Building a feature that no one uses is like throwing a party and no one shows up.
You’ve probably seen this happen at one or more companies you’ve worked at. And if you’ve ever heard of Evernote’s 5% problem where customers used only 5% of features—but that 5% was different from customer to customer—you know it caused their fall from grace.
Before running the usual gamut for feature releases (draft up an email and blog post, queue up social media notifications), Product Marketers like me need to understand the value of the feature internally. So here are the 5 questions you should ask before your next feature launch:
1. Why did we build this product?
Don’t be shy to ask “dumb” questions. If you feel you’ll be judged for asking, preface it with a simple “Let’s start with the basics.” This question should help reveal the pain points the feature solves, and the benefits it aims to give your customers. It’s probably the most important question you can ask, as it should help you start with why when communicating to your audience.
2. Who did we built this product for?
Is there a particular segment of your audience that can benefit more greatly from it? Are there others that can’t?
You don’t want to bug your customers with an irrelevant message. Ask this question to determine who you need to communicate the product launch to.
3. What happens if everyone uses it?
Imagine for a second that you saw 100% adoption to your new product. What effects would that have on your audience?
This exercise can help you word your ambitious vision for how your product launch is making an impact on your customers’ worlds.
4. What happens if no one uses it?
It’s important to open your mind to the fact that your hypothesis may not be correct so you can adjust your product or marketing strategy for success in the future.
This question should also help you acknowledge the risk and investment you’ve made in the product or feature, which can be a motivator for you to kill it through launch day.
5. How did your last product launch go?
As a product marketer, you need to be constantly learning and adjusting. Take a few minutes to consider how your last launch went. Double down on what worked, and cut what didn’t.
One thing that we’ve seen work really well is to use in-app messages to communicate your product launch. Companies like AdRoll use in-app messages and typically see 20% of their user base adopt a new product or integration. Compare that with an average of 5% who rely on email or blog posts.