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  • 🍐#46: Why allow comments on dev ads, swag giveaway CTAs, and a story of extra narrow product positioning

🍐#46: Why allow comments on dev ads, swag giveaway CTAs, and a story of extra narrow product positioning


The smallest widely grown pear is the Dwarf Seckel Sugar Pear 🍐.
It is only 3 inches long, super sweet… and super cute.

This week on the agenda:

  • Why you may want to leave comments open on your ads

  • Swag giveaway with CTAs from Union.ai

  • Narrow initial positioning from Snyk

  • + a few bonus links at the end

Let’s go!

🪧 Promo

If you tried tracking activities your team does on socials or communities that drive traffic to your GitHub or YouTube you know it is hard.

krunch is a tool that helps with that:

  • It gives you magically changing links for tracking activities

  • It connects to your website/GitHub/YouTube analytics to present results you care about

  • You see exactly which Tweet or Slack discussion drove conversions

Developer marketing insights

1. Why you may want to leave comments open on your ads

Many folks suggest closing the comments on your ads, especially on Reddit.

But then you do nothing more than a banner ad.

James Zayner figured why not take the challenge and engage with (angry/bored) Redditors.

That resulted in:

“… praise from the onlookers and others just there to participate in the fun.

The CTR on this ad was 4x the benchmark CTR of Reddit ads campaigns. There was a significant spike in self-reported attribution sign-ups pointing to Reddit and this ad. “

Here is what it looked like.

Redditor: Let me promote my reinvention of the wheelheeleelell
James Zayner: Yeah, but wheels have become significantly better over time. They used to be made out of stone.

Redditor: It’s new! We call it smtp
James Zayner: I bet you have a nice notification service.

Redditor: ChatGPT has entered the chat
James Zayner: We have a ChatGPT integration in our UI

Redditor: Hi social media manger. How much are you getting paid
James Zayner: A lot

Redditor: Over engineered. Doesn't solve anything new.
James Zayner: It does if you want dynamic preferences to prevent your marketing team from spamming all of your users.

Redditor: I worked for Slack. All you need to do is create a workflow with a webhook. From there, any of these will be able to do the same without writing custom code.
James Zayner: Yes, it's that simple shrug

So maybe next time you turn the comments off, consider taking the brave route ;)

2. Narrow initial positioning from Snyk

In dev tools, you really can solve the problem for a narrow market and extend to adjacent markets over time.

Use that -> Snyk did.

Their value proposition stayed pretty much the same for 7 years!

"Find and fix vulnerabilities in open-source software you use."

But the market they served got so much bigger over time:

  • They started super narrow with just one Javascript framework, Node.js

  • They focused on solving that pain very well before moving to the entire Javascript language

  • Then to other popular languages like Ruby, Java, and Python

  • Then to the entire Open Source dependencies

  • Then fast forward to today and they do Open source + containers +IaC

Again, their core value prop is the same in 2023 as it was in 2016.

But their target market (and revenue share) grew by... a lot ;)

Isn't that just beautiful marketing-wise?

So the takeaway is this:

Start narrow, solve the problem, and extend to other frameworks/languages/tech can still work.

3. Swag giveaway with CTAs from Union.ai

How to get more ROI from your dev conference booth? -> Add obvious CTAs.

Yes, giveaway stuff.

Yes, make it nice and branded.

Yes, make it funny, shareable, and cool.

But give people an easy and obvious option to give back and support you and your goals.

I really liked how Union.ai approached it at the recent MLOps World conference:

  • A simple folded paper info with CTAs right next to your giveaway

  • CTAs to GitHub stars, Linkedin, and Slack community

Just a nice little tactic but I bet it squeezed a bit more of that ROI juice that we all need in 2023 ;)

Need more developer marketing insights?

1. Work with me

  • I have a few slots every week for 60-min strategy sessions and longer-term advising. We can talk strategy, tactics, brainstorming, whatever you need right now. See how it works -> 

  • You can also promote your product/service/job in this newsletter. But I want to 100% make sure this will add value for the readers so… Let’s talk first ->

2. Join our Slack community

1100+ dev tool CMOs, heads of growth, product marketers, and other practitioners. And this week we’ll have our first AMA:

3. Bonus links to check out

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