General Question

Celeste00's avatar

Best ways to market an online beta?

Asked by Celeste00 (786points) September 29th, 2008

I have had an idea for a website I’m trying to build with some friends for some time. What do you think the best way to get people to test it would be? Where do you usually find info about new betas out there?

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10 Answers

EmpressPixie's avatar

What kind of website? Depending on the focus of the site, you would probably send announcement emails to different places (ie, blogs of interest).

Celeste00's avatar

It’s got to do with language translation, but I don’t wanna give away too many details ;)

lapilofu's avatar

Some thoughts on launching a website that I really like: How To Launch Software by Aaron Swartz.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Oh, that’s a toughie. I think, figure out who your market is and how you can best reach them online. I’m not sure who needs language translation, but if you can find popular blogs for your market, e-mail them with invitations to the beta for them and the first, I don’t know, 100 readers that sign up.

eambos's avatar

Personally, I would have friends and family test first. You will have the closest relations and best, most direct feedback. The only downside is that they may be too easy on you.

richardhenry's avatar

It’s hard to give you any suggestions without you giving away more details. Why so precious? The idea is a significant part, but it’s not really that important in the whole scheme of things. The execution is what counts.

fireside's avatar

Keep in mind that beta testing on a wide scale just means that you will have more people needing issues to be resolved, so you want to limit your beta testing to a manageable group based upon your support infrastructure.

If you are actually at the stage of a wide scale Beta release, then I would say you need to do a number of things. This is a good start:
-Good Search Engine Friendly website (this alone could be a whole discussion)
-Optimization plan for site
-Reviews in Industry relevant publications
-Partnerships or collaborations with related websites
-Online or traditional (or both) Press Releases
-Existing Clients that can provide Referrals

artificialard's avatar

I’m sorry I can’t find a link now but I remember reading about how a closed beta that becomes an open one thorugh gradual phases is an excellent way to build buzz while managing the beta process.

You start with a small user group so you can deal with the first set of most apparent bugs/issues and when you feel confident you gradually expand that base, perfecting the product as you go along while minimizing the bombardment of similar support requests. This has the advantage of improving the beta experience and generating buzz through exclusivity.

One way to get started is to find a well-known web publication that caters to your desired audience offer a ‘prize’ of x invites. Arstechnica does that often and they’re quickly taken up.

lapilofu's avatar

@artificialard: Perhaps the article that I linked above?

Celeste00's avatar

Thank you all for the suggestions, I found this info very helpful. I will go through the article suggested.

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