A recent article by a local Vancouver writer Sheena Daniels, in Blitz Magazine debated the benefits of newsletters versus blogs. A blog and newsletter are two totally distinct tools marketers can use to grow their business. Each should be aimed at an entirely different audience and used for different purposes.
The article points out 3 important considerations should you have to choose between the two:
1. Audience you are trying to reach;
2. Internal resources available;
3. Message you are trying to communicate.
Unless limited by the 3 above, why choose between the a blog or a newsletter at all? Each can and should be used for distinct purposes to enhance marketing communications and by using both you can hone in on 2 distinct audiences with distinct marketing messages and increase effectiveness of each.
A newsletter, unless you’re a spammer, is aimed at adding value to existing contacts, partners and customers (people that have already “touched” you) and should be used to keep your company at the forefront in the minds of those important in your network and to reinforce your presence with them.
An blog is aimed at a wider audience many of whom are unknown entities. It should be used to bring attention to what you do, spreading awareness and establish expertise with new prospects or new markets. They key difference is that a blog is a collaborative medium aimed at supporting on-line interaction between interested parties via comments. Its a two way street whereas newsletters are a one way push.
Both are complementary technologies and as the article points out, you can blog a newsletter via RSS allowing your efforts to reach people the way they want to be reached. But consider this, if you intend to focus on newsletters and use RSS you cannot call this a blog as the article suggests, not unless your newsletters go out at least once a week. A corporate blog, to be considered effective and established should be updated once a week at the very least.