When you’re looking to grow your business and developing your digital marketing plan, you may be wondering how much weight and effort to place behind which aspect of your strategy. Do you focus primarily on newsletters or blogs? Which digital marketing tool is better for your business?
Blogs vs. Email Newsletters: Purpose
- Blogs inform and educate readers and establish you as an authoritative voice in the industry. Blogs build trust through depth and breadth of knowledge, providing readers a reason to choose your or your services. You can use this tool as a platform for industry change or improvement, and it allows you to dive deep into the content.
Blogs also serve an important function in terms of Google search results. As Google’s AI grows more sophisticated, it looks for high-quality, in-depth content to return to search engine users. To that end, blogs provide the requisite content to matter. Google’s AI considers each new blog as a new page, so with each entry, you gain another opportunity for your website to show up in search engine results. Finally, Google looks for pages that answer the questions the average searcher is asking, and blogs are a form of digital communication to those readers.
- Email newsletters also a form of communication with readers, but they are much more intentional in their purpose. Newsletters update, inform, and remind readers about current events, changes, and other necessary information. Email newsletters keep certain audiences apprised of everything happening with the business, but in most cases, the audience already believes you are the authority.
Email newsletters do not provide your business any benefit in terms of Google searches. Though other important metrics can be tracked in terms of reader engagement, they don’t boost your search engine results which is what is most effective to develop new business leads.
- Both digital marketing tools offer methods for tracking reader engagement and activity. Both help you build a strong, loyal community. But blogs do more to establish you as the industry leader and authority, and blogs help your business’s website to show up in search engine results in a way that newsletters do not. For maximum impact, blogs merit your best effort and attention, though both are important and effective tools.
Blogs vs. Email Newsletters: Audience
- Blogs open your readership up to anyone searching for something your business offers. By crafting well-written, in-depth content, your increase your chances of showing up in search engine results, widening your audience exponentially. You can write blogs on every aspect of your industry, diving into the details for those needing to research before making a decision.
Blogs reach the curious audience, not necessarily the confident audience. With a wide variety of topics related to the industry, your blog can turn up in searches for those not necessarily looking for something in your industry. The more you write, the better your chances are at driving more traffic to your website.
- Email newsletters go out to known contact rather than the world at large. You have to already have contact information for this audience for your newsletter to reach then, and even then, it can be somewhat unreliable. They provide you with a direct, personal way to engage with loyal customers and clients. They make people feel good about their investment or patronage of your business because they feel “in the loop.”
Unfortunately, not only is the audience somewhat narrower than what can be reached via blog, email newsletters can be somewhat unpredictable in their reliability. For many, important newsletters can end up in junk inboxes. New security features may block receipt of your emails unless the user walks through the necessary steps to receive them. Users may migrate from one email address to another without notice, sending your email newsletters to email purgatory. This unreliability makes building a business harder for you, and you need technology to work for you to that end.
- Both email newsletters and blogs deliver important information to target audiences, but blogs have, by design, a wider potential impact than email newsletters. Though email newsletters may be forwarded to the contacts of your contacts, blogs may be shared with a much wider audience via search engines and social media. Blogs require more effort on the front end, but email newsletters require frequent maintenance of contact lists and bounce-backs. For the best return on your efforts, blogs are your best bet for reaching the widest audience possible.
Blogs vs. Email Newsletters: Longevity
- Blogs live on the internet in perpetuity unless acted upon to remove them. Though refreshing old content is considered a good idea, once the content is posted, it is there for new searchers and clients to find years after the content is developed. Don’t confuse this for blogs being low-maintenance. It’s important to revisit evergreen blog content to refresh so that Google’s AI can tell that your business blog is a legitimate source of relevant information. Still, the convenience of blogs for long-lasting dissemination of information cannot be overlooked.
A blog for your business also creates opportunities for social media shares, which also live online in perpetuity. Google’s AI can also track the relevance and authority of your blog by how many shares and backlinks you receive. Backlinks are when someone provides a link to your business or blog through their blog, expanding your readership exponentially. Blogs can be easily disseminated through social media shares, widening the scope of your potential reach. These kinds of leads create good momentum for your business.
- Email newsletters live in a person’s inbox for as long as they keep it or for as long as their auto-delete is set. They can generate a decent amount of excitement upon receipt, and if calls to action inside newsletters can be particularly motivational for your target audience. They’re a great tool for the contacts you already have in your system to keep them excited and up to speed about what’s happening in the business.
Email newsletters are great tools for new product or service launches because they reach an audience that’s already purchased or connected with you in some way. But the audience is stagnant, and they are less likely to be shared via social media. Additionally, email newsletters require the reader to act to receive the intended communication. They have to open the email. People looking for information stumble across blogs, signaling a heightened desire for the services you may provide. One audience is passive, the other is assertive. Both serve a purpose, but blogs “live” longer for greater impact.
Blogs vs. Email Newsletters: Better Together
The best digital marketing plan will include the use of both blogs and newsletters. Both are used to generate leads and converts, but they accomplish this in different yet complementary ways. Email newsletters are useful tools to keep current clients excited and interested in your business. The audience that receives your email newsletters already trusts you enough to give you their contact information, and the newsletter can keep that trust, remind them of what you have to offer, and maintain their support. But the reach of email newsletters is mostly finite – few people will find them, barring the occasional forward from a friend.
Blogs are primarily for searchers. They are for people looking for a solution to a problem, trying to see what the market has to offer. Blogs establish trust and authority with new audiences and customers and convince them to find the solution to their needs with you. Blogs can go into greater depth than email newsletters on the minutia of the industry, equipping potential converts with the tools they need to make an informed decision. Blogs broaden your reach in a way that email newsletters cannot.
Used together, email newsletters to maintain and generate excitement in a known audience and blogs to create new enthusiasm across the internet, these tools together provide the return on the investment that you need to keep and grow your business. Use both tools to make the most out of your digital marketing plan.
However, if you’re forced to choose between the two, or maybe you only have the bandwidth to focus more on one than the other, blogs win. The average consumer conducts market research online before making a decision. Blogs increase your business’s chances of showing up higher in search engine results pages, and the higher your website ranks in the SERP, the more likely you are to get traffic. Also, blogs broaden your reach to a wider audience in a way the email newsletters do not. Very few people will feel compelled to forward newsletters to friends, but if they’re searching for information online, they will find it on your blog. Finally, the impact of a business blog lasts longer because it stays online for as long as you keep it there. Blogs can be freshened up to keep content engaging, and they can be written to be easily shared on social media. Email newsletters get lost and ultimately deleted over time, diminishing their long-lasting reach.
Build your business blog, and you will build your business. It’s worth the investment for the return you will receive.