Release Note

Product release notes best practices

Remember when software came on CDs? You installed the program on your computer, explored the features and functionality, and made peace with what you got. It wasn’t so long ago that people bought software at face value. There was no real feedback loop between users and creators. Now, of course, everything is different. Today, buying software is an ongoing process. Modern users invest in your product roadmap and expect you to gather and incorporate their feedback and usage data. Product-led companies that learn how to use this data end up making significant improvements to the user experience. Continual improvements aren’t nice-to-haves users expect regular upgrades to their in-product experience and, with an ever-growing range of alternative products available, they’re fully prepared to churn if you don’t deliver. You probably knew that, which is why your product team is hard at work building, testing, and shipping bug fixes and new features. But like the old “if a tree falls in a forest” adage, if those improvements aren’t accompanied by effective product release notes, did they even happen?

Where to distribute product release notes

Product release notes should drive engagement, whether you choose to announce updates through in-app notifications, blog posts, emails, or even social media. Each channel has its pros and cons, and the audience and therefore outcome will be slightly different depending on which platform you choose. Channels to consider include: Email re-ngage users and encourage them to log back in to check out what’s new App Store this is your elevator pitch to entice new users and get existing users excited about new features Blog posts more real estate for releases that deserve more copy or explanation Social media great way to spotlight single features and built hype In-app messaging timely, contextual, and can be targeted to specific users