3 Ways to Market Your Product’s New Feature


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Building a new feature can take months of design, user testing, and bug squashing. However, launching a new feature and continually ensuring its adoption by new users is something that takes much more time in the long run.


A new feature adds a fresh burden on your support, engineering, and product teams. And if that functionality isn’t creating value for your customers you could face the choice of phasing it out or stepping up to improve your product marketing and leverage the feature fully.

In this article, we’ll talk about various channels and tools you can use to make future feature launch and adoption campaigns a success. Plus, we’ll go through examples of these strategies in action.

Why new features deserve product marketing campaigns

A feature marketing campaign isn’t just adding a bullet point to the release notes or sending a product update email to existing customers. A new feature can be leveraged in plenty of different ways, to different ends. These include:

  • Attract new users by branching into new market segments
  • Convert trial or freemium users by giving them a reason to upgrade or retain
  • Educate existing customers to use your product more deeply and get more value

These each map to a stage of the product adoption process:


Attracting prospects (marketing), converting leads (sales), and deepening user engagement (product) all leads to improved revenue and help dilute the cost of spending months of development time on functionality that doesn’t get used.

To attract new users

Expanding a product’s feature set adds to the number of use cases that product has. For example, when Intercom added the ability to display support articles from inside the chat widget, the product shifted from a pure support ticketing tool to a knowledge base teams can use to create self-serve support content and reduce demand on reps.

Consider creating content that emphasizes the new use case a feature opens up, running paid campaigns to the feature’s landing page, or even doing a launch on Product Hunt for the feature alone.

Product Hunt feature launch

This is something Slack and other SaaS companies have seen success with, and many have made it part of their recurring feature launch task list.

Slack, for instance, launched screensharing for video calls on in May 2017, and then an update to that feature a few months later both on Product Hunt. The listings have screenshot instructions and link off to simple blog posts that explain to users how to find the feature in-app.

Use-case blog content

A key part of increasing feature adoption is educating leads and customers on why they should expend their mental energy on learning a new thing. Features are an investment for users, too, but content that inspires and conveys the benefits can be used to help the user realize it’s an investment worth making.

For example, when Process Street released a way to get a filterable list of the organization’s active tasks and checklists, the team wrote up a post on 9 use cases for the feature.


Ranking this kind of content also gives prospects more chance of discovering your feature through search when looking for tools to fit a particular use case.

To convert or upsell users

Users on a product’s free plan or evaluating it against competitors are more likely to churn than your dedicated paying customers, but by marketing the right features to the right people you can give them a persuasive reason to convert.

One engaging way to do this for active users is to deliver a prompt while they’re inside the product, try to use a premium feature, or preview advanced functionality. For users that are already drifting away, an email announcement that allows users to trial or learn more about a new feature could be more reliably delivered.

In-product feature gate

As a customer data platform, Heap serves a lot of different teams and use cases. Product teams use it to measure things like feature adoption (callback!), and marketers to report on conversion rate. Bigger companies or those with a lot of customer data are likely to want tools to analyze how events like signups, webinar registrations and adding a profile picture are interlinked – this how Heap markets the Influence feature of their product. Instead of hiding the feature in a separate version of the product for those who have access, Heap shows the feature in the sidebar menu but restricts access behind a persuasive landing-page-style screen inside the app itself.

This allows users to discover the feature and its benefits while exploring the limits of the product. Instead of digesting what’s on their plan and isn’t from a pricing page table, this method allows users to learn and get motivated to convert by themselves without manual sales effort.

Segmented announcement email

Users on your email list that aren’t paying for the feature you just built (because it’s on a higher pricing tier, or sold separately) need different messaging to those who do. Emails are great for reaching disengaged free trial users, or customers on cheap plans that are showing signs of churn. When Zapier released Paths, their team sent out the email below to a free trial account I had at the time:


Here Zapier links off to a post that explains the power and use cases of the feature, plus offers a 7-day trial because my account wouldn’t otherwise have access. Letting users preview a powerful feature could mean teaching them to not be able to live without it.

To deepen user engagement

Features can, of course, be leveraged to bring in new audiences and monetize existing users, but it’s also important to be marketing to those customers who are already successful and engaged. These are the users most likely to want to adopt the feature, get educated on the possibilities it opens up, and influence those around them.

Users at all stages of the journey benefit from in-product education that clears up taxonomy and functionality, and it has a direct impact on retention – telecoms software company Vovox found that adding feature tours to their product reduced churn by around 50%.

In-product feature tours

Airtable uses a large tooltip with a gif and value proposition to showcase its data visualization feature to existing users. The animation shows off the range of charts and elements available, and where to find the feature in the interface.

Feature launch webinars

Research from GoToMeeting found that user training and onboarding webinars are the single biggest use case of the format, and that education webinars also have the highest attendance rate of any externally-facing webinar type. What this tells us is that webinars focused on the product itself are popular, and that it’s a format where leads and users expect to get product training.

Close.io’s webinars are a great example of content that caters to different levels of user. From top-funnel content about managing remote sales teams, to webinars that serve to launch and explain a new feature:


Putting it into action

Feature tours and other in-product marketing can be built in-house if the product team has the spare development resources, but most companies will find it cheaper to use a SaaS solution that lets teams deploy tooltips, tours, and notifications more quickly, without code. Try Intercom for in-app messaging, and Chameleon to deploy in-product guidance and marketing.

For email, Customer.io can handle transactional, behaviour-based emails to the right segments of customers. To get started with webinars, try a tool like Demio which handles the registration email flows, reminders, and content delivery.

Tools and the customer success teams behind them can be a great starting point for improving your feature adoption processes and customer retention rates. In need of more inspiration before starting? Check out this archive of product marketing examples for inspiration.

Benjamin Brandall
Benjamin Brandall is a data-obsessed SaaS marketer with a strong focus on product. His work has previously been featured on TechCrunch, The Next Web, Fast Company, and hundreds of industry blogs. He currently leads marketing at Chameleon.


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