Newsletters Are Great Developer Advertising

Most developers love newsletters. How do we know? It’s not just suspect open rates. Developers click on newsletter links.

Are pigs flying? Did hell freeze over?

Nope. Developers like to receive information about the tools and services they can use in their developer-to-developer communities — pure and simple. Say it loud, say it proud, because it’s just true.

Developers Like Newsletters

Who says? Well, besides the comments we received when we interviewed developers, Evans Data Corporation — that’s who. The Evans Data Corporation Developer Marketing 2018 Survey data showed that more than 40% of developers subscribe to three to five newsletters. Only 5% said they subscribed to none. That means 90% of developers subscribe to at least one industry newsletter.

Even better, the Evans Data Corporation Developer Marketing 2017 survey shows that links to content in emailed newsletters get clicked. Topic areas of interest vary, with 80% of developers stating they are likely or very likely to click on a link to a white paper. Another 74% are likely or very likely to click on a link to a contest.

A close second for the links that developers are very likely to click is product information, with information on emerging technologies being about equal. (This suggests offering content like educational white papers that aren’t about your product, but a technology of interest.) A little over 40% of respondents said they were very likely to click on links to contests. This means your public documentation better be something you are proud of (since it should sit with marketing).

What Makes Newsletter Promotion So Effective?

Double. Opt-in. The newsletters developers subscribe to are welcome guests in the developer’s inbox, not an annoying invader.

Additionally, the newsletters are from sources they trust. For example, Michael Washington values Alvin Ashcraft’s Morning Dew because he trusts Alvin to personally curate the content, so the rest of the content promoted within the newsletter environment carries the same credibility. And, according to developer Mark Downie, context is everything.

Practitioner-written content doesn’t hurt. White papers written for thought leadership or to educate the reader are much more popular and help establish your brand authority and identity. When the authors are practitioners that sit outside your organization, it makes the content just that much more compelling.

If you’ve established brand awareness, so much the better. In our Meet the Developer interviews, we learned that promotions from brands which people recognize are more likely to get clicked. This goes for everything from content to downloads and trials.

That’s a Wrap

To get the most out of the content you have created for your content marketing campaign, it makes sense to promote it. One of the most effective promotion tools you can use is the newsletter. Developers trust the sources they have opted to receive information from, and they are happy to click on links that offer them information they value.