January 20th, 2009
Last week, we put out a call for beta testers for our new book, Pitching Hacks (sign up to be notified when it comes out). We want to share some interesting stats and feedback that we’ve received from our testers.
First, 120 people signed up to test Pitching Hacks, and 45 of them followed through and bought the book.
On the one hand, a 38% response rate is amazing, especially since we’re asking beta testers to pay for the book (of course, we promised to send them the final draft when it’s ready).
On the other hand, we’re really wondering what happened to the other 75 people who signed up, but didn’t buy the book. If you’re one of these people, please get in touch and let us know why you didn’t buy the book! E-mail us or fill in this form.
16 of our beta testers got in touch with us and sent great feedback, leading to many changes in the book and checkout process: adding a sentence here and there to clarify our meaning, improving the formatting so the book is easier to read, adding a notice to use the latest version of Adobe Reader if you’re having problems viewing the book, etc.
Our beta testers rocked. Next time we start working on a new product, we’re going to involve our community in product development much earlier. And we’re going to think about how to start collecting money earlier.
We don’t think there’s anything wrong with charging your beta testers. If you’re organizing your business around feedback, why distinguish between the feedback you get from beta testers and the feedback you get from regular customers? They’re both paying to give you feedback. And the #1 piece of feedback they’re giving you is that they’re willing to pay for your product.
Of course, you should do something special for your beta testers, like giving them a discount. Or a hug.
A nice side effect of the feedback from our beta testers is a collection of honest, unprompted testimonials that we can use to promote the book:
“The book was quite enjoyable (maybe because we are exactly starting to look for VC funding!)” – Emmanuel Marot
“This was a great, extremely fast-paced read.” – Andre Gharakhanian
“Thanks for the book. I just bought 5 licenses. I am very proud of you. This is fantastic. Mommy is also thrilled.” – Dad (Joke!)
Sign up to be notified when we release Pitching Hacks.