Nurturing Future Leads

Placement in the right DZone report builds product awareness for Aiven.io

Customer Details

A database-as-a-service provider operating managed open-source solutions

Business Results

48% open rate on emails from a DZone report sponsorship

“Our microservices report sponsorship came with an email to 20,000 DZone subscribers. The email had a 48% open rate and yielded more than 400 clicks to our website.’’

Kyle Buzzell knows his marketing efforts for Aiven.io’s hosted and managed cloud database could take months to pay off.

“Solutions like Kafka (which Aiven supports) are at the heart of a company’s architecture. It’s not the kind of product where people see a solution today and implement tomorrow. These decisions can take a while,’’ explains Buzzell, the company’s marketing manager.

Finding a publishing outlet that reaches the audience that influences the purchase of Aiven’s products is key. “I figured DZone would be a good place to do it.’’ DZone’s Microservices Zone attracts about a quarter million readers a month.

Finding a Niche with the Microservices Report

Aiven sponsored the Microservices Report, which came with an email to 20,000 DZone email subscribers that had shown interest in microservices information. The email used copy Aiven provided. The result: a 48% open rate that ultimately yielded more than 400 clicks through to Aiven’s website.

Even better are the 750 contacts that DZone delivered. These came from people who downloaded the report and met a specific profile. Buzzell started a four-part drip campaign that yielded a 55% open rate and 476 sessions on Aiven’s website from the contacts so far.

The report was perfect for awareness building. “At the end of the day, people don’t want to be sold to, that’s not why they downloaded the report,’’ Buzzell says. The 49-page report included original research on how and why technical professionals use microservices, interviews with executives, and technical content from contributors.

So while the report is not a hard sell, the downloaders were exposed to what Aiven does through a contributed article and an ad. Buzzell hopes to turn some of those downloaders into leads, but he plans to be patient. “I just want to be top-of-mind when people are ready,’’ he says.

Different Ways to Engage

Buzzell liked that there are multiple ways to work with DZone. He can sponsor a Zone (like the Microservices one), a report, or a technical Refcard. He can also buy ad space, send an email campaign, or place an article from his developer advocate on the site. “There are just so many ways to engage with the DZone audience.’’

He particularly liked having the option to place an article from his VP of Product in the Microservices Report. “It’s the kind of thing we can build on,’’ he says.

He was also thrilled about the flexibility DZone granted in publishing his ads. “I think that many of the campaigns you see tend to all look the same. I wanted to stretch the boundaries, and we were allowed to do what we wanted creatively.”

The result is Buzzell’s bacon and eggs concept – a different look from the line drawings, word heavy and cartoon graphic ads populating many tech communities and publishing sites (for the whimsical element take a close look at the egg yolk).

While Buzzell enjoyed the creative fun of a play on breakfast food, he knows that when it comes to actual content, he needs to play it straight. “Developers are highly logical and highly skilled. You still have to clearly communicate your value proposition and can’t trick them with flash.”

About Aiven
Aiven is a database-as-a-service provider operating managed open-source database, messenger, cache, search, and graphing solutions for over 300 customers worldwide. The company is based in Helsinki Finland with offices in Boston, Mass. Along with Kafka, it hosts products from Redis, MariaDB, Grafana, Elasticsearch, and more.