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How to Reward your Beta Testers

Posted on December 4, 2018 at 10:25 PM

Choosing the right incentive for your beta testers can be quite stressful given the many factors to consider. But before we dive into the “who” and “how”, let’s spend a few lines in the “why” and “when”.

  

At this point your entire development team has tested your product, from design to engineering. Now you are pretty much ready to ship it, so to speak. But wait a minute—you have no real feedback yet. You have no way of validating user satisfaction; you haven’t assessed the entire customer experience with real people, in real environments.

  

Who are these “real people” we’re talking about? They are your beta testers.

  

The quality of the feedback you’ll receive depends on your ability to recruit and incentivize the perfect group of testers— you’re looking for a complete view of your ideal customer’s experience, so you want to do it early enough that you can actually incorporate their feedback into your final product, but late enough that they are testing a legitimate 80%-90% launch ready version of it.

  

Now, after you’ve spent the time recruiting and qualifying beta testers, it is really important that you keep them engaged and interested, considering that on average, only a fifth of the beta testers will actually follow-through. The first step, although obvious, is to understand your testers’ initial motivation for joining the test. E.g. they absolutely love your product, they want to learn something new, they want to see something improve, etc.

  

Once you are clear on what motivates them, tailor your approach accordingly— and most importantly, be fair. And remember, incentives should remain secret until the test is over. You do not want to affect your testing quality.

  

Here are 3 good options:

  

1. Other Products or Product Discounts

Consider giving your beta testers something from your product line or something that compliments the product they are testing (e.g. high-end headsets for a multiplayer videogame).

   

2. Gift Cards

Gift cards are a nice way of showing appreciation. Amazon, Apple, Target, etc. are always a good choice. One thing to keep in mind: make sure it’s fair; you do not want to give a $20 card to someone who has consistently tested your product for 10 weeks.

   

3. Personalized Gifts

Everybody loves feeling special. Any particular incentive can include personalized coffee mugs, bags, t-shirts, etc. Your beta testers will not only be reminded of the experience, but they will also act as brand ambassadors when using/wearing the gifts. Again, make sure it fairly reflects the time and energy they have put into your project.

  

Don’t be shy to ask and understand what motivates them and what they would expect in return, but try be generous – I have a philosophy that I try to stay true to: make sure anyone that helps you, happy that they did.

  

Best, 

Lawrence Brown

Managing Consultant | AngelytiX Consulting

Categories: Business Coaching, Strategic Guidance

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