Beta testing is one of the most effective ways to build close relationships with your target users and to ensure that you are building products users love. In this guide I will walk you through how you can easily setup and run a beta test for your next product launch.

Define the goals for your beta testing

Make sure that you have defined goals for your beta testing. These goals will not only help you evaluate the beta testing at the end of the session, but they will also help you prepare relevant user interview questions and select appropriate questions for your feedback survey.

For example, if you are about to launch your new feature, you might have some broad goals such as assessing user experience and identifying bugs. Later on, when you conduct new rounds of beta testing, you might want to focus more specifically on testing the effectiveness and functionality of new features.

Recruit beta users

Make sure you define the ideal user for your product. This will benefit you in multiple ways. You will be able to ensure that you receive relevant feedback that drives your product development in the right direction while also attracting potential customers, directly or indirectly. Ideally, you want to start with a small number of beta users in the first round to have the time to build a close connection.

For example, reach out to your target users in the physical and online world where you believe they spend their time. If you recruit beta testers online, it’s a good idea to create a dedicated form on your website where they can sign up with their email and name. You want to make sure you capture their contact information to create a personal and close connection.

Provide instructions

It’s important to write and send clear instructions to each user. I recommend sending a personalized email to each user or communicating with them through their preferred method. Tell them step-by-step what to do and make it as easy as possible for them to complete. Furthermore, encourage them to reach out to you directly if they experience any problems. Lastly, make sure to add a timeline. You want them to know the expected timeframe for completing the testing.

For example, craft a short and personal message that sparks excitement about testing your new beta. Include a step-by-step guide with login credentials, a link to the login page or your application in the app store, and describe the exact steps you want the user to test. As a general rule, it’s fair to ask for testing to be completed within 3-4 weeks.

Monitor activity and build relations

As soon as the instruction email is sent, your beta testing has effectively begun. It’s important to stay on top of all activities on a daily basis. It’s critical that you have developed internal dashboards to monitor who is using your product and how they are using it. When you see activity, it’s an opportunity to reach out and start building a relationship with that person. Likewise, when you observe users are not logging in, it’s a good opportunity to nudge them to start testing.

For example, you might see that someone started to test your app and suddenly stopped in the middle of testing. That might be an indication that they encountered something that made them stop. Send that person an email and ask them how they are finding the app so far and if they have encountered any problems. The key here is to be proactive. Likewise, send inactive users a polite email to remind them how much you would love to see their activity inside the app. If you are quick at iterating, you can also announce new features or bug fixes as a means to build relations.

Collect feedback and thank users

You should start scheduling user interviews ad hoc as users finish beta testing your product. If someone completes the task within the first week, reach out to them while the experience is still fresh in their mind. Schedule a 30-minute video call and be flexible to accommodate them. Supplement user interviews with feedback surveys in cases where you can’t get a user interview for various reasons.

For example, when scheduling your user interview, make sure to prepare interview questions related to the goals of your beta testing. This will help you focus on the goals and not go off-topic during the conversation. Sometimes people prefer written communication, so make sure you have feedback surveys to supplement those use cases. Make sure to capture as many rich feedback notes from the interview as possible for later analysis

Analyse user feedback and evaluate the beta test

As you wrap up user interviews, it’s time to analyze all the feedback you received and organize it in a prioritized order. This will give you and your team a comprehensive overview of the requests and validation provided by the test groups. It’s crucial for improving your product and refining your value proposition.

For example, you should organize and analyze all feedback in a centralized location to identify patterns and prioritize features and issues that need fixing. If you use Magic Feedback, you can automatically unify and analyze all of your feedback in one place. Magic Feedback automatically provides you with all the insights, issues, and trends across your entire user feedback. Book a free demo today and save hundreds of hours manually synthesizing your user feedback.

Get our guide on customer feedback best practices

Unlock your access to our tried and tested methods of collecting quality customer feedback. Complete with feedback questions examples. Get access to our free e-book with step-by-step guides.

By clicking Get The Guide, I agree to get signed up for Magic Feedback's newsletter with customer feedback best practices.