We know how busy marketers are these days, being pulled in many directions and continually being tasked with researching and testing the newest bright shiny objects in digital marketing. Given how much they have on their plates, it’s easy to forget about one of the most powerful digital marketing tools available – Email Marketing.
It’s as old as the Internet itself, yet email remains one of the simplest and most useful tools for communicating with a large audience quickly and effectively. Email marketing can be grouped into two basic categories: e-Newsletters and e-Blasts/dedicated email offers.
Both are essential components of any marketer’s toolbox. If you aren’t using email as part of your marketing efforts to reach developers, it’s time to start! Keep reading – this guide will teach you the basics of e-Newsletters and e-Blasts and how to use them to reach your developer audience.
To build, or not to build, that is the question…
We’ll get to the details of the different email marketing types shortly, but first it should be mentioned the bulk of the information in this post assumes you already have your own email list/newsletter or you’re leveraging the list/newsletter of a third-party publisher or organization (either through partnership or buying ad space).
Developing your own email list or newsletter is, without question, a worthwhile endeavor. Not only are email subscribers more open to hearing from you (since they’ve signed up and opted in to receive messages from you), it’s one of the easiest and most direct ways to communicate with a customer.
Once you build an email list, it’s yours. You own it. You don’t have to worry about some third-party (cough… Facebook… cough… Twitter) making changes that affect how you communicate and connect with your audience.
That said, building a list or newsletter from scratch can suck up a lot of time and resources. Everyone’s situation is different, but your best bet is to build your own list gradually in tangent with partnering with other publishers if you’re just starting out.
Partnering with a publisher like Developer Media that already has an established newsletter or email list that you can leverage comes with many benefits:
- There’s a lower cost of investment for you since you’re utilizing a list that already has an established, relevant and engaged audience.
- You get the value of being associated with the publisher and their brand’s reputation.
- The publisher holds the legal responsibility for opt-in/unsubscribe functionality and complying with anti-spam legislation such as Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) (which can carry a maximum fine of up to $10 million if violated).
- A good publisher will keep their list active and relevant by regularly cleaning their database to remove unengaged subscribers (i.e. those who don’t click, bounced email addresses etc.)
- In the case of a newsletter, the publisher is responsible for creating and curating its content – saving you lots of time and resources.
- Depending on how the publisher’s email delivery system works, you may be able to target your emails by different geographies, keywords, time zones, and other audience segments (i.e. subscribers from Enterprise-level companies).
With that out of the way, let’s get into the specifics why e-Newsletters and e-Blasts are a great tool for reaching your developer audience and how to utilize them effectively.
e-Newsletters and e-Blasts
One of the benefits of email is that it (typically) has more visibility than other more passive forms of digital advertising like display ads. Display ads have their own usefulness in the marketing mix, but have limited space to communicate your message and require someone to be on a website to see them.
Email benefits from its ability to push out your message to an audience directly. It’s a lot harder to miss something when it lands right in your inbox. Even if someone has the most overrun and bursting inbox, your message will still be waiting there for them when they have get time to read it.
The very nature of email also opens the audience up to be more receptive to your message. For one, the developer has signed up to receive this newsletter or email offer. They’ve literally asked for it. Also, we’ve generally been conditioned to expect advertisements and offers through email ever since the emergence of personal email accounts in the 1990s.
In addition to being informative or entertaining, the real value of newsletter for its readers is the ability to cut through the noise of the Internet. There is so much new content created and published each day it’s impossible to keep up.
A good newsletter sifts through the junk, aggregates the best content, and sends it directly to the inbox of keen readers. By placing your business, products, and services alongside this curated content, your brand gains credibility and reaches a more receptive audience.
Newsletters come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and topics. No matter how niche your audience or focus, there’s likely a newsletter out there that caters to them. If not, build your own!
Just like e-Newsletters, e-Blasts/dedicated emails are delivered directly to the inboxes of subscribers, but instead of presenting the advertiser’s message alongside curated content the entire email is usually devoted entirely to a single advertiser.
Dedicated email is often used to promote things like specific time-sensitive offer, event, product launch, service or campaign. It’s best for “making a big splash”, so to speak, and enticing your audience to take action on something NOW.
To be effective it’s important to truly offer something of value to your audience and not be in any way annoying or too salesy. Keep it professional, but keep it personal too. Great sales copy shouldn’t feel like advertising, it should feel like you’re offering to do an old friend a favor. We find that e-Blasts with multiple links and solid offers perform best. Developers don’t need glamour and glitz, they need straight facts. How can your company help them do their jobs better? That’s what they need to know.
How Developer Media Can Help…
We often profess that consistency in advertising is important. The developers need to trust that your company is going to be around to support them down the road. We also know that advertising campaigns need to be integrated; all parts of the campaign being additive.
By running banners, e-Newsletters, and e-Blasts simultaneously you are reaching the developers consistently across different media, which not only benefits your branding but will help boost conversions as well.
At Developer Media our e-Blast and e-Newsletter lists are very clean. We take pride in only emailing developers who have double-opted into our lists and we regularly remove any members who have not recently engaged with the newsletter.
As developers ourselves, we never want to spam other developers.
We’ve spent years perfecting our newsletter and dedicated email performance. Keeping our lists clean definitely helps with performance but we’ve also worked hard to increase performance by limiting the number of ads per newsletter and placing the ads above “the fold” (the part of the newsletter that appears to a viewer first without scrolling)
While nobody can truly track open rates effectively (see our blog post on tracking open rates here), at Developer Media we know that our email engagement level is very high. Our click-through-rates are excellent and our conversions are above industry standard.
Developer Media has also invested in technology that allows us to geo-target and keyword-target our newsletters. This allows you, the marketer, to reach only the developers you want to target, allowing efficient reach for your budget. Our state of the art reporting not only shows your click-through-rates but also conversions, allowing you to directly tie performance and conversions to your spend.
Talk to us about adding e-Newsletters and e-Blasts to your developer campaign today. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.