Is Email Still Relevant?

Way back in 1971, an engineer named Ray Tomlinson sent the first email, unknowingly starting a communications revolution. Billions and billions of emails later, email is still an effective advertising channel for targeted audiences.

As a best practice, you should periodically evaluate every marketing tactic in your bag for effectiveness and the value each brings to your organization, and that includes your email campaigns.

Marketing experts agree that email marketing remains a cost-effective means of reaching your audience. Let’s look at some of the benefits of email in 2023:

  • It still has a high receptivity factor. People still open emails out of curiosity, or to look for news from a trusted source. This provides opportunities to attract attention to your brand or get your message across to your developer audience.
  • From a marketing perspective, email automation platforms make it easier than ever to create, send, and track your email campaigns. Once your program is structured in the system, you can sit back and wait for results.
  • Email marketing is cost-effective, as it can be less expensive than other types of advertising. It also offers better results than social media promotions.

Email is an attractive communications channel because it’s universally accepted, cheap, and flexible, but it can be abused and overused. It’s also ubiquitous and easy to ignore. (Spam doesn’t help.) With that said, anti-spam regulations and respect for customers now make spamming practices less popular. Given that email has become commonplace and can sometimes be overly repetitive, even developers respond well to direct email, according to the 2020 Developer Marketing Survey by Evans Data Corporation.

Eblasts, Newsletters, and Blogs

Email marketing can vary in form from short, one-off announcements, like eblasts, to regular longer-form communications such as newsletters and blogs that arrive via email. Newsletters and blogs engage the developer more deeply than basic email or one-off email promotions. Sponsored newsletters, specifically, enable marketers to engage with an established developer community in a variety of ways, including building brand awareness, and using sponsored content to move a developer along the developer’s journey.

Combine Brand Awareness and Activation Ads

Newsletters are a trusted form of communication within the developer community because developers trust publishers based on reputation and content. This works in advertisers’ favor, because publishers need brands which align with the professional interests of their customer base. While a sponsorship or banner ad placement can generate interest, embedding an ad with a link to sign up for a white paper, podcast, webinar series, or a download of trial software is a novel and effective approach to advertising within a newsletter or blog. This tactic will leverage an email subscription base with an expanded message and a means to capture customer information.

Target, Engage, Track, Improve

A big advantage of using email marketing in any of its forms is that audience engagement is easy to track using standard digital analytics tools. While they rarely tell the full story, you can gain insight into campaign effectiveness from email opens, link click-throughs, and sign-ups. Periodically cleaning or segmenting your mailing list based on your target audience’s engagement, demographics, areas of interest, motivations, challenges, and your solutions or product offerings is a critical way to improve the quality of your impressions or leads.

4 Ways to Improve Email Performance

Here are four ideas to improve the performance of your email marketing campaigns:

  1. Be creative with your subject line. (Not cute, but creative.) The subject line is one of two variables directly related to the successful opening of your email — the other being the source or sender. If you have something interesting to say, this is your opportunity.
  2. Make it developer-centric by embedding a stat or item of direct relevance to your developer audience. People like content which reflects their interests. Injecting humor, statistics, and esoteric references directly engages people.
  3. Use branding effectively by referencing your brand and its capabilities and accomplishments. A new enhancement, company news, or factoid will help reinforce your brand image. Your logo should be tastefully prominent, and there should be no doubt as to the source of the email.
  4. Offer something of value in your messaging — like a helpful hint, a tip or trick, a discount, a trial, or even a little humor. The item of value has to be coupled with a strong call to action so that your audience engages. Your marketing message must motivate your audience!


Is a new email in your inbox a joyful and celebrated event? Probably not for most people, but it still creates a moment of excitement for some because it is an opportunity to learn something NEW. Make the most of your marketing efforts by putting extra thought and effort into your emails. Make each email something you yourself would like to read.

Developers need your products and services to help them solve their problems and make their jobs easier, and email is a proven and cost-effective method of reaching the developer community. For more information, check out the Advertising Guide from the experts at DeveloperMedia.


First email
1971: First Ever Email | Guinness World Records

Evans Data Corp.
Evans Data Corporation | Homepage

Developer Marketing Survey
Evans Data Corporation | Developer Marketing Survey 2020

Home – DeveloperMedia – Reach Millions of Developers

Advertising Guide