March 13, 2013

Email Marketing vs. Blogging

Clients often ask me if they should have a blog and an e-newsletter.  Many times, this Enewsletter vs. blogquestion stems from a desire to drop their e-newsletter in favor of a blog or vice versa. For those of you grappling with these same issues, here are some helpful details about both and some advice for choosing the best approach for your business.   

Blogging

  • Blogging is a form of personal or business communication via web space. It’s often part of a website and contains thoughts, opinions or information from a first-person point of view.
  • According to HubSpot, over 60% of companies have a blog
  • Blogging is a popular method for driving traffic to a website, gaining credibility, and building a community

Blogging is an opportunity to tell or show more about your service or product.  Blog content can also promote your expertise in specific areas, highlight past work, and increase search engine optimization.  Once the blog post is complete, you can promote it on social media channels and archive your content for future reference. Moreover, if you have a self-hosted blog, you will own the content unlike the free social media channels, which can change or remove content at any time.

E-newsletter

  • E-newsletters are a form of electronic communication sent via email to a list of subscribers
  • Most e-newsletters can be formatted to match the look/brand of your company and provide strong analytics for a company to track open, click, bounce, and opt-out rates
  • E-newsletters are a relationship-building tool to help people better understand who you are and what you do, which ultimately helps to build trust

A regular e-newsletter is a great way to engage current or prospective customers and generate top of the mind awareness.  E-news is also useful to reach those who might not yet be embracing social media because many people in this group have an email account even if they don’t have social media accounts. Finally, you can use your e-newsletter to further generate interest in your social sites by including links to the sites with each launch. 

E-newsletter vs. Blogging?

Just like anything in social media, there are no absolutes.  My general rule is to go where your audience is.  For those just starting out with their online marketing efforts, I recommend the conservative approach – regardless of which channels they choose. For the seasoned social media user, I recommend a variety of social channels, but if comes down to the question of an e-newsletter vs. a blog, then I recommend both. You can use your blog to drive traffic to your website, increase SEO, and tell a story about your business. You can use the e-newsletter to update your audience about your business and share information you want to make sure they receive.

Together, you can save yourself time and effort by finding a way to integrate both with your content. For example, I update my blog twice per week. Once a month, I launch my e-newsletter with the feature story highlighting the most popular blog post from the past month. I also use the e-newsletter to give company updates and inform customers and prospects of services, products, and speaking engagements.

Terri Cole, e-newsletter specialist and owner of Chickadee E-Marketing sums up the e-news vs. blogging controversy by reinforcing the best way to use both.

"An engagement marketing or email marketing strategy should include linking the business website, blog, email marketing and social media platforms together to share out your value,” she says.  “One marketing platform cannot take the place of another. Eliminating one would be like a football team playing without a receiver.”

Want in-depth information on each channel? Stay tuned for the MONDAY release of Social Media Jump Start Kit!

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