Releasing a new feature is no small feat. It’s not only about perfecting your product; it’s about communicating the right message and ensuring that customers adopt the features that get them to value. Engineering may get the ball rolling, but a successful release takes a concerted effort across the entire organization.
We’ve already given you a practical step-by-step guide for getting your new features noticed, but getting everyone on the same page is equally important. Let’s take a look at how Product, Customer Success, and Marketing teams can work together to make your next feature release seamless.
Get on a schedule for feature updates
Teams can’t promote feature updates effectively if they’re bogged down in other projects. That’s why it’s essential for everyone to agree on a release schedule. Not only do consistent releases show progress on the roadmap toward the product vision; it ensures that Marketing and Customer Success are ready to communicate the benefits of an update as soon as the Product team releases it.
GitLab is a great example of consistency: For the past 122 months, they’ve released and promoted product updates on the 22nd of each month. Customers know when to keep an eye out for new features, and GitLab can effectively work across teams to get features released, noticed, and adopted.
If your SaaS is still in its infancy, you may not be at the point where a consistent release schedule is feasible. While working towards that goal, get on a consistent communication schedule with a monthly newsletter, social communication and in-product announcements. By highlighting updates at a regular cadence, customers will come to expect important product news from your communications, helping you amplify feature releases.
Customer workshops take your communication strategy one step further, giving users a chance to ask questions about any new feature releases. Include a registration link in your newsletter, and schedule a workshop one week after sending out each newsletter.
Tier your feature releases
Product updates come in all shapes, sizes, and complexities, and each one doesn’t necessarily deserve the same amount of attention. By tiering product releases, you can match your amplification efforts to the importance of the update, thereby creating an easy-to-follow work back schedule for Engineering, Customer Success, and Marketing.
Once you’ve sorted your product releases into tiers, you can then determine how much time and effort each team will invest in an update. A few factors to consider for each new feature:
- How many sprints or development cycles will be involved?
- Will the Product team create documentation?
- Should Marketing create a product Q&A to align messaging and nomenclature?
- How will Customer Success handle community distribution?
- Can in-product communication link to related products, such as templates?
By prioritizing feature releases based on their levels of importance, each team can focus its efforts where they matter most.
Take advantage of all distribution channels
Everyone learns and processes information differently and has different preferences for receiving information. That’s why it’s important to vary your modes of communication in order to enhance the user experience and grant greater accessibility to new features.
Marketing and Customer Success teams can collaborate to get the message out using various channels and both long- and short-form content. In addition to the standard newsletter, provide amplification for feature releases with social media announcements, community forum discussions, and customer workshops.Repetition is key to comprehension.
Perhaps the most critical channel, however, is your product itself. Communicating about feature updates in-product means that you’re meeting customers where they have high intent, allowing them to quickly explore new features before the information gets lost in their day-to-day backlog. What that means is a higher chance of adoption, leading to product growth and better retention.
A no-code tool like Candu allows your Customer Success and Marketing teams to quickly let users know about feature releases in-product. Check out this template to give it a try.
Get customers to value
No matter which team is in charge of a particular communication, it’s always important to lead with the value of a new feature. Make sure that you’re communicating all of the benefits and that you’re doing so across multiple channels to ensure your message is heard loud and clear. With all teams working together to amplify a feature release, you’re sure to see adoption take off.
Want to learn more about supporting your feature launch with in-product communication? Try Candu for free.