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Recruiting beta users for new features

If you ship it, they will come. Dive into this playbook for a step-by-step guide to attracting beta users to check out your product’s new features.

What you’ll learn: 

  • How to strategically align new product features with targeted user personas.
  • How to design impactful recruitment messages for beta users.
  • Which techniques to choose for the most effective communication channels based on the scope and scale of new features.
  • Why it’s important to keep your internal team informed and responsive to incoming beta users—and how.

What you’ll need: 

  • A clear understanding of your user personas.
  • A well-defined new feature that needs testing.
  • Tools to communicate the feature (email, in-app messages, etc.).
  • A team ready to support and monitor the beta users.

Suggested playbook to check out before starting this one:

4 steps to recruiting beta users for new features:

Step 1: Identify the user persona for the new feature.

  • Select the user persona most likely to get value from the new feature. Ensure this feature aligns with this persona's requirements.
  • Refer to the playbook "Creating user personas" for a comprehensive guide to developing user personas.

Step 2: Construct effective messaging to recruit beta users.

  • Explicitly articulate the benefits of the new feature for prospective beta users.
  • Specify the type of users you aim to recruit as beta testers.
  • Set realistic expectations about potential bugs or issues, and explain how users can report these problems to your team.
  • Use our copy-and-paste templates in our Beta User Recruitment Template.
Appcues Beta Recruitment Template

Step 3: Opt for the appropriate announcement format.

  • Select the format you’ll use to recruit beta users, keeping the nature and impact of the feature in mind. Consider modal windows, tooltips, slideouts, emails, or dedicated in-app pages.
  • Use modal windows and dedicated in-app pages for significant features that bring substantial changes or value.
  • Use tooltips, slideouts, and checklists for minor updates or improvements. For example, Etsy announces its beta feature using a tooltip.

Etsy's simple Beta feature release tooltip
Source: Etsy's simple Beta feature release tooltip
  • No matter the size or nature of the feature, consider emails an essential part of your recruitment strategy.

Step 4: Notify your team about new beta users (optional).

  • Establish a system to notify your team about new beta users. This could be through Slack notifications or emails.
  • Ensure your team is ready to provide support to beta users and answer any queries they might have.
  • Utilize this opportunity to conduct user research, gathering invaluable feedback on the new feature.

Looking for more Playbooks? Go back to the Product-Led Growth Flywheel →