Building a SaaS product is a never-ending game. Between multiple improvements, countless bug fixes, and new feature requests from customers, the time and effort that goes into updating your product are almost impossible to quantify.
It all starts with collecting your customers’ feedback and feature requests with user feedback software. Next, you need to tie it all up with your own product roadmap. Then, thanks to loads of coffee and endless work hours, your developers will do the magic and fix an annoying bug or create a new feature.
But this is not enough to close the loop. The final step is to communicate these updates to your customers.
Communicate the update or it never happened
There are plenty of reasons why communicating product updates to your customers is crucial. First, keeping people up to date about the product changes lets them make the most of your software or platform. For example, a simple feature tweak or bug fix may reduce the time they need to accomplish a task.
Second, a new software or platform improvement may get customers better results, so you certainly don’t want to keep that information from them. Third, communicating your product updates on a daily basis shows your customers that you care and are working hard on improving your product. There’s no better marketing than showing your consistent dedication to developing and refining your software or platform.
Finally, you’ll be able to close the users’ feedback loop. How will they ever know that you took their suggestion into consideration and added a new feature if you don’t tell them?
The best way to announce your product updates
Keeping customers informed about your product updates deepens the relationship you have with your customers and gets them to trust your brand more. But what are the best ways in which you can communicate these updates? Here’s a quick list of ideas you can deploy today:
Tip #1. Monthly release notes on your company blog
If you have a SaaS blog, it would be a waste not to communicate your product updates on it. Obviously, you don’t want to make your blog all about your products. Content marketing is more about building an audience and engaging new leads or prospects.
That’s why your blog posts should be more about the wants and needs of your target group than about your new features. However, your company blog is a great platform for consistently communicating the work you put into improving your product.
Tip #2. Recurring blog posts introducing features one at a time
Apart from publishing monthly release notes, you can also create a “Product” series on your blog and share different software-related news, such as a new feature or version of the product. Compared to monthly release notes, which can also contain different updates and bug fixes, recurring blog posts should focus on big announcements.
Tip #3. Live webinars
In case you have a bigger update, such as a brand-new option, on-demand webinars are a great way to make the announcement. Let’s say, for example, that you’ve developed a new drag-and-drop solution to help planning professionals build attractive event websites.
This entire subproduct is quite complex and requires an in-depth review. So apart from updating your Resource Center and onboarding documentation, you can also get your customer success team to film a few webinars in which they’ll present how this new solution works and answer any questions your customers may have.
Tip #4. Live Q&A with someone from the customer success team
As an alternative to on-demand webinars, you can also run live Q&A sessions with your customer success team. Their main goal will be to explain how the new feature or solution works and how your customers can use it to achieve their goals. This live session can start with a quick presentation, followed by a Q&A session where customers can discuss the updates.
Tip #5. Monthly newsletter sent to customers
Email blasts are the most straightforward and easy way to make sure that your customers will know about product improvements. There are different ways through which you can announce the updates. The first one is via email copy. It can be a monthly message dedicated to just your customers (so make sure to segment your database accordingly).
Second, you can send a simple newsletter with links to product-related blog posts. Third, you can use these emails to announce your product webinars and get your customers registered. Considering the versatility of email blasts, you’ll need to experiment and see which approach works best for you and your customers.
Tip #6. Changelog updates
Finally, you can always register and actualize all of your product updates using a changelog. What better to use Upvoty’s Changelog feature ;).
There are some rules in using a changelog, though. If you decide to use one, make sure to create different segments for your updates and tag them accordingly. For example, you can create three different categories, such as Bug fixes, Improvements, and New Features. This way, your customers will know exactly what the post is about.
Second, it’s important to actualize your changelog often. It will be better if you could do it along with the new updates you’re developing. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of forgetting what updates to include in the changelog.
Imagine running a few months of constant software bug fixes and improvements without updating the changelog. It will end up being chaos, plus you won’t be informing your customers efficiently.
Don’t forget that you’ll also have to communicate the product updates to your entire team—they definitely need to stay informed about the changes you’re making to the product.
The marketing team will need to change the website copy, run a specific campaign for a new feature, or even reposition the entire product. The sales team, meanwhile, will need a better understanding of what they’re selling so that they can provide the right information to your prospects.
Your customer success team will need to update the onboarding content and assist your customers with the new features.
You can either send monthly emails to your employees with the list of updates or use a Slack channel to keep everyone in the loop. You can also schedule monthly meetings with your product team to explain these product changes.
Regardless of the communication method you’ll be choosing, make sure both your customers and your team are informed about your product updates. Don’t just publish the news on social media or your website—make an active effort to communicate the changes to your customers.
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