Should Your Marketing Include a Newsletter, a Blog, or Both?
When deciding how to reach out to customers, companies have a lot of options. You’ll probably ask yourself questions like, “Do I write a blog and hope my clients read it? Do I email a newsletter and hope it gets forwarded to potential clients? Do I publish a printed newsletter and mail it out to my clients and prospects? Or do I produce all three?” We’ve broken down some pros and cons to blogs, as well as electronic and printed newsletters to help you make your decision.
A blog is a type of website (or section of a website), usually maintained by a “blogger” posting regular entries of graphics, videos, commentary or descriptions of current events affecting your industry or a topic commonly addressed in your area of business. Blogs were initially given a bad name because the masses believed it was just one person’s opinion on a topic. Fortunately, professionals now see blogs as an opportunity to share a plethora of information on a simple platform, in a timely manner. Some other great reasons to use blogs include:
- They give you the ability to write and share information as frequently as you’d like.
- You can use social media or your website or email blasts to get them to your audience.
- Your audience needs to either seek them out on your site or click into them via email or social media drawing them to your site.
- Great for SEO!
Cons: Blogs can be time consuming for one individual if they’re job is not fully dedicated to writing blogs, making them difficult for small businesses to keep up on because they have a smaller staff. If your titles aren’t engaging enough to get people into the blog, it won’t get read.
Email is a great tool. It allows you to contact an endless number of people at minimal cost. You can write a couple short news articles about your company, the services you provide or just things happening in the industry and send out an email blast to hundreds of people each month.
Emailing a newsletter not only gets your articles into your audience’s hands, but it also gets them to your site by having the “read more” attached to the end of the article blurbs.
Cons: Email can be tricky - spam filters can prevent your newsletter from getting in the inbox and you must remain compliant with CANSPAM. Some of the email services out there don’t have the best open rates and if you try to distribute the electronic newsletter yourself, you run the risk of getting blacklisted. As with blogs, building electronic newsletters can be time consuming for a small business and if you don’t engage your readers from the get-go you run the risk of them never being read.
Do people actually read these things? Believe it or not, yes. Some people are a lot more inclined to ignore an email or social media post than something they can physically hang on to. A printed newsletter puts you not only on the reader's mind, but in their hands and in their home or office physically, not just on their device. It creates a relationship with your customers and develops loyalty - they can count on that newsletter every month. It also can link into your website with QR codes and Short URLs, getting you onto their computers and mobile devices too. QR codes and Short URLs also provide you with a resource on tracking who’s reading the newsletter.
Make it stand out! Full color is the way to go and allows you to add in brand consistent character by using your company colors. Also incorporating relevant images is an easy way to brighten up your newsletter. You can also upload your printed newsletter to your site as a pdf. Google has a thing for pdfs. It will read and index them giving you yet another opportunity to pop up in Google searches.
Cons: There is the extra cost of printing your newsletter that you don’t incur with the other two options. Also, the US Postal Service is going to want their cut for delivering your newsletters so you’ll have to add in the price of postage as well. Printed newsletters are also very time consuming and may be difficult to manage as a small business.
In the end, the choice is yours. Using any or all of these has its advantages and disadvantages. From a marketing standpoint, the only way to be better than the competition is to be better than the competition. Getting and staying on people's minds seems to be easily achievable with blogs, electronic and printed newsletters and depending on your audience, and in our opinion, all three would be your best bet.