Promote and Highlight New SaaS Features Effectively
Congratulations on your snazzy new feature. After all that laborious work, brainstorming, UX brain-aches and riding the R&D team like everyone’s lives depend on it – it’s time to tell the users.
Just to be clear: I’m going to focus on 3 primary channels for letting your users know about new product releases. But I’m going to teach you how to do it well, in a way that guarantees that news of your new feature reaches as many users as possible. I keep returning to this Toggl story about 5 features users kept asking for, that had already been in use for eons. Let’s not have that happen to you.
Engage Users While They’re In the Zone
Literally. While they are using your product. This is an opportunity to strike while the iron is hot, when they are already tuned to your application, in the frame of mind that relates to it. They will be more receptive to news about the product, more interested in new stuff and how to improve their own experience of it.
The most common practice of engaging users on site and in-app is commonly referred to as context sensitive help: messages (that may include images, GIF, video or any other form of media) that target users at specific moments in their product experience. For example: if your new feature is strongly connected to an existing feature, certain actions can trigger that message, so as to catch the users at the most optimal instance, attention-wise.
Smart interactive content platforms like Iridize offer the option to automatically pop up content (like release notes) until the user indicated they have read the content, or make the content really stand out and appeal, much like the example by one of our clients, below. No coding is required for launching an in-app release note of this kind.
Manage Your Release Emails Like a Victorian Governess
Which is to say – meticulously, prudishly. Email is a great channel for release updates. In fact, our highest opening rates are reserved for product releases, even with the weakest subject lines. If managed wisely, it can also serve as leverage for re-engaging users in different stages of churn – those funky new features may be what makes the difference between you and your competition.
The trick with release emails is in the wrist. I mean, the list. Assuming you’re using some email delivery platform like MailChimp, ActiveTrail or InfusionSoft, you should be able to keep track of opening rates and build custom lists based on which users opened/did not open any given campaign.
My tip is: work with that! After the initial release email, take a few days and then send out another campaign, this time with a different subject line, targeted at users who did not open the first one. Depending on your resources, you can really leverage the email platform for promoting new features: target users who opened but did not click (inviting them to click); segment inactive users and offer them some benefit along with the new release update, and so on.
Invest in Release Updates on Social Platforms
If you were wondering how you can through money on the problem (or where you should invest in paid promotion) – this is it. Your working assumption should be this: most of my followers on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are NOT, I repeat NOT getting about 80% of my organic posts.
Facebook’s feed algorithm is elusive and picky; the LinkedIn feed are the badlands of staying informed and few people venture there regularly and Twitter, well, anyone with more than 100 followees is probably exposed to about 40% of what is published there. And on the other hand, you can’t afford to alienate users by spamming them with 50 posts a day.
What you can do, is invest in promoting your release update posts and tweets to your followers. That should be a modest promotion sum to a well targeted audience. If you want to leverage this marketing opportunity, pay to promote release updates to your competitors’ followers. That should grab some well deserved attention.
Publish release notes that actually get read