Your organization spends time and money researching, developing, and implementing a great product. The next (ongoing) step is to bring awareness to that product and its changes. That's where you come in. In the product marketing space, you have three main goals: increase the number of users, improve adoption and loyalty of those users, and reduce churn. As the development team continues to reduce friction by adding or improving features, users must be made aware of these changes so you can fuel your flywheel.
The effort that will have the most impact in this endeavor is investing in your product announcement strategy.
A product announcement is the initial set of marketing activities aimed at promoting a new or updated product. Done well, product announcements bring awareness to the efforts your brand is making to improve or uplevel user/customer experience.
You can likely envision the palpable excitement your prospects will have for your new product or feature, but at the same time, it may seem daunting to get the word out. We have some tips, best practices, and templates to help you out.
New Product Announcement Example
New product announcements will be different for every brand, depending on who the audience is and how big of an update or announcement is required. The one thing all product announcements have in common is that they engage existing customers. Initially, this is done with a product announcement email that outlines:
Who the new product or update benefits
The reason for the change or addition
The problems and pains that it solves
How best to take advantage of it
To set the product announcement up for success, you may also choose to strategize a supporting launch campaign. In addition to the initial announcement email, this may include:
A reminder email sequence to keep the product top of mind
In-app or in-product tutorials or notifications
Social posts and ads to reach users and fans outside of email
Product or feature demos for high-profile users and all new customers
Demos or promotional materials for tradeshows or other events
Blog posts and promotion for large releases and announcements
All of the above are examples of how to get the word out about your new product or feature set.
As you strategize your product announcement, you'll need to identify your target audience, especially if the product or feature will only be available to a segment of your existing and potential users. Focusing on a single buyer persona at a time will help you craft your strategy, write laser-focused messaging, and help you identify your promotion channels. The key thing to remember is that they are experiencing pains and problems that your new product or feature is likely to solve.
2. Know Your Competition
In order to craft great messaging for your product announcement, you'll need to answer the following questions:
How does your product compare to your competition?
How does your new product or feature factor into this equation?
What are the differentiating and positioning factors you can leverage?
3. Demonstrate the Value in Your Messaging
When setting pen to paper (or fingers to keys), keep your buyer persona and competition in mind. Across each channel, your messaging should be targeting the pains and problems your customers are experiencing and leveraging your solution in a way that your competition doesn't. Take a stance and add some creativity along with your brand's voice to create your core messaging.
4. Pick the Right Channel for the Initial Announcement
Meeting your prospects and customers where they hang out is a critical strategy for a successful product announcement. Many brands have the advantage of a large customer database that they use as a marketing asset, making email an ideal announcement choice for the initial announcement. If this is not the case for you, think about other channels and strategies you can lean into.
5. Strategize the Additional Promotions and Announcements
If there is a visual element to your announcement, consider holding an in-person event, scheduling a webinar, or creating an online video. If the speed at which the news spreads is the most important factor, leverage your social media channels. Twitter is an especially great choice for this. If you care most about media exposure, reach out to a journalist you respect and offer them an exclusive.
6. Create Amazing Promotional Materials for Each Channel
Email, blogs, and social media all need visual collateral to drive the point home. Think of your promotional materials as the vehicle for your message. Shareable graphics and videos that are aesthetically pleasing will go a long way during your launch. To get the most mileage out of each asset, tailor what you create to each asset, taking care to consider repurposing across channels.
7. Set Goals
Unless you have a clear plan for how your efforts impact the bottom line, none of the above tips matter. Set S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound) goals to measure the success and ROI of your campaign:
Specific - "Creating awareness about the product" is a broad goal that lacks context. Expand on it. Why are you doing all you're doing?
Measurable - Identify what metrics you'll measure and what will signify success.
Attainable - Be realistic about those metrics and reverse engineer a clear path to achieve them.
Relevant - Focus and ensure that the goal and the actions you're taking support the bigger picture.
Time-Bound - Choose when the campaign ends and when you will evaluate its success.
8. Determine the Right Amount of Hype
There’s nothing more deflating than a big build-up for a little announcement. Use suspense tactics to lead into a major product announcement, new partnerships, or big events.
9. Get the Timing Right
Don’t give too much lead time to your announcement, or your supporters will lose interest. Increase the frequency of hints and sneak peeks as you draw closer to the announcement.
10. Leverage Social Media
One of the best ways to drop hints is through your social media channels. There’s nothing more intriguing than a tweet like, “Something big is in the works… can’t wait for the world to see!”
11. Tell Your Most Loyal Supporters First
For announcements that aren’t top-secret, seek out a small group of your best customers and brand advocates and provide them with advanced notice. If you’re launching a product or service, let them be the first to try it out and provide feedback. If you are throwing an event, host them for an exclusive dinner or give them a space to interact with each other. Fans are your best assets and should be empowered to help shape your product and speak on your behalf.
