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Test Planning

Writing an Effective and Intriguing Beta Recruitment

August 27, 2014

Getting the right people to apply for your beta test is no easy task. You have to balance enticing potential testers with maintaining confidentiality. You have to excite them without giving too much away. You need to communicate what it means to be a beta tester for you while tempting them with the rewards of joining your community. To top it off, you only have a few short paragraphs to pull this off.

Recruitment messages usually take a form of an email or landing page (or sometimes both). This is the email you’ll send to members of your community that might be interested in taking part or the page you’ll link to when you’re out promoting your beta opportunity. It’s all potential beta candidates will see before they apply for your test, so it’s your one chance to communicate a lot of important information.

You can think of this message as essentially a job post for your beta test. Within this message you’ll need to communicate exactly what your test is, what type of people you’re looking for, and what type of commitment your test will require. This announcement should be simple, clear, and intriguing, but shouldn’t over-promise. Here are some guidelines that will help you craft a strong message that will recruit the right beta testers.

Be clear and concise

Let the testers know precisely what your test will entail and how much time/energy they can expect to invest. You’ll also want to keep your recruitment message to 2-3 paragraphs at most. If you present people with a short novel to read through, you’ll risk overwhelming (or even boring) your potential testers instead of exciting them.

Stress the exclusivity

People generally love to be a part of a carefully selected group. Reminding candidates of the exclusive opportunity presented to them generates excitement and lays the foundation for the secrecy you’ll expect from them as testers.

Ambiguity is your friend

Since beta testing is often shrouded in secrecy, it’s important to be careful with what you divulge during your recruitment. Rather than discussing the specific product, discuss the product category and keep the details vague. This will protect you and spark curiosity in your potential testers.

Clearly communicate requirements and expectations

You want to make sure that potential testers understand exactly what you’re looking for to increase the likelihood of only qualified candidates applying. This means communicating not only your basic demographic and technical requirements, but also how much time and energy they can expect to invest in your test.

Handle mentioning incentives with care

Naturally, a small group of testers are always motivated by incentives and rewards. Because of this, it’s generally best not to mention specific incentives in recruitment emails or landing pages. Doing so may attract the wrong testers with the wrong motivations. Instead, focus on the rewards of the testing experience. Mention getting to work with the development team and having the chance to influence the direction of the product. This will excite testers that are motivated by the testing experience, rather than testers that are just in it for the freebies.

Here’s an example of a recruitment email similar to what we would send to targeted members of our beta tester community:


Putting together a solid recruitment message will not only clarify your test to potential testers, it will also act as the first wave of filtering of your testers. A well-crafted recruitment message will attract the right kinds of beta applicants that are motivated by the testing experience and not just the free goodies you get for being a tester. If the majority of your applicants are well informed about what they’re signing up for, then selecting great testers and keeping them engaged throughout your beta test will be much easier.

Download our free Beta Tester Recruitment Kit for more great advice on finding and selecting the best beta testers for your next test.

Download our Beta Tester Recruitment Kit!

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