Tips for Crafting Effective Product Updates with Changelog
As a new season of a popular TV show approaches, trailers and recaps are released to build engagement. Trailers tease what’s to come, while recaps remind viewers of how the story has evolved. Similarly, a change log is like an introduction to your product’s next chapter. A skillfully composed changelog is more than a list of product updates; it’s a strategic communication tool that binds product teams and users.
With Changelog, Beamer’s product update tool, teams can create dynamic communication channels that inform and empower users. This blog will walk you through the best practices that elevate change logs from mere documentation to indispensable instruments for user communication, satisfaction, and product success.
What is Changelog?
It is a user-friendly tool that helps product teams easily create and update custom changelogs for seamless communication with users. With Beamer, you can build your changelog as:
- A standalone page: Create a dedicated changelog page on your site. Link it to your main domain, and optimize for SEO to make updates easily discoverable by customers and prospects.
- An embedded widget: Provide in-app announcements, eliminating the need for users to visit a separate page and meeting users where they are.
Your make an effective changelog you can be customized it to function as an extension of your product. You can achieve this by:
- Using custom CSS to make your changelog look native to your product
- Creating user segments to send targeted notifications and make sure important messages reach the right users
Collecting user feedback on your latest updates and sending data to other tools in your stack
5 Tips for Crafting Scroll-Stopping Product Updates.
Keeping users informed of product updates is crucial for feature adoption and user retention. However, these results can only be achieved if users are efficiently engaged by the information you provide.
Beamer offers extensive features that will turn your product updates into effective user engagement levers. Let’s explore how to put them to work.
Tip #1: Prioritize user value.
Behind every product update, there’s a need to fix or address a common challenge or pain point your users face. When communicating product updates, it’s important to provide context and value.
An effective change log announcement should help users understand the purpose behind the update and explain how they will benefit from it.
For example, Linktree uses clear and concise text to convey the value proposition of each product update. The call-to-action is also customized to lead users to a desired action, like learning more about or activating a new feature.
Tip #2: Collect user feedback on the spot.
The most effective way to solicit and obtain user feedback is to ask for it in context. With Changelog, each announcement can be followed by a prompt for users to provide comments and reactions.
User feedback can tell product managers if customers find a feature update useful or even if the announcement is easy to understand. It’s also a great opportunity to collect suggestions for improvements and use them to iterate on the changelog format.
Tip #3: Use visuals to grab users’ attention.
Incorporating visual elements is another great way to engage users with product updates. With Beamer, effective changelog announcements can include photos, videos, or GIFs to highlight key updates and effectively capture users’ attention.
Each announcement in your change log is an opportunity to show and tell what’s new. Product updates can be showcased through before-and-after comparisons, graphics, or branded designs that simplify user understanding.
AnyTrack, for example, uses branded graphics to get straight to the point. From the title and image alone, users can infer what’s new, even if they quickly scroll by the announcement.
Taking it one step further, Patchwork embeds Loom videos on their release notes to walk users through improvements and updates. It’s a prime example of show-and-tell and an effective changelog!
Tip #4: Optimize the frequency of updates.
Information overload is a strong user-repellant. Spamming users with notifications about product updates can make them feel overwhelmed. Likewise, an excessive stream of updates on your newsfeed can distract from the most important announcements.
The cadence of updates will reflect the pace of your product’s evolution. To keep users engaged and up-to-date with your most crucial updates, consider having a “Featured” category or tag for standout announcements.
Recruitee, for example, releases a monthly product summary that covers a few associated developments at once. This makes it easier for the user to find and consume the information.
Tip #5: Segment your updates will help to maintain your effective Changelog.
You can also use segmentation to determine who sees what and when. While every product update is relevant, it’s not necessarily useful for every user. Segmenting your updates will ensure that each message resonates with the intended audience and further prevent information overload.
Beamer can integrate with Segment to tailor your Change log to different users, depending on user attributes like their roles, in-app behavior, demographics, and more.
Segmentation is also a handy feature when switching between internal and external product announcements. In a large organization, keeping employees informed of product updates is just as important as informing users.
Slack, for example, maintains a public changelog for customer updates, while internal updates are communicated separately.
Others like Spinnaker, use Beamer exclusively for internal updates, classifying their messages under three straight-forward categories: Announcements, Improvements, and New.
Crafting Effective Product Updates: Key Takeaways.
It’s time to get the new season of your changelog on the road, but first, let’s recap our key takeaways for crafting scroll-stopping product updates.
- Highlight the value proposition of each product update by clearly outlining the context and benefit behind it
- Use images, gifs, or videos to attract attention to your updates and drive user engagement
- Spotlight crucial updates as “Featured” announcements
- Collect user feedback after each update to continuously improve user experience
- Ensure your updates reach the right audience by leveraging user segmentation
Try Changelog for Free.
In a highly competitive market, efficient communication with your user base is critical to success. Beamer, a powerful customer communication platform, automates and streamlines your user engagement strategies.
“Beamer is more than a changelog for us. It’s a unique channel that helps us engage and build rapport with our customers, cross-sell new products, drive adoption, and reduce churn like never before.”
– Louisa Ive, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Patchwork
Changelog optimization is seamless with Beamer, as our no-code tool makes it easier to update, release notes, and send notifications.
- Seamless integration: Beamer can be seamlessly integrated with other tools in your stack.
- Enhanced user engagement: Get actionable feedback as comments or reactions
- Segmented communication: Send customized notifications to different user segments.
- Boosted Announcements: Use in-app banners, popups, and tooltips to make sure users always see your most pivotal updates.
Effectively communicating with your target audience boosts their confidence in your product.
Get started with a free plan of Beamer’s change log to see the benefits firsthand. With Beamer, you are unfolding a new space for your product and its audience.