Business Blog vs. Email Newsletters: Which Works Better?

Whenever I put together a business proposal I include recommendations for appropriate Web marketing campaigns. Two items that are often included are email newsletters and business blogs, because both have been successful for flyte and our clients who use them.

However, I’m also a big proponent of starting small. When you take too many things on at the beginning it can seem overwhelming and nothing gets done. Unless you have a lot of time and energy to write, starting an email newsletter and a blog may be too much. (Then again, I write an email newsletter, two blogs and distribute articles for article marketing.)

So, this begs the question, which will work better for you, a blog or an email newsletter? It depends on your business model.

When an Email Newsletter Is Better
If you’re selling
something that requires some serious consideration from prospects, or
that they may buy time and again, I’d look to use an email newsletter.

Here’s why: if a person needs time and information to make a buying
decision, you need to stay in touch with them. Think about a Web site,
a house, or retirement planning. Chances are that I’m going to do some
due diligence, check out some resources, etc., before making a buying
decision. I may visit your site, but then I’m gone, most likely never
to return. However, if you can convince me to subscribe to your email
newsletter (see "email bait"
for ideas on how to accomplish that), then you have the opportunities
to send me the equivalent of new Web pages via email, with additional
information that will establish your credibility and expertise.

If you have a product that I may want to buy multiple times, an
email newsletter is also a great marketing tool. Because customers show
less and less loyalty these days, sending me permission-based emails is
a great way of reminding me that it’s time to stock up, renew, or check
out similar products that you offer.

An email newsletter may be the better way to go if you don’t think
you can dedicate the time it takes to building a successful business
blog. You’re looking at a couple/few hours a month for an email
newsletter compared to a couple/few hours a week for a blog (YMMV.)

When a Blog is the Way to Go
If you have a product or
service that requires less research, or doesn’t usually generate
multiple purchases, a blog may be more appropriate.

The blog offers great search engine rank opportunities, so is a good
way of getting your information out there to the searching public. It
can quickly establish your credibility and will send leads to your Web
site for conversion.

If you like to write, and have a good sense for what people are
searching for at Google and Yahoo, a blog may be the best tool for
you…especially if you like feedback from your blog visitors. It can
be a more engaging platform for your audience.

Now, of course you may get people to subscribe to your blog, which
is great for repeat visitors, and you can archive your email
newsletters as pages on your Web site which is great for search engine
optimization. There’s no black and white answer here, just shades of
green.

In a perfect world, you’d do both…and more. However, I know that
as an entrepreneur, your resources are limited. Even though you can
re-purpose content from your blog to your ezine and vice versa, that
too can take it’s toll.

Take a look at your business goals, and how you think your visitors
will find and want to receive your messages, and then choose
accordingly.

Rich Brooks
Web Marketer

190 Responses to “Business Blog vs. Email Newsletters: Which Works Better?”

  1. Greg Myroth

    Rich,

    Great article. It is certainly time consuming trying to keep up with both blog posts and email newsletters but there seems to be definite benefit to both. One of the best things about a blog is the long term search engine opportunities that allow new customers or prospects to find your site.

  2. Greg Myroth

    Rich,

    Great article. It is certainly time consuming trying to keep up with both blog posts and email newsletters but there seems to be definite benefit to both. One of the best things about a blog is the long term search engine opportunities that allow new customers or prospects to find your site.

  3. Shane Kane - TitleSuccess.com

    Rich, I agree. I think it's best to start small as well. Producing quality content on a consistent basis for a blog requires a great deal of work.

    I myself underestimated the amount of time and effort that blogging requires. But, it has definitely been worth it.

  4. Shane Kane - TitleSuccess.com

    Rich, I agree. I think it's best to start small as well. Producing quality content on a consistent basis for a blog requires a great deal of work.

    I myself underestimated the amount of time and effort that blogging requires. But, it has definitely been worth it.

  5. Erica DeWolf

    This is a great post with an interesting point of view…there's not a lot of other articles or posts out there on this topic. Great advice, thanks!

  6. Erica DeWolf

    This is a great post with an interesting point of view…there's not a lot of other articles or posts out there on this topic. Great advice, thanks!

  7. Barry Welford

    I'm afraid I must respectfully disagree. I believe the leverage of a blog with its news feed in human and search engine terms means that it is almost always the way to go.

  8. Barry Welford

    I'm afraid I must respectfully disagree. I believe the leverage of a blog with its news feed in human and search engine terms means that it is almost always the way to go.

