Notifying Users of New Features
How to Communicate Product Development to Users
It has probably happened to you before. And probably not just once: you log into your favorite app and start clicking around only to find that a menu item that you use is gone. Or there is a new button where there was nothing but whitespace before. “Grrr, why wasn’t I ever notified about this by the app developers?!” you fume.
This is a scenario that plays all too out often with SaaS startups. A new feature is rolled out and, due to time pressure, or a general lack of method, customers are left to figure things out for themselves. Or an announcement is made on the company blog (that, at most, 10% of their users read) and things are left at that.
Do you see any important lessons here for your startup? Hopefully so, because adopting such a slack approach to new product feature announcements is sure to leave your app’s users, at best confused, and most likely quite aggravated. Read on to find out how you can improve this for the benefit of your retention rates.
Just Hack It:
- First off, figure out a general plan for how you will announce features to your users. Via your blog? Email? Social media? In-app messaging? Hello Bar-type announcement? Pop-up overlays?
- While it pays to use as many channels as possible, pick the main ones that your users pay attention to and become religious about posting updates there every time a new feature is pushed
- In terms of the in-app experience, make sure that, regardless of how you decide to communicate features updates, these updates are clearly visible in your interface
- An informed user is a happy user. A happy user is mana for your retention statistics. Keep your users informed!