How to Announce Product Updates Successfully
User engagement is the key to any successful product. And one of the best ways to keep users engaged is to announce product updates that add value to your product and keep your app or service on the cutting edge.
You want to show your users how your product is evolving and improving for them. However, the way you communicate product updates can have a significant impact and actually work (or not). The average adult spends 5.9 hours per day with digital media, and they get so overwhelmed by ads and marketing emails, that it has become more and more difficult to get their attention. That’s why you should find effective ways to successfully communicate your product updates, making them accessible, visual and clear.
Remember your users are your greatest marketing asset: If they are happy with your product, they are the best way to reach other potential users just like them for no cost to you. Their opinion, if positive, is the best marketing strategy. Keeping initial user engagement is key to long term growth and organic marketing.
This is how you can successfully announce product updates
- Make it easy for users to try out new features and product updates
- Use visual elements to make understanding product updates easy
- Target the right user to announce product updates
- Encourage feedback to product updates
- Include a WOW factor for your most important features
- Make sure your reach your users on and off your site
- Balance feature removals with new exciting features
Make it easy for users to try out new features and product updates:
Think of yourself as an online user: how do you find out about the latest product releases from the most commonly used apps and websites? You are not expecting an email from Google announcing a new feature: these updates happen on-site or in-app, so that you can take action and start using them right away.
The same can be applied to your product or app.
Emails and messages don’t work to increase user engagement when announcing product updates because users are unlikely to go back to the product just to see what you’ve changed. Announcing updates in context ensures a quick transition from announcement to product and is the best way to get users to interacting with product updates right away, increasing engagement and new feature adoption.
Beamer is a way to make those product update announcements from right within the interface so users can use the new feature or see the update right away. Beamer is a changelog and newsfeed that sits right into your website to announce new releases, product updates, improvements or bug fixes. Each user can see the number of unread updates to them in a “What’s new” section.
Beamer posts can include links directing users to new feature, making sure they take action immediately. In addition, users will have a central place to navigate all your product updates, which is easy to find and always available. Learn more about how to use a changelog to announce new features.
Use visual elements to make understanding product updates easy:
Words don’t do enough when you’re making changes within an interface that is entirely visual. It’s hard to imagine how a new feature works without seeing it in action. Your updates should have a visual element to better explain what’s new. Users will be more compelled to try out your new feature if you literally show them!
Beamer allows you to announce product updates and new features with photos, videos, and GIFs. You can use CloudApp to display new functionalities and then easily paste them into our Beamer update for our users to check out. We get much more engagement when we include a visual element. In addition, you can include actionable call to actions to redirect your users exactly to the new feature and make them try it out right away!
Target the right user to announce product updates:
Not all your users are the same: they have different skills, are interested in different features of your product or even speak different languages. Targeting the right user for each product update is key to get their attention. With Beamer you can create segments and send post just for your relevant audience.
Sending the right message at the right time for the right users’ segment ensures a transparent communication and improves engagement.
Encourage feedback to product updates:
Your users are a great source of data that can help you make educated decisions as you move forward with your product development. Gathering their opinion on the product updates you are making is a simple source of data that doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to collect. Surveys take a lot of time and are often out of the user’s way. If you make it easier for your users to express their opinion, they are more likely to give it to you.
Using Beamer, you can announce product updates from right within your app and then give users the option to simply share their reaction to your announcement with a familiar emoji like a smiley face. It’s intuitive so users don’t have to go out of their way to express their opinion and you get an instant and clear view of their reaction. They can also add a quick comment to give more specific feedback. And you easily analyze overall results to determine the success of a new feature or update.Check out how to improve your brand experience by using a feedback widget
Include a WOW factor for your most important features:
There are certain features that are so expected by users and which have such an impact in your users’ processes, that deserve a special announcement.
Think of Apple’s Keynote: everybody is looking forward to this event to find out all the cool updates that the company will bring to the next generation of products.
You don’t need to create a launch event for your new feature but can replicate some of these tactics with some simple steps:
- Announce the upcoming launch of a new feature
- Start a “Beta testing” stage available only for a few selected users
- Once ready, make sure your new feature is announced in epic way
You can use Beamer’s in-app notifications to make sure your product updates have extra exposure and cannot pass by unnoticed. You can showcase your most important features with pop-ups, top bars, banners, snippets and tooltips to get even more attention from users or site visitors.
These type of announcements can also apply to special offers, limited time promotions or upcoming events.
Make sure your reach your users on and off your site
A few of your users may not connect to your product on a daily basis. That’s why you need to ensure they are notified effectively. With Beamer you have several options to do this! First of all, you can implement push notifications: those users who have opted in will receive a web push notification with the most important updates. Push notifications are much more likely to be opened, bringing users back to your site. Additionally, you can use Zapier integrations to replicate your announcements in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any of the more than 1,000 of your favorite tools!
Balance feature removals with new exciting features:
As your product grows and develops, your team may find that there are some things that, for one reason or another will have to go. Sometimes shifts in features, especially removals, can cause havoc among users as Snapchat has frequently experienced with their abrupt removal of public “best friends”. Avoid the same and announce feature removals with new features or updates. This way, users will have an improvement to look forward to rather than lamenting on a major change that could be perceived as negative if some users grew attached to a certain interface feature.
Making changes and updates seem as convenient and easy to understand as possible is key for getting your users to continue to engage with your product and stay on board while you continue to make improvements. For a really easy, no-code tool to announce product updates in a way that increases user engagement, try out Beamer.