changelog announce new features

How to use a changelog to announce new features

8955
Spencer Coon
Mar 20, 2019

If you’re a SaaS company, your team is likely hard at work to create new features, release updates, perform bug fixes, etc. to continuously improve your product for your users. You want to use a changelog to announce new features so your users can see your product’s growth and progress.

Your long term users are the foundation of your revenue and future growth. It’s 9x cheaper to retain existing customers than acquire new customers. User acquisition, particularly in SaaS, is expensive and a long process to conversion. Additionally, The largest SaaS companies (>$75million yearly revenue) attribute 2.5x as much new revenue to upselling. Constant improvement is vital to reducing churn and increasing long term revenue.

So your team is working hard to keep up with the demands of your users and keep them satisfied, but do you have a changelog where they can see your progress?

Just 17% of paying customers login to their SaaS service on a daily basis. Even if you’re making significant improvements, the chances of losing users if they don’t know and return to your product are high. You need to use improvements in a changelog as a way to keep users engaged, returning to your product, and asking for more.

How you are announcing new features is important, in this sense.

New feature development

Here’s how you can use an engaging changelog to announce new features and keep your users updated:

Create a central place for a changelog on your site and within your product:

You want your updates to be easy to find and explore for new and returning users. You should have a central changelog in plain view both on your product’s website and within the actual product itself. This way, potential new users can see the developments in  your product and see how committed your team is to improve the product for users. It creates a sense that this is something evolving and improving they want to be a part of. For existing users, seeing your team make changes and add new features helps bring them back, re-engage in the product, and stay on board to see the improvements as they come in. Some companies choose to create just a general page for updates and send out emails, but there are better ways of doing this. Use a tool like Beamer to create a discreet, yet easy accessible changelog on your site. Beamer is a newsfeed that sits in your site and in your app where you can share updates for just about anything. Users can open up your Beamer feed on your site or app by clicking the “What’s New” tab in your navigation or the icon in your interface. The Beamer feed will slide out in a discreet sidebar with a rolling feed of all your latest updates. This way, updates are always central, always accessible but not in the way or ignored!

changelog on your site

Make sure your updates are engaging, visual, and clear:

Don’t just post a little text to explain a great new improvement! Create updates that are visually engaging and make the new feature and the value to your users clear. To do this, add photos and screenshots to show your new feature off. Show the functionality with GIFs and video tutorials on how to use the new feature. Don’t just explain what the feature does and hope users take advantage of it. Give them actionable ways this provides value to them and show them how they can start using it visually. This is much more engaging and helps users learn how to use the new feature right away. With Beamer, you can upload photos, screenshots, videos from YouTube, and GIFs to better explain your new features as they appear in your Beamer feed. Just adding a visual element helps your feed and updates look more interesting and grab users’ attention.


Include actionable CTAs to get users engaging right away:

In addition to visual elements, you really want to push users to start using new features right away with actionable CTAs. The way a lot of users respond to updates is to read them and move on, forgetting almost instantly. Adding CTAs to new features can help them start using and working new features into their processes straightaway to ensure that your users will “evolve” with your product. You don’t want improvements going unnoticed, unexplained and for users to feel like they’re not keeping up with your product and how it works. In your Beamer feed, you can add colored, bold CTA buttons to the end of your updates that get users exploring your updates live right away.

Get the message out there effectively and consistently:

A very small percentage of your users base open your email updates. Even a 5-10% open rate and even smaller click through rate is average. That’s not enough to keep users up to date on new features and engaged with your improving product. You need to take advantage of the other ways to effectively reach users so they get updates and make it back to your product or site. For SaaS companies, a huge challenge is getting users who have just signed up to start incorporating the product into their processes, stay on through the first month, and get users who are beginning to fall off to come back. How you manage your updates and messaging can make or break this. You have to go beyond email. Many users look towards Twitter for updates from companies and many are beginning to use web push notifications for direct updates. Beamer is really helpful in this. With the Zapier integration, you can automatically send out your updates on all your social media platforms as you upload them to Beamer.

push notifications

You can also update your users, no matter where they are online, instantaneously. You can also enable web push notifications so that users who have opted in will automatically get updates on their desktop when you add a new feature. Updates and coverage like this will help you get your users back to your product, exploring your new features, and engaging. Communication can make or break keeping users onboard!

Your team is working hard to improve your product and add new features that meet your users needs and demands. Ensuring that your user base knows is key to keeping them engaged and growing with your product. Try adding a central changelog to your website and your app to better announce new features! Try Beamer today for the most simple, visual, and complete way to update users.