How to Manage Product Announcements as a SaaS Company
There are over 15,000 SaaS companies in the world. And nearly all of them have direct competitors, leading to a highly competitive industry. If you want your SaaS company to stay ahead of the competition, you need to increase customer engagement and reduce customer churn. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through product announcements.
Why product announcements are so important
Your customers told you what they want. You did a great job listening to the feedback and used it to make the perfect product. However, your efforts will be for nothing if your customers don’t know that you took their suggestions and applied them to your product.
With product or feature announcements, you can keep customers and prospects updated about how your SaaS company improves products to serve them better. Doing so will help your company:
Increase customer retention and reduce churn
If your competitors are improving and your product has stagnated, your users will lose interest and opt for the next best thing. Show your customers that you are continually improving your product, and it will increase customer retention.
Increasing customer retention by just 5% can boost your profit by up to 95%. Besides retaining old customers, feature announcements can attract new customers. How? Sharing your new product features on social media can catch the eye of prospects who’ve always wanted that feature and convert them into customers.
Suddenly springing a new feature on users may lead to pushback, especially if your customers are already comfortable with the previous version of your product. For example, in 2018, Snapchat lost almost a million users after adding features that changed the app’s interface.
Increase the likelihood of your users accepting your updated product by informing them about it long before the feature launches. The more educated your users are about a feature, the more excited they will be to use it when it comes out.
Also, announcing a feature before launching allows you to test the pulse of your target market. If the reaction to your product announcement is tepid, it might mean that your customers don’t want or don’t care about your planned changes. You can use that information to avoid wasteful projects and focus on updates that get your users excited and yield returns.
Increase the likelihood of product launch success
The sooner your new product or feature starts yielding returns, the better. If you want people to rush your new product or feature as soon as it launches, you need to generate hype and enthusiasm long before the launch date. Product announcements are a great way to do this, especially since you can tell your users how the upcoming update will improve their lives.
Control the narrative
If users have a bad impression about a feature before it launches, the chances of them accepting or even trying it are slim to none. Product announcements allow you to control the narrative about your planned updates and provide your users with accurate information.
Collect user feedback
User feedback is a valuable source of insights about what your users want and prefer. If you take user suggestions and apply them to improve your products, it shows your users that you appreciate their feedback and care about their opinion. Doing so can increase customer engagement, and according to Gallup, engaged customers generate 23% more profit and revenue than the average customer. Product announcements make sure your users know about new features and products. You can use your announcements to request feedback on your customer idea board.
Product announcements are easy to do wrong
As you can see, product announcements have many benefits. However, if you do it incorrectly, your announcement won’t reach your target audience or add value to your business. Prevent such outcomes by avoiding these product announcement mistakes:
Bad timing: Don’t do a product announcement hours or a couple of days before a product or feature hits the market. Your users need time to digest the information, and you need time to gather customer feedback regarding your announcement. From the moment you decide to create the feature, let your users know and keep them updated as development progresses.
Targeting the wrong audience: Aim your announcement at the users that stand to benefit the most from a new feature. Use your knowledge of these target customers to create announcements that resonate and yield desired results.
Hiding your announcements: Your announcement should be easy to find, or your users might miss them. Have a dedicated page for your announcements and share your latest posts on social media for a wider reach. You can also create guest posts and share them on the websites your target audience commonly uses.
Unengaging content: Your announcements should be easy to understand and engaging. Otherwise, users will ignore them, and the entire purpose of releasing announcements becomes defeated.
Examples of SaaS companies that do product announcements well
If you need a product announcement template, below are examples of SaaS companies that nail leveraging announcements.
Frill nails public announcements by keeping each communique relevant, concise, and informative. It has a dedicated announcements page, which you can easily access via a tab at the top of the Frill homepage.
Browsing the announcements page is a breeze since it’s easy to scroll, uncluttered, and each announcement has a simple yet descriptive heading. The page also features a search tool that simplifies finding specific announcements quickly.
The Acadle announcement page uses lots of white space to prevent distractions and navigation issues. Announcements are in chronological order. Built with Frill, the Acadle announcements page has a search tool.
Each announcement comes with tags (new feature, improvement, and fix) that hint at an announcement's content. This way a customer can quickly decide if the announcement is relevant to them and if they wantt o read the whole thing.
SmartWriter’s public announcement page is simple and clean. It has a search tool, and each announcement comes with a screenshot or video that provides a clear picture of the announced feature.
Built with Frill, it uses engaging language and simple yet descriptive headings to describe each announcement. Plus, the page utilizes endless scrolling, which simplifies catching up on older announcements.
Your checklist for managing product announcements
Now that you know the benefits of product announcements, you might be considering using them to your advantage. Here’s how to go about it and get impressive results.
Use a product announcements and customer feedback software
Product announcements may sound tedious, but they’re easy if you’re using the right tool. Frill is a versatile product announcements tool that simplifies shipping out new features and collecting valuable user insights.
You get insights through the Frill idea board, where users can submit feedback about how to improve your product. If you choose to act on an idea, you can say so on the announcements page and even credit the person who suggested the idea.
Users can comment on announcements, letting you know if your announcement is a good idea or something you need to modify or scrap. Lastly, you can showcase the development stage of each announced feature by tagging it has shipped, in development, or under consideration.
By using an all-in-one tool like Frill, you can save resources and get announcements out faster.
Adopt a multichannel approach
For maximum outreach, share your announcements on multiple platforms, not just your dedicated announcements page. Some of the best channels for sharing product updates are:
Social media announcements are great for interacting with your users on their preferred social platforms. It’s also perfect for reaching prospects and showing them new features that may convince them to try your product.
Blog posts are also great for increasing your customer base by driving more traffic to your website and generating leads. In a blog post, you can go into more detail about a product update and explain how it can improve users' lives. You can also use a blog post to request feedback on the new product.
In-app notifications allow active users to see announcements without leaving your app. Simply put, the more channels you use, the more people you can reach, leading to more brand awareness.
Keep each announcement simple and informative
Humans have a limited attention span. Avoid ignored or misunderstood announcements by keeping your messages concise yet informative. Make your product announcements about your users, not you. Accomplish this by restricting your announcement to what a new product feature is and how it will improve a user’s life.
For the best results, make sure that your product announcement page is easy to scroll, and each announcement has:
A simple heading that describes the new feature
Content that explains the feature’s benefits and how to use it
Engaging and explanatory visuals (video, gif, or screenshot) that are on-brand
Extra information or sources for further reading
With Frill, you can easily create and publish announcements with the free and affordable monthly plans.
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