AnnounceKit: Our Secret To Successful Product Announcements
Posted On: September 4, 2020
7 Min Read
AnnounceKit has made it simple for us at LambdaTest to keep our customers informed about new features, bug fixes, and announcements through changelogs and in-app notifications. It has been a pivotal part of our feedback gathering process as well.
Being a product-first company, onboarding new features, browsers, and operating systems is part of our weekly routine. Even amid the global pandemic, we are fully functional and work tirelessly to bring new product updates to our power users.
We launched the first version of LambdaTest out of beta testing in early 2018 with only a handful of features to help the testing community perform live-interactive browser testing. Week after week, we kept adding more features to our platform, and in just one year, we introduced a cloud Selenium Grid to help our users automate their browser testing efforts.
The majority of our features and innovations were based on valuable feedback from our customers. Each feature was solving a unique problem and presented a good marketing opportunity.
Initially, we followed the old-school way of writing product update articles and notifying our customers through emails. It worked well until we expanded our go-to-marketing team by multiple folds.
Bigger go-to-market team implied we could press the accelerator harder over our roadmap as we could now develop and ship new features at a much faster pace.
Last month alone we built 30 new features, and this year we have already introduced more than 80 features. Here are some of the key highlights.
As we scaled our platform at a tremendous pace, we realized a challenge that every product-first SaaS might face.
Challenge #1: The Spotlight Issue
When we started writing product updates about our every addition, we observed a dip in terms of visits/views over our product update articles. We learned that jotting down every new feature might not help us gain tractions towards a new feature. On the contrary, it could dim the spotlight over a significant feature.
Challenge #2: The Spam Alert
Sending emails every week around new updates was damaging our relationship with our subscribers. Our campaign’s open rate was declining, and we even received a few complaints from our customers who ended up unsubscribing from our mailing list.
We try to foster this relationship in several ways. The first one is via @announcekit. They provide an easy-to-use portal to let us create in-app announcements and embed in our product. The other one is obviously our community Slack. The most ancient yet powerful way is email.
— Emrah Samdan (@emrahsamdan) February 9, 2020
How do we go about announcing our recent updates so often without bugging our customers?
We didn’t want to clutter our customer’s email inboxes. We were looking for a subtle way of informing our customers about LambaTest updates. We realized it was about time we introduced a proper change log in our product and have in-app notifications instead to notify customers about our recent add-ons.
We started looking for product announcements tools that could help us achieve what we wanted. We explored tools which were renowned for product announcements in the tech industry.
Some tools did the job but offered a vanilla experience with no option to incorporate any rich media such as Images, GIF etc. in the announcements. Some tools were offering the exact features we wanted but seemed overpriced. As a startup, you would always want a tool that’s worth your money.
What were the features we were looking for?
- Easy Widget Integration – We wanted a tool that could easily be integrated with our website and our web-application.
- Support for Images, GIF – Images and GIFs are crucial to showcase the use case for a new feature announcement.
- Ability to segment audiences – We wanted to segregate our audience so we could display the right feature announcements to interested audiences.
- Post scheduling – We wanted to notify our worldwide audience based on their timezone.
- Custom tags categorization – Offering various testing, i.e., live-interactive testing, Test automation, Responsive testing, etc., we wanted to have the updates classified based on custom tags.
- It has to be a Whitelabel software.
- Affordable pricing always helps.
Launched in December 2019, AnnounceKit solved all the challenges businesses were facing with the existing solutions.
AnnounceKit offers an intuitive platform with neat UI and flexible experience for product announcements with audience segmentation and tag customization. Plus, it supports images and GIFs into product update announcements. 😀
AnnounceKit has all the features we needed at a super affordable price and that’s why we picked it as our new feature announcement tool. Doing so has helped us in getting more engagements on our product updates announcements and gratitude from our customers.
How LambdaTest Uses AnnounceKit?
As we tried other competitors before switching on to AnnounceKit. We were hesitant if our Changelogs would be lost once we transit to AnnounceKit. Fortunately, they give the option to import posts from other product announcement tools. Allowing us to migrate hassle-free.
At LambdaTest, we leverage AnnounceKit in primarily 2 ways:
- In-app notifications
We incorporated LambdaTest Changelog in our website footer allowing our website visitors to go through our recent additions over the platform. A changelog is a great way to let your website visitors know about how quickly you are shipping new features into your products. It helps build a good rapport.
Visitors can see what kind of features have been shipped in past release cycles and how frequently. We leverage custom tags to classify the product announcements depending on whether the feature is around live-interactive testing, Selenium Grid cloud, LT Browser, Tunnel for locally hosted testing, and more.
Not only our developer, but our marketers also leverage Announcekit to let our users know about the upcoming Webinars or events.
We integrated a widget in our web application that opens a sidebar when a user clicks on the notification bell inside the LambdaTest application.
“Amazing things will happen when you listen to the consumer.”
–Jonathan Midenhall, CMO of Airbnb
We are a customer-centric SaaS; many of our product updates are driven based on customer requests and suggestions. Once those features are out, we can analyze the reactions of our users towards them.
AnnounceKit has made it super easy for us to collect customer feedback instantly. The emoji are eye-catching and drive users to share what they feel about our feature announcements in a single click.
Custom Tags & Labels
The ability to define custom color codes to label allowed us the flexibility to keep a neat and minimalistic UI while categorizing tags.
We are yet to explore all the features that AnnouceKit has to offer. One particular feature we’re excited about is the multi-lingual support. It would help us deliver a native experience to our customers. We are super excited to try this out. Similarly, we are also waiting for more integrations to be on-board.
AnnounceKit has helped LambdaTest be more agile and customer focused. We have been able to relay our updates on time. The UI is neat and blends well with any SaaS design. The best part is our customers love it too. Kudos to AnnounceKit, our secret to successful product announcements.
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