Announcements are a core component of every LaunchNotes project. They power your ability to create, publish, and notify your users of product updates and changes. There are a number of ways announcements can be used, and ultimately, every team must decide their ideal approach.
What is an announcement?
Typically, announcements are created to communicate any change (or group of changes) that modifies the user experience for an end-user in any way. This can range from the release of brand new features and functionality to a monthly roundup of bug fixes, to weekly updates.
This article will cover the following:
Creating a new announcement
The announcements workflow is broken down into 4 simple steps:
Draft your announcement
Choose your announcement channels to notify (optional)
Preview your announcement
Publish your announcement
To create a new announcement, select the + New Announcement button in the top right corner, as highlighted below:
Step 1. Draft announcement
You'll be taken to the Draft announcement screen, to build all the content related to your announcement: the headline, hero image, body, associated categories and roadmap Items, an excerpt, and content (including images, gifs, videos, etc.).
At any time, you can preview this draft Announcement in a separate tab to see what this will look like on your public LaunchNotes page.
Note: All changes are auto-saved in the editor in case you close this window unintentionally.
The announcement hero Image is the banner or display image for your announcement on your LaunchNotes page. This will also be the default share image used when sharing your announcement.
❗ JPG's, PNG's and GIF's are currently supported, with a max file size of 5MB,
and a recommended aspect ratio of 5:3. For best quality,
upload images with a width of 1640px.
The excerpt on your announcement is the summary or intro text which is shown on your announcement on your public page and when sharing. The text auto-generates the first 200 characters of your announcement body, where it will then be appended by an ellipsis ("...").
You can override the excerpt by selecting the edit icon in the excerpt field, and enter alternative text - as this will be displayed on your public page on the corresponding announcement, we recommend keeping this to a few sentences to make these easier to consume for your readers.
Uploading videos to your announcement
We currently support the uploading of videos to announcements in mp4 format. We're actively working on options to support embedding videos such as through Loom, Vimeo and YouTube.
❗ Please be aware that there is currently a 35MB size limit on videos.
Search & share settings
Every announcement also has its own Search & share settings that can be optimized to ensure ultimate SEO benefit.
Step 2. Customer channels
Once you've completed the content for your announcement, select Continue to notifications, which will take you to the Customer channels screen. Here, you'll be able to choose whether or not you'd like to send notifications to your users about this announcement.
If you opt to notify subscribers, you'll then be able to see the following:
How many email subscribers this notification will be sent to (these are determined by the categories your users selected when subscribing to your page)
Edition options for Email settings - such as reply-to/from address, and email subject line
How many Slack subscribers this notification will be sent to
Step 3. Preview announcement
Selecting Continue to preview will take you to step 3 in the announcements workflow, which is the previewing options. Previewing options allow you to see how your announcements will appear to your customers over your different engagement channels, as well as on your LaunchNotes page.
On this page, you are able to filter through different windows that will show you how each announcement will appear to your users (on your page, across email, and via Slack). You also have the ability to send test emails and Slack notifications, so you can view how your announcements will appear across different channels.
Sending test emails to your colleagues
The Send test email function allows you to send your email draft to yourself and colleagues, for any approvals, edits and suggestions, and to see how your announcement email will land in your users' inbox when published.
At this point, you'll be prompted to either publish your announcement now or schedule your announcement to be published at a later date/time.
Scheduling an announcement
If you wish to schedule an announcement to be published at a later time, select the Schedule and publish later button, and select the time you'd like this to be published.
Once you set the date and time, you'll notice a banner across the top of the announcement referencing the publish date with an option to reschedule.
From here, you can exit out of the announcement and you'll be brought back to the announcements home in your LaunchNotes Admin.
📣 We'll send you a reminder 24 hours out from the publishing of your
Step 4. Lift Off! (Publish the announcement)
Selecting Publish now on the Preview Announcement screen will initiate a pop-up message to confirm that you'd like to publish your announcement to your LaunchNotes page. Select Publish now to confirm publishing and sending of notifications (if selected).
Finally, you'll be taken to the Lift off page, with will feature a success message that confirms your announcement has been successfully published, as well as the total number of notifications that were generated to your subscribers. On this screen, you can return to the announcements home screen or view the announcement on your public page.
If you scroll down on the Lift off page, you'll also be able to see the announcement analytics dashboard, with engagement analytics on the following:
*Open rate tracking relies on images, so it isn’t 100% accurate. If a subscriber’s email client has images turned off, the tracking image won’t load, and their email won’t register as opened.
You can always go back to your announcement analytics dashboard for any published announcement by selecting it in the announcement home, where you'll be able to toggle between the content, feedback and the overview (analytics) tabs.
If you would like to edit the date of a published announcement or backdate an announcement (such as when importing existing product update information into LaunchNotes), simply go through the announcement creation workflow and publish your announcement.
💡 If you are importing multiple historic announcements, you may want to toggle notifications to "off" so that notifications are not sent for these
announcements in the past.
After publishing your announcement, go back to the Announcements home, and select the announcement you'd like to backdate, and then select the Update Content & Settings tab. Here you'll see the published time and date of this announcement, which you can edit by clicking on the date field.
Select Ok on the date-picker and then Save and publish at the bottom of this page to save the revised date.