What Motivates Our Beta Testers?

There are a lot of great reasons people become testers. Your testers could be tech early adopters, avid users of your product, or potential customers who happened to come across your beta announcement.

We’ve long advocated that the best testers are the ones that are there because of an interest in making your product better, rather than getting free stuff or rewards. In the past, we’ve given advice on how to recruit and identify testers that are genuinely interested in your product and the problems it solves.

Since we recruit for incredibly diverse products, we have representatives from every walk of life in our community of over 150,000 testers. We have everyone from tech novices to tech experts, children to retirees, and members of every professional industry.

Over the years we’ve received a lot of anecdotal feedback from our testers about why they test. They tell us how invested they are in the development of these products and how rewarding that involvement is for them. Our customers are often shocked when we insist that many people join our community purely out of a desire to improve the products they use. So we decided to put some data behind our anecdotes and asked our testers why they volunteer their free time to test products. Thousands responded, and this is what they said.

What is your primary reason for participating in our beta program? Number Percentage
Help improve products I use 2,309 43%
A way to learn the new product features 1,131 21%
Early access to your products 852 16%
Grow professionally 417 8%
Earn incentives 266 5%
Free or discounted version of the product 230 4%
Other 114 2%
Network with likeminded people 74 1%
Required to as part of my job 25 0%
Total 5,418 100%

Motivation-Graph-Final

We found these results to be incredibly interesting. Less than 10% of respondents are involved in beta testing for the rewards we give our testers to thank them for their hard work. Over 40% joined our community to improve products they love or use. Another 37% thrive on the early access to new products and features.

Understanding why your testers join your beta program can give you a significant advantage in your beta management strategy. If you know why your testers are drawn to your test or community, you can use, motivate, and reward them more effectively.

If your testers are interested in early access to your products, for example, you can promote the exclusivity of beta testing in your messaging and reward them with opportunities for future tests. If your testers are motivated by learning new features, you can enlist their help in improving support and training materials. If your testers are interested primarily in improving your product because they use it, you know they’ll be great candidates for testimonials and would love to be rewarded with a production version of your product at the end of the test.

Understanding beta tester psychology can help you improve your participation levels and ultimately make your beta tests more effective and meaningful. Hopefully these numbers provide a glimpse into what makes beta testers tick and gives you some ideas for how you can encourage your own testers in the future.

For more on improving beta tester participation, download our eBook on Reaching 90% Beta Test Participation.

Improve beta tester participation!

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