How I Spent An Entire Year Conducting Market Research For Free

If you’re launching a product, you know how important it is to nail down your market before getting started. But how do you do that? You could pay for market research, but that can get expensive and will likely eat up the money you need to actually launch the product. 

On the other hand, if only there was a way to conduct market research for free…using people who are already interested in your idea! Well, there is a way: here’s how I saved tens of thousands of dollars and spent an entire year doing just that.

How to Complete Your Market Research Report in Minutes
Key Takeaways
– The value of conducting thorough market research without a significant financial investment.
– Leveraging online resources and tools for gathering valuable insights from target audiences.
– The effectiveness of utilizing social media platforms and online communities for data collection.
– Strategies for collecting and analyzing data over an extended period to uncover trends and patterns.
– Importance of patience and persistence in conducting in-depth market research on a budget.

1. Create The Goal

The first thing you should do is come up with a goal. This can be anything from losing weight to gaining muscle mass, quitting your job to starting your own business. The important thing is that you’re clear on what it is and how long it takes before reaching that stage.

For example, one of my personal fitness goals was to achieve a 600-pound bench press within 3 months (which I did). 

My friend’s goal was to lose 20 pounds by the end of next month (he’s already lost 10 pounds since starting his journey). And another person I know wants to get his website up and running in six weeks (he’ll likely have it done in five).

Don’t forget: You don’t have to share your goals with anyone else if they make you feel uncomfortable doing so. Just make sure they’re achievable!

Building a strong foundation for your market research is crucial. Learn about conducting market research for free and gather valuable insights without breaking the bank.

2. Create The Campaign

Start small, don’t overwhelm yourself with too many people and you will see results quickly. 

Don’t expect to get hundreds of emails in your inbox overnight! You need to create a landing page (website) for your campaign and then send out emails to the people that have signed up for your campaign. 

This can be done through MailChimp or another platform like it. You must improve your messaging and design as much as possible before reaching out because once they sign up they are going to be interested in what you have to offer so make sure it looks good!

Finally, share on social media! Sharing on Facebook is great because there are tons of people there who use Instagram regularly so this will help spread the word about what you are trying to do which could lead more people to sign up for free trials than ever before!

3. Create The Framework

The next step is to create a framework for your survey. This is the foundation of your market research, so you must have everything in place before doing anything else. 

You’ll want to create a few different versions of this framework: one for the landing page, one for the thank you page, and one or two emails that send out after people complete the survey (depending on how many people take it).

And also one or two social media templates that can be used when sharing links to your surveys.

Here are some questions I ask myself when creating these frameworks:

What is my goal with this survey? How does this data help me achieve my goal? What would happen if I didn’t know this information? Who am I targeting and why do they need this information? Why do they care about what we’re offering above all else right now?

Effective marketing starts with asking the right questions. Discover how to ask questions that help you market and tailor your strategies to meet your audience’s needs.

4. Create A Landing Page

When you’re researching your audience, one of the most important things to do is create a landing page. A landing page is an online advertisement that serves as both an introduction to your product or service and a way to capture leads. 

Landing pages typically include information about what the viewer should expect when they interact with it, including how they can make a purchase or sign up for a subscription.

I recommend using Unbounce (or another similar service) to set up your landing page because they’ll make sure it’s optimized for mobile devices and has analytics built-in so that you can track how many people are visiting the site.

Where they came from and whether or not those visitors converted into customers/subscribers.

In general, creating an effective landing page requires that you think about its design carefully: both visually appealing and easy-to-read text are musts for making sure people stay engaged until completion!

5. Create A Survey

The next step is to create a survey. This can be tricky, as there are many different types of surveys and you’ll have to decide which one is best suited for your specific needs. 

The first thing you want to do is identify your objective. If it’s not clear yet, take some time to think about what data collection would help achieve that goal. 

For example, if I wanted to improve my understanding of how people buy houses in New York City, then I’d probably want their age and income level so that I could understand their buying power.

Once you’ve identified what information you need from your audience, make sure that it aligns with the general topic area of research: house buying in New York City (or whatever). 

If the goal was simply “improve our understanding of how often people buy houses” without any additional context like location or demographics etc., then any type of survey will do but only if they’re being used effectively! 

Some surveys are better than others at collecting accurate data so choose wisely!

Finally: make sure there’s someone available on staff who understands how this whole process works before running off into uncharted territory by yourself! 

You wouldn’t want some random person off Craigslist getting access or something crazy like that happening because nobody knew how important security was until too late after all these years spent building up trust between us all.

Online communities can be a goldmine for market insights. Explore the power of using Reddit for market research and tap into the collective knowledge of engaged users.

6. Create A Thank You Page

Thank people for their time. This can be a difficult task, but necessary if you want to have satisfied customers.

Give them a link to your landing page. This is where they will receive the product, service, or information they are after filling out your survey.

