Understanding beta tester motivation is critical to the success of your beta test. In order to engage your beta testers and get the most feedback from them, you need to understand what’s driving them to be part of your beta test. If you understand why your testers are volunteering their time to your test, you can appropriately leverage the source of that motivation to maximize their participation and get the most out of your beta test.
After running hundreds of beta tests for every product type imaginable, we’ve discovered that there are a few different “breeds” of testers. Below we’ve outlined the major groups that beta testers often fall into, so you can identify what types of testers you have in your beta program and leverage their motivation to keep them engaged throughout your test.
Note: These profiles are taken from our Beta Test Incentives Kit that includes a detailed whitepaper which will help you build a comprehensive strategy for motivating and rewarding all of your beta testers throughout your test.
1. Exclusivity Junkies
Many beta testers enjoy testing because it’s a chance to be one of a select few to experience a product before its release. These are the earliest of early adopters, and are motivated by the testing experience itself and enjoy being part of the beta test.
2. Problem Solvers
Finding a simple solution to a daily problem that someone may face in their life (personal and/or professional) may be the only reason some testers need to get involved in a beta test. They want to help shape a product that is very important to them and are motivated because improving your product will directly improve their life.
3. Product Enthusiasts
Many people find great satisfaction in knowing that they directly helped shape a product, particularly if it’s something they already regularly use. In many cases, these testers are existing brand evangelists.
4. Knowledge Hounds
Some beta testers are motivated by wanting to build their skill set or learn something new. They’re similar to the exclusivity-motivated testers, because they feel rewarded just experiencing the test. This is especially true for professional products used in the workplace.
5. Social Networkers
These testers like meeting and working with like-minded people. Beta testing is a chance for them to be part of a community with others that share their interests. Fostering community and building relationships is extremely valuable to them.
6. Freebie Seekers
These beta testers are in it for the freebies that they expect at the end of the test. Their focus is on the prize at the end, rather than the development of your product.
The first step to motivating your beta testers is to understand what’s driving them. Keep in mind that your testers may fit into more than one (or perhaps all) of the types listed above. By considering why your testers are interested in your test in the first place, you’ll be able to develop a strategy that leverages these motivations in a manner that will benefit not only your tester participation rate, but it will also elevate the quality of feedback that you receive from them.
Download our Beta Test Incentives Kit for the whole story on developing your beta test incentives strategy. You can also download our Beta Tester Recruitment Kit for an in-depth look into finding, recruiting, and selecting the best beta testers for your product.