Email Marketing Mythbusters

Get the facts on email marketing to developers

Time and time again, we’ve seen our favorite email marketing blogs like Hubspot, Emma, and Litmus report best practices to reach your audience in their inbox. These tips are great and often effective. But what if your audience is made up of technical professionals, like software developers and architects?

Grab your magnifying glass and follow our myth-busting trail of email best practices for when your audience is made up of developers. These findings are based off of our experience delivering daily emails to a large audience of developers.

Users Prefer Emails That Contain Mostly Images: Myth

This summer, Hubspot reported that 65% of audiences prefer emails that contain mostly images. However, image-heavy emails often don’t resonate as well with developers.

In emails at DZone, we’ve found that the best performing emails have little imagery, with the focus on content. The email should be a vehicle for delivering useful content. We’ve found that the simpler the better, and images should only be used if they really add value to the email.

Segmentation Results in Higher Open and Click-Through Rates: Confirmed

According to a MarketingSherpa report, segmentation can result in 50% higher open and click-through rates than untargeted emails. We’ve seen this to be true at DZone.

When launching the “DZone Guide to Mobile Development, 2015 Edition,” we segmented our email list based on past user behaviors. We then tailored the messaging (both subject line and body copy) to target these specific segments.

The email open rate was 60% higher than our average open rate for untargeted 2015 DZone Guide Launch emails, and click-through rates were 35% higher than average.

Short Subject Lines Are Always Most Effective: Myth

Short and sweet has been said time and time again. And many times, you’ll be successful with a short subject line. However, after we analyzed 75 weeks worth of weekly emails, we found that the character count doesn’t need to be under 50 characters for an email to be successful. It’s the keywords and subject matter that really drive the clicks.

If you’re going to have a longer subject line, be sure to front load your subject line with keywords, so that mobile users and inbox skimmers will see the main copy.

Take a look at an experiment we performed at DZone using our weekly newsletter. We used the following subject line:

How Java 8 Will Change the Way You Code, Frustration-Driven Development, the Unstable Future of AngularJS, and more…

This subject line had a 24% higher open rate than our average subject line. We tested this hypothesis on several occasions and saw 20% higher open rates than headlines using fewer than 50 characters.

What other email best practices resonate well with your developer audience?