The Ultimate Release Notes Template

Jens Schumacher

Apr 28, 2023


minutes read


So you've built an amazing new feature or fixed some pesky bugs in your product - congrats! But your work isn't done yet. Now you need to tell your users about the updates in your release notes. Release notes are a crucial way to communicate with your customers about what's new and keep them engaged with your product.

The problem is writing clear, compelling release notes is harder than it seems. How do you convey what's really important without boring your users with technical jargon or unnecessary details? How do you make your release notes actually, you know, engaging? Don't worry, we've got you covered. In this blog post, we'll walk you through a simple template and process to craft release notes that will inform your users and boost your SEO. By the end, you'll be writing irresistible release notes in no time.

Why are release notes important?

Release notes are one of the most important ways to communicate with your users. Here are a few reasons why you should make them a priority:

Release notes inform your users about what's new and changed in the latest update of your product. Your users will want to know what exciting new features or improvements they can benefit from, as well as any modifications they should be aware of. Clear release notes help set the right expectations and allow your users to take full advantage of your product.

Release notes are a chance to re-engage your users and get them excited about your product again.

Release notes also boost your SEO and help with search ranking. When you publish detailed release notes, search engines have more content to crawl, index, and rank. Your users may search for specific features or topics covered in your release notes, so make sure you include relevant keywords.

Additionally, release notes build trust in your brand. Transparent communication about what goes into your product updates shows your users you have nothing to hide. Release notes convey your commitment to a great user experience and high quality product support.

In summary, release notes are a key part of your relationship with users. Investing the time to craft clear, compelling release notes is well worth the effort. Your users will appreciate the open communication and become more engaged, loyal customers. And that kind of user goodwill is invaluable.

Release notes should tell a story

When writing release notes, focus on crafting the key message you want users to remember most. Spend the majority of your time developing that central theme.

In an ideal world, our engineering and marketing teams will work together, joining forces to establish a theme for the release. This approach will have a much more impact than trying to patch together a story from a jumble of improvements.

Always keep in mind that our primary goal is to engage users, not simply present them with a dull list of updates. Aim to captivate and delight your users by crafting exciting and informative release notes that spark their interest and leave them eager to explore all the fantastic changes you've made!

Release notes template: what to include

A good release notes template should cover the essential details your users need to know.

Here are the key sections to include:

New features

Highlight any major new features or functionality in your product release. Keep descriptions to one or two paragraphs, focusing on user benefits. Add screenshots or images to visually enhance your message.


Note any enhancements made to existing features. Again, focus on benefits to the user:

  • Faster load times. Optimized image caching and lazy loading improve page load performance by over 30%.

  • Redesigned interface. Updated look and feel for a more modern, intuitive experience.

Bug fixes

List any issues resolved in this release, with minimal technical jargon:

  • Fixed: Login error that occurred when using specific email domains.

  • Fixed: Incorrect product pricing shown for customers in Canada.

Known issues

Be transparent about any known issues still outstanding. Provide workarounds if available and timelines for resolution if possible:

  • Products may display incorrect pricing for customers in the EU. Fix scheduled for next release.

Upgrade notes

Provide any important notes about upgrading to the new release. For example:

  • All users are required to upgrade to the latest version of the mobile app by December 31.

By following this simple template, you'll cover the details that really matter to your users. Keep your writing clear, concise, and compelling, and your release notes can be a valuable tool for communication as well as boosting your SEO.


Call out any features, integrations or APIs that will be sunsetted in upcoming releases. For example:

  • The legacy reporting API will be deprecated on January 1, 2021. Please migrate to the latest API before that date.

Keep it clear and concise

To keep your release notes clear and concise, focus on being brief but impactful. Say more with less.

Keep sentences short and scannable

Write in short, simple sentences that get straight to the point. Your readers will appreciate release notes that are quick to read and easy to understand. Break up long sentences and remove unnecessary words and phrases.

Use bulleted lists

Organize key details, features, fixes, and updates into bulleted (-) or numbered (1.) lists. Lists make information much more scannable and digestible for readers.

