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Test Planning

Building a Rewarding Testing Experience: Before Your Test Begins

September 19, 2014

This is the first installment of our three part series about building a rewarding testing experience. In order to maximize the engagement of your beta testers, you need to incentivize them to participate in your beta test. A big part of incentivizing your testers is creating a naturally rewarding beta testing experience that makes them feel valued and heard. This series will focus on how you can create a pleasant and fulfilling testing experience for them, which will in turn give you happier, more engaged testers. We’re separating building the experience into three distinct stages: Before Your Test; During Your Test; After Your Test.

Resource: Building a fulfilling and engaging testing experience is just one part of a successful incentives strategy. Download our Beta Test Incentives Kit for a complete walkthrough on building a solid incentives strategy for your beta test.

Today we’re focusing on what you can do before your test begins to ensure that your testers have a good experience. Making sure that your testers feel like they are a valued part of your development process goes a long way toward maximizing participant engagement, and it all begins with selecting the right testers and setting the right expectations. You can do this through careful messaging and tester selection.

Step One: Setting the Tone

Many beta testers are primarily motivated by the testing experience alone. These are the testers you want for your test because they appreciate the testing experience and are naturally motivated to test. Finding these testers begins with careful messaging during recruitment.

  1. Talk About the Experience — When you’re writing your email or landing page copy to entice beta candidates to apply, focus your messaging on the testing experience itself. Use phrases like “exclusive opportunity” and “work closely with the development team” to highlight the value of the testing experience.
  2. Don’t Give Specifics — Every test should include a reward for the testers at the end, such as a gift card or the final product, but mentioning these gifts during the recruitment stage is a fine art. If you tell testers what the reward will be, they may get too excited and focus on the prize instead of the test. On the other hand, they may also choose not to sign up because the prize simply isn’t interesting enough for them. Either way, it’s removing the focus from the beta test itself. Instead, mention that there will be a reward, but don’t say exactly what it is. This will demonstrate that you do indeed value their time, without shifting their focus from test itself.
  3. Show Your Enthusiasm — After they’ve applied, thank testers for their interest and express how much you’re looking forward to their feedback. This will show the testers that you’re not just going through the motions, but are really looking to get their thoughts and involve them in the beta process. This will only excite and motivate them even further.

Resource: If you’re looking for much more detailed advice on how to find and recruit great beta testers, download our free Beta Tester Recruitment Kit which has all of the tools you will need to locate and recruit the best beta testers for your product.

Throughout your beta process you should be looking for ways to get testers excited about the testing experience, while avoiding resorting to bribing them with prizes. This will ensure that you’re attracting testers who are genuinely interested in contributing to your product’s development, which are exactly the type of testers you want for your test.

Step Two: Selecting the Right Testers

After your messaging is in place, you want to qualify beta candidates so you can select the ones that are innately motivated. As part of your qualification survey, ask beta applicants open-ended questions such as, “Why do you want to be a beta tester for this product?” or “What makes you a great beta tester candidate for this product?” This will give them the opportunity to discuss openly why they’re interested in your test.

How your beta applicants answer these types of questions will give you important indications of which testers are there for the right reasons. Look for testers who talk about the effect the product has on their daily lives or mention wanting to help shape the future of the product. Look for enthusiasm about beta testing and passion for exploring new products. These are the kinds of testers that will enjoy testing and therefore need less coaxing to complete tasks and engage in the beta testing process.

In a nutshell, a carefully crafted recruitment process will help you attract the right testers and get them excited about the testing experience. This will help to set the right tone for your beta test by focusing your testers on the value they can bring to your product’s development and assuring them from day one that their feedback will be heard.

Read the next post in this series on how to build a rewarding experience during your beta test!

Download our Beta Test Incentives Kit now!

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