Game Marketing: Why aren’t people signing up to my mailing list?

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Here at GameTrep we’ve been buried under some epic projects and haven’t had much time to write as much as I’d like. You know how it goes though, so with that said I was recently inspired to write a bit about game marketing from a question I impulsively decided to reply to on Facebook. An indie game developer on an indie game dev Facebook group asked:

“Do you guys have any advice on how to get more people to sign up on an email newsletter for your game? I’m having a hell of a time. even tried a contest to win a shirt if you signed up.”

Usually I won’t go into long replies on Facebook of all places for random developers who are seeking help because it usually ends up becoming an endless stream of questions and legitimate work to answer in detail sometimes. This time however I had the itch and had to reply what I’ve learned over the years with my team. So the basis of this question is really:

What can I do? I can’t afford much and have no idea where to start since I’m not seeing expected results?

Simply put, to get people to join anything you need to offer something of perceived value. If it isn’t your product then this is where incentives like giveaways, exclusives by scarcity or other promotions come in to save the day. In this case the Indie wanted to giveaway a t-shirt, it can work in some cases but people may not find it worth the effort in other cases. Would you do a double opt-in list and do the social media logins for that? Maybe but most people have a low value on t-shirts for this kind of giveaway unless you are guaranteeing it which can be very expensive.

Knowing that your giveaway might not cut it and you don’t have a budget to giveaway something like a cruise (Do this in your content #NoShame!). You need to find out who your audience is, what they play right now, what they like then choose an item in that range for what gets then excited and whats in your budget. It’s not always about the most expensive prize but one that they value greater than the cost.

If you gain enough traction your game can be become that valuable giveaway product and is a good place to start. All to incentivize your audience to go through a series of questions, sign ups and other digital hoops. To get there however you need to put in the work and get a strong core of followers who are your evangelists by maybe starting with that small prize of great value to them in enough quantity and frequently.

Once you know as much as you can about your true core audience, your early adopters, your white knights; then you can start to scale your marketing efforts with their help.

Sounds easy right? Well…yes and no!

It’s easy on paper but the real challenge becomes sticking with it and doing the grunt work. Posting about your game on external sites, forums and events. Tedious but important because if no one knows about your giveaways or game no one will join. It gets easier if you’re freaking out right now that you have to do this on top of all your other roles.

Be persistant! It’s not easy to stick with but if you really want to succeed then you need to do it along side your other game dev duties, find a publisher, bring someone on the team to do it for you or hire someone plenty of agencies like us that can help.

No matter what, don’t give up and never take your foot off the marketing pedal. Now for a reasonable disclaimer, there is no one-size fits all for marketing. So you need to take some risks and learn. The advice here is to start, your audience and the market changes based on your genre, platforms, region and several other factors.

So what do you think? Any suggestions? Want to comment? Let us know, heck join us on Discord if you have questions!

Perhaps the next article we should talk about is how to leverage some Google-Justsu, how to start narrowing down and find your potential audience. Keep an eye on our next post or join our next event 🙂

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