Highlight important information

Use bold text, italics, or headings to draw attention to essential details like major new features or critical bug fixes. Your readers will want to know about significant changes right away.

Leave out minor details

Keep your release notes high-level by leaving out insignificant details, minor bug fixes, and tiny tweaks. Only include changes and updates that truly matter to your users. Keep things brief by avoiding lengthy descriptions.

Your release notes should cover the basics without overloading readers with too much information. Strike a balance between being too vague and too wordy. Keep your release notes clear, concise, and compelling by writing tight, scannable content that focuses on what really counts. Your readers will appreciate release notes that are quick to read and easy to understand.

Other best practices

Highlight benefits

Explain how new features and improvements will help your users. For example, “The new social sharing button makes it effortless to promote your latest blog posts on social media.” This helps users understand the value.

Include screenshots (optional, but highly recommended)

Visuals are a great way to showcase new designs, interfaces or functionality. Include annotated screenshots or GIFs if needed to demonstrate complex features.

Keep the tone upbeat

Your release notes are a chance to re-engage your users and get them excited about your product again. Maintain an enthusiastic and encouraging tone to motivate them to dive into the new update.

Ask for feedback

If you are making major changes to the user-experience, give your users the opportunity to voice their feedback. It will make them feel heard, and provide you with a great source of feedback to further improve the experience.

Include a call-to-action (optional)

End your release notes with a simple call-to-action to prompt users to update now. For example, “Update now to enjoy all these new features and improvements!” This can help boost adoption rates.

Following these best practices will help you craft release notes that clearly communicate the benefits of your product updates to both users and search engines. Keep your notes concise yet compelling, focus on the highlights, and maintain an upbeat and encouraging tone for the best results.

Keep it high-level

Focus on the key features, fixes, and updates. Leave out minor tweaks and bugs, unless they significantly impact the user experience. Keep your release notes to 2 or 3 short paragraphs for quick scanning.

Optimize for SEO

To boost your SEO and drive more organic traffic to your release notes, you need to optimize them for search engines like Google. Here are some tips to improve your search ranking:

Use important keywords in your title and headers

Include keywords that are relevant to your product and industry in the title, section headers, and content of your release notes. For example, if you're a project management tool, use terms like "project management software", "task management", "team collaboration", etc.

Include your target keywords in the first paragraph

The first paragraph is prime real estate in the eyes of search engines. Include your primary keyword once or twice in the first paragraph to give your page an SEO boost.

Use synonyms and related terms

Don't just repeat the same keywords over and over. Use synonyms, related phrases, and semantically similar terms throughout your release notes to naturally improve your search optimization. For example, instead of just using "update" and "new feature" use words like "enhancement", "capability", "functionality", "improvement", etc.

Include images and alt text

Add images of your product interface or team to bring your release notes to life and also boost your page's SEO. Make sure to include alt text, or alternative text, for each image. The alt text should be a short, keyword-rich description of what's shown in the image.

Internal linking

Include links to relevant pages on your website, like your product page or blog posts. This helps search engines crawl your site and also provides more value to your readers.

Following these SEO best practices will improve your search ranking over time and increase organic traffic to your release notes and website. The more optimized your content is, the more your readers and customers will engage with and benefit from the useful information you publish.


So there you have it, the ultimate template for crafting release notes that will delight your users and give your SEO a boost.

By following these steps, keeping your notes concise yet compelling, and speaking directly to your readers, you'll produce release notes that people will actually want to read. Your users will appreciate the transparency and stay up to date with all the latest features and fixes. And your product pages will rank higher in search results thanks to the updates.

Now get to it - use this template for your next release and watch the impact it has. Before you know it, you'll be cranking out release notes that turn users into evangelists and search engines into fans.

And if you need a little help with your release notes, try Released.

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Share product

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plans and updates

plans and updates

straight from Jira

straight from Jira

Keep your customers engaged. With release notes created straight from your Jira tickets.

Keep your customers engaged. With release notes created straight from your Jira tickets.

Keep your customers engaged. With release notes created straight from your Jira tickets.