Give them a link to your survey. We all love free stuff, don’t we? But it doesn’t stop there, once someone has taken the time out of their day to help you out by completing a survey, give them something in return for their efforts!

Give them a link to your email list – this is great because not only does it allow you to continue receiving feedback from these people but also allows you to reach out again in the future with other offers that might interest these potential customers even more than before!

Give them links (social media) so that they can get connected with others like themselves who might need help in finding answers about whatever subject matter is being discussed within social media groups such as Facebook groups (Facebook).

YouTube channels etc., through Twitter tweets on Twitter, etc., Google+ Communities on google+, LinkedIn Groups on LinkedIn, etc.

7. Emailing, Contacting, And Surveying People One By One

Once you’ve collected a list of email addresses, the next step is to craft an email that will get people to respond. The key here is personalization it’s important to mention something about each person that you already know, such as their name or where they live. 

If someone lives in NYC and works at a travel company, mention that fact. It’ll help them feel more comfortable opening up to you!

Then comes the actual survey itself: it should be short and sweet with just enough questions for what you need (but no more). 

Make sure each question has an option for “Yes,” “No,” or “Other” so people can answer however they want without feeling pressured into choosing one thing over another.

One way I was able to increase response rates was by offering incentives for participating in both my surveys and interviews. 

For example, if someone responded with their contact information on my online form (which collected basic demographic information like age/gender), I would send them $5 via PayPal as thanks for taking part in my research study! 

This incentive worked well because it didn’t cost me much money but still made participants feel appreciated so much that many people wanted me to send them more money after I did so!

Data collection is the backbone of meaningful research. Find out how I collected the data for my marketing research project, and gain insights into effective data gathering strategies.

8. Emailing Hundreds Of People, Using Email Templates And Mail Merge

I spent a lot of time thinking about and testing different email templates. I tested the same template for multiple niches and audiences, but with small adjustments to fit each niche’s writing style.

For example, I made one template for general market research requests (one that worked well), another for product research requests, another for blog post ideas, etc. However, these were all sent with the same main body of text (the one from my earlier example). 

Then once someone responded positively to receiving a request from me (say they emailed me back saying “yes”), I would switch over to using that person’s name in the subject line of my next email and change up some wording around it as well.

OR if they replied negatively or not at all I would then just stop contacting them so as not to waste their time or mine anymore.

The point here is that you should be careful when building out your templates so there aren’t any typos or other mistakes because those things can make all the difference between someone saying yes or no!

9. Get To Know Your Platform Before Reaching Out To People

When you’re ready to reach out and start getting responses from people, the first thing you should do is get very familiar with your platform. Know what to expect from it and its limitations before you start sending out any messages or posting comments on posts.

Know what kind of people use the platform: To make sure that your audience is appropriate, it’s important to know who uses your platform. 

For example, if your chosen social media site is geared towards teenagers and young adults, then chances are that most of your target market will be under 18 years old (and not necessarily ready for legal adult content).

Know how long it takes to get a response: Sometimes there may be delays in getting responses depending on how popular or busy a given platform can be at any given time. 

Some platforms might have longer wait times than others; this could result in more frustration while conducting market research but also mean that there are more opportunities for growth because interest has been so far ahead of demand!

10. Start With A Small Sample Size; Don’t Overwhelm Yourself!

When you’re starting, it’s better to start with a smaller number of respondents than you think you need. This will allow you to get the hang of the process and might even help your survey design by allowing you to learn what works and what doesn’t. 

Even if your first attempt only yields 20 responses (which is still good!), some things can be learned from those results that will save time when trying again later. 

You may want to consider doing some market research before launching anything into production so that once launch day arrives, all systems go for gathering feedback on whatever it is that needs feedback.

Don’t Get Discouraged If You Don’t Get A Lot Of Responses

Surveys are great because they give us insight into what people think about our products without having to ask them directly but sometimes we just aren’t able to get enough information from one survey alone! In these cases.

I recommend running multiple surveys sequentially or over time this way, each survey helps fill in pieces of data needed for completing other surveys down the road until eventually.

We end up with enough complete information (or close enough) where no further research is required at all which happens surprisingly often given how long it takes companies

11. Improving Your Messaging And The Design Of Your Landing Page

It’s important to make sure that the copy on your landing page is clear and concise, as well as easy to navigate. A well-designed landing page will help with conversions, so don’t forget this step! 

You should also make sure that it looks good across all devices, which can be done via responsive design (which means the same site can display properly on any device). 

It is not okay for a user to click on a link only for their browser window to suddenly change shape because they’re viewing it on an iPad instead of a desktop computer. 

And lastly, keep in mind security issues: if someone is trying to hack into your account or steal information from you, they’ll probably try again through an insecure website so make sure yours isn’t one!

