How to increase user engagement with product changes in 2019
Launching a product is a double edge sword. You need to have a pretty decent, working product to launch to users and their opinion early on can make or break your long term success. However you need to turn your good product to a great product in the long term as well which requires user feedback. An estimated 90% of startups fail, especially in the information industry. Ensuring your product success and increasing users’ engagement it’s a game of data, timing, and communicating with users, so that your product progresses according to their needs, without losing their interest along the way.
A huge part of this initial stage is communicating product changes to users. You want to keep them coming back knowing that your team is listening to what they want and actively working to make changes. Without communicating your product changes, they may see your product as stagnant and look for other alternatives. Don’t let your team’s hard work building a great product go to waste and lose users.
Here is how to communicate product changes to users to boost engagement and growth
Don’t count on email to communicate product changes
Email is the instinctive way to announce anything to your network. But your emails are not effective and almost a waste of time. You’re lucky to get a 20% open rate and a fraction of that in clicks. When you think about it, that’s not that great. Especially if your goal is to get people on your site or product and exploring your changes. Only ~2% of your users doing that means the vast majority are missing all of the hard work your team is putting into making a better product. Even regular users will miss updates and new features or be confused when they see changes that you haven’t communicated. Instead, use a changelog like Beamer to communicate product changes directly within the interface. Beamer is an in-app newsfeed and notification center where you can publish visual, engaging updates. You can send segmented notifications, just tailored for your users, with better open and engagement rate than emails, blogs or other traditional communication channels. Learn more about the most effective ways to engage users (not email!)
Give specific CTAs in your announcement
It means nothing to users to just announce a new feature and hope that they will start using it regularly. You’ve probably experienced this where you receive and update message from Gmail or another platform you use frequently and close out after the first line. The product change could be something really cool and useful to users but they likely won’t figure that out right away and put it to use. Give your users suggestions on how to use new features and what they can do with updates that is relevant and helpful to them. Then, at the bottom of your update have a direct link or other CTA directly to the new feature to get them started.
Be as visual as possible in your message
If you just send a text email or push notification, it’s really hard for users to really understand what changes they should look out for. We’re so used to reading and ignoring emails and messages, you need to be visual to announce product changes. You want to visually explain to users what to expect and what they can do with your product. They are much more likely to interact and use new features and check out changes when they are visually prompted. Use actual screenshots, videos, GIFs, etc. to show users changes and updates rather than just explain them. You can add photos, videos, and GIFs to your Beamer updates to better explain how to use new updates to users directly within the user interface. Check out more details on how to successfully introduce product changes
Be personal in your communication with users
Seemingly generic updates and messages are much more likely to be ignored. Personalization is the key to getting more engagement: 78% of people prefer personalized communication. Make your announcements and updates to users personalized as well. There are simple ways to do this automatically. Using Beamer, you can segment which updates are sent to which users visiting your website. You can segment by demographic, past behaviour on your website, etc. By sending only the relevant updates to your users, you can avoid the alert fatigue effect and make sure your updates have a better open and engagement rate.
Show that you and your team are listening to what users want
A great strategy for showing users that you are taking their feedback seriously and are working to make your product better for them is to specifically mention their feedback and requests in your product change updates. If your users asked for specific functionality, thank them for their suggestion. Even while you’re working on new features and updates, let users know that you’ve heard their suggestions and you’re working on implementing them. Showing, even on a very small scale, that your team is listening to users and are continually working to improve the product gives your company an overall progressive and evolving image in the face of your users. They are more likely to stay loyal to your product if they know that what they want is on the way and their opinion is taken seriously.
Use data and feedback to make future product changes
Never assume what users want to see and hear from you. Make those decisions from data which is getting easier and easier to collect from your users. Gathering user feedback is important for both your overall strategy and direction and also building a relationship with users. Aim to gather, analyze, and implement their opinion on every outward decision you and your team make. Ask for their feedback at every opportunity, not just rarely-answered surveys after you’ve made several changes. Using Beamer to make announcements and share updates gives you consistent data on how users are receiving your updates. On every update in Beamer, users can even leave their feedback, reaction and comments, only visible to you. Combined with Beamer analytics, it’s a really simple way to quickly analyze feedback.
If you’re not communicating your product changes to your users effectively, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to build loyalty and keep engagement high as you continue to improve your product. Your customers won’t know how hard your team is working to build a product that meets all their needs unless you improve how you communicate with them! Try Beamer to make announcements and to boost user engagement by 10x.