INDIE GAME DEVELOPER! E-MAIL YOUR SUCCESS!

It comes as no surprise that good storytelling crafts a story that everyone wants to listen to. The power of captivating storytelling is so impressive that people strive for more and more! Let’s take a stand-up performance as an example. Only thanks to an intriguing and hilarious joke at the beginning and engrossing monologue, a stand-up comedian can catch audience’s attention. Good stories are built upon the emotional curve, and that’s why the narrator should sum his story with something groundbreaking at the culminating point to award recipients for their attention.

The situation seems to be identical when it comes to storytelling e-mail promotion. It’s main objective is to attract one’s attention, arouse emotions and provoke the I WANT MORE feeling, just as in a cabaret, video game, movie, literature or motivational speech. Whether the receiver reaches for more content or not depends mainly on the sender’s ability to generate interest by constructing an excellent introduction. The success in case of the relation between the media and the game producer may lie in the publication of an article about the game, signing up for a newsletter or conducting an interview and that’s the inalienable reason why you have to be very thoughtful while constructing your e-mail narration!

During my longstanding career as a journalist – for gaming TV, for my own radio broadcast – or while organizing game events, I came across a great number of game producers, who didn’t appreciate the significance of developing a relationship with the media. Journalists, critics and let’s players are kind-hearted people for whom playing computer games is a real passion. They are professionals who yearn for valuable piece of information. That’s exactly why, one shouldn’t undervalue the power of the media, since they might be of an enormous help for all game producers.

Due to the fact that e-mails are still important instruments for game promotion, we have prepared a set of 12 valuable tips worth using while communicating with the media. Here they are:

  1. The title matters

Try to use exceptional and creative titles for you e-mails. They should accentuate the best and the most characteristic elements of your game. It’s no more effective or attractive to highlight the fact that the game is produced by an indie game studio.

  1. Opt for an attractive introduction

Try to make your introduction as engaging and intriguing as possible. Bear in mind that first impression is a key to success. The better the introduction, the more probable it is that the journalist would read the whole e-mail and use the information for his new article.

  1. Create a template of your e-mail

Whenever you aim at sending an email try to personalize the template thinking about the receiver. More enthusiastic reception of such e-mails and greater satisfaction guaranteed!

  1. Shorten your e-mails

Short e-mails are more effective. Try to devote one message to describing just one feature of the game or promoting an essential event connected with the promotion of the game like beta tests or official premiere.

  1. Add multimedia

Multimedia are almost as essential as a good introduction since they can lead to the publication in the media. What’s more, don’t forget about preparing a press-pack accessible from the e-mail or web page of your game!

  1. Navigate!

Provide a link for your web page, blog and social media at the end of an e-mail.

  1. Keep the media informed

If it’s confirmed, always include in your e-mail the date of the premiere of your game or the list of platforms or online shops which will distribute your game.

  1. Better safe than sorry

Check the e-mail before sending it. Always verify it twice in order not to commit serious mistakes. Then send the e-mail to yourself and check whether the construction of your message remains the same and that the e-mail does not appear in the spam folder.

  1. Watch out for time zones!

Keep in mind that there are different time zones! A journalist in the USA does not begin his work at the same time as a let’s player in Sweden!

  1. Choose your receivers wisely

Remember that websites devoted to RPG won’t make use of an e-mail about a shooter as well as an e-mail about mobile games won’t be suitable for a magazine focused on PC games.

  1. Newsletters rule the Internet

Allow people to sign up for your newsletter. These days there is a constant struggle on the Internet for the priority of news publication. Depending on whether your e-mails are valuable or not, journalist will show their willingness to stay-up-to-date with the production process of your game.

  1. Keep your friends close.

Treat the relation between the game producer and the media as a friendly bond. Whenever the journalist publicizes a big article about your production, express your gratitude. Beware that the journalist chose your game out of thousands of other games! That is a huge success! In case he doesn’t publish an article about your game – don’t take offense. Next time construct a message no one would be able to forget. If the journalist asks you to release a statement about a dominant topic in your field, do not decline the offer but try to find some time to express your brief opinion.

1

All above presented hints should be taken into consideration while writing e-mails. However, the most important thing is to design a narration that would play both an entertaining and informative function. Only then, your receiver, either the journalist writing about video games or an enthusiastic let’s player, will take pleasure from doing his job, which includes reading – boring as hell in many, many cases! – messages from game developers and whatnot. But when narration of your e-mail will be immersive, info about your outstanding game will be spread by media gradually amongst their recipients, co-workers or even friends, as they all will derive satisfaction from showing your project to the world, using mass media or sharing a word on a grapevine. Congratulations! You are just a step away from success!

Co-founder of Ampligamer. Long-term gaming journalist, former Editor-in-Chief of author, cultural-didactic radio program Graj z Głową. He was telling stories about games in every type of media - starting with Hyper+, the biggest gaming TV in Eastern Europe, by 1ndieWorld - the biggest web service about indie games in Poland, ending with paper magazine Gramy! Organizer of Indie Basement 2.0 - contest&conference event for indie developers. Ludologist, speaker, fond of gamification, immersion and ergodic narration.