Sometimes, including on this forum, I read advice to use Adwords for market research. Looks simple: find a few terms that describe your product idea, see how many people are searching for it, put up an ad, see how many people click etc.
I am trying to find a niche in the analytics/reporting/bigdata space. So far, I learned that most keywords cost upwards of $2/click. But even as they get to the landing page, it is difficult to say if they are genuinly interested or are just tyre-kickers.
If anyone here has actually done this, I would much appreciate them sharing the experience, particularly about:
I'd say that a CTR of 1-2% is pretty good. But you're right that on its own, it's not enough to rely on when researching a market. All a click-through means is that your ad was interesting, and what you want to measure is how interesting your idea as explained on the landing page is.
One thing I've heard recommended is to put a form on the front page saying "Sign up and we'll tell you when the beta is ready". Just ask them for their email address, absolutely nothing more.
That's much more less effort for the site visitor than calling a phone number or filling in a more complicated "contact" form, but it does make sure than anyone who uses it is genuinely interested -- at least, interested enough to run the risk of you spamming them later on!