I am starting one, and it’s a good question: Why?
The answer: It is good for business — if used properly.
Spam is a real pain. Just like everyone else, I have to clean out the spam from my inbox every day, even with sophisticated spam filters dealing with the thousands of Nigerian princes who need my help on a transaction. There is a lot of that spam I can be held guilty for — I signed up for this or that webinar only to get lots of posts from the people putting on that webinar, and all the people they sold my name to. I don’t mind deleting their messages because they are always direct-conversion messages. They are either “Buy my product you know nothing about,” “Buy my product you have zero need for” or “Can I send my hard-sell sales department to your door or give you a call so you buy from me?” They do not have my trust.
Then there are the handful of messages I stop and read. The ones from Copyblogger, Seth Godin, the Runner’s World Quote of the Day, Active Runner, New Rainmaker, The Story of Telling, The Oatmeal, and more all get a read. Those always have something valuable to say. They inform, challenge and inspire me. The people who send them I trust. Seth Godin doesn’t need to sell. All he has to say is he has a new website or a new book and I’m buying. I trust what I’m getting. It is not any kind of magic, it is the magic of trust. Someone who gave me a lot of value, and I know what I am buying will also give me value. I know what I am getting. That’s the power of a good e-mail newsletter.
I’m an app developer, and like the majority not very successful up to now. An interesting read by Marco Arment points how Apple isn’t helping the situation, leaving a few successful people at the top and the rest of us suffering with no way into the only marketing tool Apple gives us: the top lists. I’m also a educator. I’ve taught in the tech industry and in the hospitality industry for decades.
App developers cannot rely on Apple or Apple’s search engine to sell their products. We have to do something more — we have to market, bringing traffic directly to our app. While trying to market SlippyFlippyPenguin, a game I developed on a dare, I found what I really wanted to do: teach. I want to teach on-line and I want to teach in the classroom. I want to write books and training courses. I want to make a living and a life out of it. To do all that I will need to market, to get people to trust me.
I am starting a newsletter for MakeAppPie.com. I’m not out to directly sell anything on it or sell a mailing list. I do want to make money in what I do. Like Seth Godin, I’ll mention when something I made is on sale, but that is it. This newsletter is for those few who trust me. I trust you. You get to see the stuff the rest of the world doesn’t see. You get to talk to me like we are a circle of friends. I’ll post tutorials on stuff I won’t post in the website. I’ll post the sneak peeks of projects, and I’ll explain my marketing strategy for makeapppie.com so you might market your apps and products too. I’ll give you value for your time reading. I’ll announce new books and courses I’m developing here, and very likely let you in on the behind the scenes to develop some of this yourself. This is still an experiment for me, so we’ll see the good times and we’ll see the dips together. But I’ll only do that with the people I trust.
Let’s go down the rabbit hole together. I trust you.