You may have been invited to an enews presentation at a resort location, a presentation with the promise of learning how to grow your business through email marketing. Then you hear about the virtues of blogs. Does all the hype have you wondering which to choose or if you need to hunker down in the fox hole and wage a marketing war by using both a blog and enewsletter?
Round One: Viral Marketing
How do blogs vs. e-newsletters fair in their ability to go viral, to get your message to people beyond the original readers?
E-newsletters can be forwarded by readers to their interested friends which certainly helps spread your message. Blogs can be read online by anyone who finds your blog as well as reaching your faithful blog subscribers.
Unfortunately not all businesses understand the power of having their news articles online, so they miss this opportunity to reach more readers. Blogs are easier to share online and stretch the reach of their message through posting them to Digg.com and other sites.
The Round One Winner: Blogs
Round Two: Delivery
E-newsletters offer only email delivery. Blogs are more versatile-offering delivery to “readers” which most people have as part of services they already use like iGoogle, Yahoo, AOL. Bloggers can still tap into an audience of email readers with services like Feedburner which offers blog updates via email. Does this work? YES! One of my own blogs is a genealogy website where the overwhelming majority of subscribers are retirees who don’t use readers (they don’t even know what they are), yet they use email and have no problem getting email delivery.
While I’m a believer in “Permission Marketing” (sending out promotional information only to those who request it), an advantage of contact management through e-newsletters is that you can add email addresses to your marketing list as well as offering a sign up box on your website. Blogs only deliver on request, slightly annoying, but less annoying than being thought of as a spammer.
The Round Two Winner: Blogs win through versatility and permission marketing
Round Three: SPAM
Can we all agree that SPAM belongs in a can, not an email box! Unfortunately unsolicited emails can grind your business day to a halt. SPAM filters can be just about as annoying as the SPAM- legitimate email can end up in a Junk Mail folder. Too many emails and SPAM are reasons why a big percentage of eNewsletters are not opened and read. A plus for blog subscribers is that they get only the news they request and no SPAM delivered to a “reader” where they manage their blog subscriptions and news sources.
Round Three Winner: Blogs – your message will be more likely to be read.
Round Four: Cost
Let’s look at opposite ends of the cost spectrum to get a clear view of costs. Small budgets can use limited free blogging accounts while e-newsletter services have an entry level cost of $10 to $15 per month. The upper end of e-newsletters includes custom HTML templates and as your subscriber list increases, costs rise to $900 per year and higher. The upper end of blogging can involve a custom template, one-time set up costs, and increased hosting costs-which for the budget minded can be kept well under the newsletter costs of $900 per year.
Round Four Winner: Another round won by blogs due to low entry level costs and significantly lower yearly maintenance costs for higher level blogging.
Round Five: SEO Is A Knock Out!
Getting found online is a high priority for businesses. Email isn’t picked up in the search engines and will never show in a search result. WHAM! A mean right hook comes from Google’s new real time search. Now Google not only displays a website as a search result, but social media sites, like blogs.
Round Five Winner: Blog has it again!
There will always be exceptions, especially when you have an audience that relies on email. However blogs can meet the email challenge and are a force to be reckoned with, making them the champion in Social Media. Contact us now at (866) 662-5547 to get started.