There is a myriad of ways to get the news out about your business thanks to digital marketing. However, the two most popular ways are by blogging and email newsletters. If you aren’t that familiar with digital marketing the two can be confusing. There are even some digital marketers who treat email newsletters just like blog posts. What is the difference between the two? We’ve uncovered the differences between the two!
What is an email newsletter?
An email newsletter is basically a recurring message sent to your customer’s email address to give information about a topic, product, service, sale, deal, etc. How often it is sent depends on the company/organization that is sending it. Some send them out daily while others send them out monthly. Email newsletters are created to inform or entice readers to purchase something. But unless you sign up for their newsletter an organization can’t (or really shouldn’t) send you one.
How they entice you to sign up for a newsletter is through incentives. These incentives include coupons, promos, or freebies. Most websites will have an email signup form somewhere, like in the footer, or in a pop-up message so it’s easy to find. Oh, and they must contain a link to safely unsubscribe, and most email servers take care of including this option.
What is a blog?
Unlike an email newsletter, a blog is available to anyone. All you need is an internet connection, no subscription required. A blog is created to educate, inform, and connect with readers about a topic. Blog posts are written based on the writer’s experiences, knowledge, and point-of-view. They are typically more informal and conversational. A blog can be a part of a larger website or be a stand-alone page like one on Blogger for example.
Blogs contain helpful resources and links that are sometimes free. To find a blog, you can probably type whatever topic or industry you’re looking for into a Google search and a bunch will pop up. Sometimes organizations will send you an email newsletter to inform you about their latest blog post. Just like with newsletters, blogs can be updated daily, weekly, monthly, etc.
Search Engine Optimization is another differentiation between blogs and newsletters. In order for blogs to show up in search engine results, they have to use SEO. Emails go right to your inbox, so SEO isn’t a requirement. A blog must use various SEO tactics as a result which include making sure what’s on the blog itself is optimized like content and imagery for example. Without various types of optimization, the blog may not appear in search engines, making it hard to get people to find it online. Without traffic or people viewing it, there is no point in having a blog. Plus, the higher a blog is in a search engine result, the more likely readers are to trust the article and actually read it, most people click on the first few links they find.
The way newsletters get noticed isn’t through SEO. It’s through their subject lines. A good subject line is the key to a successful newsletter. The subject line usually tells email subscribers what the newsletter is about. If the subject line doesn’t entice them they won’t open it. That means the email will likely get sent to the trash folder or spam folder. The more an email lands in junk, the more email servers like Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc, mark the company sending it as a “Spammer”. That means fewer views for the sender.
Another fundamental difference between newsletters and blogs is the audience. People who subscribe to your newsletter are already interested in what you have to offer. That’s why they opted to subscribe. When it comes to blog audiences this isn’t the case. The goal of a blog is to get readers to be interested in what you have to offer, so that’s why a blog will educate and inform its readers. A newsletter’s job isn’t to get them interested but to keep them interested.
The only audience a newsletter has is the list of email subscribers. Therefore the audience is more narrow. A blog has a wider audience because anyone with internet can read it.
Newsletter vs Blog Content
A newsletter will contain snippets of information about various topics pertaining to the organization. It could be a news story, info about an update or store closing, info about the latest sale, etc. Newsletters are usually short and to the point. The goal is to get you to click on a link it to find out more. This link will usually take to you a specific page of the website.
Whereas with a blog post all the information is right there. The length of a blog post depends. But for SEO purposes blog posts have to be at least 300 words. Newsletters don’t have particular limits or minimums for word count. Generally, short and sweet is best. Sometimes newsletters will contain content not seen on a blog. This is intended to get more people to subscribe. For example, if you sign up for the newsletter you may receive a free e-book not available on the website.
The technology for both newsletters and blogs are different too. Blogs can be created using WordPress, Blogger, Medium, Tumblr, or by a business website. You can create one for free too. Newsletters are created by email service providers and platforms. Examples would be Constant Contact, MailChimp, and Convert Kit. Usually, you have to pay in order to use them, and some do have free levels of service.
Analytics or the data/info about your blog’s traffic tell you if people are reading your blog posts or not. There is no way to tell who exactly read your blog post, but you can see how many people viewed it and where they found your blog on the internet. Google Analytics is a great tool to use to determine how much traffic each of your blogs has received. You can discover what country your audience is from, what website they visited before coming to you, etc.
Through using email service providers, email marketers can find out how effective their newsletters are. They can find who opened the newsletters, how often, and if they clicked on any links. They can also find out if a particular subscriber isn’t opening them at all. If that is the case they can take them off the list.
There are numerous fundamental differences between newsletters and blogs, and both are powerful tools in digital marketing that you should be using. Now you know the difference between the two so you can make informed decisions. One serves to attract new customers, one serves to keep them. Find a way to implement both so you can earn and keep more happy customers!