Q. Which should I choose: Blog or Email Newsletter? A. Yes.
A common debate in marketing circles is whether our communications are better served by blogs or email newsletters. Each one has its own merits and purposes, but after weighing the pros and cons of each, the answer is undoubtedly, both. The question isn’t so much “Which should I use?” It’s “How should I use each vehicle?”
Blogs can draw in new prospects and bring back current ones. It’s a public platform that will allow you to become a thought leader on topics related to your industry. A place for your audience to interact with your brand, voice opinions, ask questions and get answers about challenges they are facing. Blog content is also highly shareable. Chances are if a person finds value in what you’re saying, they will pass along your link through their social channels.
By looking at the discussions individuals are having on your blog and posts with high readership, you can even gain insight into the wants and needs of your prospects. Factor that insight into your editorial calendars. Start conversations you know your audience is ready to have.
Each post may also attract more people to your site through search engine optimization. The more keyword-rich content you produce and the more often you update that content, the more search engines will index your site and drive traffic.
While blogs can introduce your brand to new people and illustrate the passion you have for your industry, email newsletters bring depth to your relationships with more serious prospects as well as current and past clients. eNewsletter subscribers have invited you into their inbox. The conversation has already started. You now have the opportunity to build interest in your product/service and inspire action in the form of a purchase.
That’s not to say you should simply throw sales messaging at them. Consider why they subscribed in the first place and follow through with beneficial content. Your email newsletter may point to blog posts, but make sure subscribers receive the additional value that comes with a deeper relationship.
eNewsletters also give you the option of customizing content based on subscriber interests. Because these individuals are part of your database, you can put them in silos according to their demographics, what products they’ve shown interest in, what content they’ve clicked, etc. You can then segment your email newsletters based on these silos and provide them with more personalized information.
While some content is appropriate for both avenues, you should carefully consider what information is appropriate for each audience before you disseminate the message.
The blog is a great place to showcase your areas of expertise and educate your audience. Many people look to company blogs to gain insight into things that are happening in the industry and tips on how to address challenges. Any major company announcements that warrant a press release can also be posted to the blog.
For the most part, any information you include in a blog can also be distributed through an email newsletter. However, that decision will depend on the nature of your newsletter. If you’ve segmented your subscribers, stay away from messaging you know won’t be of interest to them.
While the blog is no place for overt sales messaging, the email newsletter is a more appropriate venue for information directly related to your brand and product. Promotions, product developments and company news is also well served through a newsletter.