How to Achieve an Effective Product Release Notes
Product release notes act as a direct line of communication with your customers or users. When used effectively, they open up a unique engagement channel that keeps your users excited about what’s coming next. Sharing release notes also helps set the right expectations. It is a great way to retain frustrated users who might be in the dark about bug fixes or new features and to let users know that their feedback was used to make meaningful changes.
The best practices that apply when communicating your product releases include;
- Keep product release notes brief
You only need a few sentences or bullet points
- Avoid technical jargon
Use plain language.
- Help users explore new features
Give a brief overview of what the new feature does and where one can find it.
- Write release notes like they matter
Don’t be afraid to sound too excited
Distribution of product release notes
Product release notes should drive engagement. The recommended channels include;
- App store
- Blog post
- Social media
- In app messaging
Examples of product release notes
1. Slack’s multichannel release notes
This slack release note is a great example because;
- It makes sure its users will never miss frequent updates on social media and the App Store.
- Their twitter posts demonstrate the value by focusing on a single update.
- The social and in-app updates are short and sweet, but have links to in-depth release notes.
- The App Store lets users know that Slack is continually monitoring for bugs and making improvements.
- Its personality shines through across all channels.
Slack makes a special effort to write unique release notes. Use the compact space of a product release note store to show users what you do.
2. HubSpot’s in-depth product update blog posts
This is a great example because:
- It has long-form content which is a great feature for releases that may change the way users use your product.
- Uses short blog posts that teach users how to use new features.
- HubSpot allows readers to filter by categories so they only see updates that are relevant to them.
- These releases are SEO-friendly help docs, that is, they are searchable and have value.
HubSpot uses tooltips to show their new features while they’re in the platform. Tooltips are meant to be short and sweet but for users who want more information, tactical blog posts are great.
It’s always a good idea to use blog posts to break the feature release down into teachable part in cases where the update might affect your user’s workflow.
How to make a bigger impact with great product release notes
Your team always works hard on each new feature and so, don’t sell yourself short. A product release provides an opportunity to share with your users and potential users. It will help you to re-engage users, build excitement and extend your brand’s reach.