Our New Feature Announcement Checklist for Successful Feature Releases

Vartika Bansal
May 29, 2023
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A spray-and-pray approach to new feature announcements is like throwing spaghetti at a wall and hoping it sticks.

We've all seen those sad announcements that go unnoticed. These feature launch campaigns often fail to drive adoption and satisfaction due to poor positioning, lack of distribution, limited customer involvement, and an overall scattered approach.

It’s time to replace that with a more strategic approach that will make your feature releases stand out and shine.

We've created this actionable checklist with product marketing tips to drive adoption for new features and keep your customers returning for more.

Here’s our 6-step checklist to feature announcement for B2B SaaS brands

Let’s walk you through our six-step checklist for new feature release campaigns:

1. Create pre-announcement buzz to pique curiosity

Want to make your new feature announcement unforgettable? Start by building some buzz before the final announcement. Create excitement among existing customers and make interested users curious about the feature launch.

A cool way of doing this is by giving a select group of customers an exclusive sneak peek. This is a win-win because:

  • It’ll make these users feel special
  • It’ll get you great feedback and testimonials for your big reveal

Use their inputs to launch teaser campaigns on social media channels. You can drop hints about what’s coming by stressing the pain points this new feature can solve.

Take a page from Asana’s book for inspiration on creating a pre-announcement buzz with emails.

Asana's new feature announcement

2. Be ready with your feature walkthrough guide

Launching a new feature without self-serve content on how to use it is like setting sail on a ship without a map or compass. It leaves users adrift in a vast sea of confusion, struggling to navigate and fully benefit from the feature.

A feature walkthrough guide is essential to quickly get users up to speed and avoid confusion. Your feature walkthrough guide should:

  • Contain clear instructions with simple steps and visuals.
  • Provide sufficient information without overwhelming users.
  • Include real-world use cases to showcase the feature's value.
  • Address common pain points and provide troubleshooting tips.
  • Emphasize the benefits and positive outcomes of using the feature.
  • Have a reader-friendly and conversational tone to engage users.

Here’s a great example of a new feature walkthrough guide:

This guide was made using Floik, an all-in-one platform for creating visual product collateral in multiple formats. Floik captures your workflows and automatically converts them into step-by-step guides and videos.
You can edit and customize these content assets any way you want. Then embed them anywhere or download them to publish on socials. Sign up on Floik and give it a try!

3. Make engaging new feature announcement videos

If you try explaining how to tie a bowtie to someone over the phone, you’ll likely hit your head against the wall before they understand your instructions. But if you send a video, it’ll be a lot easier, faster, and crystal clear.

It’s the same equation with new feature announcements.

New feature announcement videos allow you to showcase the benefits of your feature(s) in an engaging way. Plus, videos can help you communicate your product’s value and troubleshoot user queries more effectively, leading to more sign-ups and deeper adoption.

Here are a few elements to consider for creating compelling videos for feature release:

  • Add visual charm: Use stunning visuals, animations, and sleek product shots to showcase your new feature's superpowers. Let the eye-catching designs do the talking and leave your viewers in awe.
  • Include storytelling magic: Tell a story that resonates with your users. Show real-life scenarios where your feature swoops in like a hero, solving pain points and making lives easier. Make your users the star of the story!
  • Contrast problems and solutions: Set the stage by highlighting your users' challenges. Then, unveil your feature as the ultimate solution. Your customer marketing team can collect these inputs to make the transformation crystal clear.
  • Make it easily consumable: Keep it crisp and capture attention from the first frame. Maintain an energetic pace and combine this with a compelling narration to make an impact. Don’t forget to add captions or subtitles for everyone to enjoy.
  • Clarify the next steps: End your video with a powerful call to action that leaves no room for hesitation. Encourage viewers to try a free trial, visit your website, or get in touch. Make it easy for them to take the next step and dive into the action.

Does this sound like too much work?

Here’s the good news: Floik will do all the heavy lifting to refine your video while you focus on the more important stuff.

Once you record a walkthrough of the new feature on your screen, you can:

  • Trim the length and crop your video
  • Add custom CTAs at the end of your videos
  • Transcribe the audio and add accurate captions
  • Add your own voice or generate an AI voiceover

Bonus, before you even start recording your screen, you can blur sensitive information. When you're done editing the video, hit publish and embed it anywhere or download it to share on social media.

