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.

Response rate

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.

Topics Feedback · Pitching Hacks

5 comments · Show

  • Ted Rheingold

    At Dogster & Catster we’re actually on the verge of selling a new physical product.

    Before we market it to the whole community (likely some of our most realistic customers) we wanted to test message, conversion rates, fulfilment expectations, etc, etc.

    Our product, however, is a safety product (it’s a new type of dog and cat collar id system) so we didn’t want to use the term beta or give a price discount so as to not dimish the value of the product.

    Thus we are picking 1,000 people at a time they are going to get the new product announcement as if everyone was getting it. And then we’ll track conversions, etc. and send to next 1000.

    I’m sharing because it’s a different way of launching a product while still testing results. I would rather have done it your way, but in this case we couldn’t. (Though we are doing free coupon codes for a different set of testers that we know will give expert feedback.)

    When the book is finished I’ll buy it πŸ˜‰

  • Stanislav Shalunov

    I’m one of the 45 people who bought this book.

    It’s the best single thing you can read about pitching. Go buy one right now.

  • James Rohrbach

    Great to hear that you guys are getting good feedback. One question for you guys: for those of us who purchased the book pre-feedback, would you be willing to send us copies of the new versions with the feedback-based modifications?

  • Like a Dog On A Pork Chop» Blog Archive » Pitching Hacks, The Book

    […] to the beta testers who paid to give us amazing feedback (check your inbox for a revised copy!). They made the book much better. […]