How to increase new features adoption for SaaS
So your initial product is off to a decent start but it’s time for an upgrade. Your users and their engagement are out growing your current product. It’s time for the next move to keep their interest – a new feature.
How do you ensure new feature adoption for SaaS? The answers appear all around us. We just have to apply them to SaaS.
Have you ever been a “regular” at a restaurant? You love what you order and you get it every time. It fits your needs but you want something new.
How do you know when something new has appeared on the menu or there is another option they offer that might be your new favorite?
A good restaurant knows you, knows your order, and knows when and how to tell you about something new or make a new recommendation to keep you coming back.
To be able to do this as a SaaS company and keep users intrigued, happy and coming back is key to keep long term paying users.
Here are some proven ways to increase new feature adoption for SaaS:
Before you launch a new feature:
- Do your research, ask your customers:
In order to prepare for new features that will be adopted by users and add value to your product, it’s best to do your research in understanding what your users truly want and need. There is no glory in releasing new features that no one wants! Your product team should study user behavior on your site and do persona research to understand what kind of processes your different user groups use. For example, if you work with advertising agencies, understand all the tasks and work flows of advertising agencies and how your product fits in so you know what tasks/pain points to build a solution for next. In addition to research, ask you customers. Send our surveys and ask customers to provide feedback on your product. You can even have surveys where they vote for which features they want to see next. Your customers are the best source of information.
- Don’t create features for everyone:
Sometimes, you can’t please everyone and you fail to please anyone when you try. Sometimes, it will be necessary that you make features that are specific to individual customer groups in order for them to be adopted and a success. Generic features and updates are great, but specific tools to really help solve specific pain points are why users stay on with products instead of looking for a different solution. Make a point to understand your top customers best and look for ways you can solve specific pain points – or you will lose them. Learn more about how to better understand your customers’ needs.
Create a great onboarding process:
Before you launch, you want users’ introduction to your new feature to run smoothly. Create an onboarding process that is actionable and also informative enough for users to really understand how to get the value out of a feature. You don’t just want to announce you have a new feature and hope that users figure it out.
Some ways you can better onboard users to new features:
- Video demos and tutorials
- GIFs to show basic steps
- A short blog post or announcement with essential instructions
- Case study examples of the new feature being used
When you launch a new feature:
- Announce it in the right place:
When you do announce a new feature, you want it to be in the right place where users can find it and engage with it in context. Emails are the standard way in SaaS to announce new features and by all means, continue that method – it’s what your users expect. But there are other ways to get more engagement and visibility with users for better adoption.
Beamer is a great way to announce your new feature. Beamer is a changelog that opens within your product or website where you can announce new features and updates. To open your Beamer feed, users click on a “What’s New” tab or an icon in the interface. It’s in context unlike emails where users have to venture back to your product. On your Beamer feed, you can create engaging updates for new features with GIFs, videos, screenshots, and CTAs to direct users to new features to take action immediately. You can use push notifications to bring users back every time you post a new feature update to increase engagement and adoption.
Announce it at the right time to the right users:
The right time is important, the right time can be different for different users. For SaaS products, users can be diverse and what you show them and when should be personalized for better engagement and adoption in terms of new features. For example, some new features may be more interesting to different users. Some features may be more pertinent to returning users and not ones who just signed up. Some features may be premium for paying users only and not your freemium users. Having differentiation as to what you present will increase engagement and new feature adoption as well as keep communication with users streamlined and not too much.
With Beamer, you can segment updates and notifications by demographic, language, URL, location, and past behavior on your site to ensure the right users see the right updates.
- Make your new feature announcement actionable and product-focused:
Announcements should push users right to an action to increase new feature adoption. Your new feature announcement process should be actionable and get users working with it right away for quick adoption. You should show users how to make use of your new feature. Your onboarding process for new features should take users through the action of using a new feature and show real examples of what they can accomplish. Additionally, a call to action to the new feature is key to getting users to take action and start using it right away. They are much more likely to use features again if they know how and understand their value.
After you launch a new feature:
- Ask for customer’s feedback:
New features and developing your product for further adoption is a constant learning process. The information you need is always right in front of you. Ask users for feedback on new features after they’ve had time to use them. This way you can better understand if you’re moving in the right direction. You can also track users’ sentiments toward new features on Beamer. Users can leave reactions and comments on new feature updates on your Beamer feed. Your team can check the back end for this data as well as open and click through rates.
To track how your users are reacting to new features and your changing product overall, keep track of NPS or your Net Promoter Score. You can track this with Beamer NPS. Beamer NPS includes a simple survey of product satisfaction from 1-10 for your users. Your team can discover overall how satisfied users are and identify promoters (happy users) and detractors (unhappy users) to get a better idea of where you can improve and where you’re doing well. Knowing what works and what doesn’t with users is key to increasing adoption and engagement overtime.
- Keep a log of features and updates:
To show users, new and existing, how far your product has come and keep them aware of features, keep a central changelog of features and updates that is easily accessible. The more documentation, tutorials, case studies, etc. showcasing and showing how to use features you have available, the more users will know how to leverage your product.
Here are ways you can do this:
- Have a standalone Beamer page with all your updates
- Create a help center with tutorials, FAQs, and guides on how to use your product
- Create content and case studies to inspire users on leveraging your features specific to their work
- Measure new feature adoption
As you add to your product and evolve with new features, it’s important to know how this affects your users’ satisfaction with your product. You should track new feature usage among new and existing users to better understand if you’re truly improving your product in ways that customers are asking. If you’ve recently pushed the improvement of an existing feature, it may be difficult to track but still seeing numerical examples of increased usage shows that you are keeping users engaged. For example, after launching a feature or update, you can track how many times it was used over the first few weeks and you can check interactions and click throughs on your announcement on Beamer to gauge your users’ reaction. The more features you have that are highly engaged with, the more “sticky” your product will be, resulting in less churn.
New feature adoption is the basis for success of your growing product. If you can keep users coming back and satisfied with what you continue to create, you will continue to effortlessly generate revenue. For an easy way to boost engagement and new feature adoption, try Beamer.