How to get beta testers for new product?


What are some ways to get beta testers that are in your target demographic to try out my app?

Friends and family are ruled out since they don't fit my target audience.

Launch Testing

asked Mar 5 '14 at 08:29
Curtis Crespo
45 points

2 Answers


It depends on your target demographic.

1) First, put together a plan.

  • What kind of feedback do you want to get? UX feedback? Feature feedback? Pricing feedback? Overall solution validation?
  • How will they give you feedback? Via email, an issue tracker, a Google Doc, etc?
  • How often do you need your beta testers to engage with your app? Just once, or on some regularly schedule?

2) Second, identify the right people within your target demographic. The ideal beta tester is an innovator or early adopter, in Crossing the Chasm parlance, because of their propensity for providing feedback.

  • Innovator - Technology enthusiasts who are often the first people to adopt a new technology and appreciate the tech for its own sake.
  • Early adopter - Though they are not tech enthusiasts, they find it easy to see the potential of new technologies and are willing to take the risks of using unproven tech.

This is in contrast to the early or late majority of your market, who may not necessarily provide useful feedback for an early stage product.

3) Once you've identified these types of people in your market, the next step is to find out how to get their attention. Where do they congregate? What kinds of media do they consume? Just to throw out some ideas (though this will vary significantly depending on your target demographic):

  • Reach out to bloggers within your space
  • Reach out to Twitter users within your space
  • Post a Craigslist ad
  • Post a message in a relevant LinkedIn group
  • Post a message in a relevant Facebook group
  • Put up flyers at local venues related to your target demographic

And for the people you recruit as beta testers, ask them if they can refer others as well.

4) Next, craft your message. Again, the kind of message depends on your target demographic. But you should at least include:

  • A brief description of the problem you are trying to solve
  • A brief description of your app
  • Your feedback process (how to give feedback, how often, etc)
  • What they get for doing this

If you've found true innovators and early adopters, you may not need to give them any gifts as incentive, though it's something to consider. If you will be offering a paid service, you can offer them a free month or year too.

5) Finally, make sure you are responsive to your beta testers to keep them engaged. Make sure they feel heard and that their feedback is being taken seriously. Be respectful of their time, while maintaining some kind of regular contact during the duration of the beta test period.

If you have specific goals for your beta test, consider creating a survey that your beta testers can fill out. This way, you get to cover the specific areas in which you want feedback. Include an open-ended field for additional feedback as well.

Expect to have some drop-off. Some people just get busy over time and cannot participate any more. But if you can keep a decent number of them, you are doing well.

And most of all, keep an open mind! You may learn some interesting things that may run counter to your original assumptions.

answered Mar 5 '14 at 09:46
Mike Lee
1,356 points
  • Thanks Mike! You covered everything there possibly could be. – Curtis Crespo 8 years ago
  • @Mike Lee - that's a pretty great answer! Welcome to Bright Journey :) – Nick Stevens 8 years ago


Go where your target audience is. If you don't know that, then you're not ready to beta test, because you haven't done any problem/customer validation.

answered Mar 5 '14 at 08:43
Nick Stevens
4,436 points

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