Your In-Depth Guide to Crafting Effective Product Launch Email Campaigns

Your In-Depth Guide to Crafting Effective Product Launch Email Campaigns

We've gathered learnings and insights from industry experts to bring you a comprehensive guide on how to craft successful product launch emails, with examples for your inspiration.

Ray Slater Berry
13 min read
Your In-Depth Guide to Crafting Effective Product Launch Email Campaigns

Subject line: Ready for a new product launch?
Preview text: Here’s your email campaign plan 

Hi [First Name], 

If you’re gearing toward a new product announcement, there’s a high chance a launch email campaign is on your roadmap. From pre-launch to post-launch, email sequences are the foundation of a long and prosperous product lifecycle. 

We’re about to walk you through everything you need to know to build product launch emails that win opens, encourage engagement, and bring more users to [your product name]. 

We’ll inspire you with strategic tips, best practices, email examples, and expert advice you can apply to your next product launch. 

Read on.

How to craft an effective product launch email campaign in 3 steps #

There are many moving parts for a successful email campaign—from planning and strategizing to copy and design. Each member of your team is going to be a key player in a successful launch, so make sure to outline everyone’s roles and responsibilities on time.

The key assets to prepare for your email campaign: 

  • A pre-launch email sequence 

  • A product launch email 

  • A post-launch email sequence 

Keep in mind that your email campaign needs just as much thought as your actual product or feature release. Create a timeline, and make sure your entire team is aligned with your product launch roadmap

1. Start with the main asset – the launch email #

This could be the email that announces a completely new product, or it could be an announcement of a new core feature, major redesign, or another important product update.

We reached out to Gabriela Kustner, Sr. Manager of Content and Distribution at Customer.io, for her insights on how to structure an effective product launch email. 

“It’s a good idea to remind people what they signed up to hear about. Don’t forget that people on your list may already have forgotten why they’re there. We recommend showing quick benefits, product screenshots or a preview, and the value proposition. 

Make sure that the email is about the user and the problems you’re solving for them. Nobody cares about your product as much as they care about what pain points/problems it solves for them.”

– Gabriela Kustner, Sr. Manager, Content & Distribution at Customer.io

Keep your email concise, and keep in mind that your value proposition needs to be clear and immediately understandable. 

Also, consider the timing of your launch email. You’ll want to align it with your product release date, especially if you’re going to run a cross-channel campaign.

Your launch email is likely not going to sit in isolation, so let’s take a deeper look into the structure of pre-launch and post-launch email sequences.

2. Set your pre-launch and post-launch campaigns up for success #

Sending too few emails beforehand to hype up the product can dampen the launch. At the same time, failing to follow up can crush the momentum you get on launch day.  

Here’s what Gabriela Kustner advises for crafting effective pre-launch and post-launch campaigns. 

Pre-launch campaigns matter because you don’t want to have just one shot at launching your product. In the weeks leading up to launch, you could send an email with quotes from customers who have tried the beta version on one day, and the next, show screenshots of areas of the product which you know will be valuable for people. 

Drum up interest, but don’t show the entire product. Focus on your value proposition and get people excited. Focus on communicating, ‘Have you ever felt blocked by X? Y solves that and more’.”

– Gabriela Kustner, Sr. Manager, Content & Distribution at Customer.io

As part of a post-launch campaign, Gabriela suggests sending behavior-based emails, as well as leveraging customer feedback.

“Use email segmentation so you’re only emailing customers who haven’t completed the desired action in the product. And don’t forget that post-launch, you want to be gathering customers’ feedback and reactions. This is one of the most important things. Create that virtuous cycle of leveraging customer feedback.” 

– Gabriela Kustner, Sr. Manager, Content & Distribution at Customer.io

Creating feedback loops will help you to regularly check a pulse on user sentiment and keep on improving both your email campaigns and the product itself for overall success.

When it comes to successful email campaigns, Dave Rodenbaugh, Founder of Recapture.io, also believes that sending one launch email won’t have the same impact as a whole sequence.

“I would recommend a sequence like this:

  • 2-3 pre-launch emails building anticipation. Hint at new features or expected functionality, maybe tease a product review from a beta tester.

  • Launch email the day of the official launch. This is the “big email”, put everything in there, all of the details.

  • Follow-up emails (1-2) reminding folks to check it out. This is for the busy, distracted group you’ll surely have on your list. 

– Dave Rodenbaugh, Founder of Recapture.io 

You want this whole campaign to be highly successful, but a lot can go wrong. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to prepare upfront and avoid any mistakes.

