Relationships require care. And not just in the form of those once-in-a-while grand gestures — though an extra special thank you every now and again never hurts. It's really the micro-interactions that are doing the heavy lifting. Small gestures like checking in, sharing a pet photo or meme, and expressing gratitude go a long way to keeping love and friendship alive.
This is as true for your user testing community as it is for your loved ones. Rewarding your testers at the end of a project is like buying chocolate or roses on Valentine's Day: It's a wonderful way to show your love and appreciation, but it can't be the only thing you do. It's a relationship, not a fling.
If you like the feedback you're getting from your testers and want them to stick around for the long haul, you need to keep them active and engaged within your community. The best way to achieve that is through small but consistent engagement. And not just during your tests either but between tests as well.
Here are five hot tips and ideas for keeping the fire going in your tester community so project participants are ready and willing to answer your call when you need them.
1. Keep Them in the Loop
Fun fact about testers: Most of them join communities because they want to improve the technology they already love. Nothing brings that full circle like seeing how their feedback has had a positive influence on your products.
Those user testing metrics that impress your stakeholders? They'll also impress your community. And it doesn't have to be complex or technical — in fact, the simpler the better.
You can also share articles and positive reviews from outside sources. Just seeing how their hard work has influenced your product is enough to make testers feel good about being part of your community.
2. Write to Them
Written content like polls, surveys, blog posts, and newsletters provide a great opportunity to invite testers to interact with your community and each other. Here are some fun, low-ask topics to inspire you:
- What's your favorite product or feature from this last year?
- How much time do you spend using our product each week?
- Which of these new features sounds most interesting to you?
- What's your favorite way to use our product?
You can share the results of polls or surveys in a quick blog post or newsletter. Newsletters are also great places to post training resources for new testers. You can also ask your current community members to invite their friends with similar interests.
3. Surprise Them with Sneak Peeks
Getting ready to take a new product or feature into a test? Share a sneak peek of what's to come with your community to get the buzz going. This is a great way to pique attention ahead of your next project.
Just remind them to keep their enthusiasm inside the community and to not share any details on social media. They should've already signed an agreement, but a little reminder never hurts.
4. Check Up on Your Bae
The average American buys a new smartphone every two years, not to mention the new gadgets and smart devices that come and go from their technological ecosystems. Reminding your community members to check in and update their profiles and test platforms on a regular basis keeps your community top of mind. It's also the perfect time to introduce new testing opportunities and keep that spark alive. Every six months is a good cadence to start with.
5. Stay Linked via Social Media
You don't have to be the only force reminding testers that your brand, product, and community exists. Leverage your marketing team's efforts by inviting your testers to follow your brand on social media. Seeing your company or products pop-up on Twitter, Facebook, and other channels will help to remind community members to check in on new testing opportunities, especially when you combine this with the tactics we mentioned above.
Keep That Fire Burning
Ok, you've got community engagement between tests covered. But how about increasing engagement during your user tests? Let the Tester Engagement Pocket Map steer you toward an active and thriving tester community that floods all your projects with high-quality feedback.