Finding & retaining early beta testers

Zach Wright
6 replies
Hi Product Hunt folks, I'm working at an early stage mental wellness startup and we're in the process of testing the early beta version (more like an alpha, really) of our app. I'm relatively new to product marketing and am looking to harness the wisdom of crowds here. I have two questions I'm hoping the community can comment on: How do you generate leads for beta testers who aren't friends and family? How do you retain these folks once they've opted in? Here's what we're doing: Currently, our strategy is to use a service like mTurk to perform customer discovery and refine our product-market fit. A nice bonus is that we'll ask these folks whether they're interested in testing our product. This has led to decent conversion into beta testers. Beyond that, we have a signup form on our site where people who find us organically can opt-in if they're interested. As far as retaining these folks after they've tried out our app, we are trying to figure out the best way to do this. We're currently offering to push all future updates to our beta and let them continue using the app until our public launch. But beyond that, we don't really have a place for these folks to interact or ask questions. Has anyone found a good solution here? Start a Slack channel for beta testers? A forum? Or maybe just have them follow you on Twitter? Thanks in advance for any advice! Zach


Greg McLean
We are in a similar boat at my company. For leads, I am looking at similar practices to that of finding early adopters. This article has some good ideas: Essentially, this article claims that acquiring early-adopters (and beta users) requires rather personal and not-scalable communication. As far as coordinating their feedback: we are using email and spreadsheets to consolidate and discuss before passing along specific requests to development. For retention, we are using incentives/discounts.
Justin Hopkins
If your app is an iOS app, there are a few websites or communities where people can opt in to test early versions on Testflight, using a public link you create in App Store Connect. Three sites I've used are: With those three sites combined, I've gotten around 80 testers for my upcoming app.
Jade Dating
We are also in this position - we are using social media to build our waitlist. Recommend zapier - it saves so many hours automating reaching out to customers, and also organizing the signups (it super easy to use, and they have great customer service if you get stuck)
I had TillWhen up on a beta instance for quite a while before actually creating a launch and posted on Reddit and HackerNews to get feedback, there wasn't much feedback but I did get about 10-20 people who got onto the platform. Another thing would be that if you are building a service that can be used internally, try doing that, it worked wonders for me.
Zach Wright
Hi All, Thanks for the excellent replies! I'll be looking into all of the resources mentioned here so far. Appreciate the help!
Sanyukta Bhide
In the same boat and agree 100% with the personal approach. To get the first 100 users, I am using word of mouth and calling/texting/emailing everyone I know.