One of the things we see at Pendo is how important announcements (like this one) are to the overall product experience. Why is that? Well, in our growing era of the subscription economy simply demonstrating value at the beginning of a customer engagement isn’t nearly enough. Software products must continually demonstrate value for customers to drive their renewals.
One easy way to communicate value is to make sure that customers are aware of all of the changes and updates that you are making to your product – from large scale feature releases to minor fixes and enhancements. Updates like these aren’t always visible to SaaS customers – they are usually migrated automatically to the latest version and don’t always notice when things have changed. In addition to “always be closing”, an important mantra for SaaS companies is to “always be announcing”. The way that you make the announcements, however, is also important. Emails, even to paying customers, have fairly low open rates, and the email addresses in your CRM system don’t always accurately match your actual users.
Share Release Notes that Actually Get Read
The best approach is the same that we recommend for other messages and user guidance… do it in the product. The product interface is where users are most receptive to information, and where you’ll be most likely to reach your most active users. At the Pendomonium conference today, we announced a new feature in Pendo designed to make it easy for companies to publish release notes directly in their applications.
Using the same authoring interface for in-app messages, guides, and walkthroughs, Pendo users will be able to quickly create “notes” that will show up as unobtrusive notifications for their end users. Notes can be scheduled ahead of time to coincide with product launches to ensure that users always know when they have received updates. Alerts remain visible until a user goes to read the contents of the release notes.
Target Your Notes to Users that will Care the Most
Just like Pendo guides, what’s new notes have the same rich targeting capabilities – meaning that you can show announcements to specific segments to whom they will be the most relevant. For example, if your new feature is only available for admin users you can only show the release notes to your admins. Or, if you’re announcing a bug fix for a specific feature, you can target it only to users of that feature. Personalizing release notes for specific segments ensures that the updates that will provide the most value to a customer don’t get missed.
Customize Every Aspect of Your Notes
Like in-app guides, you want to make sure that release notes feel like a native part of your user experience. They should be visible, yet seamless and unobtrusive. Pendo gives you a full range of customization for your release notes – from basic formatting like fonts and colors to full HTML and CSS control over how they are rendered in your application. This customization allows you to display your release notes in a way that aligns closely with your interface and doesn’t detract from the overall product experience.
The what’s new guides will be rolling out to Pendo users in the next month. Stay tuned here for updates… or just keep an eye out for release notes in the Pendo interface.