One of the goals of your Product Team is to constantly improve your SaaS product so you can keep giving value to your users (and make them stay longer).
Improving can mean many things. Usually, it’s as ‘simple’ as fixing bugs or making the interface more user-friendly. Other times you’ll make changes to existing features.
But sometimes, adding new features from scratch becomes necessary. You can hit the jackpot when your customers use more product features. And features that users find value in can increase engagement and improve retention.
But will your users simply adopt your new features just because you added them? That’s like Toyota thinking we will buy the Corolla because they added extra legroom in this year’s model! You need to create the right buzz and let people know about it. This article looks at how to effectively announce your SaaS product’s new features to maximize feature adoption.
Why are product feature announcements important?
You’ve had weeks of crucial meetings. Your developers have worked their socks off. Your new feature is finally ready to make its debut. You’re sure your customers will love it. The only problem? They’re not even aware of it.
It’s not a given that your users will adopt your new feature. You’ve got to communicate correctly to make your product features get attention.
They first need to know what the new feature is about (also known as feature discovery). Then you have to show the value they’ll gain from it. If you can convince a user that the new feature is going to solve their pain point, they will give it a try and use it.
How to announce your new features
There are many ways to send announcements to your customers, such as through emails or in-app notifications. But these are not as effective as you might think.
Take emails, for example. Emails might be quick and easily accessible to your users, but they can cause information overload.
They’re already overwhelmed by hundreds of emails from sites that some don’t even remember subscribing to! And most people like myself prefer to check for personal emails, like an email from the hiring manager or my wedding planner.
So imagine if they get an email alert on their phone, and they hurry to check, only to find out it’s another update from some SaaS company. Your guess is as good as mine − they’d likely not read it, or worse, unsubscribe. That’s not a good feeling. But you had good intentions. You were only trying to make life easier for them. True, but it’s risky.
What about in-app messages? Research has shown that they can be seen as intrusive, and 71% of users say they uninstall apps because of annoying notifications, in-app messages included.
The most effective way of announcing new feature updates
There’s a more effective way to catch your users’ attention and bring awareness to new features: a changelog.
A changelog is a platform that helps you keep your users updated on all changes you’ve made in your SaaS product. It’s ideal for non-intrusive communication with your customers. It can be a central communication hub for everything about your product including announcing new features, bug fixes, product discounts, and more.
Setting up your changelog is easy, even if you have zero experience in coding! Tools like Releaselog.io allow you to create a beautiful standalone changelog site to share your new product features and other updates with users.
A good changelog gives you a lot of benefits, such as:
1. In-app widgets: The option to add clean UI-optimized widgets with different functions will make feature announcements fun and engaging for your audience.
2. Schedule and customize release notes: Most changelogs now come with auto-scheduling options. You can write, schedule, and publish a release note in advance to save you time. With content being more visual-first, having the option to announce features in style by adding pictures, gifs, or videos is a must. No more boring text-only release notes. Whew!
3. Style your changelog site and widgets: Some changelog tools offer many customization options. You can customize your changelog site to match your style and remain consistent with your brand identity.
4. User segmentation: Perhaps you want only a section of your users to have access to the beta version of the features before making it accessible to everyone. A good changelog tool allows you to send updates or news to different user groups. For example, you can send to people on a specific plan, returning users, or admins only.
You need an effective way to make your users aware of new features, which will help drive adoption. Sending emails or using in-app messaging is okay, but can be spammy and intrusive.
Using a standalone changelog that centralizes communication allows you to notify your users of all your product updates, making it a less intrusive but more impactful way to drive feature discovery. And with a good onboarding process, your feature adoption rates should shoot up.
If you’re looking to get started with an effective changelog tool that presents you with easy setup and all the customizations you’ll need, Releaselog is the way to go.