What did I do last week while my partner was fixing the last few bugs left? I did a bit of email marketing.
And this is how I split & organized my email marketing priorities until 24 March + the results so far:
List 1 (Done) – 4 months before the release – for Exclusive Beta footage ( I only sent the press kit to 5 YouTubers that I have been following and genuinely engaging in their communities for some time(+I am a fan) such as Nook, Frazz, Splat, and so on, aim here was to create quality branding, not quantity. This list got converted 5/5.
List 2 (Done) – 2 months before the release – here I aimed for Content Creators that do upcoming indie games announcements, my list was custom made, again with engagement in time on some of them but unfortunately from the 5 YouTubers I aimed, only 2 responded but still, I consider this a success and now I became a sub to their channel and will try to establish a connection for future releases. Please note that for this category I haven`t sent the game only the trailer, release date, and a gameplay video from one of the YouTubers that did one during exclusive Beta.
Because indie games fans:
Because strategy game fans:
List 3 (Next) – 6 weeks before the release (present-day) – Here I will target game Journalists, again my list will be small(5-6 Journalists) but I will do solid research first and active engagement if possible. I am still doing the exclusive approach not just because I want better chances at bigger people but because I aim for quality in branding and if the results are real I will also try to establish a long-term connection with the Journalists.
List 4 (after) – 4 weeks before the release – Here I will target very big Youtubers, it will be a 50-50 shoot in the dark because I did not have time to research and engage in all their communities, this list will probably have 10-15 people and if even 1 of them will make a video the goal will be reached. AT this point the Game will still have a partial exclusivity perk so that might help too.
List 5(after) – 2 weeks before release – here I will target medium size YouTubers, this list will probably consist of around 30 YouTubers, I will also not have time to do many engagements but if branding from List 1, 2, and 3 worked then this should not be a problem and should increase the exposure more as we are getting closer to the release date
List 6(same time with the release) – here I will target the people who subscribed to my site with their emails, ofc here will be just an announcement so there will be no actual game press kit attached. I aim for a big boom so I will try to synchronize this with the Gamejolt & itch.io free vertical slice release and probably I will also give some keys on Keymailer and Indieboost although tbh, exclusivity works so much better than paying YouTubers and risking your keys to end up on third party sites on sale.
List 7 (removed) – here the aim was people who do Streams, unfortunately, I will skip this one because I am lacking time & I am exhausted (I am just 1 man doing marketing with 0 funds but I do hope our game quality is lifting the balance enough), I hope it won’t bite me in the ass at the end but I do hope some streamers will pick it up organically
As an extra note:
I will be using Gmail when sending out the pres kit because it is most likely not to get into the spam folder.
If you have anything else do check your email chances of reaching into the spam folder here: https://www.mail-tester.com/test-kc6vi0zve or just google for any mail testers.
After you send your email I also recommend dropping a message or a tweet politely asking if the email reached in good condition and if they need additional info, mostly this works best if you already established engagement in their community or a Twitter account but still it is a good backup approach in case the email ends up in the spam folder. On my list 1, I had this luxury but for future lists, I did not have time to establish a basic engagement with everyone, I hope in the future I will be a full-time indie dev and will have more time for this.
What do I scan when creating my email lists for YouTubers:
– the number of subscribers
– the amount of engagement per video(likes and comments) in the report to the subs
– the flow on which videos are released
– the type of content must include my target audience
– the quality of his videos
– last time he was active
This being said, I had a long chat with my partner Sergey who does the programming and brings my design to life(I have huge respect for this man, in 4 years he ALWAYS provided 2 updates per week, no breaks no computer broken no shit excuses) the chat was in regards to the future after release. For me, it is too much to do both A. art, design, testing, story, and B. PR, marketing, community management, so after this project I want to choose just one of them, either A or B, I personally incline more for Marketing and PR but we shall see, the decision is not final yet.
I hope you Gentlemen found some useful information through my post and if you have any questions let me know, also if the ones more experienced of you got any suggestions on how I can improve, do let me know.
I salute you!