A few of our clients have run a beta group through their programs before they do their first big public launch, and I personally think it a great idea, as you can learn so much from them.
Some of the major benefits of having a beta group are:
- You’ll get really valuable feedback to make critical changes before you officially launch
- You can ask them for a written or video testimonial that you can share on your sales page or social media channels, some social proof
- If you’re going to have a community inside your membership site, they can start the conversations for you, so it’s not crickets when you launch
- Build some loyalty from these members as they will take ownership of being a founding beta member of your membership site
Where to find beta members
The first thing is to be clear on who you target audience is for your membership site, because having your Mom as a beta member will make you feel great, but her feedback may not be truly that valuable.
The best place to find your beta members is through your existing networks, people who already like, know and trust you. Maybe they’re already clients with you in a different way.
The other approach is to send out an invite to anyone. Maybe even create a Facebook ad to promote it to your target audience, but I would recommend only have limited number of spots, and once you hit that target, close the doors and shut down the ad.
A free beta versus a paid beta
Most people assume that a free beta is standard and the way to go, but it may make more sense to charge a heavily discounted fee for a couple of reasons.
Having them pay a small fee will put your recurring credit card payment system through the appropriate test, so when you really launch, you’re not missing any sales because you’re putting out technical fires.
Further, your members will likely not value your program as much if it is free. If it is paid, they are more likely to participate and make use of what you’re offering and get value for their money.
How long to run your beta program
This really depends on how your content and services are being delivered. Can they access all of the content and services immediately? Or is it drip fed over the next 9 weeks?
Regardless of which way you decide to go:
- Choose a start date, and all beta members must be signed up before that date.
- They would all start the beta program together, and finish on a predetermined date.
- You would then collect your feedback, make changes to your program, get some testimonials, and gear up for your main launch.
- The beta members can keep their low-priced beta membership and still access the content and community, but only as long as the keep their account active.
Whatever type of membership site, online course or subscription model you’re planning on building, putting a beta group through it before your big launch is probably a really good idea.
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