Note: This is an update of a previous post.
Newsletters remain one of the best means of communicating with your developer audience. They should be an integral part of your communications program, along with email, blogs, and trial offers. Newsletters are trusted by developers because they enjoy and find useful the content you provide. With so much potential, newsletters should be an area where you devote a significant number of resources to ensure quality and relevance.
Lead with the Reader
Newsletters are a significant commitment in that they must be maintained as an ongoing effort. They should be planned in advance using an editorial calendar, and supported with graphic design, research, copy editing, and of course, content development. If you are new to newsletters and plan to launch one, lay out all of the requirements, including your strategic goals for the effort, and weigh your resources against your requirements. Plan by quarter, for at least six months, and measure your effectiveness as you go. The key is to serve up content at a frequency that will keep your developer audience engaged. If the resources don’t match your requirements, consider working with a partner like DeveloperMedia, a resource with the expertise to help you with newsletter development and production.
If you are currently producing a newsletter and are running out of steam in terms of creating engaging content, the same advice applies. A partner can bring a fresh perspective in all areas: content, design, distribution, and quality.
Content and Format
When formatting your newsletter, read it from your audience’s perspective. As a marketer, you may tend to be too overt in promoting your products, so temper your enthusiasm by using the developer’s perspective. Any links you provide should work (!), and direct the developer to useful technical content that helps developers and builds your brand’s credibility. The final test is whether a developer would like to read the newsletter, so test it with developer colleagues.
The Data Says…
According to the 2020 Developer Marketing Survey conducted by Evans Data Corp., newsletters remain a favored tool for gathering information. In an era of easily shared “fake news” (misinformation and disinformation), newsletters command respect if they come from a trusted source. It’s also become the norm to subscribe to more than one newsletter.
An important consideration in the production and marketing of a newsletter is providing actionable data. The Evans survey revealed that 95% of the developers surveyed had taken some action from a newsletter. This action could be clicking a link, trying a product, or visiting a vendor site. With this insight, ensure your newsletters include triggers that motivate your developer audience to take action.
Feel the Love
Newsletters are a well-accepted means of providing your developer audience with the news and information they need to do their jobs better. Acceptance of a newsletter within the developer community is based on trust, and trust is the lubricant that leads to frictionless exchanges for information as well as products. Given the skeptical nature of the highly technical developer audience, the newsletter is an efficient tool in your marketing kit. If you need help with developing or optimizing your newsletter, contact DeveloperMedia.
DeveloperMedia Newsletters Blog
Evans Data Corp
Developer Marketing Survey – Evans Data Corp