3. Prevent a campaign from going wrong #

Here’s what Gabriela Kustner suggests not to do in order to get the most out of your campaigns. 

Don’t use a no-reply address. Your customers’ feedback might be your product team’s most valuable gain from this official launch. Provide an easy way for customers to give feedback. Remember, the success of a product launch campaign is not just measured in opens and clicks.

– Gabriela Kustner, Sr. Manager, Content & Distribution at Customer.io

The email is going to be a starting point while the final goal is to encourage people to go into your product and check it out for themselves. So make sure that the sender is someone your email subscribers are already familiar with—seeing a familiar name in their inbox can incentivize people to click through.

It could also be a good idea to have this email come from your CEO or founder to give it more weight. And, of course, ensure there’s a simple, one-click reply option. 

Furthermore, Gabriela points out another common mistake you need to avoid.  

Don’t promise to solve certain problems and then not deliver. Sure, some features were cut out as the launch deadline approached, and now you’re not able to fully deliver on your promises—but people will remember if you didn’t deliver on the big ones.

– Gabriela Kustner, Sr. Manager, Content & Distribution at Customer.io

Here, the importance of your value proposition enters the scene once again. Avoid making it too vague or too technical. Set clear expectations up front, especially about the core features, and then deliver on your promise.    

And last but not least, don’t overwhelm your email readers with too much information, too many visuals, or—as Gabriela emphasizes—too many CTAs.  

Don’t include too many calls to action. There should only be one: sign up, or, try it out. Now is not the time to link customers to docs. Get them in the product so they can start playing around.”

– Gabriela Kustner, Sr. Manager, Content & Distribution at Customer.io

Once your customers are in the product, you can use various types of in-app messages to point them in the right direction and guide them through the next steps. For example, you can use Chameleon to create Tooltips for additional in-line information or in-product Launchers that link to relevant help docs and videos.

💡 Pro Tip

To get the most out of your campaigns, make sure that tools in your tech stack work seamlessly together. For example, you can integrate Customer.io with Chameleon to combine data and coordinate email campaigns with product tours.

How to write a successful product launch email #

When you’ve got the structure of your campaign in place, you can start focussing on writing the email that’s going to ensure buy-in from everyone on your list. Let’s get into it.

We’ll run you through the basics of building a solid product launch email campaign.

Subject line and preview text: Make them stand out #

If you’re already relying on email marketing to acquire and retain users, you know how important subject lines and preview text are. You need to stand out in overcrowded inboxes and grab people’s attention in a split second.

A few relevant statistics to keep in mind: 

What can we learn from these stats? First of all, subject lines matter. Keep them at 40 characters and consider adding emojis if your brand style allows.

Also, users today need personalization beyond their name. This comes down to proper user segmentation.

You can use an online tool like Omnisend to test email subject lines and ensure you find the optimal one for your users before you send out your next campaign.

Email body: Spark curiosity with copy and visuals #

First thing’s first, your email announcement needs to be concise and sugar-free. Your goal is to spark enough curiosity to win an informed click-through to your product. 

As Gabriela Kustner points out:

“While writing, keep in mind that your potential customers’ personal investment up-front is low. They may not have been waiting eagerly for this launch—although you and your team certainly have! So have fun with the text and keep it light-hearted.”

– Gabriela Kustner, Sr. Manager, Content & Distribution at Customer.io 

It can be hard to switch perspectives, but try walking in your audience’s shoes to better understand their goals and motivations as they interact with your emails.  

Lindsey Bly, Head of Marketing at Scribe, suggests spending time getting to know your audience upfront, and how this particular product or feature solves their problems.

“After you write your emails, get in the mindset of your audience, then go back and reread them. Do you understand this new product? Are you excited about what it means for you? Do you want to know more?” 

– Lindsey Bly, Head of Marketing at Scribe

Another piece of advice regarding the email body content comes from Dominick Costantino, Content Creator at 7Shifts.

“Too much content or messaging that doesn't resonate with your customers won’t help you communicate the launch. Make sure you’re showing rather than telling. When you understand the customer's perceived value, you can get straight to the point.”

– Dominick Costantino, Content Creator at 7Shifts

To show rather than just tell, consider including: 

  • Relevant images and product screenshots

  • Embedded videos, or links to videos with the play button ▶️

  • White space to give your reader time to process information

  • Clear calls-to-action

Keep everything on-brand, but don’t be afraid to adopt a slightly different tone to help differentiate the importance of this launch. 

💡 Pro Tip

Remember to check how your emails appear on different devices. Plus, ensure you’re getting product messaging and positioning correct from “hello”.

