Email Newsletter or Blog? Which one should I use to promote my small business?

We are often asked whether a business should focus their time on setting up and maintaining a blog or a newsletter as part of their marketing and social media strategy. Our answer? Why have one when you can have both? They are both very cost-effective marketing strategies and complement each other perfectly as part of your overall communication strategy with your client. Each provides its own value to the telling of your story. You can share content between the two, and both provide opportunities for call-to-action moments and driving your customers back to your website.

 photo credit: splitshire/pixabay

photo credit: splitshire/pixabay

So what’s the difference between them?

An email newsletter is an exclusive feature available initially only to clients who subscribe to it and it is delivered directly into their email inbox. It can be shared on social media however to ensure someone gets it each time they need to subscribe to it. It typically provides a summary of recent business related news such as awards, industry insider tips, or recent news articles about your business. It may also include giveaways, sneak peeks about sales, or information on new products as an incentive for clients to subscribe. It is usually produced less frequently than a blog - about once a month or quarterly – however, depending on your type of business, you may wish to send it more often.

A blog lives on your website and anyone can access the content (no subscription needed). It provides a searchable database for Google and for visitors on your site. A blog provides opportunities for your business to establish itself as an expert and a resource in your field through how-to posts and product reviews; shares the human side of your business by posting staff profiles and achievements; and may tell funny or interesting business related stories - with the advantage of capitalizing on current events for real-time content posting. Blog posts are typically produced more frequently than newsletters – usually at least biweekly, however some share daily posts. Again, this depends on your business and the type of content you wish to share.

Email Newsletters

A good newsletter will:

 Photo Credit: geralt/pixabay

Photo Credit: geralt/pixabay

  • Increase sales by segmenting your client list and target market to them based on demographics and interests
  • Keep you front of mind with clients and promote your business
  • Drive traffic back to your website
  • Let your clients and fans know what is new in your business and get them excited about it (event listings, promotions just for them, new products being released)

To set up and maintain a newsletter, some of the tasks you will need to do are:

  • Set up a mailing program and design the newsletter template
  • Create a sign-up form and manage the email list
  • Find and/or write copy on a regular basis
  • Test and manage newsletter delivery
  • Create reports analyzing the data to determine future content
  • Stay on top of the Canadian anti-spam legislation

Blogs

A good blog will:

 photo credit: kevinking/pixabay

photo credit: kevinking/pixabay

  • Establish you or your business as an expert in your field through how-to posts and product reviews
  • Keep you front of mind with clients and promote your business
  • Create a searchable database for Google and clients visiting your website
  • Provide easily shareable content for social media to increase your online presence
  • Personalize your brand – sneak peeks into the daily operations builds trust and interest in your success

To set up and maintain a blog, some of the tasks you will need to do are:

  • Set up a blog on your website
  • Find and/or write copy on a regular basis
  • Find and create appropriate, legal, branded images to support posts
  • Write social media updates to promote posts on various platforms
  • Moderate and respond to comments
  • Create reports analyzing the data to determine future content

Both communication tools have their own benefits and their own place in your strategy. Ideally a business is able to manage both and provide valuable content in whatever format their client prefers. 

Oceanvista Consulting can help with managing one or both of these techniques. We can set up your newsletter from scratch, help you create a mailing list, and determine what content will most appeal to your clients. We can also research and write blog posts and status updates that will help you share the blog with your clients.

Does your business have an email newsletter, a blog, or both? Are you happy with how they're performing? I'd love to hear your experiences with these communication tools in the comments below.

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Heidi | Itsy Bitsy Haligonians

Heidi is a born and bred bluenoser, and has spent most of her life living in the HRM. After having her two children, she started writing professionally for several publications and businesses throughout the province and in 2015 she started Itsy Bitsy Haligonians with the goal of sharing all the great resources Halifax has to offer parents of young children.