Means, Motive and Opportunity
Email marketing still remains one of the best marketing tactics for Return On Investment because:
- As a marketer to the developer community, you have the means to reach your audience. While it may be easy to develop a campaign, and easy to deploy one, it’s also easy to work with experts in the field and execute a brilliant campaign that gets results.
- Of course, profit motive has to fit somewhere in the equation, but people still want to help people. The desire to support fellow developers is strong in the developer community, and that extends to suppliers as well. If you help someone with their problem, solve a challenge, and/or provide valuable information, you’ll have a path to a customer.
- Audiences are still receptive to email. Statistics prove that, in general, people do open emails, even though we are all inundated with them. People are curious — and if your subject line is compelling, or you are familiar to the recipient, they will open the email. The opportunity is there!
Communicate In Your Target Market
One of the most important rules in email marketing is to identify and communicate to the developer audience within your target market. This is simple to say, but it can be hard to maintain a laser focus on the right developers when the options to broaden your outreach are so easy and inexpensive. In the back of your mind, repeat this mantra — ‘Sales (and marketing) is a numbers game. The broader the outreach to the right customers, the better are my chances of getting a response.”
The reality is that without focus, you are simply creating clutter. Non-targeted emails dilute your efforts, cloud your analytics, and erode your credibility.
Creating the Connection
You will connect with your developer audience by offering solutions to their problems in a context which supports credibility.
And connections with developers are built on trust — the essence of successful email marketing.
Developers prefer content that helps them solve problems or enables them to be more efficient versus business-related content. Developers prefer tips and tricks, how-tos, and use cases over product roadmaps or industry updates. Problem-solving content is the perfect inflection point for calls to action. For example:
- To learn more
- Learn how
- To get more information
- Activate a trial
… In other words, deliver your content in a context the developer wants.
It bears repeating — helping a developer solve a problem is the best way to build trust. Your products are built to solve problems. You can create a connection through emails and newsletters, and it all starts with helping developers solve their problem, one person at a time.
You can create a stronger connection with your developer audience if you go beyond an email campaign and engage your readers through an opt-in developer community newsletter. One advantage of using a dedicated developer newsletter for advertising is that scheduling and frequency have been established by the publisher of the newsletter. Your brand takes advantage of the expectation of the content the publisher has built into the community. By including your brand regularly in a newsletter, developers become familiar with your company.
Other advantages of placing your brand in a developer community newsletter include:
Established newsletters in the developer community, with subscribers who have opted-in, have an interested audience looking for solutions that will help solve their problems. You have an audience which has self-selected to hear your pitch! Additionally, when your brand supports the community you love, it shows a commitment to your audience and their priorities.
Every impression of something or someone we experience has a contextual element which can significantly change the way we perceive things. Developer communities are fragmented — they are focused around applications, languages, and technology. And this is why your product should be advertised in a newsletter, supported by content and advertising which is contextually correct — and targets the “right” developer audience.
The more your brand shows up where developers go, the more they recognize your brand. Recognized brands are more likely to become trusted information sources by developers. So be sure to place your brand consistently (and frequently) in front of the developer community you want to court.
Onwards and Outbound
Outbound email campaigns can look great on paper. For them to work for your brand, cast a critical eye on the performance data to see what it tells you about your campaign’s qualitative and technical quality. Elements of a good email marketing campaign include the following:
- Developer audience segmentation and targeting accuracy
- Content quality and utility
- Context relevance
- Call-to-action effectiveness/clarity
- Compliance to the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL), the European Union’s General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR), and other legal frameworks. A new consumer privacy law, (CCPA), took effect in California on January 1, 2023, and should be reviewed for compliance.
Email marketing remains an effective means of communicating with your developer audience. As a communications channel, email marketing builds a connection when developers trust that your brand is providing something of value. In return for the developer audience’s perceived value from your brand, they will reward your brand with attention. It’s a value proposition that is equitable to both parties, as long as trust is maintained. Email newsletters offer the possibility to get your message across in an expanded and ongoing format that is well accepted by the developer community. Advertising with a trusted partner that serves the developer community is one of the most effective and efficient ways for brands to reach developers.
105 Email Statistics You Should Know in 2023
DeveloperMedia – Newsletters: Developer Advertising at its Most Effective
Newsletters: Developer Advertising at Its Most Effective · DeveloperMedia
DeveloperMedia – Outbound Marketing to Developers
Pinpointe – email deliverability
Canadian Anti-SPAM Law
European Union Privacy Directive
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)