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Test Planning

Why Recruiting More Beta Testers Than Needed Is a Smart Move

December 30, 2022

Recruiting more applicants than the number of beta testers needed is like planting a garden. Just as a gardener plants more seeds than the number of plants they want to grow, recruiting more applicants than beta testers ensures that there is a diverse group of testers to choose from. Just as not all seeds will sprout and grow into healthy plants, not all applicants will be able to participate in the beta test.

When it comes to conducting a beta test, recruiting a diverse group of testers is essential for getting valuable feedback on your product. However, simply recruiting a group of testers is not enough - it is also important to have a large pool of applicants to choose from.

By the end of this blog, you will have a better understanding of why recruiting more applicants than needed is important, and how to ensure that you have a diverse and qualified group of testers for your beta test.

How many more applicants should I aim for in comparison to beta testers I need?

It is generally recommended to recruit more applicants for a beta test than the number of beta testers needed. This is because not all applicants will be able to participate in the beta test, and having a larger pool of applicants allows for a more diverse group of testers. 

Additionally, it is always good to have backup testers in case any of the selected testers need to reschedule or are unable to participate. A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least twice as many applicants as the number of beta testers needed. For example, if you need 10 beta testers, aim to recruit at least 20 applicants.

Why is it important to recruit more applicants than the number of beta testers needed?

Recruiting more applicants than beta testers needed is critical as it allows for flexibility in the event that any of the selected testers do not work out for one reason or another. You’ll be thankful you have them as a safety net to fall back on if needed.

Reasons why it is important to recruit more applicants than the number of beta testers needed:

  • Better representation: By recruiting a larger pool of applicants, you can ensure that you have a diverse group of testers who represent a range of demographics, technical backgrounds, and usage patterns. This can help ensure that the beta test results are more representative of the overall user base.
  • Flexibility: Recruiting more applicants than needed allows you to have some flexibility in selecting the final group of testers. If some testers drop out or are unable to participate, you will have backup testers to choose from.
  • Extra feedback: Having a larger pool of applicants can be beneficial because it allows you to gather more feedback and insights from a wider range of users.
  • Gather extra insights to identify target market: The applicants that apply for your test can reveal information about themselves and their interests during the screening survey that can help to identify additional insights on your target market that you may not have thought about before.

Listen to The Delta Huddle Podcast: Episode #002 - Building Brand Evangelism Through User Testing to learn more about the nuances of tester recruitment and the value you can get from your applicants by asking the right questions during the screening process.

It starts with a solid plan

Laying out a clear recruitment plan makes it possible for you to bring the right individuals into your beta test. And by “right individuals,” we mean members of your target market who will engage fully with your product and are able to provide consistent, high-quality feedback on it. It’s an authoritative outline of your goals and strategies for your project recruitment and serves as a guide for contributors and stakeholders throughout this process. Having a solid recruitment plan will ensure you attract the right people to apply for your test.

Your recruitment plan should identify:

  • Your test objectives
  • Your target market
  • The core requirements (“must-have” traits) for testing
  • How many testers you need to recruit
  • Messaging (including any drafts)
  • Your qualification survey

Tips for recruiting a large applicant pool of beta testers

When beginning your outreach for applicants, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure your test application gets the attention it deserves to bring in as many potential testers to choose from as possible.

Here are some tips for recruiting a large pool of applicants:

  • Start early: Begin recruiting beta testers at least two to three weeks before the start of the testing period. This allows enough time to find a diverse group of testers and ensure that they have sufficient time to prepare for the test.
  • Define your target audience: Clearly define the characteristics and demographics of the testers you are looking for. This will help you identify the most appropriate channels for recruiting and attract the right kind of testers for your beta test.
  • Use multiple recruitment channels: Don't rely on just one method for recruiting testers. Use a mix of channels, including social media, forums, and email lists, to reach a wider audience and increase the number of applicants.
  • Offer incentives: Consider offering incentives, such as discounts on future products, free access to premium features, or other perks, to encourage people to apply to be testers.
  • Promote the benefits: Make sure potential testers understand the benefits of participating in the beta test, such as being among the first to try out a new product, having the opportunity to provide feedback and shape the final product, or gaining early access to new features.
  • Keep the application process simple: Make it easy for people to apply to be testers by keeping the application process as simple and straightforward as possible.

How does Centercode help with tester recruitment?

Let’s be honest, recruiting the right testers for your beta test isn’t the easiest thing in the world, especially if it’s your first time. Centercode has a ton of powerful features that can help you eliminate that stress and ensure your recruitment process gets kicked off smoothly and efficiently.

Centercode offers the following helpful features:

  • Betabound: Our network of fully profiled testers makes it easy to order up the exact customers you need for testing your pre-release products.
  • Screening surveys: Create custom screener surveys that helps you gather vital information about incoming test applicants and helps you decide which applicants show the most promise.
  • Opportunity Pages: Create catchy and informative landing pages that control the recruitment experience for applicants that land on your invitation to apply for your test.
  • Visual Themes: Customize the visual design and branding of your community and projects that excites testers by immersing them in your product experience.
  • Referral program: Centercode has a referral capability that grants existing users the ability to refer others and allows you to identify and reward participants who refer friends or colleagues to your beta test. This can be a helpful way to expand your pool of potential participants.

Click here for a full platform overview.


Over-recruiting for your beta test has many benefits that can help ensure the success of your testing program. By recruiting more applicants than needed, you can increase the response rate, ensure better representation, provide flexibility, and gather extra feedback. All of these factors can help you get more accurate and comprehensive results from your beta test, which can ultimately lead to a better product and a more satisfied customer base. 

So the next time you're planning a beta test, be sure to over-recruit and take advantage of all the benefits that a larger applicant pool has to offer.

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