The purpose of this guide is to help you get LaunchNotes set up as quickly as possible. This article contains 7 tactical steps you can take to get LaunchNotes up and running with ease. For an informative overview of LaunchNotes, reference LaunchNotes 101.
7 steps to setting up LaunchNotes
LaunchNotes is a flexible platform that enables teams to communicate with their users about product changes, collect feedback, and share product roadmaps. We understand every team has different needs regarding how they use LaunchNotes, but the 7 steps below are a great place to start. Let’s dive in!
In this article:
1. Customize your page
The first thing we recommend doing when getting started with LaunchNotes is bringing your company’s brand, look and feel into your LaunchNotes page. You want your customers to feel familiar with your page, and there’s no better way to do that than by using your logo, your brand colors, and your company’s voice.
Configure your Page’s General Settings
LaunchNotes allows you to set your page name, sub-domain, heading, and sub-heading so you can ensure brand consistency across all of your web properties.
Navigate to Settings > Customize Page > General Settings to configure these things.
Customize the Look and Feel
Your marketing and design team will be happy to know they can customize how your page looks. LaunchNotes allows you to do simple customizations such as uploading a logo, favicon, and setting color themes, or you can take the more advanced route and fully customize the HTML and CSS of your page. Note: not all subscription plans include full customization options.
Navigate to Settings > Customize Page > Look & feel to get started or reference Customizations to learn more.
Configure your email notification settings
LaunchNotes allows you to send email notifications when you publish an announcement. This ensures your users are in the loop when you launch new features.
Email logo and colors: At a minimum, we recommend adding your logo to your email notifications so that your emails appear “on brand” with your company. Navigate to Settings > Email Settings > Email Branding to configure your logo and colors.
Custom Email address: You can also connect an email service provider (ESP) to send emails from your company domain (instead of the default LaunchNotes.io email address). This isn’t a requirement to send notifications. Without completing this step, notifications are still sent, although they’re sent from LaunchNotes.io instead of your company’s branded domain. Head over to Settings > Email Settings > Email Sender or reference Email Settings to learn more.
2. Configure announcements
Before creating your first announcement, we recommend doing a few things to get the most value out of LaunchNotes.
Create announcement categories
Categories help you organize and segment your announcements. You can think of them as labels or tags. Categories are completely customizable and you can have as many categories as you’d like. We recommend starting with just a handful of categories to keep things simple. For example, you might have categories for Web Application, API, and Mobile App.
Navigate to Settings > Categories to get started or reference Categories to learn more.
Create announcement templates
Announcement templates help build consistency across all of your product change announcements. They also help you save time. You might already have templates for how you communicate product changes, and if that’s the case, we recommend building those in LaunchNotes. Alternatively, you can use one of our pre-built, industry-proven templates.
Navigate to Announcements > Templates to get started or reference Announcement Templates to learn more.
Import your existing changelog
If you had a changelog or release notes page prior to LaunchNotes, you may want to consider bringing those historical updates into LaunchNotes.
Reach out to the LaunchNotes support team for help importing your previous changelog or release notes updates.
3. Set up your roadmap
Roadmaps are a great way to keep an open line of communication with your customers and share your product vision and priorities with them. Creating and sharing a roadmap in LaunchNotes is simple.
Enable your roadmap
First, you need to enable the roadmap setting to start using this part of LaunchNotes. You can do that by navigating to Settings > Roadmap and clicking the toggle button. Don’t worry, this doesn’t publish anything to your page, that’s a separate step.
Configure roadmap stages
Next, you’ll want to determine the stages of your roadmap. For example, “Planning”, “In Progress”, and “Complete” are some common roadmap stages. Head over to Settings > Roadmap > Stages to configure roadmap stages.
Add roadmap items
Now that your roadmap is enabled and you’ve set up the roadmap stages, you can start adding roadmap items. Navigate to the Roadmaps section in the main navigation and click + Add item under the appropriate stage to add roadmap items.
Publish your roadmap
Once you’re ready to make your roadmap available to your customers you’ll need to publish it. An unpublished roadmap is not available to the public. Reference An Introduction to Roadmaps to learn more.
4. Import subscribers
You might already have a list of users who like to receive product updates and news from your team. LaunchNotes allows you to import those email addresses so they receive email notifications when you create a new announcement.
There are two ways you can import subscribers into LaunchNotes: using our bulk importer file upload or using our API.
Navigate to Subscribers and click the Import Subscribers button to get started, or reference Subscribers Management to learn more.
5. Set up the slack integration
The LaunchNotes Slack integration surfaces important information to teams in Slack and enables them to capture feedback quickly. More specifically, here’s what the Slack integration can do:
Announcements are automatically piped into the Slack app channel, so your entire company can stay in the loop on product changes.
Feedback from users is automatically piped into the Slack app channel so everyone can see what customers are saying about product changes.
Your team can quickly submit feedback using a Slack command, ensuring more feedback is captured and shared with the product team.
6. Embed your announcements
LaunchNotes enables you to easily surface your product updates in other applications or webpages using a pop-up embed, or an inline embed. This lets you bring your announcements to places your users are already familiar with and navigating to, which means your announcements are more likely to be noticed and read.
7. Create your first announcement
You likely have a bunch of customers who are eager to stay up to date with your product. Once your page is ready to go, we recommend creating your first announcement to share the news about your new LaunchNotes page. Once the announcement is published, we recommend sharing a link to it with your customers and encouraging them to subscribe to updates.
For help creating your first announcement, reference Creating an Announcement.
We’re here to help!
If you have questions about anything in this quick start guide, please reach out to us at email@example.com.