  9. Brian Mathers - IctAdvisor.com

    Rich, this is an excellent article and comes at time when clients need to consider doing more to attract visitors to their site in order to sell their products and services. The engines are changing their faces to give the surfer more choice to search for what they need. Social Media sites are starting to get some serious listings for individuals articles, so I fully agree with the time dedicated to each task you outline in your article, and I fully support it

  10. Brian Mathers - IctAdvisor.com

    Rich, this is an excellent article and comes at time when clients need to consider doing more to attract visitors to their site in order to sell their products and services. The engines are changing their faces to give the surfer more choice to search for what they need. Social Media sites are starting to get some serious listings for individuals articles, so I fully agree with the time dedicated to each task you outline in your article, and I fully support it

  11. Rich Brooks

    Barry,

    Obviously I'm a huge fan of blogging and it's been a great tool for flyte and for our clients.

    But I've also seen the benefits of an email newsletter…in fact I see the spike in traffic at our Web site every month when I send it out and many of our jobs have come from people who subscribed to the email newsletter months or even years ago and just took a long time to make a buying decision.

    Not everyone has the bandwidth to keep up a blog, so I think there are times when an email newsletter (that's also archived on your site) is the way to go.

  12. Rich Brooks

    Barry,

    Obviously I'm a huge fan of blogging and it's been a great tool for flyte and for our clients.

    But I've also seen the benefits of an email newsletter…in fact I see the spike in traffic at our Web site every month when I send it out and many of our jobs have come from people who subscribed to the email newsletter months or even years ago and just took a long time to make a buying decision.

    Not everyone has the bandwidth to keep up a blog, so I think there are times when an email newsletter (that's also archived on your site) is the way to go.

  13. Allan Gardyne - AssociateProgr

    Rich, Instead of choosing between a newsletter and a blog, you can do what I do – publish an email newsletter, which is archived online AND has an RSS feed, AND allows comments. This way, my readers to choose how they want to read it – via email, on the website, or via an RSS reader. So the newsletter is like a blog. 🙂

    This has the advantages that no time is spent rewriting material from a newsletter into a blog, and the archived newsletters and comments provide fodder for search engines.

    However, I'm still training my newsletter subscribers that they can now post a comment on my site instead of just clicking Reply and emailing me. This is working well, although sometimes I forget to add the link in the newsletter which allows people to visit the exact page on my website to post a comment.

  14. Allan Gardyne - AssociatePrograms.com

    Rich, Instead of choosing between a newsletter and a blog, you can do what I do – publish an email newsletter, which is archived online AND has an RSS feed, AND allows comments. This way, my readers to choose how they want to read it – via email, on the website, or via an RSS reader. So the newsletter is like a blog. 🙂

    This has the advantages that no time is spent rewriting material from a newsletter into a blog, and the archived newsletters and comments provide fodder for search engines.

    However, I'm still training my newsletter subscribers that they can now post a comment on my site instead of just clicking Reply and emailing me. This is working well, although sometimes I forget to add the link in the newsletter which allows people to visit the exact page on my website to post a comment.

  15. Kristen

    This post comes in a timely manner as I just was talking to a guy about putting a blog on their e-commerce site. He wanted to start off with an e-mail newsletter instead. This gives me a better idea of the benefits of both. Thanks.

  16. Kristen

    This post comes in a timely manner as I just was talking to a guy about putting a blog on their e-commerce site. He wanted to start off with an e-mail newsletter instead. This gives me a better idea of the benefits of both. Thanks.

  17. Joy

    Excellent post!..but for me, I think putting up a blog is better than email newsletter..although blogging is quite difficult and needs a lot of time but still it's worth it..^^

  18. Joy

    Excellent post!..but for me, I think putting up a blog is better than email newsletter..although blogging is quite difficult and needs a lot of time but still it's worth it..^^

  19. utahseo

    Although writing content for 4-5 blogs has certainly been more work than creating a single monthly newsletter, it actually feels like less work and I've found I am more likely to write 10-20 blog posts in a single month than I am to create a single email newsletter.

    I believe it has something to do with the fact that blogs are a bit less formal, whereas with the newsletter I feel more of a need for a professional tone.

  20. utahseo

    Although writing content for 4-5 blogs has certainly been more work than creating a single monthly newsletter, it actually feels like less work and I've found I am more likely to write 10-20 blog posts in a single month than I am to create a single email newsletter.

    I believe it has something to do with the fact that blogs are a bit less formal, whereas with the newsletter I feel more of a need for a professional tone.

