Technology is incredibly helpful when trying to scale your business and create a memorable customer experience. But it’s not infallible.
There are plenty of ways that tech goes wrong — and I’ve seen many a slip-up in my days.
After working in operations for over a decade and owning a business that helps business owners as their COO for the last seven, I’ve learned one crucial thing…
Always test your tech.
If you don’t, you could be missing out on sales, email sign-ups, and the opportunity to connect with your customers or clients.
If you want to avoid all the hassle and frustration that comes with a technical slip-up, this post will help. I’ll walk you through a tech test process that can help you with virtually any launch.
Walk away before you test anything
My number one rule before you test, no matter what you’re testing, is: Walk away. Yes, really. This goes for anything new that you’re launching, even if it’s “just” a new freebie.
When you’re in the weeds of your business, it can be hard to identify gaps or potential pitfalls. You’re so blinded by the end goal that it’s hard to know if things in the in-between are working too.
Build it all out to its most complete point, then wait 24 hours before testing anything. This will give your brain time to restart and have the much-needed break it deserves but also helps you look at things with fresh eyes.
Test in an incognito browser
The first step in a lead magnet test is to open up your lead magnet’s opt-in page in an incognito browser and pretend you’re the customer. Why? Because it keeps you looking at things with fresh eyes.
This goes for an opt-in page, sales page, new website page, etc.!
Look through your customer’s eyes: This is where gaps tend to be the largest because, while business owners think the information or process is crystal clear, the customer doesn’t know what’s actually involved, who the offer is for, or what steps they need to take to get it.
Clear any stored information: Looking at things in an incognito browser ensures stored information (like logins, pop-ups, etc) doesn’t interfere with testing. When you log in on a browser that stores your information, you aren’t going to be seeing it from a new perspective. But when you go incognito, it ensures you’re seeing things in real time as if you never have before.
Check links, buttons, and photos
Next, you want to check for any technical snafus. Head to your landing page, opt-in page, or whatever it is you’re testing, and check to ensure every single button, CTA, pop-up, or inline form is working correctly.
Something to be particularly mindful of is your photos. Alt text is important because it improves the accessibility of your website. Plus, you want to make sure that you’re linking any images that people may click.
It’s all about stepping into your customer’s experience to see things how they see them. From there you can begin to ask yourself, “Is my website functional? Easy to navigate? Will people readily understand where they need to go?”
Don’t forget the mobile view
I cannot stress this enough: Don’t forget to check the mobile version of any page you build.
If you hire a designer, they should take care of everything design-wise and put the proper links where they need to go. However, having an extra set of eyes is helpful — and if you’re DIYing it, you’ll want to be especially mindful. There are so many web builders that require you to essentially create a separate version of the mobile site.
With 92.3% of internet users accessing content on their mobile devices, forgoing this step virtually guarantees lost sales, email sign-ups, etc.
Test your forms
Did you know that you can test pop-up or inline forms multiple times? While some email service providers can be finicky (i.e. you can only submit your email once or test the form once per session) there is a workaround.
Try using something like email@example.com. The text after the “+” will differentiate it in case you need to test multiple times!
Don’t forget your thank you pages
Don’t forget the thank you or confirmation page! Even if you just have a popup or inline form, most providers will give you the option to edit or customize the thank you page or success message that is displayed after.
Read it, then read it again. Does it make sense? Would you be left with any questions? For example, if you’re signing up for a webinar, can people add this information to their calendars for reminders?
Be sure to include as much information as you possibly can.
Test your emails
Are you promoting this new offer via email? Do you have emails you want to send after someone converts? Make sure you test the emails in your opt-in sequence, promotion sequence, etc.
If it’s a promotion sequence, you want to make sure that everything goes out in the proper order and cadence — and you really want to make sure all the links work.
Test your user experience
Speaking of promoting your new offer, we’re heading into the final phase of your tech check: Your customer or client experience.
How are you promoting your offer? Can you get to the sales/product page easily from your homepage? Do you need to add a pop-up or banner directing people to the right place?
If people can’t get to your offer, then there will be no sales. It’s as easy as that.
Review sales or product copy
Read through your sales page or product description: Does it answer all questions? Do you need to add a FAQ? If a potential customer is confused, they’re less likely to buy from you, so make sure your description is as clear and detailed as possible.
While this isn’t necessarily “tech,” it’s still an important part of your launch’s quality assessment.
Test out the actual purchase
Next, actually purchase the product, opt-in to your freebie, or sign up for your service. Create a 100% off coupon for yourself, then purchase as if you were the customer. This way, you’re truly getting a feel for what the experience is like on the other side and, of course, avoiding technical slip-ups.
Check the post-purchase process
I’ve already mentioned the importance of an order confirmation page or thank you page. You want to make sure that people have all the details about their purchase. But what else should follow a conversion?
If it’s a physical product purchase, for example, you need to include important information about product delivery. If it’s a course, make sure you give them any login details or additional information to access their purchase.
I usually don’t wait to receive these emails but rather go into our email system and make sure my dummy email address was flagged appropriately to receive them.
Once received, click everything to test links and read them through to ensure nothing is missing.
You could also consider adding a CTA, like asking them to hit reply and let you know why they decided to purchase. This could be a great way to get testimonials or customer insight quickly since most everyone will open the confirmation emails.
See your launch from start to finish
After reading this, you might be thinking, “Well that sounds boring.” Or worse — you might think you don’t have to test anything because “you paid attention the first time.”
Believe me when I say: Testing your launch can make or break it.
It’s definitely not on the sexy side of the business, especially when you just want to get your offer out to the world. But this is a crucial step that can save you headaches, money, AND conversions.
And while testing your tech is important, any time you launch an offer, there is a larger scope of items that need to be verified and double-checked. Yes, it’s a long process, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a tough one!
If you want to see what it looks like, start to finish, check out how I helped Becca at Happy Ever Crafter launch her annual workshop in 2020, which is now an annual event!