Text messaging: An under used tool for product validation

SMS not cool but still useful

In product validation, we should ask what is the least we can do to validate this idea? This year showed me that sometimes the best thing you can do is to send a text message. Here are examples where I have seen/used text messaging used to validate an idea:

  • Messaging customers about their order status and testing the copy that would be eventually be used in the app.
  • Sending text messages to simulate what a chatbot would communicate to the user
  • Alerting customers about their data usage to nudge them towards behaviours to prevent extra charges

Companies who want to communicate with customers would likely have the necessary information and systems to message those customers directly. Text messaging has a 98% open rate and it is installed on all mobile devices. The barrier to getting your message to your customer is low and you can scale it. If you built an app you would need to spend more time to get to an MVP then you would need to worry about getting users acquired to download then use your app. The cost of sending a text for product validation would also cost much less with faster feedback on whether your new concept would work.

Sending text messages is not as cool as building an integrated chatbot or a new app but it is a simple way to get learnings for you to solve the right problems.