Beta testing isn’t just a gaming thing. They can be applied to real life products where experimentation identifies possible errors before the actual product launch.
How do you choose your testers though? Do you need to hire professionals? Maybe so but that would likely cost you as much as your developer team. So how can you invite the right people but at a cost that’s just little lower? Try these simple steps.
Define the Audience
Before you send out your exclusive beta testing invitations, ask your development team to describe the kind of people who’d be suitable for doing the testing. You’d normally want a demographic similar to your target audience. For instance, if your product is generally marketed towards millenials, the opinions of someone over 50 may well not be of much use. If you’re marketing a product that helps track daily calories, fitness trainers would be best ones to give you feedback.
Obviously, you still need a bit of advertising support. Post your need for the testers in creative ways that boost popularity while piquing the interest of your target audience. Make sure you emphasize on what kind of requirements are needed for the testers though. Otherwise, people might mistake you for making an open launch.
A Method of Invitation
It’s nothing like handing out coupons or tickets for a show. There are several ways to invite beta testers depending on how diverse you want your audience to be. It can be through exams, contact forms, or even just raffle giveaways. Heck, it could be all of them at once! It all depends on how much you want to restrict the testing:
- Exams – This is the best if you really want to restrict the testers to those who are both extremely interested and quite knowledgeable about what the tests are about. They might even be there to suggest improvements not thought about by your development team. It’s only natural because you need as much expertise on board for pointing out errors; efficiently provide reports; and set levels of importance for the different areas of a product.
- Contact forms – The less restrictive form, these are often used in open beta stageswith just a questionnaire to go along with the contact form. While there are still some restrictions that apply, you are more open to those who are simply interested to try out something new. And who knows? You might get a few diligent testers spotting some unexpected errors without the need for too much scripting.
- Raffle Giveaways – This is for those who just want it completely random. The result? A mix of both expert testers and those who are just in it for the ride. Then again, you get the best of both worlds. It can also give you a good idea on how diverse your target market will be once the product’s been launched.
After that, the only thing that should take up your time should be the bug fixes and error reports. For a general idea, why not use exams for your closed beta while the other two for the open beta before your product launch? And remember, invitations are only the start of a conversation. Don’t forget to keep listening to the people you invite once they decide to start testing for you.