Ways to increase key feature usage:
Onboarding Features - this general term is the technique of making it easier for the user to receive the solution you are trying to deliver, when they log in the first time. Everything you do to familiarize them with the service so that you can successfully deliver your solution is considered onboarding. Basically, leading users to use your key features has everything to do with creating an amazing UX/UI (User Experience/User Interface).
This is tremendously important, because no matter how convincing your landing page is, or how many users you can get, users will abandon your service if you don't lead them to complete key activities and get their pain points solved.
Observe your customers and see what you need to do to get them to use and complete your key features. Your goal should be to get at least 60%+ of the users to complete all your key activities.
Things you can do include:
1. Make a tutorial screencast about using the main key features. Videos are super captivating, and they have the highest click rate.
2. Create a live tutorial to lead them to click on the right buttons. We're talking about interactive popups that appear to instruct them to go through series of tasks or button clicks.
3. If your website is social and friends refer friends to sign up, having friends who are already users of the service greet the new user would be a good way to let them feel welcomed. When you end them the welcome email, if you could also include some of the profiles of their friends in the email, it'd also motivate them to come back.
4. Ask the user to input more of their personal interests then show them content that fits their interest. This is different from having the user discover content themselves. For example, if you are operating a social news, it'd make sense to help the users select their interests and show them news that would interest them so that they immediately see the value (VALUE!) of your service.
Example: If you are running a dating website, it makes sense to ask the user to input his/her dating preference upon first login (their interests, occupation, location, etc.), so that you can use their input as data to show them better matches that are more relevant to them.
The onboarding preference form and then showing matching dates help the user complete a key activity cycle, and also your delivery of the UVP - which is showing them promising and attractive dates, which will make the user want to come back to try some more.