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Welcome to the definitive guide on new feature announcements! Introducing new features isn't just about rolling out updates; it's about orchestrating a symphony of innovation that captivates your audience. From engaging current users to attracting prospective customers, the art of feature announcements is pivotal in driving product adoption and fostering customer loyalty. This guide deep dives into the importance, best strategies, and channels that elevate your new feature announcements from mere updates to memorable experiences.

What is a new feature announcement?

In the world of product updates, the new feature announcement is a prominent way of showcasing the latest developments. This is how you inform both churned and active customers about changes in your product. The changes may include new features or updates, delivered in short messages such as in-app announcements or longer messages like release notes or blog posts. Consider this as the moment to gain the attention of users and showcase your product.

The initial stage of introducing a new feature is the new feature announcement. A feature is a component of a product that provides value to customers and prospects.

A feature announcement is an important tool for companies to utilize for various purposes.

Firstly, it highlights your brand. Companies that address customer needs effectively tend to see growth in their business. Satisfied customers often refer others, generating new leads and business opportunities.

Marketing teams have the opportunity to utilize new features to keep prospects engaged with your brand, especially when they encounter issues that your product can solve.

Next, it maintains the interest of active users of your product. There's nothing more disappointing than buying a new tool that does not meet your changing needs as a user. Product teams engaged in the discovery process can uncover additional layers of the problem to be solved and identify ways in which the product can enhance the lives of its target users. This results in the development of new features and increased customer retention.

Lastly, feature announcements help establish trust and loyalty between your brand and your customers.

Why is it important to announce new features?

Creating a new feature is one aspect of the job. Simply creating it isn't enough for your users (and potential customers) to find and make use of it. It is important to inform them about the existence of such solutions and demonstrate how they can utilize those features. Utilize marketing campaigns as a chance to engage with customers and demonstrate a commitment to improving your product for their benefit.

Announcing new features can help customers better understand the product and its value. Providing users with information about your product's functionality and benefits through common channels can help them understand your value proposition more quickly.

Here are some advantages of a well-executed announcement campaign targeted towards users:

Addresses change aversion

Change aversion refers to the immediate negative response users may have to product modifications. Humans tend to have a natural inclination to resist changes. Our brain develops habits for regular actions and processes. These mental shortcuts help us efficiently complete routine tasks without excessive deliberation, ultimately saving time and energy. Therefore, changes in familiar processes can lead to distractions and annoyance as we must shift our focus from routine tasks to learning new methods. In the case of digital products, users typically prefer to efficiently use them to complete tasks rather than spend time learning how to operate them.

Changes in a product's design, even those that have been extensively tested for usability before being implemented, can initially result in a negative user response that may decrease over time as users become familiar with the update.

While it may be difficult to eliminate change aversion, there are ways to lessen its impact, and one way is by announcing new features. By providing users with advance notice of upcoming changes and highlighting their advantages, we can generate interest and ensure a smoother transition for them. In-app feature announcement tools can assist users in locating new or updated functionality, helping them navigate the app more efficiently.

Improves your product's reputation

Introducing brand-new features or significant updates and improvements can enhance your product's public relations and reputation. By consistently displaying that you are continuously improving your product with a focus on your users, you can highlight your user-centered approach and demonstrate your commitment to quality and user experience. Having a good reputation for your product can help attract new customers and encourage loyalty from existing ones.

Increases feature discoverability and feature adoption rate

Discoverability refers to the ease with which users can notice and locate certain features within the interface. The feature adoption rate measures the proportion of users who consistently use a new feature. Improved discoverability and increased adoption of features can help users quickly derive value from your product, resulting in increased profitability for the business.

Low feature discoverability can result in a waste of resources. Product teams often dedicate multiple sprints to deliver new functionality. However, if users do not notice or utilize these features after launch, it can hinder feature adoption and fail to enhance the overall user experience.

