You have a great app idea. You validated its need with thorough market research and created a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for your idea. The next agenda on the list is how to acquire customers for your MVP, right?
No matter how sophisticated and unique you think your idea is, at the end of the day it all boils down to whether anyone needs it and is willing to pay for it. Market always wins! Entrepreneurs often treat MVPs quite differently than they would treat their final product and it’s a mistake!
Think about it. The MVP of your app is its scaled-down version with all the core features. The challenges you are facing right now in acquiring customers for your MVP are similar to the ones you will face after the final launch of your app.
In this article, I’ll be talking about how to acquire customers for your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)! But before approaching a user, customer segmentation is important – diving different types of users in different groups.
No matter what your product idea is, here are a few common consumer groups you’ll come across.
- The Unwilling Ones
- The Freeloaders
- The First Time Users
- Unhappy With A Paid Solution
- Happy With A Paid Solution
The ultimate goal you should keep in mind when acquiring customers for your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is to find customers who will provide genuine feedback instead of just onboarding many customers.
The Unwilling Ones
This is the hardest customer segment to acquire for your MVP. These folks are living with a problem that you propose to solve with your idea but aren’t willing to pay for it.
The unwillingness to pay for your service either could be because they don’t find this problem to be agonizing enough or the already existing solutions aren’t effective enough.
This is a major group of consumers to acquire for your MVP whom you’ll face even after your app’s launch. This category of consumers might only respond to extreme measures. iBwave also faced a similar challenge and it faced it with an extreme solution.
They offered recuperation to their clients if the offered solution didn’t deliver as promised. Now, that’s a bold move and you have to be confident enough in your MVP to offer that.
If you can’t afford to do that, you can offer a discounted price on your MVP to get signups from this customer segment. The other way to go acquiring customers for your MVP from this segment is to simplify their problem with your solution by displaying the competitive edge of your product!
This provides them with reasons why they don’t have to compromise, using your efficient solution, anymore!
Don’t get me wrong here! I like using low-cost/free services but when it comes to business, one cannot compromise with money.
Basically, this segment of consumers from your target audience is basically the ones using the basic features of a similar product for free. In a way, this segment of users presents an acquisition opportunity rather than a threat. So, how to acquire this segment of customers for your MVP?
The one factor that is in your favor is that this segment of your target audience understands the need for your solution. All you have to do to acquire these customer for your MVP is pitch your solution in a way for them to understand that it is worth their time and money!
Besides, the motive behind releasing your MVP is also to understand its market price and need. There are many marketing tools such as Semrush, Ahref, etc. Each of them has its own USP and all of them co-exist in the same market.
The unique propositions and features of your app will work in this case. Approach this segment of customers with what advanced features is your MVP offering for a small fee. Take the Freemium Revenue Model for example. Most of the marketing tools I mentioned above use a derivative of this business model.
All I am trying to say is these consumers are already using a basic version of your product. You have to show what premium features your product can provide that their existing free solution can’t! And that’s how to acquire this segment of customes for your MVP.
The First Time Users
This segment of consumers is entirely different from “The Unwilling Ones”. They face the problem you are solving with your product and are finding a solution for it.
Now, this is a rare group of customers and acquiring them for your MVP will be comparatively easier for two reasons.
- You are involving them in the product development phase. So, you can expect some good feedback from this segment.
- Your product is solving their problem.
You can acquire such customers for your MVP from the community groups of similar service platforms. For example, let’s say that your app offers an on-demand car wash service.
You can find consumers for your app on community forums of car wash companies. You can also go through the complaints users have related to the product or mobile app you are offering!
Another way to go about acquiring customers for your MVP is to visit the forum of a successful on-demand app and ask about what other services do the users suffer from.
Unhappy With a Paid Solution
If you are launching your MVP in a market full of competition, this is the best kind of audience to acquire. These consumers have a problem your app is solving and are even willing to pay for it.
You have to realize that this segment of your target audience belongs to your competitors and they are unhappy with their product. You need to acquire such experienced customers for your MVP because of two reasons.
- They understand the worth of your product and are willing to pay for it.
- This segment of customers are unsatisfied but experienced. They bring valuable feedback to the table that can help you develop your product in the right direction.
There are different ways you can go about acquiring these customers for your MVP. Start by offering a lesser price as compared to what they already are paying. Keep in mind that just offering a discounted price won’t be enough for them to stick with your product.
It will come down to the value you are adding using your product and this is where you can totally disrupt the market. If you offer an innovative solution to this segment of consumers, you can expect your users to grow from organic word-of-mouth marketing of your MVP.
Happy With a Paid Solution
You’ll have to be very aggressive to acquire this segment of customers for your MVP. They are the core users of your competitors’ product and if you budge them in your direction, you will definitely outgrow your competition upon public launch.
Besides, these consumers are already happy with what they are using. So, if they sign up for your MVP, it’s a reassuring thing. You are offering something that is so unique that even your competitors’ users are signing up.
But here’s the deal. You can’t just expect them to sign up for a lesser price.
You can define a value for your product and A/B test the discount offers to lure this segment of consumers in. But, to create a vast difference, you have to market your product on its most-compelling and useful USP.
Besides this, you will have to be more interactive with this group of your target audience. You can use Trello to communicate which feedback your team has worked on or is working on like Ninja Outreach. You can use a similar setup to interact with consumers who sign up for your MVP.
MVP is just basic version of your product with its core features designed to include users in the development process. This means that you don’t have to worry about launching a perfect MVP. But it also can’t be riddled with bugs.
Acquiring customers to get feedback for your MVP is crucial. It’s the first market test of your app idea and provides the opportunity to create a successful product/app.
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