Getting users into your beta test is often one of the first big challenges of preparing to run your beta test. Once you’ve figured out who your ideal tester is (which should represent a diverse range of your target market), you’re going to have to start thinking about how you plan to onboard them into your beta test.
The onboarding phase requires you to first create an appropriate invitation, and then send an invitation to the right people for your beta test. Once you start getting interest, you’re also going to have to keep track of who’s applied to become a tester and who hasn’t. And if your list includes specific segments, you’ll want to keep track of them too.
With so many moving pieces involved with beta test recruitment and onboarding testers into your beta test, it’s easy to get tangled up in trying to come up with a seamless process. At Centercode, we like to think of this initial phase of a beta test as if you’re having a party and you’re about to send out invitations. The process involves three main elements:
- What am I inviting users to?
- How am I getting them in the door?
- What am I doing with them once they’ve shown interest?
The invitation is an essential element of any party because it gives your guests an idea of what to expect and why they should come. This is the same for a beta test invitation or recruitment message. It is your chance to entice testers to join your beta test.
Usually, for a beta testing opportunity, the invitation takes the form of a landing page or email and operates as the gateway into your beta test. It should include a brief, but vague description of the product, any basic requirements for the beta test (like if testers need to have a specific model smartphone), a rough idea of how long the test will run for, and when it will start. It should also indicate what will be expected from them during your beta test.
Finally (and most importantly) it should tell people WHY they should participate in your test — that it’s their chance to influence your product and work directly with your team to make the product better. This will get people excited and in the right mindset as they apply for your test.
Your invitation not only provides the means for a user to join your tester community or project, but it can also help you filter out the testers who don’t meet your requirements before they even try to apply for your test. Here are some more tips on writing an effective recruitment message.
Sending the Invitation
The next element of any party and beta test recruitment is sending out your invitation. At Centercode, we see this as the pathway potential tester candidates can come through to join your beta community or project. It’s how you initially get in touch with potential testers and provide the very first directions on how they can join your test.
In today’s world, you can let people know about your beta test opportunity via multiple mediums, from a Facebook invite or an email to a text message or even a QR code. When choosing how to get in touch with potential testers, make sure you take into account who your target audience is and what medium they’ll be most receptive to in hearing about a new testing opportunity. No matter what medium(s) you use, make sure you include a simple and clear way to gain access to your invitation, i.e., including a link to the beta test’s landing page.
The Guest List
Like any good party organizer, it’s important to have an RSVP list. When ramping up a beta test, this will be the list of people who have shown interest in becoming a tester for you, and it will become increasingly critical in the lead up to your beta test.
At Centercode, we always recommend you have an application process for your beta test. This will allow you to look out for any red flags in your beta test applicants, ensuring you’re only selecting the best testers for your project. It’s also a good idea to keep track of everyone on your list and their progress into your beta test. That would be things like who has shown interest, who has completed an application, which medium did the applicant come from, and who has been accepted in as a tester.
This will help in the long run when you need to send out messages to specific groups of people. For example, if you have a group of prospective testers who have shown interest, but haven’t yet completed an application, you’ll be able to easily send a follow-up email to that specific group, reminding them to fill out the application. That way, you won’t end up spamming hundreds of people with useless information and negatively impacting your nurturing goals. If you have different segments in your tester group, then we recommend keeping track of each separate group as well, as this information could yield helpful data during and after the test.
These three elements come together to form your onboarding process, helping you move seamlessly from putting together the initial beta testing opportunity message to sending out these invitations to then keeping track of each individual candidate as they come into your test. And just like any good party, if you take on your initial recruitment and onboarding phase with these three elements in mind, you’ll be better prepared to jump right into your beta test with your testers. See more tips on tester recruitment and onboarding by checking out our Tester Recruitment Kit!