Every click you make takes you somewhere online and across the scope of websites, shopping, attaining an eBook, social media platforms, somewhere, someone is going to want your email address.
Why? Because email is the largest social media network online. A large number of websites allow you to enter into their deeper domain by using a convenient service such as Facebook or Twitter. What they’re doing is making it easier to obtain your email address. Via Facebook, the Facebook API transfers your name and email to the website you’ve signed up for.
There is not really a living person who is using the internet and who does not have an email address, and further, while you may change your accounts with Twitter and Facebook, chances are you’ll retain the same email address for years to come yet. Hence, email, being such a staid tool with very little change, is a reliable source of contact.
But an email is not really sufficient to build a list. Your website really needs an email newsletter … or does it?
Newsletter Yes? Newsletter No!
We’ll cut to the chase and what we’ll say on the one hand versus what we’ll say on the other, which we’ll talk about in a moment, is bound to make some people mad.
Newsletters were like clover to the cash cow in 2005. Instead of pummelling an unsuspecting visitor on their very first visit to a website, newsletters were a kinder incentive to get visitors to buy a product or service. And then, the website owner had permission to follow up over and over and over again with clever little sales pitches peppering the content which was supposed to create further interest. It was a unique way to build a profit. Businesses were doing it all over the globe. There were even stay at home mums who bounced babies on their knees while they fed the cow.
The beauty of the newsletter was that it cost about two hundred dollars. That was peanuts to send out a newsletter, and it reached tens if not hundreds of thousands of people wherever they were, and you were in the driver’s seat. During the past decade, the newsletter became one of the biggest tools a business could use.
Why Would a Business Newsletter Be a Waste of Time?
Think about where you were ten years ago. You were publishing a newsletter and profits were growing. So, what’s changed?
If you’re still publishing a newsletter each week, or bi-weekly, you might be missing out on potential new subscribers. Word of mouth is great but while you’re busting your backside shooting out new editions of your newsletter you’re probably depriving yourself of valuable feedback.
Technology has moved on and with it, savvy competitors who have seen the light, are stampeding toward a new wave of success. If you’re still clinging to worn-out technology, you might just be crushed under their feet. Why? Social Media began to move ahead and while you were still writing a newsletter or and article and sending it off to your readers who might or might not read it, or worse, ignore it, communication through social media means instant response. Readers leave comments. They share your posts with their friends and link back to you from their own websites and blogs. With that kind of information at hand, you’re in a position to sieve through what you now know your readers are enjoying within only a few minutes. One share on Facebook or Twitter gets you in front of thousands of pairs of eyes.
While newsletters arrive in the inbox with a mass of other emails, it remains a one-way street because it’s not a conversation and people love to converse. Newsletters don’t give a person the opportunity to ask you a question. They can’t tell you what a great read it is. They don’t offer new ideas for new products, and they don’t tell you what they’d like to read next. You’re sitting in a silent vacuum.
Social Media Is a Two-Way Street
Social media is a two-way street where a two-way conversation can happen, and it’s much more satisfying. A blog is a gateway for that conversation to occur. People leave comments, and you get to answer them.
So now, you’re probably thinking, why then do people have a blog and a newsletter? Some people do have both, but it’s a foolish move. Ditch the newsletter and retain the blog and don’t have both. Now you’re probably thinking that tells me nothing and takes me nowhere. We’ll explain.
Remember RSS? People used to use RSS readers to subscribe to their preferred blogs, and the RSS would collect all the latest articles and leave them in one easily accessible place. The trouble was, people forgot to check their RSS reader, and when they finally did remember, they went head first into overwhelming because they were faced with hundreds of articles and no time to sort through them.
When you compare that kind of result with a blog that is shared on social media, while 2% of the RSS readers are in front of eyes, it’s the blog that is growing exponentially. Readers by the thousands are sharing posts all over Facebook, Twitter, Google+. And it’s easily done by clicking a little ‘Share’ button.
Newsletter vs Blog vs Email
Despite spam everyone who has an email checks it at the very least once a week. Most of us who are in business check it every day, several times a day.
Now a news letter may or may not be read. Worse, a newsletter without an attractive headline will be ignored. That’s the sum of it. A blog, on the other hand, will be shared more often than not. Either method gives you an opportunity to reach out to people, grow your reputation and earn their trust.
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”
With the ability to track clicks, opening rates of emails, subscription and unsubscribe rates and your social media shares you get a fair if not an accurate idea as to where your money is being best spent. However, given you are already paying for your site to be live, doesn’t it make sense to use it to its maximum and give it attractive content via a blog?
And to further that to a more palatable mouthful, publishing posts to your reader’s inbox is far more affective when they check their emails several times a day rather than publishing to RSS which may go unchecked for an entire month.
When you put it all together, it makes so much sense that once the wheels begin turning in the right direction instead of skidding in the one place, you’ll find a blog and an email complimenting each other with such dynamic force that you’ve got immense traction and you’re shooting for the stars.
It’s called smart publishing, and in this day and age, you’re up there with the technology that rewards you with success.