12. Sharing Your Landing Page On Social Media And Getting Traffic From There

One of the best ways to get traffic to your landing page is by sharing it on social media. You can use your existing audience and connections, as well as people who don’t know you if you choose the right words and links.

If you’re trying to build an email list, try posting something like this: “Hey everyone! I’ve got an amazing download for you that’s going to help make all your dreams come true! It’s called [Title of File]. Get it now at [Link]!”

You can also use Facebook ads or promoted tweets on Twitter – they’re cheap, easy ways to get more eyes on your page in just seconds!

Market research comes in many forms, each serving its purpose. Learn about 16 types of marketing research and understand why a diverse approach can provide a well-rounded understanding of your target audience.

13. Getting More Traffic From Facebook Groups And Forums Related To Your Niche/Topic

Facebook groups are a great way to find more people who are interested in your niche/topic. There are so many Facebook groups out there, that it’s easy to get lost trying to find the right group for you.

When finding these groups, I like to use Google search strings like: “niche + Facebook group” or “niche + forum”. For example, if your topic is organic tea, you should search something like this:

organic tea + Facebook group OR organic tea + forum OR organic tea + forum related to organic teas (this one is important). These types of searches will pull up all kinds of discussions about teas and their benefits and downfalls. 

The best thing about these types of searches is that they’re usually full of actual customers asking for help on specific problems with different types of teas (for example). 

The best way I’ve found for getting into these groups without being banned or flagged as spammy is by posting helpful information.

14. Getting More Traffic From Reddit And Quora, Also Related To Your Topic Of Interest

These are two of the most popular sites on the internet today. They have hundreds of millions of visitors per month, and some of those visitors will be searching for your survey topic.

Posting about your survey on Reddit and Quora is a quick way to get more traffic. On Reddit, you can post in relevant subreddits (each subreddit has its theme).

But keep in mind that posting low-quality content can result in your post being removed by moderators, who have the final say on what gets posted on Reddit. 

Be sure to check out this guide from Search Engine Journal on how to effectively use Reddit as part of a marketing strategy.

15. Posting About It On Product Hunt, As It’s An Ideal Place For Market Research Surveys

Posting about your market research on Product Hunt is also a great way to get feedback. As mentioned above, Product Hunt’s community tends to be quite tech-savvy.

So they’ll be able to provide a lot of insight into the types of questions you should ask and what kind of information you should be looking for in the responses.

If you’re feeling particularly proud of the results from one or two surveys (or even just a portion of your overall survey), then I highly recommend posting them on Product Hunt! The ability to link back to someone else’s post can be great for furthering discussion about their findings.


So that’s the story of how I spent an entire year conducting market research for free! It was a fun ride, and I learned a lot from my experience. Hopefully, you will be able to use some of these tips when launching your startup or project. 

If not, at least it will make for a good read on your next trip home from work! If you have any questions about what we talked about today, please leave them in the comments below. Thanks so much!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further exploring the topic of market research:

A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Buyer’s Journey in Market Research

HubSpot offers insights into understanding the buyer’s journey in market research, providing a comprehensive guide to navigate this critical aspect of understanding consumer behavior.

How to Conduct Market Research for Free: A Practical Approach

IntoTheMinds provides practical tips and approaches to conduct market research without breaking the bank, offering cost-effective methods for gathering valuable insights.

Market Research: Definition and Techniques

Investopedia defines market research and explores various techniques used to gather and analyze information about consumer preferences, market trends, and competition.


What is the importance of understanding the buyer’s journey in market research?

Understanding the buyer’s journey is crucial in market research as it helps businesses tailor their strategies to meet customers’ needs at every stage, ultimately increasing conversions.

How can I conduct effective market research without spending too much?

Conducting market research for free involves utilizing online resources, surveys, and social media to gather valuable insights from your target audience without significant financial investment.

What are some common techniques used in market research?

Market research techniques include surveys, focus groups, data analysis, competitor analysis, and consumer behavior studies to gain a comprehensive understanding of the market landscape.

How does market research contribute to informed business decisions?

Market research provides businesses with valuable data and insights about consumer preferences, market trends, and competition, allowing them to make informed decisions that align with market demands.

What role does market research play in developing a competitive strategy?

Market research helps identify gaps in the market, uncover unmet needs, and analyze competitor strengths and weaknesses, enabling businesses to develop a competitive strategy that sets them apart from rivals.

How Do I Get Started?

Start by asking questions about your current customers, partners, and suppliers. They are the people who know you best and are likely to be candid with their answers. 

Ask them what they wish your company did better or differently. You may be surprised at how much you can learn from simple conversations like this!

Do I Have To Pay For Market Research?

No! The only cost associated with this process is your time, which is invaluable in its own right. 

The best thing about conducting market research for free is that it allows you to gain perspective from people with experience in your industry, which can be incredibly useful when deciding how best to move forward with a new product or service offering.

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