Health IS Technology Blog

Email Newsletters Versus Business Blogs: Differences & Significance


Newsletter and blogs icons

Online marketing is extremely important in our highly technology infused era. There are so many ways to get the word out about your business in the online world, and two of the most common are email newsletters and blogs. Though if you’ve never worked with either, it might be difficult to tell the two apart. So what is the difference between email newsletters and blogs, and which is better for your business? Let’s find out!

What is An Email Newsletter?

An email newsletter is basically a reoccurring report or message with information geared towards a specific set of people from an organization’s overall audience. An email newsletter should be sent out periodically to your mailing list. The topics of these newsletters may vary, but they should always inform and entice readers. Most e-Commerce sites will offer an email newsletter. They draw readers in by offering sign-up incentives. Usually, this is a coupon code or exclusive access to a product. By entering in an email address, users are automatically included in the mailing list.

The makeup brand, Colourpop offers a great example of this form of newsletter advertising. Every time a visitor reaches their site, a popup appears offering a discount just for entering their email address. Of course, as soon as they enter that email address their inbox will reveal the brand’s messaging. 

Email newsletter incentives and results

The purpose of email newsletters and how to optimize subject lines for the best results

The main purpose of email newsletters is to inform customers about new products or sales. Have you ever looked into money saving tips online? One of the most common tips you’ll see is to unsubscribe from all e-Commerce newsletters because the temptation is to act on cost related offers  is too great. For a consumer, they can be a downside. But for you, the supplier, that temptation is a sign of how valuable newsletters can be for your desired conversions and sales.

Take a closer look at some of the Colourpop email newsletter subject lines. Some of them are customary announcement emails. But the really important ones are those that include an urgent call to action.

Email newsletter's urgent calls to action

Notice how the urgent subject lines include all capitalized text, exclamation points, potential savings percentages, etc. These things will set the subject line content apart from the hundreds of other emails a user may get in a day. Doesn’t your eye stray right to the words “Your Faves”, “FREE” and “LAST CALL!”? So will your subscribers’.

What is a Blog?

Where an email newsletter is available only to those on your mailing list, a blog is usually going to be available to the public. A blog is a website or webpage that includes a writer(s) experiences, observations, educational information, etc. in the form of text, images, and helpful links or resources. A blog should aim to inform readers about the issues that interest them, as well as their relationship to your business. A successful blog often focuses on a central topic with multiple subtopics and discussions branching off from it.

A great example of this is Constant Contact’s blog. Constant Contact is a company that specializes in email marketing, so a great deal of their blog posts focus on this theme. However, they also post a lot of information about related topics including, keyword research, event marketing, and social media. In their blog post titled, “The 5 Steps of Successful Email Marketing” they outline some important tips for email marketing while also advertising for their summer marketing course (see example below).

Marketing message concept art

What’s important here is that the messaging is both informative and effective marketing. If someone just searches the web for “successful email marketing tips”, this post may come up. When they click to arrive at this page, they will find the information that they’re looking for, but they may also be interested in enrolling in the course for further insights. This results in an education opportunity for the reader, and a successful conversion for Constant Contact.

The importance of consistency in blogging

Let’s say you were searching for a blog all about SEO and in your search you happen upon a website titled, “SEO Blog”. You’re ecstatic to find something so perfect and so you click on it immediately – only to find that it hasn’t been updated since April… four years ago. Would you still be ecstatic? Probably not. In fact, you’d probably click away and keep looking elsewhere.

The fact is if you’re not regularly updating your blog it’s going to lose its credibility. If you can’t commit to a weekly schedule, you should aim for bimonthly at the least. Recent activity will make visitors more comfortable, and will help your rankings with Google.

While consistent posting is important, it might not be in your best interest to shoot for daily blogging. Have you ever tried to come up with 300 original, quality, and important words a day? Not only could it be difficult, but it probably wouldn’t allow you to produce the best results for users. Weekly or biweekly blog posts are often the best option.

You might consider hiring a content writer or SEO consultant to help with keeping your blog updated.

What are the Main Differences Between Newsletters and Blogs?

Newsletters versus blogs icon

How are newsletters and blogs different?

Newsletters and blogs have many similarities and differences. The main difference between the two are the audiences for each. With an email newsletter, you know that your audience is already interested in your brand because they subscribed to your list in the first place. With a blog, your audience is not necessarily as immediately invested in your brand. You need to be aware of this in order to properly craft the content of each for their respective audiences. In your business blog, you should aim to get your readers intrigued, and in your newsletter you need to be aiming to keep them intrigued.

Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to email newsletters and blogs is that one is more direct interaction and the other is indirect. In other words, with a newsletter you are speaking right through your select audience’s inbox. With a blog you are speaking into the wider web. This needs to be apparent in your tone and your persistence. It’s vital that you don’t overdo it with your newsletter audience or they’ll unsubscribe. Don’t send out trivial information, an overabundance of clickbait, or inappropriate content.

Of course, you shouldn’t be doing these things for your blog readers either, though they have the advantage of being able to navigate through the content they don’t want to see online. No one wants to have to dig through their personal or professional email to find the most important information.

What are Similarities Between Newsletters and Blogs?

The thing to remember about both newsletters and blogs is that their purposes are to serve your business by enabling you to interact with an audience. You need to make sure you are writing clear, unique, and exciting content for either medium. Both newsletters and blogs should aim for exciting subject lines or headlines. That means, that you need to be aware of your audience’s interests, its relation to your topic, and your overall goal.

Remember too, that blogging and constructing newsletters can often be a multi-faceted operation. There is never any shame in outsourcing any work with which you need some help. In fact, getting such help can take your content to the next level.

As for which is better for your business, an email newsletter or a blog, there really is no definite answer for everyone. It truly depends on what you have time to manage, who your audience includes, and where you want your business to be seen. There’s no harm in playing around with both – you might just find the perfect recipe for your business in the process!

 

Do you run a newsletter? What about a blog? How many newsletters and blogs are you subscribed to? Let us know at our Facebook page!