Lean Startup Essentials: Have a Hypothesis

If you are going to A/B test your landing page .. with VentureVerify or not … it’s important to know where to start. With all the tools available for an entrepreneur these days, it is easy to begin testing a website without giving much thought to what a successful test looks like.

The goal of testing is to learn … but learning requires comparing an expected outcome to the actual results. Without that expected outcome, it can be easy to fall into the trap of vanity metrics. Just because numbers go up after posting some content, it doesn’t mean much unless you keep track of what works & what doesn’t.

That is, measure & verify … and to measure you need a hypothesis.

Though it doesn’t provide as much sense of accomplishment as sending a live URL to a friend showing your landing page; spending the time to think-through how you plan on measuring success will do more for your business in the long-term.

It’s a key investment of your time. It’s where you apply your differentiation.

So what do you do?

If possible, try to put things in terms of numbers. And when you first launch a website, it can be hard to articulate what conversion rates you should be getting, or how you should improve. But the best thing to do in this case is just make an educated guess.

In that case I’d ask myself, “How many conversions do I realistically expect given the people who are going to be conducting the test?  How many conversions would be amazing? What is the bare minimum I should expect if we were just average?

These kinds of questions can be answered with a numeric guess. Like, “I think I can get 2% conversion, and would be amazed if we got 10%.”

So then what is the actual measurement you want to take?

For this new landing page, you want to have something replicable. So try to put things in terms like “Repeatable average” number of conversions. So, I’d say I want “between 2% and 10% repeatable average conversions per channel, in order to determine which one is best.”

Now you have a hypothesis you can measure.

A better test is then to estimate how much you would spend per channel, so your test budget can be most useful. More on that later.

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