On the contrary, feature rollouts through various channels can enhance user awareness of the update. Furthermore, digital adoption tools can help highlight new features directly in the interface, making it easier to locate and promote usage.

Helping customers reach the “Aha!” moment faster

The "Aha!" moment is when a user recognizes the true value of a product and understands how it can benefit them. This is what leads customers to remain loyal to your product over time, ultimately converting them into paying customers. This term is typically used for new users who have just started using your product and are in the initial stages of exploring it. However, it is important to ensure that loyal customers have occasional moments of realization or discovery while using the product. It results in higher user satisfaction, increased retention rates, and improved customer lifetime value.

Re-engaging with leads

Sharing product updates and improvements through email campaigns or social media posts can serve as a useful opportunity to inform potential customers about the enhancements, highlight the added benefits of the product, and motivate them to engage with it once more.

Reactivating churn users

Reaching out to churn users to update them on new feature launches can be a valuable way to reconnect with them. It could be more effective to provide a personalized update based on the customer's specific needs that were mentioned during their churn. A recommended practice is obtaining permission from your churning customer before sending them relevant feature announcement emails.

To maximize the effectiveness of your feature announcements, it is important to carefully consider the timing and delivery method to ensure increased adoption of new key features.

What makes a good product feature announcement?

There is no universal recipe for crafting a good feature announcement. Crafting feature announcements is similar to creating signature cocktails, where various elements are mixed to cater to users' specific requirements and desires.

We have some helpful tips for you:

  • Craft an irresistible call to action: The announcement should provide a clear CTA to follow. Whether it's exploring a new feature or taking a product tour, make it appealing.

  • Make use of visual aids: Visuals such as GIFs and screenshots can enhance communication when words are not sufficient. Add gifs or screenshots to enhance the presentation. They serve as a preview to the main event of your feature presentation.

  • Simplify with step-by-step guides: Demonstrate the new feature in action to users instead of just informing them about it. Step-by-step guides or product tours can simplify a complex feature and make it easier to understand. It offers users assistance in navigating the new features of your product.

  • Select appropriate UX patterns for in-app announcements: Regardless of size, in-app announcements should seamlessly integrate into the user experience. The level of visibility should be just appropriate, neither overwhelming nor too subtle. The goal is to create an experience that leaves users feeling like they have found something valuable rather than feeling surprised or overwhelmed.

  • Distribute to appropriate audiences through the most effective channels: Who should be informed about the new feature? Ensure that any kind of feature announcements or updates reach the appropriate audience within your user base, whether through social channels like LinkedIn and Instagram, blog posts, or in-app notifications. It is important to not only retain current customers but also to re-engage inactive users who have strayed and remind them of what they are missing. Also to identify potential customers who may be unaware of your offerings.

Most efficient channels for feature announcement

Selecting appropriate communication channels can assist in capturing the user's attention at the correct time and location. Product teams should develop a comprehensive strategy for announcing and launching new features that reach customers through multiple channels.

Here are some recommended channels of new feature announcements to include in your launch plan:

In-app guidance and messaging

The best time to introduce and promote your feature for increased adoption is when a customer is actively using your application and is ready to incorporate it. Incorporate in-app messages into your UX design to notify users of new launches, guide them to the feature, offer a tour, and provide resources on how to effectively integrate it into their workflows. Guides can help demonstrate how to navigate through a complex feature that involves multiple steps. They can also be very beneficial for enhancing the user onboarding experience and boosting user activation. Digital adoption platforms can be useful in this situation. Many tools of this type allow users the option of segmenting their audience, such as presenting the guide solely for new users. Regardless of whatever other channels you choose, in-product messaging is a necessity.

Email campaigns

Email is considered to be a highly effective messaging channel. Despite the high volume of emails received daily, customers are likely to check their inboxes and read your messages. Many products utilize email campaigns to communicate with their users about new updates. One can utilize these campaigns for significant new features. Another option is to send out monthly updates to recap the value delivered throughout the month. When selecting an audience for mailing, consider user personas and user segments. Various segments within your target audience may have varying interests in different aspects or applications of your new feature.

