Emails come in a wide variety of styles.
There are emails that put your customer’s mind at ease about a transaction, sending them a receipt or a tracking number. You can send messages that promote your latest sale or show off the features of your new products. Some companies even use email to build relationships with access to tips tricks and links to their latest blog posts.
Knowing how to use each type of email effectively is the key to creating a powerful email automation strategy. You need the right balance of styles and information to keep your customers engaged, after all. Unfortunately, most business leaders only know the basics on email scheduling.
Today, we’re going to examine an often overlooked part of the email journey: product update messages. Here’s how you can strengthen your results from this valuable component of product marketing.
What are Product Update Emails?
Product update emails are a kind of message in the automation cycle that combine the arts of content, and product marketing. With content marketing, you focus on educating your audience, building loyalty, and establishing credibility over time. Goals center around getting your audience engaged with your brand and building relationships.
A product marketer aims to understand how every aspect of the customer experience contributes to their relationship with a brand. They learn why consumers use certain products in the first place, and what kind of features and updates are relevant to their needs.
With product update emails, product and content teams harmonize to help drive the consumer through the sales journey. You might give your audience updates about how you’ve improved their product and why with these messages and use them to share insights into upcoming products and services. Here’s how you can make your product update emails more appealing.
1. Know Your Audience
The first step in designing any high-quality email, is understanding your audience. The more you know about your customer, the easier it’s going to be to speak their language. If you understand the pain points and requirements of your audience, you can convince them that they really need to pay attention to whatever you have to say.
Compared to emails about sales and discounts, customers won’t always find your product update messages as exciting. After all, these messages generally just provide information about a product that they already know a decent bit about already. However, if you can figure out what matters most to your audience, then you can immediately connect to them on an emotional level.
Look at this example from FitBit:
The update shows customers that they now have access to a new community tab that helps them to stay motivated on their fitness journeys. The email highlights the pain point of how difficult it is for many people to maintain their motivation when getting fit. In other words, it shows that FitBit has solved a common problem by listening to and understanding their audience.
If you don’t have user personas already, this is the time to start working on them. Remember to use the metrics you gather from your campaigns to influence future decision making.
2. Combine updates with CTAs
The main purpose of a product update email is to inform your audience that they have something new to access in the service or product that they love. However, you also want to ensure that your customer wants to go and try that new feature out.
Encouraging action by asking your customers to update their software, download a new feature, or even buy an updated version of a product demands the right strategy. For instance, when Glitch introduced a new app in this email, it also included a “Get Started” button that would take customers to a page where they could learn all about using that app.
To increase the chances that your customers will click on your CTA button, give them examples of what they can do with the new service or update. For instance, Glitch suggests building on top of an existing app or remixing a framework. It also gives you examples of the apps that you can experiment with, like Slack or Spotify.
Although informing your audience is important in a product update email, it’s also crucial to make sure that you can continue to engage the people who are interacting with your products and services. You want them to actually see for themselves what this new update can offer.
3. Make Sure They’re Visual
You’ll notice that in the examples of product updates we’ve shown already, there’s plenty of color, imagery, and visuals. That’s because human beings are naturally more likely to learn with visuals. When you’re sharing information, complicated or otherwise, it’s always best to include pictures.
83% of people are visual learners, which also means that the largest percentage of your readers are more likely to feel engaged by visual emails. When you’re sharing information about your new products or services, think about how you can make that data easier to consume. For instance, could you include a video that shows off the features of the new product?
If you’re showing that your recent service has a massive positive impact on something like ROI, see whether you can include any information in graph or chart form. For instance, BuzzSumo includes a screenshot in their email about the recent update, so that customers can see it in use.
Underneath the screenshot, you’ll also find plenty of links so you can see videos and pages where it’s possible to explore the feature in action. What you choose to do with your visuals will probably depend on the kind of email marketing tool you’re using. However, even small video clips and gifs can make a huge difference.
4. Be Consistent with Your Brand
If you want to increase your open rates and improve the relationship you have with your subscribers, then you need to become a familiar presence in their lives. This means using the same consistency in every kind of email that you send. Make sure that you include your brand colors, logos, and other vital information that will help to distinguish you from your competitors.
If you use a specific tone of voice in your emails, then ensure this still comes across when you’re sending product update emails too. You shouldn’t have a completely different personality between your transactional and promotional messages.
Even your subject line should be the same or follow the same structure for your product update emails. You can see an example of this in the way that Zapier sends its update messages.
The more consistent you are, the more your customers will begin to trust you, and see the value in the messages that you’re sending. They’ll also know which of your messages they should always allow into the email inbox and prevent from going into the spam folder.
5. Always Put Value First
Finally, before you send any email to your customers, you should always take a moment to ask yourself whether they really need to see this message. What makes the email important to them. Do you have to send them a note every time you add a new font to your list of options on a photo editing software solution, or can you roll out a bunch at once and update them that way?
Don’t take regular updates to your product or service as an opportunity to spam your audience with messages that they don’t need to read. If you can’t see your customer being delighted by your content and keen to try out your latest features for themselves, then don’t send the email at all. If you haven’t got much to say about your update, keep it sleek and simple, like Icebergs does here:
The key to better email is thinking about how you’re going to use the valuable real-estate that you have access to in your customer’s inbox. If you waste this space, then they’re going to throw your emails in the spam folder to make room for another brand.
Remember, if you’re not sure how often you should be sending updates, you could always ask your customers to share their preferences on their account.
Sending the Best Product Update Emails
Product update emails might not seem like the most exciting message in the portfolio of content that you send to your audience. However, these emails are more valuable than you’d think. The right product update emails are your opportunity to keep your audience excited about the services and solutions you have to offer. That means that you can boost audience engagement and loyalty too.
Using the tips above, make sure that you can keep your audience in the loop about all the amazing features and functionality they can access from your brand.