The Ultimate Guide To New Feature Announcement In SaaS
After you’ve worked on and launched a new product feature, the next step is to get your users to actually use it, right? This is where a new feature announcement comes in.
New feature announcements are a must if you want your users to know what updates or new releases exist within your product. This is crucial as it helps drive them to quicker feature adoption.
But how do you do these announcements properly to ensure they’re seen at the right time and by the right customer? In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about new feature announcements in your app.
Let’s dive deep in!
- A new feature announcement helps you communicate news about your product features and a new release to either active customers, churned ones, or to attract potential customers.
- Doing this has several benefits because it helps drive product and feature discovery. This, in turn, increases your adoption rate and reduces churn.
- To plan a successful new feature announcement, product teams must have a specific goal to achieve with each announcement and plan for multiple channels (in-app notifications, a blog post, etc). Apart from these, you should also segment your audience to make sure that announcements go out to only those who actually need them without disturbing other audiences.
- A good feature announcement clearly shows the benefit to the reader, has a clear CTA, and uses various forms of content like gifs and videos.
- There are several channels to send out these messages. While in-app notifications are the most common, others like social media posts, emails, press releases, blog posts, etc. can also be great methods depending on the goal you hope to achieve with your feature/product launch.
- By including these feature announcement channels as part of your marketing strategy, you ensure that your hard work pays off and building/launching new features doesn’t go unnoticed.
- Userpilot makes announcing new features more effective. With Userpilot, you can survey your customers about their preferred new features, create different UI/UX patterns, and segment your audience to deliver the right message at the right time. Book a demo to try Userpilot today!
Try the best new feature announcement tool for your SaaS now!
What is a new feature announcement?
A new feature announcement is the first stage of new feature onboarding. It is how you alert both churned and active customers about changes in your product.
These changes could be either completely new features or updates to previous ones, and they can be in the form of both short messages like in-app notifications, or longer messages like release notes or blog posts.
Why are new feature announcements important?
Developing a new feature is only a part of the job. If you create it, your users (and prospects) won’t just find and use it. You have to let them know that such solutions exist and show them how they can use those features.
A new feature announcement can also be a good source of attracting new users to your product by alerting prospects of how your solution may be a good fit for them. These public feature announcements encourage prospects to give your product a try.
Lastly, it’s important to announce new features to reengage churned users who may have left your product because a feature was missing.
However, to get the best results from your feature announcements, you need to know when to send them and how in order to drive new feature adoption.
How to create new feature announcements that drive adoption
When it comes to writing your new feature/product announcement copy, there are several best practices to include to ensure your message is clear and instantly shows benefit to the user.
Some copywriting best practices to use are the following:
- Showcase benefits of the new feature and how it helps the user get the job done.
- Adjust in-app messages based on the different customer segments.
- Align feature announcements with your user onboarding strategy.
- Add a CTA to tell the user what to do next. Focus on one action you expect them to do: this is usually ‘’Try it out’’ or ”Learn more”.
- Use images, icons, gifs, or micro-videos to make the announcement more appealing.
- Make sure to stay aligned with your brand design so your message is easily recognizable.
How to create a proper feature announcement strategy
By adding new features, you’ll improve the quality of your product and add value for your customers, but those benefits won’t be realized without proper announcements. Let’s see what a proper feature announcement strategy consists of.
Define a goal
The first thing to do is to set what goal you want to achieve with this feature announcement. Do you want your existing customers to discover and adopt features? Do you want to attract new customers to your product? Do you want to re-engage churned users who have left because you lacked certain features?
By outlining the desired goal, you’ll be able to decide on the best format and time to show your new feature announcement.
For example, if you want to announce a feature that existing users have been requesting for a long time, and if it’s something that could distinguish you from your competitors, it makes the most sense to use multiple channels for your feature announcement. A public announcement on social media attracts prospective customers to your product, while in-app messages or feature announcement emails help you reach your existing customers.
Bear in mind, that your goals need to be SMART.
Choose your target audience
Your product likely serves multiple user personas and can be used for several cases. Target users to send out the right message to the right audience, rather than overwhelming all of them with messages and feature details that they may not find useful. This is a best practice when doing in-app feature announcements.
Segment your audience as you wish!
Choose new feature announcement channels
As we mentioned earlier, your goal will determine the channel used for your new feature announcement. These are the different types:
- In-app announcements to existing users.
- Email announcements to bring back churned customers.
- Own channels announcements: blog articles, and social media posts.
- Other announcement channels: press releases, and new feature releases to potential users.
A/B test and optimize in-app messaging
Always test each part of your new feature announcement (CTAs, placements, etc), as well as the time it was sent, and the channel used.
Testing helps you see which in-app messages users engage with the most, and what type of feature release drives feature adoption.
With Userpilot, you can run A/B tests on your in-app announcements by selecting that option when setting up your flow and connecting it to your goal.
A/B test your new feature announcements with Userpilot!
New feature announcement: Types and examples
Earlier on we mentioned that there are multiple channels you can use to make your new feature announcement.
Let’s take a deep dive into each announcement channel and its benefits.
In-app new feature announcements
In-app announcements are the most common channel for sharing product updates and feature launches. Regardless of whatever other channels you choose to use, in-product messaging is a compulsory channel.
Let’s take a look at some in-app feature announcement examples.
In-app new feature announcement example 1 – Postify
You can use a slide-out to raise awareness of new features in your app. This works well by also giving the user immediate access to test it out.
One tip would be to segment your customers according to those who either requested a feature or who will get the most value from it. This way each feature release is only going out to the right customer, not the entire user base.
