How to Create New Feature Announcements That Work
Picture this scenario — your dev team has been working hard for months building a highly-requested, long-awaited feature you know your user base will love. The time has come to ship the release. Do you have a plan to notify your customers of product changes?
Whether it's a whole new version or just a minor update, new features and updates are what keep customers engaged with the product. Communicating new feature announcements effectively and clearly will build trust and loyalty between you and your users. Customers want to stay informed and discern how the changes will affect their user experience.
However, building in-app product announcements in-house can be costly, time-consuming, and challenging to maintain. Plus, your dev team probably has a backlog that deserves more attention. Let's dive into how to nail new feature announcements to keep users engaged (without requiring dev time).
Why are new feature announcements important?
Making announcements about new features are essential for SaaS product growth for a few reasons:
New feature announcements allow you to communicate updates about your product and new releases to all users or small segments of users that would be affected by the feature launch.
New feature announcements drive product and feature discovery by allowing users to find features and discover their value quickly.
A new feature announcement on a company's website can be an excellent method to attract new users to the product. For example, they could let potential users know when a highly anticipated feature is available, which may sway them to sign up. Public feature announcements encourage them to give your product a go.
Including feature announcements as part of your overall product marketing strategy ensures that the team's hard work pays off and building and launching a new feature does not go unnoticed.
Best practices for designing new feature announcements
Set a clear goal
Start by setting a clear, actionable goal of what you want to achieve with the announcement. Goals could include:
Getting users to adopt a new feature
Attracting a new segment of customers to a feature
Re-engaging users that became inactive because a product lacked specific features
Goals make announcements more effective by aligning the product team and setting an anchor point to measure the performance of the feature launch. They also ensure the team makes decisions that have a clear focus.
For example, if you want to announce a highly requested feature that has finally shipped, it could be effective to announce it on a mixture of channels. Promoting the product on social media distinguishes it from its competitors and attracts potential users, while making announcements in-app and through email informs existing users.
Plan for multiple channels
Your goal will determine the channel used for your new feature announcement. In-app announcements are the most common and most effective type. Still, other channels such as emails, social media, blog articles, press releases, etc., should also be considered depending on the goal of the feature.
SaaS companies leverage in-product announcements to excite and engage their users. According to research, 84% of customers believe the experiences provided by a company are as important to them as its services or products. Those who use in-product announcements see a massive four-fold increase in app retention and around a 30% increase in app launches.
In-product announcements can bring attention to the feature at the right moment when users are engaging with the product. The user is already logged in, so they're more likely to be ready to try out a new feature. Email announcements, on the other hand, run a higher risk of getting lost in your user's cluttered inboxes. While emails may be a solid component of your announcement strategy, we recommend using in-product announcements in addition to email to get your point across.
Personalize your messaging strategy
Personalization is critical when making in-product announcements, and personalized messages are 29% more likely to be read than generic ones. Tailoring product announcements to reach the user at the right time with targeted messaging will spark a user's interest.
With one click, use Lou's out-of-the-box segmentation that targets announcements to all users, returning users, new users, or power users.
Set up custom segments to personalize announcements to any segment of users you'd like: admin users, users from a specific company, users in a particular location, etc.
Re-engage with inactive and churned users
New feature announcements can re-engage inactive users, or users that haven’t fully churned but are no longer actively using the product. Announcements can show off new features while also highlighting how the product is consistently getting better. This is an effective way to remind freemium users that have yet to be adopted that there are benefits to using the product.
New feature announcements are also great for getting churned users to reactivate their subscription to the product. Creating churn surveys will allow your team to gather feedback on why users leave the product. From the survey, you can build a repository of users who churned because you lacked a particular feature, so you can reach out to them when it's finally implemented. Just be sure to get permission to alert them of new features in the survey.
Design for engagement
There's an art to designing new feature announcements. Communicate in a way that will excite your users, and be sure to include only the most pertinent information not to overwhelm them. In-app feature announcements should contain compelling messaging, be visually appealing, and have a clear call to action.
The necessary factors in building a great product announcement include:
Call-to-Action: Allow users to test the new feature immediately
Engaging visuals: Help the user picture the value they'll receive from trying out the new feature
Compelling content: Illustrate the benefits of the new feature. Keep it short and straightforward, and if further information is needed, include a link to an article or blog post where users can learn more
Consistent brand design: Ensure your brand design is implemented in the announcement, so your message is recognizable
In-app feature announcement example
Here are three examples of in-product announcements:
This new feature announcement is notifying users of a faster way to export data with a simple click. This is an effective announcement as it notifies users of the feature and directs them to try it out.
This second announcement by Adōpets notifies users about an upcoming webinar where they can learn more about the new Process Tags Feature. This announcement serves two purposes; it notifies users that there is a new feature and gives them an opportunity to join a webinar to learn more.
This final in-product feature announcement by Sparted lets users know how they will be notified of platform updates and feature releases. This use case is effective because it educates users about how to stay up to date on product releases, and it also encourages users to learn about the latest updates by clicking the "Discover new updates!" button. Once clicked, it will start a product tour that guides users through the latest updates.
Launch feature announcements in minutes
Companies work hard to launch new features that continuously improve their product. Implement these strategies to make sure hard work doesn't go unnoticed and keep users notified of exciting new updates. With Lou, you can launch new feature announcements in just minutes, with no dev time required. Start building beautiful in-product announcements today!
Published on February 16th, 2022
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