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For my first product launch, I set a deadline, and I worked up until it was time to launch.
I put my products up for sale, sent emails out to my list and let them know that it was available. Inevitably, there were some problems and people submitted customer support tickets and we fixed the problems.
There were also people asking a lot of similar questions. Things like what the right way to use the included templates and guides is, or how to handle contracts with certain types of projects.
Of course, I can answer these questions individually, one at a time, over and over, but this isn’t the most ideal way to approach things. An approach I’ve only recently begun to implement is inviting early users to participate in a beta group.
The Benefits of a Beta Group
Beta groups are comprised of people who get early access to your product.
The reason you’d want to do this is to get feedback on the product in order to be able to refine it before the public launch. This way, you can work out all of the kinks and resolve common issues and answer frequently asked questions preemptively.
Launching initially to a beta group decreases the all-too-familiar launch stress when it comes to publishing something publicly. You’ve tested it with a core group first who is expecting and understanding of issues because they signed up in the beta stage.
How Do You Get a Beta Group?
If you’ve followed the steps in the previous episode of this series, you should be building an email list by this point. I recommend emailing the people on your list to invite them to be a part of your initial beta group.
Now, why would someone want to be a part of a beta group when they know there will probably be more issues than the final product? There are a number of incentives.
Beta Group Incentives
The beta group gets early access. For the eager people, this means they get the product sooner than everyone else. They don’t have to wait for the full launch and many people are perfectly fine with the minor imperfections that come along with this early access.
Typically, they’ll also get more direct access to you by being in the beta which is a kind of value. What you can do is cap the number of participants in the beta group so that you have time to give each person personal attention. This can be part of the incentive to sign up early.
Early access and exclusive direct contact with you may very well be enough value for people to sign up, but you could optionally also make the beta product available at a special rate to reward participation. Before you jump to that option though, I’d recommend adding value before lowering the price.
If your product is $500, rather than sell it for $399 to a beta group, still sell it at $500 but with some added bonuses.
These could be additional resources, content, or simple coaching calls with you.
The final incentive is the possibility of becoming a featured case study. The great thing about taking on beta members is once they’ve experienced your product, you can ask them for a testimonial. This testimonial can then be used on your landing page at the final launch.
You could also optionally feature some of your beta members as case studies to use either on your landing page, bonus content inside the product, or in your marketing materials.
Showing how the product has benefited the customer, your beta member, creates a story that your other prospect can envision themselves in.
Your beta members will be incentivized to participate in the case study because they too get extra exposure to your audience.
Because you’ve gone through this refinement process, the people who buy your product at the final launch get a much better end product, and of course you get to launch with much less stress the second time resulting in a win-win-win scenario.