There’s a common misconception that beta testers are motivated to participate solely to receive a free product in the process. While it’s true that this is a common motivation (and generally one you should avoid in your recruiting process), there are other, far better reasons why people best test. Understanding these can help you pick better testers, and ultimately increase your participation substantially.
1. They want to see something fixed
The single most under-appreciated and misunderstood motivation behind why people participate in beta tests is simply because they have a problem that they want solved. This could be either a bug or a previous limitation. If they’re testing a new version of a product it’s likely because there are shortcomings that have been remedied that they’re eager to get their hands on. This simple fact produces both the best beta testers, and the best feedback on your product.
2. They love your product
Beta testers often sign up for your projects because they’re loyal customers. It’s likely that they’ve spent countless hours using your product and see the beta test as a unique and exclusive opportunity to help be a part of its future developments.
3. They dislike your competitor’s product
Many beta testers come from a desire to explore your product because the similar product they currently use is failing to meet their needs. By joining your beta they hope to learn about your product, and in return you gain their unique and valuable perspective which will likely be similar to many customers you’re attempting to gain.
4. They want to learn something new
Often people sign up to beta test because they’d like to learn more about a specific product or technology. In the consumer space this is often simply a personal interest, while in the business space it may expand to career building. Regardless, these individuals see the opportunity to explore your product as a chance to expand their understanding by taking a hands-on approach to learning. They will also often represent the novice user who is crucial to many beta tests.
5. They love the community
A good beta test provides a unique opportunity to be social and/or network with a like-minded group of individuals. Providing private user forums to your beta testers allows these people to achieve this goal while also centralizing the flow of information to a controlled environment.
Have any other great reasons people become beta testers? Let us know!
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