When I worked at General Mills, I evaluated a bunch of artifact repository vendors, did all the research, and put together POCs (even bringing in on-site solution engineers).

At the end of the day though, it was my manager's decision on which vendor to go with. Not a single vendor actually helped me put together a case I could make to my boss. I think they only cared about talking to my manager – forgetting that I was a key influencer in the buying committee too.

None of them gave me a "cheat sheet" or even just an email I could use when presenting my research or analysis.

I think more developer products could do this.

On Wednesday, I got this email from SparkToro's VP of Marketing, Amanda in my inbox:

Not only is this genuinely helpful to her audience of marketing folks, but it's also genius because the template sells SparkTogether to the reader on-the-fence too, not only to their boss.

So, I've turned Amanda's email... into a template email for you to send to trial developers who haven't converted to paid yet. (I know, very meta.)

Here it is:

Email subject line: [Free Template] How to convince your boss to pay for us

I'll tell you something a little odd, [Name]. When I worked as an individual contributor, [Anecdote about not being able to convince a boss to use a tool you liked and what happened].

In hindsight, it makes sense. I didn't have the right information to bring to my manager, we weren't speaking the same language. I was "speaking in dev" but my manager cared about "business stuff."

If only [the tool company] had actually given me the right words to use to make the case so my manager would have listened, maybe things would have been different.

So today, I'm going to give you what I wish I had. If you've been enjoying our tool, here's an email template you can use to make the case to help convince your boss to buy you (or your team) a license.

And hey, if you want some help customizing your letter, reply to this email and I'll draft a custom suggestion.

Appreciate your support!


Email subject line: Can we buy a license for [product]?

Hi Boss,

[Describe the the pain point your developer persona faces, and what would trigger them to use your product].

So I went searching for a solution and found [product]. You can learn more here: [ICP landing page]

I've been using it and it's been really helpful. If we bought a license, it would enable us to:

  • [translate your unique selling point(s) into a short bulleted list that is geared towards an ICP, aligned with your messaging and tone of voice]

If you get in touch with them, I'll happily attend the call as a technical partner.

Star Employee

If you struggle to figure out what to put in that template, that means you might need clearer ICPs and empathy for your developer personas.

And hey, if you need help filling this in, reply to this email and I'll try to help out! 😉

Have a lovely day,

[Free Template] How to help developers help you

Want devs to love your product?

Hi 👋 I'm Kamran. I'm a consulting developer educator who can help your DevRel team increase adoption with better docs, samples, and courseware.
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