Best startup tip I ever received… for acquiring private beta testers


This tip was given to me by Paul Hayes from 7write.

If you’re still in pre-launch (= your app or website isn’t publicly available yet) acquiring beta testers with is a MUST.

I’ll keep it short and simple.

STEP 1: Sign up to

STEP 2: Enjoy

We got hundreds of signups in a couple of days. Here are a few pieces of advice and info to make sure you get the most out of

1. Make sure you have a sweet-as-cake landing page.

2. Make sure your landing page has a very clear “sign me up” form somewhere at the top. Make it easy to find and easy to fill in.
Work the hell out of the “Description” part of your submission. This will increase the quantity and quality of people who sign up to your website.

3. Don’t do it just before a sunny weekend. Try to get published during the week. Try to make it rain the 2 days after you’ve been published. You’ll get more views that way.

4. When people added themselves to our private beta list, we sent them an email with the habitual “thanks for signing up…” message. On top of that we added a “Shoot me up the waiting list” button that redirected them to a brief questionnaire about who they were, where they worked, why they signed up to our tool and whether they’d be ok to chat with us after they tested our tool. The results were surprisingly positive with a lot of people giving us their Skype usernames. This is invaluable information to understanding who’s interested in your product. If you’re following a lean methodology you should probably do something similar. Here is the questionnaire if you want to check it out.

5. We got around 200+ signups. How many people will sign up to your site?  I’ll just copy/paste the FAQ of to answer this one : This varies a lot from startup to startup. The average post seems to generate over 150 sign ups, but some only get 10 while others might get a couple of hundred. To increase your sign up rate make sure you have a great-looking landing page and post enough information to get people’s attention. Providing an invite code or invite link when filling out the submission form drastically increases exposure as well.

Ok, enough reading, GO GO GO!

twoodo betalist submission
  • Jonathan Marks

    I think it is useful to state on the landing page in what sort of time frame you will respond – and are planning a closed beta. Some prelaunches are very vague, so if I am looking for a specific solution I don’t know whether to stick around and wait or look for alternatives.

  • David Arnoux

    Hi Jonathan. You’re totally right. We completely left this out. I’m going to update it.

  • Sławomir

    I’ve got a question about the landing page. Is it as much important for the Facebook applications as for the regular web services? Thank you in advance for your feedback!

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