4. Write blogs highlighting use cases for specific pain points

A well-crafted blog post for your new feature announcement is key to driving adoption and engagement. It provides an opportunity to explain the feature's functionality in detail, addressing potential user questions and concerns.

Besides, it allows you to showcase real-life use cases and highlight how this feature tackles specific pain points. Add to this a few testimonials from beta testers, and you’ll win your users’ trust.

These tips will make your feature announcement blog a hit among your audience:

  • Address pain points: Identify common pain points or challenges your target audience faces. Understand their struggles and concerns, and acknowledge them in your blog. This helps create a connection and captures their attention from the start.
  • Present use cases: Illustrate how your new feature directly addresses those pain points. Share real-life use cases where the feature has provided tangible benefits or solved problems.
  • Before vs after structure: Combine the above two points into a unified narrative. Describe the "before" situation to explain the difficulties or limitations users faced without the feature. Then, showcase the "after" scenario to demonstrate how the feature resolves those issues and improves their experience. Make the positive impact clear and compelling.
  • Provide practical steps: Guide your readers by outlining practical steps or tips on effectively leveraging the feature. Break it down into easy-to-follow instructions, and offer best practices and insights to enhance their understanding and implementation.

Here’s a snippet of a blog we posted about the latest features we launched in Floik. Read our new features announcement blog.

Floik new feature announcement

5. Write personalized emails for existing customers

When it comes to engaging existing customers, personalized emails are pure gold. By speaking directly to your customers as individuals, you can catch their attention and nudge them to try this feature.

Make these feature launch emails a part of your customer marketing playbook. Here are a few tried-and-tested rules to follow:

  • Keep it breezy: Draft your email as if you're having a one-on-one conversation with each customer. Ditch the corporate jargon and be yourself—after all, you're talking to real people, not robots.
  • Brevity is key: Keep your sentences punchy and concise. Every word counts, so make them impactful. Once you catch their eye with your subject, keep the momentum going. Be brief without sacrificing the essence of your message.
  • Personalization is everything: Address customers by name and reference their specific interactions or previous purchases. Show them that you genuinely care about their unique needs. Tailor the email copy to this data and explain how the new feature will make their life easier.
  • Sign off in style: End your email with a clear call to action that encourages customers to take the next step. Create a sense of urgency or offer incentives to nudge them to try the new feature.

Framer sent this neat email to existing customers, informing them about its new prototyping tool. A crisp and clear email with all the information you need about the tool.

Framer new feature announcement email

6. Push the news on social media and communities

You can never really sleep on your community to share product updates—whether it’s a minor feature release or a big one. Social channels and niche communities are great for creating the initial hype that spreads the news like wildfire.

Use these tactics to make your new feature announcement campaigns shine:

  • Share snippet teasers: Share intriguing sneak peeks of your new feature to create curiosity. Publish short posts that hint at the value and capabilities your feature offers. Leave your audience wanting more.
  • Double down on UGC: Customer marketers can encourage users to share their experiences with the new feature through user-generated content. Ask them to post testimonials, reviews, or creative content related to the feature. This not only generates buzz but also builds social proof.
  • Run social ads: Boost your reach with social media advertising. Create targeted ads that specifically target people who will find this feature useful. Leverage the targeting options provided by social media platforms to reach your ideal audience.
  • Partner with influencers: Launch collaborations with influencers or industry experts who align with your brand to promote your new feature. Collaborate on sponsored posts, takeovers, or influencer reviews to tap into their existing audience and leverage their credibility.

This post on Outreach’s LinkedIn account is a good social media announcement for product updates.

Streamline New Feature Launch with These Proven Tips for Success

Ready to make your new feature announcements unforgettable?

Build excitement by giving a sneak peek to select customers. Tease the feature on social media by highlighting the pain points it solves. A walkthrough guide is a must to guide users—make it clear, visually appealing, and practical.

Social media and communities can amplify the buzz, while blogs can be your space to explain your motivation behind building this feature.

Additionally, you can leverage other channels like in-app notifications to directly reach your existing user base and webinars to demonstrate the feature's functionality and answer questions in real time. These channels can complement your overall announcement strategy and cater to different user preferences.