This week, I’m going to answer the two best questions, both for the folks who asked as well as for you readers.
Enjoy and, have a happy and relaxing Memorial Day Weekend!!
Answers to Your E-Mail Marketing Questions
“Looking at the infographic, I guess I’m wondering if you have any thoughts about how, if at all, the content of a newsletter should differ from a blog…and perhaps whether a business really needs both.”
Personally, I put the introduction to my own blog content in my weekly newsletter with a link back to my site to read the rest. This lets me use the same content in two ways:
As a Blog Post: I would definitely prioritize a blog as it greatly helps your inbound marketing efforts by increasing the odds that you will be listed in search engine results. This results in “cold leads”, folks coming to your site because they found you during a search.
As a Newsletter: Once folks discover you through search engines however, a newsletter is a great way to keep providing value as well as being a way to keep you “top-of-mind” even if they do not need your products and services at that time.
Once someone signs-up as a subscriber, they are a “warm” lead; one to whom you can send offers and deals and announce new products and services.
Blogs and newsletters serve different purposes.
Bottom-line: I believe that both a blog and a newsletter are needed as they serve folks who have different relationships with you – cold and warm leads.
“I was originally going to go with a USPS mailed newsletter, just because it’s different (everybody is doing e-newsletters!), and I like to be different. And I still might go that route; haven’t completely made up my mind. Do you have any thoughts either way?”
If I had my druthers, I would go with an e-mail newsletter for a number of reasons:
Lower cost (no printing or mailing),
Ease of implementation (online software walks you through the process),
Ability to track opens and clicks – this is key when evaluating the effectiveness of your newsletter, and
Able to be viewed on many platforms (desktop, laptop, mobile phone, tablet) increasing the opportunities for the newsletter to be read.
Of course, I am not against a paper newsletter and direct mail is certainly still alive and well, however for the reasons mentioned above, I would recommend e-mail over print for most small businesses.
Many people are becoming more and more adamant about “being green” and they may not appreciate a printed newsletter.
In addition, many people are becoming more and more adamant about “being green” and they may not appreciate the trees you killed to print out your newsletter or the carbon you created to have them delivered.
If you do want to do a mailing for sure, I would suggest doing only one per year and making it something that they will want to use all during the year. How about:
A “365 tips (or 52) about <insert your area of expertise>” newsletter?
A traditional complimentary calendar or day-planner with industry-specific info included (e.g. for a real estate agent: April – time to get your house ready to sell by doing these tasks….; May – time to put your house on the market – make sure you do these 3 things; etc.)?
Weekly Link Roundup
Each week, I collect the 10 best posts that I’ve read and share them with you here.
These posts focus on web-based solutions, online resources and up-to-date news for small businesses.