Releaselog.io

Why you should NOT send product updates through email

Announcing your latest updates to your customers is critical in retaining them and reducing churn.

As a Product Manager, one of your primary concerns is how your product brings value to your customers and remains relevant to their needs. That means constantly releasing features, notifying users about these features (or other updates), collecting user feedback, and then using that data to iterate and improve.

To this day, most SaaS product managers prefer to announce their updates via email. It’s cheap, quick, and relatively easy to send. And the user already gave you his email when signing up anyway − so why not use it? We see several reasons why email isn’t the best option for sending product announcements.

Why email is no longer effective for announcing product updates

You announce updates to drive feature adoption, introduce new products, or simply build trust and credibility with your customers. 

Suppose email is your way of communicating these various updates to your users. In that case, there are several downsides to it: 

Email Overload

This is the single biggest problem with email. You are competing with probably hundreds of other automated and personalized emails daily. If your target users are B2B businesses, you can add inquiry emails from their end users to this list. In any month, it’s not uncommon to have over 100 emails sleeping in your inbox. But nobody wants to spend virtually the whole day checking their inboxes and filtering which emails to open and respond to. 

The average person will open up to 20 emails for any 100 emails received a day, and you can’t be certain you’re on their priority list if an impatient client or boss is breathing down their necks. So your nicely written email release note on bug fixes or your latest product version rarely even gets opened.  

Lower attention retention 

Emails are not very effective in grabbing attention to act when they need to. Why? Emails can be stored or saved in the inbox to be read at any time, usually at a person’s convenience. With email announcements, for example, the user could be reading their emails during their coffee break, and, if you throw in the fact that the average attention span for reading an email is only 15 seconds, he is likely to forget about it by the time they get back to their laptop.

Spam

I can’t count the number of times I’ve missed some crucial emails because Yahoo and Gmail automatically sent them to my spam inbox. Although technology has improved, it’s still not perfect. That adds to the risk of using email for announcements; yours could easily be mistaken for spam.

Customization limitations

HTML Emails are more visually appealing than plain-text emails because they allow you to customize visual elements such as images and color, but most email clients suck at displaying these elements correctly. So unlike a web page, your email experiences limitations in the display. There is a better option if you want more flexibility in building functional on-brand HTML emails.

Conclusion

Email is an effective communication channel, but you’d be better off using it to communicate other important aspects of your business (for example, in your content marketing strategy). 

A changelog is a much better option for sending updates about your SaaS product. It acts as the central hub for all product announcements, including feature releases, bug fixes, promo announcements, pricing changes, etc.

Also, with a changelog, you can release real-time live updates to capture a user’s attention at the moment, leading to better engagement. For example, if you’ve announced a new feature, the moment a user logs into the tool, they instantly see the notification in the in-app widget while they’re actually using the tool. 
If you’re a SaaS business serious about retention and growth, you should consider a changelog. The benefits of an excellent customizable changelog outweigh those of using email for announcing product updates. Releaselog gives you many customization options to create a changelog you and your users will love.

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