I’m in the lucky position that people come up to me at meetings or on the street and say they love my blog. But further conversation reveals that they are in fact referring to my newsletter. It’s easy to confuse the two. Both are Internet based, both give out information intended to be useful, and both are forms of content marketing. But they are subtly different, and it’s important to know the difference between them, so you can use them effectively.
There are three distinctions to be drawn between the two
Structure Is Different: A blog is a full length article that centres on just one subject. The text is broken up with pictures and headings. A newsletter has snippets of information which are separate from each other, though they have a unifying theme. Pictures don’t tend to work as well on newsletters, because email browsers tend to block them. The snippets will have catchy headlines and may contain lengths to further articles or web pages.
Audience Is Different: A blog can be read by anyone on the Internet and may be included as part of a website to draw new customers to that website and to your services. A newsletter is sent by email to a mailing list of contacts you’ve already made, whether customers or potential customers. Ideally, you would aim to send it to 1,000 customers, to achieve a decent open rate and ultimate sales.
Content Is Different. A blog is largely information based. It tells people how to use your services, comments on trends in your industry or gives case studies of work you’ve done for customers. A newsletter is often centred on an attractive offer to reward customer loyalty, or may highlight a particular service you offer. Its tone may be more informal, as you’re communicating with people you already know in some way.
How do you distinguish between blogs and newsletters? Which do you find more useful in communicating with your customers?