Alpha, beta, and launch! What do you need to know about the app and product testing models? Tessa Ashford, Director of Marketing at IdeaPros, shares ten tips to help you beta test like a pro!
How Do You Start?
The first stage in the process is alpha testing. If you have a product, you will be testing the prototype to make sure it does what you want it to do. With an app, you will work with the team to ensure it acts as you want it to.
Once you get close enough to share your product or app with other people, you are ready for the next step: beta testing. You can beta test anything from a product on a shelf to a web-based app, and these are the tips on how to do it right:
Tip #1 – Decide The Size of The Testing Group
The size depends on your app or product. Do you want to get thorough feedback from a couple of people actively using it and then engaging with you, or do you want to test the load of your server where you would need a bigger group? Think about what’s best for your business and how many people you can engage with during the process. You want to make sure you get a good test and a list of things to change. The magic number is between 100 to 300 beta testers for apps. Meanwhile, for products, you have to see how many products you can get into the hands of people. Most testers do it for the free product.
Tip #2 – Who is The Ideal Tester?
There are two types of testers: technical and influencers. Technical will use your product or app and find the bugs. They will tell you if they can’t upload the photo, change the profile name, or if the product is too heavy or light.
The influencers are more of your marketing outreach. Their audience needs a solution you are providing with your product or app. Be careful not to give it too early in the process, as it can ruin the chance. If you have a personal relationship with a small influencer, you can ask them to test it offline and share it if they like it.
“Go technical before you think about influencers.” – Tessa Ashford
When you create your beta tester persona, you’ll decide:
- Who are they?
- What do they look like?
- Are they tech-savvy or in a specific industry?
- Where do they hang out online? Are they in Facebook groups, on Instagram, or do they prefer YouTube?
- What is their current skill level, are they novice or have experience in the topic?
Then you think about how to reach them.
Tip #3 – Pick a Timeline
Take into consideration how much time testers need to get through and thoroughly test your product or app. Will they be able to consume it or do anything in that amount of time? If it’s a cosmetic product, will they see results in that period?
A reasonable timeline is about a month with weekly sprints. Think of a logical order of things people should do with your item and then do sprints. Give them the incentive to finish the tasks you need them to do each week and keep in touch with them.
Tip #4 – Find Your Beta Testers
You can find app testers on Early Bird, BetaList, Betabound, and other Beta Testers services. You can also use the #testmyapp hashtag on your posts to find interested people.
For products, you look in the Facebook groups or search the internet for people looking for a solution to a problem.
Tip #5 – Deliver To Your Testers
IdeaPros uses Test Flight and Google Play Console platforms for apps and Facebook groups for products. Additionally, there are jobs on Upwork and Fiverr where you can find product testers who want free products. Also, on Billo.app, you can request video reviews for your products and share the video on your social media later on.
“Don’t forget that customer experience matters whether it’s an app or a product. Those are the first people to try it. Make sure they are happy with the experience.” – Tessa Ashford
Tip #6 – Keep Your Testers Engaged
Send weekly messages, texts, and emails to stay in touch with your audience. Use money or gift incentives to get people to follow the testing schedule. Try to keep the communication private and password protected on a special page of your website.
“Keep in mind that the information coming out from the testing may not always be positive.” – Tessa Ashford
Tip #7 – Make It Easy to Leave Feedback
Use chat plugins to make feedback communication flow smoothly. Be appreciative and let them know that you value their feedback and they are making a difference.
Tip #8 – Process the Feedback Received
Log what people think, care about, and do it with an open mind. Make a spreadsheet with Google forms so you can pop the information in and ask survey questions every week.
“Remember they are not judging you personally. They are allowing you to pivot your product to be better.” – Tessa Ashford
Be selective on what is important to you. Don’t create an app or a product that includes everything. Instead, choose the most valuable features and leave the rest for the future versions of the app or product.
Tip #9 – Stay in Touch
Keep your testers posted on what you are implementing and thank them for their contribution. Give them shoutouts whenever you can to encourage them to keep testing and build a relationship with them and turn them into loyal fans. Celebrate the wins: let them know about important milestones.
Tip #10 – Don’t Give Up
Don’t give up because both positive and negative feedback is teaching you something. When it’s all said and done, you will learn what’s the best thing for your clients and what you need to do to make it the best app or product possible.
The “Idea Pros” at IdeaPros have the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey. We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest their ideas. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.