Rolling out new application features or content is exciting. Or it ought to be, for providers and users alike. As a software marketer, you know in your heart of hearts you’re launching highly valuable enhancements; of course, your customers should want to know what’s new with your product!

The challenge is to be conveying this in an exciting, immersive way. In short, your marketing has be equal to the coolness of your new feature or content – and that’s what we’re here to look at.

Your users need to know they’re top-of-mind, as far as you and your team are concerned, and announcing updates and new features can build their faith. If you fall flat in communicating these updates, either by providing poor information or uninspired execution, they may think you aren’t putting enough work into building the relationship.

Or worse? That your product isn’t evolving enough. Email is the best way to announce these new features, and we have some quick tips that’ll help ensure your customers love what you want them to know.

Keep it concise

While the meat of your announcement is important, the actual language and messaging relating new features can easily fall into being bland and – worst of the worst! – boring. Yet this doesn’t have to happen.

As seen here in this example by VWO, announcement emails don’t need to be long and drawn out. Introducing the launch of SmartStats, this email works because it keeps it simple.

With an attractive, on-brand color palette and a clear and very compelling CTA, the message conveyed here is effective because it’s simple. If reducing your testing time by half interests you, as a user, just go ahead and click ‘learn more’. It seems pretty apparent that any current customer of VWO would want to explore this update. Explaining not just the new update but the benefit it gives your current customer base makes it successful.

When the points of difference (PODs) and CTAs you communicate are strong, it’s essential to make sure they’re delivered clearly and cleanly. Think of a POD as a car design: A well-designed car will look good even in base white because it doesn’t need fancy paint jobs or overdone trim. A well-crafted POD statement doesn’t need flourishes – or should inspire creative execution ideas that flow naturally and directly.

Use your imagination – add animation or video

While we may never learn the correct way to pronounce GIFs, they can be a fantastic tool for email marketing. By keeping animation short but to-the-point, you add more interest to your announcements than just a static picture.

They aren’t a new tool – in fact, way back in 2014, Dell launched a GIF-centered email campaign and the results spoke volumes. Compared to quarterly campaign benchmarks, they saw a 6% increase in open rate.  Not convinced yet? Wait for it…

They also say a pleasant 42% increase in click rate, a 103% rise in conversion rate and a whopping 109% bump in revenue!

Some things to keep in mind with animation or video – especially GIFs?

Once again, make sure you keep your animation on-brand and focused. GIFs or video can be fun, but it’s easy to get carried away, and it’s important you stick to your main message. Just because a GIF may be popular at the moment with, say, Millenials, doesn’t mean it properly reflects your brand, your message, or your audience. Be careful to make sure you don’t overwhelm your reader with arbitrary-seeming use of animation.

You’re also more likely to lose your audience if you use animation you’ve scooped off the web. Customized animation or explainer video that shows off your new features is more likely to resound.

Sprout Social knocked it out of the park with a simple animation to announce their iPhone and iPad app. It’s personal, quick and helpful. The immersive demonstration of their new app is much more engaging than a longer video, which many customers wouldn’t sit through in its entirety.

Don’t lose the fun

Just because an update may be somewhat technical or low-key in nature doesn’t mean your email has to be, as well. Mint regularly sends out tres engaging emails, and this is a great example of how they make them fun.

As always, they include a message to remind you that you matter most (you really are important to us!) and the tone of the message is familiar and friendly. The language serves to remind you that Mint works tirelessly for you, your money and your savings.

Combining positive, unambiguous message execution with user-directed personalization just plain works in optimizing engagement, no matter what kind of email campaign you’re setting up. Check out our tips on personalizing your next Martech email campaign.

~ Erica