To effectively segment your customer base, consider creating mailing templates tailored to different customer segments to improve targeting and personalization in your communications. Ensure that the GIFs or videos you created for your blog post are included as visual assets in your product email. Additionally, end the email with a call to action directing users to your detailed blog post that provides more in-depth information on the new feature.

Blog post

Blog posts serve as a helpful channel to announce new features and share the story behind them. The post could cover the inspiration behind the feature, the potential users, use cases that would benefit from it, an explanation of its functionality, and case studies demonstrating the significance of the new feature in users' journeys.

Product marketing teams are encouraged to develop short videos and GIFs showcasing the new feature in operation. Additionally they can also create short interactive product demos which they can embed in the blog for customers to see the product in action, while reading about it. Current customers are encouraged to schedule time with their customer success manager if they have any further questions regarding the new feature.

Social media

Social media is an effective channel for sharing information about product updates. Consider selecting the appropriate channel(s) based on the user persona and their social media behavior to effectively reach the target audience. LinkedIn could potentially be considered if your product caters more to working professionals. Twitter and Facebook are effective communication channels for businesses, particularly when encouraging customers to follow them during the sign-up process. Social media can serve as a tool for collecting user feedback on your update, and it may be beneficial to review the comments and reactions generated by your post.

Customer success managers

The customer success team plays a crucial role in facilitating the adoption of new features. Customer success managers should proactively contact their customers to introduce the new feature, offer guidance on how to maximize its benefits, and schedule a meeting to address any questions or issues regarding the launch. This opportunity allows you to demonstrate the features and benefits of the new feature in real-time, offering relevant context on how each account or user can use it to their advantage. The customer success team should be receptive to customer feedback and integrate it into the product.

External channels

There are various external channels available to help you communicate new features or provide product updates to both current customers and potential prospects.

The following channels are:

  • Online communities: Often found on platforms like Slack or social media. If you have a community or belong to groups with your target audience, utilizing this platform could be a way to announce features.

  • Advertisements: Whether online or on social media, can help businesses reach a wider audience of potential customers.

  • Press releases: Typically utilized when introducing a new product.

  • Webinars: Used to introduce existing users to new product functionality and to attract new users.

  • ProductHunt: This can be used for acquisition purposes when launching a new product or making a major release.

How do you announce new features the right way?

Adding new features can enhance the quality of your product and provide value for customers, but it is essential to make proper announcements for these benefits to be realized.

Let's explore the steps for announcing a feature the right way:

Define a goal

The initial step is to determine the goal you wish to accomplish with this feature announcement. Are you interested in having your current customers explore and utilize new features? Are you looking to increase customer acquisition for your product? Are you looking to reconnect with users who have left due to missing features?

By clearly defining the goal, you can determine the most effective approach and timing for presenting your new feature announcement.

Choose your target audience

The product is designed to cater to various user personas and can be applied to multiple use cases. Target specific users with tailored messages to ensure that they receive relevant information and avoid inundating them with unnecessary details. This is a recommended practice for in-app feature announcements.

Choose new feature announcement channels

As previously stated, the chosen channel for your new feature announcement will be determined by your goal. You may choose a channel from the list provided based on your target audience.

For example, we use:

In-app announcements to existing users.

Email announcements to re-engage customers who have previously left.

A/B test and optimize in-app messaging

It is important to test each component of your new feature announcement, including CTAs, placements, timing, user interface, and the channel utilized.

Testing allows you to analyze user engagement with in-app messages and determine which feature releases drive feature adoption.

Announce new features like a pro with Fable

Are you interested in becoming skilled at announcing product features? Then get your hands on Fable. Fable enables users to create interactive demonstrations and feature guides that can be seamlessly integrated across various distribution channels.

This demonstrates the feature in action rather than providing a detailed step-by-step guide on how to use it. Start your free trial today to create kickass feature demos for your product.

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