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11 Ideas for Creating Your Own IndieDev Email Incentive

Email is important because it's an avenue to connect with your audience. Here are 11 Ideas I gathered for making an IndieDev Email Incentive.

Game Developer, Staff

February 23, 2015

4 Min Read

Creating an IndieDev Email Incentive

When I first started out, a lot of my marketing education constantly talked about the importance of having an email incentive.  The problem was, I thought I didn't have anything to offer. IndieDev_Email_Incentive

What Do I Have to Offer?

One of the struggles I had when starting out, is that I didn't think I had anything to offer.

I had not made a game yet and had little IndieDev education.  I didn't know enough to even form an opinion.

So I decided that I wouldn't offer "expert" advice, and decided to talk from the position of a fellow Indiedev learning to make games.

I tried out a bunch of different game making tools, trying to absorb everything, and made an incentive out of it.

That was the first year's incentive, and the next year is what I pruned the list for what I used the most.

Collecting Ideas

If you come across another developer's incentive, take notes and keep a list.  I use Evernote to collect my ideas (I wrote about using Evernote here).

Here are some ideas I gathered depending on if your audience are developers and/or gamers.


  • Game Jam Ebook - I wrote about my first completed Game Jam.  Ultimately, I didn't go with this because I didn't have enough experience at the time.

  • Free Assets - If your audience is other developers, then yeah, what developer doesn't want more assets to tinker with.

  • Tools - This is what I came up with as my incentive.  I'm curious what other developers use, so I thought others might be too.  I took a lot of layout ideas from Michael Hyatt's free ebook.

  • Breakdown of Your Game - Other developers are always curious about techniques used to make games.  I know I am.  Leave a link if you'd like!

Gamers and Developers

  • Game Music - If you've got stellar music, then you might consider releasing a few tunes on youtube, then giving the rest to your subscribers.

  • Game Backstory Ebook - If you or your team has writing talent, you can talk about the history behind the character.

  • Game Incentive - If you're a good enough programmer, consider adding a code that can be is sent after the player signs up.  Maybe a bonus character or a secret location in the game could be unlocked from it.

  • Free Games - Have a game that's smaller but still interesting?  Consider offering your small game as a treat for signing up.

  • Why I love Video Games Ebook - You can always talk about what's great about our favorite hobby and why you enjoy it.

  • Being a Parent and Gamer Ebook - This tailors to a particular audience.  A lot of gamers are my own demographic (Here's a 2014 Study), so this is a life situation we're headed into.  Whatever your demographic is you can talk about it from that perspective.

  • Gaming in Afghanistan Ebook - Since my life before making games was in the military, I thought about talking about gaming while deployed.  This ebook focuses on a unique experience of mine.  Whatever your past entails, talk about to reveal the person behind the games.  There's a reason Indie Game the Movie was successful, and it's not just because of the games.

How to Create

This was another hurdle for me to overcome.

I didn't know how, or where to start.

With no experience, I set off to make my ebook using the Adobe InDesign that came with my Adobe subscription.

I found a stock photo for the background and used this HD Index Painting Tutorial to give it a pixelized look.

LionRoot_Backpack   For the font, I bought and used SomePX fonts.

If you want, you can subscribe to my list and grab my completed Adobe InDesign file to use as a template for your own incentive.

See what I did there? :)

Marketing Is About Communicating

Now that you have emails, you can give updates, thoughts on development, and even more bonuses along the way.

These email subscribers are your fans, so treat them how you would want to be treated.

Do you have any incentive ideas? 

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