Note: This is old content from GarrettMickley.com. I am no longer pursuing a digital marketing career, but I didn’t want the content to go to waste, so I’m relocating it here. I hope the Dev.to community finds it useful.
Probably my second biggest regret in life is not starting an email list sooner.
I'll talk more about that in another post, but here's the one-sentence-reason why:
I would have a larger following right now.
I always thought it would be hard, and it was...the first time.
There wasn't someone like me out there teaching coders how to start an email list.
Even with my experience in digital marketing, email wasn't something I was brave enough to touch.
But it turns out, email is the best way to build and then engage with your audience.
That's why I'm here making these guides for you. That's why I write these blog posts.
I want you to succeed faster and easier than I am. I want you to do better than I did.
Don't worry; I'm not totally unselfish. I do benefit from doing this for you.
- I get to see and use the products you create through your coding career.
- I get some money whenever you purchase one of my recommended products or services.
So, yeah, I stand to benefit from this, too. But I also really love sharing my knowledge. It's much better shared with you than just guarded away in my skull.
Us programmers, we're not competition. We're in this together. We need to acknowledge that and stick together. Help each other.
Here's some advice I wish I had received sooner:
Start marketing now.
- Not when the product is done.
- Not when you’re running your first server stress tests.
- Not when you open up beta testing.
- Not tomorrow.
I'm going to give you a quick tip in this post and in the future, I'll write many more in-depth posts about marketing your software.
For now, I'm going to give you one thing you can do to get started today. This is a small thing you can do right now, after you finish reading this post.
You don't even need a website to do this. I recommend you sign up for ConvertKit (affiliate link) because it's by far the best and most affordable. Also, it's what I use and have been using for a while.
I wouldn't recommend something just for the money...I only recommend products or services I use or have used and approve of.
You can also get MailChimp as a free alternative, but I'm willing to bet you'll have more difficulty in the end. Remember: you get what you pay for.
Once you're signed up for an email marketing service, go ask everyone you know:
Hey, I'm coding a new project. Would you be interested in getting updates and release info?
If they say no, thank them for their time and move on. If they say yes, respond with:
Thanks! I just need your email and I'll send you some info as soon as it’s ready!
Then get their email and put it into ConvertKit (or MailChimp, or whatever you chose). Now, you've started an email list.
Go through Facebook, your phone, Instagram, and whatever else. Only ask people who would be interested...don't bother people you know don't care about your projects.
Then, when you're done, shoot them all a welcome email. Tell them a little about what you're working on, and show off some projects you've worked on in the past.
And don't forget to email them regularly with updates on your projects!
One fun thing to do that engages your audience and makes them more likely to use your products is to give some background info. Show them pics of your workspace, talk about the software and hardware you use, tell horror stories, etc.
If you're interested in more information about email marketing, check out my Complete Beginner's Guide to Email Marketing.
That's just one small thing to get you started, but there's so much more! Continue learning, for free, today. Follow me on Dev.to for more!