12. Be Agile
You never know how announcements are going to go until you are smack in the middle of them. Be prepared to handle any surprises that could come your way, and react to them. A few plan Bs to have:
If the Story Leaks: Try as you might to prevent leaks, sometimes news gets out ahead of time. When this happens, move quickly beyond the surprise and make the most of the occasion. Correct any inaccuracies and prioritize a communications plan to notify your customers as soon as possible. Then, run with the story. Make yourself available to answer any questions and invite bloggers or journalists to spread the story. If you had a launch event planned, turn that event into a celebration.
If the Announcement Doesn’t Go Over Well: Particularly if you are dealing with a new product or service, there’s always a small risk that the public won’t like what you’ve released. If this happens, try not to have a knee jerk reaction. Listen to the concerns you’re hearing, and open up more channels for feedback. Communicate any changes you are making in response.
If Your Site Goes Down: If you run into technical problems on the day you've released your news, don’t panic. Designate a core team to be ready and responsive if there is any trouble with your website. Use every other channel possible to communicate the announcement and the work being done to fix the technical problem. Don’t forget to breathe!
The most important part is to let your genuine enthusiasm shine through your announcement. Make sure your audience is able to feed off that excitement.
Product Announcement Template
If you still need inspiration for the initial product announcement, you can use the templates and guides below and add your own flair.
Product Announcement Email
Consumers don't sit and read novel-length content while checking their email, so focus on the core message you want to convey and stick with it. Here is a template you can follow:
In the subject line, your goal is to get the email recipient to open the email. For this reason, you'll want to use suspense while setting expectations for what they're about to read.
e.g. You asked, and we answered...
Write a concise and snappy sentence to draw the reader in.
e.g. [Feature Benefit] That Saves 20% More Time
Briefly paint a picture of how your prospect will benefit from your new product. What do they stand to gain? How will their life (or business) change?
Expand on the new product (or a key feature) and the main benefit.
Call to Action
If your prospect takes one action from this email, what would you want it to be? Use a brief imperative statement that tells your reader what to do next and make sure it’s aligned with the rest of the copy.
Announce any supporting details or information. Feel free to use bullets or icons to present the information in a visual and easy-to-digest way.
You asked, and we answered...
[Insert Feature] That [Insert Benefit]
Hello [Contact Name],
If you have been frustrated by [Insert Pains], you're not alone. Based on the feedback of our customers, we have been working on [Insert Product Name] to [Insert Benefit]. In addition to our other exciting [features/products], this addition will [Paint a picture of how their life or business will change]. You'll enjoy:
[Insert Feature] for [Insert Benefit]
[Insert Feature] for [Insert Benefit]
[Insert Feature] for [Insert Benefit]
[Add offer or incentive for them to purchase or take action now. Use scarcity.]
[Add CTA Button]
Product Announcement Blog Post
Blog posts are a bit different in that you can go far more in-depth about your product announcement than in your email. Just be sure to use heading tags, images, bulleted lists, and other visual elements to break up the text for readability.
The blog title is similar to an email in that it is instrumental for getting individuals to open or click into the blog post. However, there's an added element of strategy to making your blog post as discoverable as possible. For this reason, it's best to include keywords in your blog post title that properly describe your product announcement while still maintaining an air of creativity. Keep in mind that a headline should also be under 60 characters.
e.g. [Company Name]'s [Product Feature] Has Landed.
Your first paragraph should hook the reader by empathizing with the problems and pains they’ve been experiencing. Use this space to connect with your reader and prove that you care about their situation.
Make your product announcement. Explain what has changed, the benefits they can expect, and how it's an ideal solution to the pains and problems you mentioned in the first paragraph.
Call to Action
Similar to the email, if they take one action from this post, what would you want it to be? Use a brief imperative statement as the anchor text to a link where they can complete that action.
Announce any further details or supporting information. Feel free to use bullets, icons, images, and videos to present the information in a visual and easy-to-digest way.
Don't be afraid to include a human element to your blog post. Below are some questions to prompt you.
What was the journey to this development?
How did your team arrive at the conclusion that this product/feature needed to be added or improved upon?
What issues did you encounter along the way?
Were there any customer use cases you can draw from to provide additional context?
People love stories, and stories make ideas resonate.
Provide a brief summary here and then guide the reader on what next steps to take. Will they need to update their app, upgrade their package, or download anything to get the new features? This is where you can provide those details.
Call to Action
Most likely, the call to action will have the same goal as the earlier one in the post. For this iteration, though, you'll want to present it in a banner image that draws the eye's attention. When they click the image, they will be directed to the page where they can complete the action.
However you decide to make your product launch, always put your customers and prospects first. Understand what it is they want and how you are solving for it. Before making your announcement, make sure you understand the market and have a plan in place to support your launch.
Originally published Mar 24, 2020 3:45:00 PM, updated March 25 2020