See how Postfity does this:
in-app new feature announcement example 2 – Miro
Miro is a visual platform that uses release notes right in the product.
There’s an update modal that shows when you log in. From here an existing customer can see new features, and product updates, and read the full release note when they click on the CTA ‘open changelog’.
However, no one wants to read a full release note in-app. Moreover, they don’t constantly check your release page. This is why it’s important to use in-app messaging to make sure users don’t miss what’s important to them.
In-app feature announcement example 3 – Figma
UI modals are great for multiple types of announcements and they work pretty well to introduce existing users to the new feature. Since modals are usually perceived as intrusive, it makes sense to use this once and mix it with other in-app messages to make sure relevant users discover and adopt the feature.
Here’s a good feature release announcement from Figma; a great image that showcases how the new features work plus their CTA leads to the release note or prompts users to engage on the spot.
Email new feature announcements
Email feature announcements are good for more than reaching out to current customers. They can be used to re-engage churned users who left because you lacked certain features.
Use churn surveys to get feedback from such users on why they left. You can also ask them to share more in-depth details explaining the features they want.
From this, you can build a list of people who want a specific feature and then determine if it’s something worth building. Don’t forget to also ask their permission to receive a feature announcement email if you build it.
Email new feature announcement example – Asana
Asana uses email announcements as a way of re-engaging its inactive users.
You can also use this strategy to attract the users who dropped off because your product was buggy or slow. Just like Asana, you can send email updates to such users informing them that the problem is already fixed.
Email new feature announcement example – Miro and zoom
I’ve already talked about Miro’s ‘what’s new’ in-app announcement section but here’s how they use product launch announcement email too.
The following example is a new feature announcement email that shows that one short message is not enough – you always have to have a strategy and a sequence of messages on different channels.
Their email subject line is short and sweet showcasing the benefit of the new feature (the integration with Zoom).
Blog post new feature announcements
Blog posts are a great way to not just announce new features, but to also tell the story behind them. You could cover the inspiration for the feature, the users, or use cases who’ll benefit more from it, educate users on how it works, and even include case studies that show how important that new feature is to users’ journeys.
Launch these types of blog articles once new features have been adopted to make sure it works and is needed. You can then use the blog as a channel to attract new customers.
Blog post feature announcement example – Userpilot
Here’s an example from Userpilot, not exactly a new feature, but an important update catered to enterprises for which security is important. We wanted to make sure the message gets to a larger audience by including potential customers not just existing ones.
Social media new feature announcements
Social media is another secondary channel that’s useful for reaching members of your target audience (outside your active customers).
Try to focus on sharing important feature releases instead of constantly updating the audience with minor updates.
Social media is a great channel because it allows you to experiment with different content formats. You can use videos, gifs, popular memes, etc, and different social media channels to announce new product features and access real-time user feedback.
Social media new feature announcement example – Asana
Asana used a video on LinkedIn to announce a new feature. Videos are a good way to highlight how the feature works and get prospective customers to try it out.
External channels new feature announcements
There are several external channels to help you announce your new features or give product updates to not just your current customers, but also to prospects.
These various channels are:
- Online communities: Usually on Slack or social media. if you have yours or belong to communities with your target audience, this could be a platform to announce features.
- Ads: Paid announcements either on the web or social media help you reach a larger audience of your prospects.
- Press releases: This is done when launching a new product.
- Webinars: For introducing existing users to your product’s new functionality and attracting new users.
- Website announcements: Websites or landing pages should deliver your unique value proposition (UVP). You can also demonstrate the value your users can get from your new features.
- Product Hunt: For acquisition purposes when you either present a new product or a major launch.
External channel release notes example – Poptin
Product Hunt is a large platform for product sharing and discovery. It helps people outside of your user base find your product or new features and can increase your chances of product adoption and acquisition.
It’s mostly used for new product announcements or for a major product release that could drive new eyes to your brand.
Here’s an example from Poptin that lists new features and improvements to their 2.0 product release notes.
How to effectively announce new features in-app with Userpilot
Userpilot is a product adoption platform but it doesn’t mean its use is limited to after you build the product. You can easily leverage it to create in-product announcements. Let’s learn more about its functionality.
Create different in-app UI/UX patterns to announce new features
You can’t expect your customers to stumble across new features as they progress through their user journey.
For big announcements, you can build banners, modals, or slideouts to capture the attention of your existing customers.
Segment customers to announce your feature correctly
It’s not enough to assume users will just happen on new features: you need to let specific segments know about functionality that’s relevant to them and their user onboarding experience.
With Userpilot you can display in-product announcements to specific user segments without bombarding your active users with the information they don’t need.
You can slice and dice specific user groups based on a whopping six different criteria:
- User data (including name, id, plan, device type, signup date, and a huge array of others).
- Company data.
- Individual feature usage.
- Pre-existing segments.
- Engagement profiles (including UI-patter specific, like ‘in progress’ checklists).
- User feedback (e.g. you’ll now be able to instantly target a segment of users that might have complained about a specific bug via a survey, and directly inform them when it’s fixed).
Collect customer feedback with in-app surveys
Make sure the new features you are working on are anticipated by your users. With Userpilot’s in-app surveys, you can collect feature requests and work on building your next product feature to ensure customer success.
Choose when and where in your application it makes sense to launch surveys and customize them to match your branding.
If churn is the enemy of SaaS companies, then adoption is the solution. But product adoption and feature adoption don’t just happen, the intended audience needs to find them and use them. That’s why a new feature/product announcement plan can’t be ignored by your product team.
With Userpilot, you can communicate your next launch to customers with our variety of in-app messaging channels. Book a demo with our team and get started!
Try the best tool for in-app new feature announcements now!