Invite Network best practices

Tap into insights from your customers or other audiences through the UserTesting Platform using Invite Network. Follow these best practices to get the most out of this feature and your own contributors.

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Creating a test plan

  • Remember that your network may not be familiar with UserTesting or giving feedback.
  • Keep verbiage conversational, succinct, and easy to understand.
  • Use bulleted lists instead of paragraphs when applicable.

Open-ended questions

  • Start your test plan with a few simple questions to get your contributors comfortable providing feedback.
  • Get contributors warmed up and talking by asking about themselves/  
    • Job
    • Family
    • Hobby
    • Anything related to the test
    • Example of an open-ended question: "Please take 2 minutes to tell us what dinner time is like at your house."

Keep it simple

When writing your test plan, make sure your tasks and questions are easy to understand. Avoid complex instructions or complicated tasks—the simpler, the better.

  • Keep task directions short.
  • Avoid wordiness and try to include concisely written tasks.
  • Push the most important details toward the front of the task.
  • Only include one instruction per task.
  • It's better to have multiple short tasks than one long task.
  • Complicated task example: "Create a profile and search for a healthcare provider. Select at least one and save them to your profile. Make sure that they specialize in pediatrics and not internal medicine or other specialties. Then, explain why you chose the provider you did."
  • Simple task example: "You're planning a trip from Atlanta to Las Vegas. Use this site to find a flight and hotel room for three nights. Stop when you have added the flight and hotel room to your cart."

Provide a scenario

  • A scenario is 1-3 sentences to help set the scene for the contributor.
  • Adding a scenario to your test plan helps contributors get into the right mindset to give relevant feedback. 
  • Reiterate that this isn't a test of their ability—you're interested in hearing their perspective. 
  • Encourage contributors to share where they get confused or frustrated. 
  • Remind contributors to speak their thoughts out loud. 
  • Example scenario: "Imagine you want to buy a gift for a friend. Please complete the following tasks and questions with this in mind. Remember, this isn't a test of your ability. We want to hear your perspectives even if you're confused or don't like something. And, please, don't forget to speak your thoughts out loud."

Pilot your test

  • Before sending the test to contributors, preview the test. Send your test link to yourself or a colleague to complete your tasks.
  • Run a pilot test. Send your test to one contributor to make sure all assets included in an study work properly and tasks are clear before you send the test out to more contributors. 
  • Pilot tests increase the change that you get relevant feedback. 



Writing test invitations

After creating an Invite Network test, a link will be generated for your test. This is what you'll send to your audience so they can take your test.

Email subject line

  • Subject lines are the most important component of your emails.
  • Try to keep the subject line to 50-60 characters in length—shorter subjects are more effective.
  • Phrasing your subject as a question can further entice audiences to open the email.
  • Using emojis increases open rates by around 25%. They aren't a quick fix, but they can make a good email subject stand out. But, don't overdo it—one emoji tends to work well.
  • View MailPoet's article with some additional tips for crafting a subject line.

Optimize the email body copy

When composing the body of your invitation email, consider the following:

  • Add some context about the product, service, website, etc.
  • Contributors who are frequent users of your service or product will be more inclined to respond and participate. 
  • Consider adding the amount the test contributor will be paid or compensated.
  • Add some detail about how their feedback will be used. Engage people by letting them know their feedback is important and helps your team make informed decisions. 
  • Consider writing the email content in a conversational way, rather than using a formal or overly professional tone.
  • Add some style, emphasis, or direction to your email using bold text, italics, and bulleted lists.
  • Set expectations by providing these step-by-step instructions and a short video so contributors can learn more.

Create a call-to-action

  • Create a single clear call-to-action and add your test link.
  • Keep the text within 40 characters or, ideally, four words for maximum effect. 
  • Lead with an action. Give users a clear, short instruction that they can carry out by clicking the hyperlinked text.
    • For example, "take the test," "start now," or "give feedback."
  • Avoid wordplay or anything that might be confusing. It's always best to err on the side of being overly explicit when writing good call-to-action copy.



Sending test invitations 

Determine how many contributors you need—then increase by 10x

  • One significant difference between conducting a study with the UserTesting Contributor Network versus your own networks is that the conversion rate is lower when using a smaller set of contributors.
  • Your networks are busy, and it can be challenging to catch them at a time when they're able and willing to provide feedback.
  • We recommend increasing your pool of potential contributors by ten times.
    • For example, if you need at least five contributor responses, send your study out to 50 potential contributors. 
    • Your study will close once five people have completed it, so it's always better to cast a wide net early on.
  • Experiment by sending out these tests in batches on different days of the week for best results

Create compelling incentives

Having a compelling incentive is important to help your study get to the top of the to-do list of your network. Experiment with different incentives beyond monetary compensation, such as: 

  • Advance access to a product
  • Free or discounted products
  • Access to special events

Determine what channels of communication your contributors prefer

  • Using the preferred communication channel for your target audience will help increase your response rate by making it more likely for people to join your study.
  • Communicating to contributors how their feedback will be used helps increase your customers' participation chances.
  • Look at your networks’ past patterns and preferences.
    • Do they tend to respond better to email or instant messaging platforms like Slack?
    • Find out what works best for each audience, then be sure you’re communicating with them on those channels when it’s time to launch your study.

Time the launch of your test appropriately

  • Note your audience's time zones.
  • For example, if a contributor is on the East Coast, they might miss your invitation if it’s sent out in the afternoon on the West Coast.

Follow up with contributors 

  • This is the last—and most important—step in launching a successful test with Invite Network. People are generally willing to help and want to feel heard in providing feedback, sometimes they just need an extra nudge to bring your email to the top of their inbox.
  • Keep track of who you've contacted and when.
  • Follow up with individuals who haven't responded, but don't overdo it.
  • We recommend no more than two to three follow-ups per contributor. 



Best practices for Invite Network video

For more best practices, see our short video.



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