release notes templates

Our Best-Performing Release Notes Templates

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Mariano Xerez
Feb 10, 2021 | Last Updated Aug 13, 2021

What are release notes? Release notes are announcements published to notify users about the launch of a new service, feature improvements, bug fixes, or product updates. This kind of post has the goal of letting your users know what’s new and what has changed. 

Release notes don’t replace tutorials, product showcases, or documentation. They give your users the minimum amount of information necessary to grab their attention and invite them to see the improvements for themselves or read more. In the past, we have published posts about how to write better release notes for SaaS. This time, we want to give you some templates and examples based on how we write our own.

Based on our data and experience, we’ve compiled our best-performing release notes templates.

Just replace the text in {{brackets}} with the name of your new feature or with what it does, and you’ll be golden:

Short and catchy titles with a few examples.

We know users don’t spend too much time in each post while scrolling for feature updates, so we introduce the feature directly in the title. For example, Boosted announcements launched⚡️. We try to keep it simple, clean, and to the point. And we like emojis (a lot! 🐱🐱🐱). You can use our formula by following these templates:

  • {{feature name}} launched
  • {{feature name}} is here!
  • Now supporting {{feature name}}
  • Introducing new features in {{feature area}}
  • Introducing {{feature name}}

If our approach is too direct for you, there are other ways to make your titles more friendly. For example, you can introduce the new feature by showing the value of the update.

  • Amaze your users with {{feature name}}
  • Improve your workflow with {{feature name}}
  • Reach more potential customers with {{feature name}}
  • Work less and get better results with {{feature name}}
  • Reach a new level with {{feature name}}
  • Get more social media traction with {{feature name}}

Our friends at Intercom have a little more action-oriented approach. Instead of just stating the feature name, they introduce it with a particular action that you can now do because of their update. Like this: Automatically close unresponsive conversations with our new rules update. The formula for this action-packed title would be:

  • {{action you can do}} with {{feature name}}
  • Now you can {{action you can do}} with {{feature name}}
  • Change the way you {{action you can do}} with {{feature name}}

Find the balance that works for you, but remember to keep it short and catchy. Always!

release notes templates: catchy titles

Writing short, engaging, and informative content.

Release notes are not blog posts. Just as with titles, your content must be short and to the point. Avoid long-winded introductions and tell your users exactly what your new features can do for them. It doesn’t mean that you must refrain from all courtesy or human touch. You can still introduce your content, but do it with language economy in mind. A few phrases to start your content:

  • You ask, and we deliver!
  • Great news!
  • Hey, Beamer world!
  • Yet another great way to {{feature action}}
  • Now it’s even easier to {{feature action}}
  • Ever wanted to {{feature action}}? Now you can!
  • We are happy to announce that you can now {{feature action}}
  • Who doesn’t like more options? Now you have another great way to {{feature action}}
  • A great new feature is now available: {{feature name}}

In Beamer, we try to use a text-image-text model. That means that we quickly introduce the feature, then we add an eye-catching image or gif, and then we add more details regarding the news. We use pictures both to grab the attention of our users and to illustrate how a feature works. Don’t be afraid to use a funny gif, a diagram, or an infographic. Just make sure that it pops from the text.

short, engaging release notes

Two quick rules for writing a good Call to Action.

Call to Actions or CTAs are phrases in a message or post that tells your readers what to do. The idea of using this type of device is to incentivize the desired action. Classic CTA examples are click here to read more or try it for free today. A few basic rules to writing a good Call to Action:

  • Keep it relevant and be specific. Try to avoid using common phrases like read more or keep reading. Instead, tailor your CTAs to each post’s content. For example: Click here to find out how to use custom CSS, tells the user what this link is for and what topic they’ll read on the other side. Don’t forget to keep it short! A CTA is a link that must intrigue and engage your user in a matter of seconds, not your doctoral thesis.
  • Lead them to the right place. Make that the CTA and the content it will display when clicked make sense. For instance, See how Beamer NPS works must lead a user to a tutorial, demo, or a page where they can activate that feature. If it leads them to a long and generic blog post about NPS, they will be disappointed. You promised something, so deliver! You don’t just want to tell them what to do. You want to lead your users to where they can do it without friction. 

Beamer has a neat feature that will help you write engaging CTAs. When  creating a post, you’ll find at the bottom of the editor two fields: Insert link text and Insert link URL. The first will let you write the CTA phrase, and the second the target URL.

release notes call to actions

A bunch of CTAs templates.

While writing this article, I compared the CTAs in Beamer’s most recent release notes. I sorted them into three categories that I’ll share with you with examples and templates.

A. An invitation to read more.

Remember the rules that we discussed before: try to avoid the cliche phrase Read more. If you want your users to keep reading invite them to do something specific. Use words like “click here to…”, “check out…” or “take a look at…”. Don’t be cold! Use phrases that look inviting and try to include what they will achieve by reading (e.g. “learn to…”).

  • Click here to find out how
  • Click here to see how it works!
  • Check out how {{feature name}} works
  • Check out {{feature name}}
  • Take a look at {{feature name}}
  • Read about {{feature name}}
  • Be the first to learn about {{feature name}}
  • Learn to use {{feature name}}
  • Learn to {{feature action}}
  • Learn what {{feature name}} can do for you!

Some real-life examples: Check out our guide 💯 or Check out your new Analytics view.

B. The action-oriented link.

I remember that the old Internet use to have a three-click rule that stated that: “a user should never have to click more than three times to find the information they need.” I don’t know if it’s still something in the designers’ minds in the age of complex apps. But it still is useful to keep it in mind when serving content.

How does this apply to our CTAs? Well, if you want your users to act, take them directly to the place they need to be (remember our rules). Use this sort of direct CTAs to lead your users not to more content but to your app itself, their settings menu, sign up page, or shopping cart!

  • Click here to activate {{new feature name}}
  • Click here to enable {{new feature name}}
  • Activate {{new feature name}}
  • Enable {{new feature name}}
  • Click here to {{new feature action}}
  • {{new feature action}} now

Some real-life examples: Click here to change default post settings, Add a custom favicon now ⚡️, Click here to enable NPS ⚡️, Activate filter by URL or Enable single user notifications.

C. The promo!

The last type of CTA to discuss promises something like a trial, a demo, or a discount. Maybe these are the easiest to write, taking into consideration the abundance of ads on the Internet. So my only advice is to deliver what you promise and be clear about what’s the offer. Once again, don’t forget to be short and catchy.

  • Click here to try {{new feature name}}
  • Log in now to try {{new feature name}}
  • Try our {{new feature name}} for free
  • Request a trial of {{new feature name}}
  • Click here to get a {{discount or offer}}

Some real-life examples: Get 1 free month of Boosted today 🔥, Sign up for free Advanced Segmentation beta, Click here to try Export to CSV, Log in now to try auto-refresh or Request a trial of Advanced Segmentation.

A good example

To close this article, I would like to share a release note that I think encapsulates all of the topics we discussed. It’s short and to the point, has text and an image, has a CTA that promises and delivers, and when you click on it, it takes you exactly where you need to be to start using the new feature. It’s so minimal that in a few words, it introduces the topic, warns about some technical requisites, and even teases future updates.

release notes example

I hope these release notes templates are useful and give you the inspiration to find the voice that best suits you and gets your users informed and engaged. You can also check our release notes best practices here.

For an easy way of posting release notes and engaging users with new features and updates, try Beamer today.