Segmentation and personalization: Go beyond the basics #

Earlier, we mentioned that users are wiser to personalize these days. Ensure your product launch campaign goes beyond your target audience’s first names and business names. 

Segment your audience, and provide a tailored email flow that’s specific to each segment’s needs. The way you segment and adjust emails will depend on your audience, as well as on your new product.

For example, your new users might need more information than your existing users, especially if those are your power users. Or you might want to structure the email differently for active users and those who haven’t been using your product for months. 

A few segmentation strategies to consider: 

  • Active vs. inactive users

  • New vs. existing users vs. power users

  • Free plan customers vs. paid plan customers

  • Job-to-be-done requirements vs. job role specifics

  • NPS survey replies: Detractors vs. Passives vs. Promoters 

Remember, even small changes in copy can make your emails speak more clearly to your target segment and help you increase open rates and click rates. 

Speaking of rates, let’s go deeper into the important metrics for your launch emails.

What metrics showcase the success of a product launch email? #

From the moment you click “Send”, you can start measuring the success of your campaign. To make sure you’re tracking the right metrics, define what the success looks like and set clear goals.   

Here's valuable advice from Gabriela Kustner.

“There is a whole funnel of actions that a customer can take when they get an email, and while some are more important than others, some of the apparently unimportant metrics tell an important part of the story.

For example, when you send an email, you want the customer to a) open it, b) read it, c) take the action that’s the goal of the campaign, like creating an account, and d) complete an action that indicates they’ll become a regular user of the product.”

– Gabriela Kustner, Sr. Manager, Content & Distribution at Customer.io

Gabriela recommends linking that final step to the conversion goal in your email campaign, and she continues to explain the importance of the metrics from intermediary steps.

“While the last step is the main one you’ll be focused on measuring, you also want to pay attention to the metrics from all the intermediary steps, because they may help you understand where the drop-off is happening.”

– Gabriela Kustner, Sr. Manager, Content & Distribution at Customer.io

Here are some questions that Gabriela suggests taking into consideration:    

  • Is your open rate low? Maybe your subject line needs work.

  • Is no one clicking on the CTA? It’s possible the design of your email isn't compelling enough.

  • Is no one staying in the product after clicking the CTA? There may be more product work to be done. 

As she continues to explain, another way of looking at this is through the lens of business value—open rates and click rates are interesting, but they don’t create business value. 

“You want to know what the business value is, at the end of the campaign, and make sure you’re measuring that. Everything else is just informational. Think: which metrics would you make business decisions off of? Or rather, which metrics will actually indicate if customers are getting value from your product?”

– Gabriela Kustner, Sr. Manager, Content & Distribution at Customer.io

To understand the value your users are getting from your product, you can start by asking them directly. This way, you’ll collect valuable feedback at the moment of interaction with your product. 

You can also keep an eye on your product analytics data to identify user behavior patterns and learn from the insights.

Top 3 product launch email examples for your inspiration #

Right, let’s get into the product launch email examples!

Example #1: Loom #

Of all the product launch email examples, this particular announcement email wins our hearts. The team at Loom did their research and showed up. They win pride of place for using an emoji in their subject line while addressing user needs with the copy. 

This email announcement is bright, cheerful, and with just the right amount of copy, whitespace, and visual content, including images, GIFs, and CTAs. The entire piece is on-brand, and the visuals celebrate the announcement. 🎉

Example #2: Calendly #

Next up, we’ve got Calendly and their launch of Meeting Polls. It’s a great product launch email for its simplicity and being so concise.

The thread of Calendly blue is a nice touch throughout, and the CTAs are clear while appealing to those that want more info or those that are ready to dive right in. Lastly, the copy clearly communicates the perks of the new product for the user.

Example #3: Airtable #

Granted, this email announcement for the Interface Designer from Airtable is pretty text-heavy. However, one thing we’d really like to call out with this email is the invitation to a webinar. It’s a smart way to introduce, and onboard users to the product.

Don’t stop at emails – run multi-channel product launch campaigns #

That’s a wrap on building a successful product launch email campaign. Hopefully, you’ve found this guide useful and will consider borrowing from it for your product or feature launches. 

We’ll close out by reminding you to think beyond email and include your product as an effective channel for the launch announcements, too. Your users are already engaging with it, so running an accompanying in-product campaign can be a great way to meet them where they are.

Besides that, consider placing announcement banners on your website, adding the announcement to your social media messaging, and posting about it in relevant online communities to increase brand awareness and run a successful launch campaign.

Done well, you’ll attract more customers, build better product adoption rates, and run a product overview email sequence that will help your business go from strength to strength, inbox to inbox.

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