  21. Rich Brooks

    Shama,

    Do you mean, what is my opinion of having a blog in place of a Web site as a company's primary Web presence?

    If so, I know a number of companies have one, and we've developed blogs for individuals who don't have a Web presence.

    I'm a bit of a traditionalist, and I think a Web site makes more sense. That being said, having a feed from your blog show up on your Web site home page can be a great way of keeping that site fresh and establishing your expertise.

    In short, either can be the right answer, if you do them right.

  22. Rich Brooks

    Shama,

    Do you mean, what is my opinion of having a blog in place of a Web site as a company's primary Web presence?

    If so, I know a number of companies have one, and we've developed blogs for individuals who don't have a Web presence.

    I'm a bit of a traditionalist, and I think a Web site makes more sense. That being said, having a feed from your blog show up on your Web site home page can be a great way of keeping that site fresh and establishing your expertise.

    In short, either can be the right answer, if you do them right.

  23. Carlos Hernandez

    Enjoyed your presentation at BlogWorld and New Media Conference, http://www.blogworldexpo.com/, last November in Las Vegas!

    My vote is a business blog.

    They appear to be a more serious attempt at communicating and just better in appearance. The blogsite also allows the writer's personality to emerge in forms other than words.

  24. Carlos Hernandez

    Enjoyed your presentation at BlogWorld and New Media Conference, http://www.blogworldexpo.com/, last November in Las Vegas!

    My vote is a business blog.

    They appear to be a more serious attempt at communicating and just better in appearance. The blogsite also allows the writer's personality to emerge in forms other than words.

  25. Loyan Roylance

    Thank you for the nice article Rich.

    I agree with Carlos above and I lean towards blogs because they:

    1) are more supportive of a 2-way exchange with the customer/reader

    2) create a more human writer and thus a more personal relationship with the customer/reader

    That said, I have have tracked success with newsletters as well.

  26. Loyan Roylance

    Thank you for the nice article Rich.

    I agree with Carlos above and I lean towards blogs because they:

    1) are more supportive of a 2-way exchange with the customer/reader

    2) create a more human writer and thus a more personal relationship with the customer/reader

    That said, I have have tracked success with newsletters as well.

  27. Matt @ Small Business Internet

    I’d agree with you that ideally both e-mails and a blog should be implemented! And in my opinion, both of them are so easy and cheap that I wonder why anyone wouldn’t use both. The blog can feed off of the e-mails and vice versa -yes it will take a little more time like you pointed out, however I think it’s definitely worth the investment. Blogs provide a web property that gives me an actual place to point people to on the web. E-mails allow me to market to my prospects again and again! So again, I say both!

  28. Matt @ Small Business Internet Marketing

    I’d agree with you that ideally both e-mails and a blog should be implemented! And in my opinion, both of them are so easy and cheap that I wonder why anyone wouldn’t use both. The blog can feed off of the e-mails and vice versa -yes it will take a little more time like you pointed out, however I think it’s definitely worth the investment. Blogs provide a web property that gives me an actual place to point people to on the web. E-mails allow me to market to my prospects again and again! So again, I say both!

  29. SubmitYOURArticle.com

    This is really a nice comparison between blogs and email newsletters, showing both advantages. In my opinion, I’d go for blogs. They’re easy to setup and rank in search engines. But really, with the benefits stated on your post, it’s hard to say which one would prove best. It would be nice to do both if you have the dedication and time for it… That’s what I think.

  30. SubmitYOURArticle.com

    This is really a nice comparison between blogs and email newsletters, showing both advantages. In my opinion, I’d go for blogs. They’re easy to setup and rank in search engines. But really, with the benefits stated on your post, it’s hard to say which one would prove best. It would be nice to do both if you have the dedication and time for it… That’s what I think.

  31. Steve Andrews

    I think another reason why people should go with email marketing is Followup marketing. It takes 7 followups to convert a prospect into a customer and you just cant get your sales always on first try. You can use a good autoresponder company to create follow

  32. Atlanta SEO

    You have written very useful and valuable information. I have already bookmarked it. nice to read !

  33. Acky Mori

    I’ll go for Business blog… For me, ts more easy there to connect to your clients/consumer..By exchanging quotes and comments you will know the needs and wants of your clients and can be a great help for the improvement of your product, so it will works better for me.. Nice Article!

  34. Anonymous

    I prefer business blog…. I have been doing email marketing before. i was sending people with my affiliate links, then my account was deactivated on clickbank, it was my fault, I know, but… I tell you, I will be doing blogging more than emails from now on.