Question Page

What’s your advice on how best to handle communicating tier 2 and 3 product releases? E.g., all of the updates that aren’t big, flashy new features?

4 Answers
Erin Gunaratna
Erin Gunaratna
Chargebee VP, Product MarketingJanuary 20

Honestly, the less “flashy” launches are often my favorites, because these releases may have a smaller audience than a major launch would have, but if you do them right, it’s sooo fun to watch those audiences lose their minds out of happiness when they hear about a new feature that will make their lives easier!

I made some recommendations for specific communication tactics on Tiers 2 and 3 in my answer to the “not all launches are created equal” question. Generally, the name of the game with these launches is to meet your audiences where they are. That often means using your product itself to get the word out! Here are a few ideas:

  • In-product notifications, banners, pop-ups, or walkthroughs. You don’t want to be disruptive to your users, but don’t be afraid to share the news. This is a good opportunity for A/B testing how modals or banners might work best for you in-platform.
  • User-focused communities. If you’re lucky to have an online community like Trailblazer or our Hitchhikers program at Yext, the people in those spaces are often your most engaged users — so don’t miss out on the opportunity to get them excited! And of course, in post-COVID times, I look forward to once again being able to share the news at in-person user groups.
  • It may sound simplistic, but I also love a good old plain-text email to current customers or prospects who are in an active sales cycle. Even though we’re product marketers, sometimes making something look less “marketing-y” can help it bubble up from the noise.
1053 Views
Christine Sotelo-Dag
Christine Sotelo-Dag
ThoughtSpot Senior Director of Product MarketingFebruary 24

This is a common challenge across every product marketing team. It is a delicate balance in ensuring the market and your customers are aware of what you've built, while not overwhelming them with too much noise.

A few things that we've seen work well are releasing smaller tiered launches in a quieter fashion with either a change-log/product update or very targeted customer communications, and resurfacing these releases in some of the roundup activities we do. For example, we release quarterly blog posts and webinars that highlight our recent releases - these are always very popular with our audience.

Another tactic that we've leveraged is bundling releases. In this case, it only makes sense to bundle releases when the two (or more) features work together to tell a bigger story. This doesn't always equate to product holding back on shipping, often times features can release quietly - and are only promoted once all features are generally available. 

758 Views
Julia Szatar
Julia Szatar
Tavus Head of MarketingAugust 25

A lot of companies use a Changelog for these smaller launches. Your most engaged users will subscribe to the Changelog and get notified when you update it. There are tools like LaunchNotes you can use for this. https://www.launchnotes.com/ 

And then some features are self-explanatory and you may not have to communicate about them proactively at all. People should be able to discover them in-product (with a "new" label, or just from using your product). 

661 Views
Anand Patel
Anand Patel
Appcues Director of Product MarketingAugust 31

We tier releases for a reason—you can't scream about everything otherwise customers will shut you out. That being said, there is still a ton of value in communicating even smaller releases. Some ways to handle these tier 2 and 3 releases are:

  • Include these in your external-facing release notes/changelog. You see a lot of companies have this live on their website somewhere, a dedicated landing page, within their help center, or sometimes in-app.
  • As Erin mentioned, some of these features, especially tier 2s, will be super exciting and valuable for certain customers. Figure out the right segment of customers that will appreciate that release and do some targeted communication to them. In-product is a great way to go because tier 2 and 3 releases are typically enhancements on existing features that these targeted customers already use. So create contextual excitement by letting those specific customers know about the update, at the right time, and then walking them through what they need to know. 
  • Package up some of these smaller releases into a larger story, which I get, is sometimes easier said than done. But ideally, your roadmap is built around themes and high-level objectives, that various small releases tie back to. So as you release these small updates, include them in your release notes and changelog but wait to talk more widely about them until you have a handful that can be included in a larger story.
313 Views
Developing Better Messaging
Thursday, April 18 • 12PM PT
Developing Better Messaging
Virtual Event
Helen Ding
Arpita Sharma
Jesse Lopez
+241
attendees
Top Product Marketing Mentors
Christy Roach
Christy Roach
AssemblyAI VP of Marketing
Sarah Din
Sarah Din
Quickbase VP of Product Marketing
Jeffrey Vocell
Jeffrey Vocell
Panorama Education Head of Product Marketing
Mary Sheehan
Mary Sheehan
Adobe Head of Lightroom Product Marketing
Jenna Crane
Jenna Crane
Klaviyo Head of Product Marketing
Alex Lobert
Alex Lobert
Meta Product Marketing Lead, Facebook for Business & Commerce
Christine Sotelo-Dag
Christine Sotelo-Dag
ThoughtSpot Senior Director of Product Marketing
Kevin Garcia
Kevin Garcia
Anthropic Product Marketing Leader
Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Crossbeam Senior Director Product Marketing
Abdul Rastagar
Abdul Rastagar
GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach