Facebook Pixel or to have the necessary setups to obtain Google retargeting data.

In some circumstances, a landing page could be your MVP itself (fake door testing), the home page of the web platform you created as an MVP, or any other single page you’ve created on a no-code platform. It’s easy to get out of this first step, where you can see if your idea will really excite users, but also with a long and quality list of contact information.

2. Grow your audience with social media ads.

One strategy you can use in the early stages of ideation to determine whether a concept is worth pursuing on a small scale and quickly is social media advertising. The lean startup methodology encourages gathering data with limited resources at each stage, from conception to launch, and then moving forward using that data. The number of clicks, likes, or conversions the advertisement generates is also measured using this method. But in the meantime, you can always make a profit by designing an ad that is also focused on community development, rather than just an ad that can be used to only verify or falsify your opinion.

For example, small changes you can make in your perspective, such as setting the criterias for measuring whether your idea is worth developing or not, setting your goals as getting followers, not getting messages. This will get you started on community development at the very first step. Or a campaign where you say your MVP will be selected from among your beta users followers; It can enable you to acquire leads while nurturing your product development effort.

3. Start a monthly newsletter.

One of the first steps in the product development process of lean startups is to gain insights that will ultimately lead to the development of empathy with users. It does not have to be a one way road; you can begin from scratch to build an audience by cutting out the time you spend discovering your users’ needs, getting to know them, and finding solutions to their problems.

For example, if you start publishing a newsletter consistently and manage to share information that can be valuable to your potential users, you can start building a community before you even have an MVP. By continuing to produce a newsletter in line with your product’s value proposition and build direct relationships with your audience, you can see exactly which demographics make up a well-performing audience for your product. You can share your newsletter with people who already share their contact information with you, or you can attract the attention of new potential users in exchange for the newsletter.

As a Result

If you start developing a product by creating an MVP as advised by the lean startup methodology, you can begin lead generation activities right away, even without a product. Getting in touch with your potential users without an MVP might not be your go to market strategy but it is still beneficial to have lead generation in mind while working on building one.

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Startup Founder'sActionable Guide toDigital Products

Startup Founder’s Actionable Guide to Digital Products