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8 tips for product marketers working on a feature sunset


a man standing looking at a sunset digital art. Yair Kivaiko/Dall-e2

As a product marketer, you may find yourself in the position of having to sunset a feature. While it's not an ideal situation, there are ways to make the best of it. Follow these 8 tips and you'll be able to successfully manage a feature sunset.


1. Defining the Sunset Timeline

The first step in successfully managing a feature sunset is to Define the Sunset Timeline.

You'll need to decide when the feature will be removed and communicate this to all relevant parties.

This will help everyone involved in the process to be on the same page and understand what needs to be done.

When working on a feature sunset, it's important to have a clear timeline of when the feature will be removed.

This will help you communicate the changes to stakeholders and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Try to give yourself a few months' notices so that you can properly plan for the change.


2. Working with the Product Team

Once you've defined the timeline for the feature sunset, you'll need to work with the product team to determine what changes need to be made to the product.

You'll also need to create a plan for how the sunset will be executed.

Working closely with the product team is essential for a successful feature sunset.

They'll be able to help you understand the technical aspects of the change and determine what needs to be done to make sure it's executed properly.


3. Developing Messaging and Positioning

So you've worked with the product team to understand the technical aspects of the change, and now you'll need to develop messaging and positioning for the sunset.

This will help you communicate the change to stakeholders and customers.

When developing messaging, it's important to be clear and concise.

You should also focus on the benefits of the change and how it will improve the product.

Positioning is also important when sunsetting a feature.

You'll need to position the change in a way that makes sense for your product and your customers.



a woman standing looking at a sunset 3d render. Yair Kivaiko/Dall-e2

4. Communicating the Change

After you've worked with the product team to plan for the sunset, and developed a messaging plan, it's time to start communicating the change to all relevant parties.

This includes stakeholders, users, and anyone else who will be affected by the change.

It's important to be clear and concise when communicating the change.

You should also provide a timeline of when the feature will be removed and what users can expect.

Make sure to answer any questions that people may have about the sunset.


5. Creating FAQs and Educational Materials

You've communicated the change to all relevant parties, so now it's time to start creating FAQs and educational materials.

This will help users understand the changes and what they can expect.

It's important to be clear and concise when creating these materials.

You should also focus on the benefits of the change and how it will improve the product.


6. Managing Customer Feedback

One of the most important aspects of a sunset is to get as much feedback as possible from the users, to analyze it, and to understand their pain points and also the good feedback coming from the sunset.

This includes listening to feedback, through sitting in with the CS reps or listening to call recordings using tools like Gong, responding to concerns, and making changes where necessary.

It's important to be open to feedback and willing to make changes where needed.

You should also focus on the positive aspects of the change and how it will improve the product.


7. Analyzing the Results of the Sunset

After the sunset has been executed, it's time to analyze the results.

This includes looking at customer feedback, user data, and other analytical metrics.

It's important to see how the change has affected the product and your users. Are they adopting another feature? Are they using the product more or less? Are they canceling subscriptions?

You should also look at what went well and what could be improved in the process itself and the workflow used.


8. Learning from the Sunset

After you've analyzed the results of the sunset, it's time to start learning from the experience.

This includes taking what you've learned and applying it to future changes.

It's important to always be learning and evolving as a product marketer.

Make a presentation to sum up the entire process, and share it with your peers. Look at what was done right and what can be improved in the process and make sure to get back to it next time you are sunsetting a feature.

Conclusion

Sunsetting a feature is never an easy task, but by following a workflow, planning ahead, and communicating with the stakeholders, you can make the process go more smoothly.

By working closely with the product team, developing messaging and positioning, and communicating clearly with all relevant parties, you can successfully manage a feature sunset.

And, by taking what you've learned from the experience, you can apply it to future changes.

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