From the BlogContact Me Now

If You Blog Do You Need An E-Newsletter?

jumpinghoops.jpgDo we still need email newsletters (or ezines, as some call it)?

Many websites today are setup to get visitors onto a newsletter list. When you read the copy on their site, much of it is geared toward selling you a free report or workbook. And how do you get this workbook? You have to ‘pay’ with your email address. That’s why I say the sites are selling you the workbook. Just because you’re not spending money, doesn’t make it free.

Anyhow, once you’re on the list you get targeted messages meant to get you to buy the next level of product or service. Often it’s an e-book or an entry-level seminar. Many times the marketing in the newsletter is cleverly disguised by a short article that’s meant as a hook to get you reading. Then the sales pitch comes – you need our e-book…

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done it myself. I have a newsletter list and it continues to grow. As a matter of fact, it’s grown much more rapidly since I began blogging. You can sign up for it here.

But I’m beginning to question the need for a list. Who does the list serve? It serves me, right? How can it serve my audience when I’m in control of it? I’m in control of its content, the sales pitch, even when it interrupts your life through your inbox. All this keeps me, the business owner, in control.

Yet the marketplace is changing. Marketing is changing. Email is changing. There’s a wave of backlash growing against interruption marketing – and certainly against spam. Consumers now want to have more control over how they’re marketed too – and when. So is the e-newsletter going by the wayside? Are business owners just afraid to let it go because they’ll loose control? How do technologies like RSS fit into the mix?

Yaro has his opinion. What’s yours?

UPDATE: I’ve added a link to Ted Demopolous’ post, Blogs & Ezines? Complimentary? since he added it after commenting on this post. Thanks Ted.

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Comments

  1. Very interesting food for thought! I think it all boils down to the type of business you run, the type of business person you are, and your end goals.

  2. Great question. I used to get really hung up on the whole “control” piece, myself… but the way I see it now, there are still a number of people out there who aren’t familiar with RSS, and use email as their main mode of communication.

    You could have your RSS delivered via email, true, and that’s probably a good option. (For now, I offer three options: feed/feed-in-email/email once-a-week, just to meet the needs of people who may want to stay up on things.)

    I’ve yet to really scrutinize my consulting patron/workshop participant lists, to see if the people there are on the ezine list, RSS, or neither — but I bet it’d be enlightening.

  3. I use my newsletter the same way I use a multi-vitamin; to make sure that the information is getting across.

    Just like we take vitamins to fill in any gaps that are created by our diet, I use my newsletter to make sure that no one misses anything crucial that happens on the blog.

    I post updates about every single thing that I do in the personal development community on my blog, so an avid reader will always be up to date, so for them, the newsletter might be extraneous.

    However, being subscribed to hundreds of RSS feeds myself, I can personally attest to the fact that I don’t see every single post from every single one of my favorite blogs. Newsletter are good ways to make sure that nothing slips through the cracks. :)

  4. Char,
    Me too. I’d like to see enewsletters go away for some reason – my own, personal bias.

    Adam,
    I know what you mean. I think somehow I never really bought into the ‘control’ piece of enewsletter marketing. I buy into the relationship. And relationships, at least for me, are still built in voice-to-voice and pressing the flesh.

    I know RSS isn’t as widespread as email, but do you seen anyway we can work around that to use RSS more and email less?

    Aaron,
    Great analogy…and good point. I can see the benefit. But what’s your open rate on your newsletter? How about click-through rate? I just wonder how many people ignore email as well.

  5. Newsletters are out, Free e-books are in! Is the best way to promote your website and get traffic! If you’re afraid you might lose $ than you’re wrong because you can make it up with traffic (if you have ads).

  6. I guess the email list is really great if no one is
    reading your blog…. However, that begs the
    question of why no one is reading it.

    I’m just starting blogging. As in, two days ago I started.
    It’s taking a long time, since I want to produce quality
    content, and I blog on beading. This requires that I do
    a lot of projects, and take a lot of pictures. But hopefully
    I will be able to avoid the email list by doing this.

  7. It’s an interesting and provocative question. I think they are two different modes of delivering. I have a list of blogs I watch (including this one) and a list of email newsletters that I receive.

    I have to say that I enjoy both. I like receiving email newsletters. And, strangely enough, I like the control it gives me- when I like someone’s newsletters, they go right into a folder where I can find them, and I can forward them or deal with them at will- even if my internet is down- they are already here.

    And, yes, you are definitely revealing your bias when you use language like this: ” Many times the marketing in the newsletter is cleverly disguised by a short article that’s meant as a hook to get your reading. Then the sales pitch comes – you need our e-book…”

    Whether someone has integrity or not has nothing to do with the medium they are using- you know this, Dawud. I don’t have to tell you. That’s a rather simplistic way of phrasing it, that big, bad meanies use email newsletters, and pure, virtuous, caring people use rss and blogs. ;-)

    It’s just another method of publishing. Technology is changing, but marketing isn’t. It’s been the same for thousands of years, and it has to do with a combination of heart, and how to communicate effectively.

  8. David,
    I’m tending to agree with what you’re suggesting. Free e-books are definitely in. And creating buzz and marketing them virally is in. Do you think that’s enough or do you need ads?

    Joann,
    Exactly. I’d also consider that if no one’s reading your blog, how can you assume that they’re reading your newsletter?

  9. Apart from the old-school argument (i.e., despite us being several dog-years into web 2.0, not everyone likes blogs, RSS, etc), I think there can be something special about a newsletter *if* it’s treated that way.

    I am very, very careful to make my newsletters, which come out just once per month, like little presents. Every single item should provide value: the main article is focused and rich; the sidebar items are designed to be like little treats in a Christmas stocking–surprising, fun and still useful.

    So far, I’ve “sold” nothing, except one link to a website I designed which I also happened to think was a really great resource for my readers (no commercial stuff on that site, either).

    I think part of the mounting disgust with eNewsletters has to do with the crapification of the medium: 80% of the eNews I get, I delete almost immediately; most of it I’ve just signed up for to get access to other info, but ongoing receipt is a condition of that.

    I wrote a lengthy blog post (o, irony) on eNewsletters before I started my own. Which includes a few I think come closest to meeting the gold standard.

    And yes, I’m building a list. At some point, I will likely trade on that list to “sell” something–or to prove to someone that I have a following. But if it’s a think of quality, is it not still useful?

  10. Interesting post.

    If you have a blog and you are an affiliate marketer or an internet marketer then you definitely also need your newsletter.

    The newsletter is mainly to inform your visitors that you have new content on your blog. The newsletter does not have to contain the entire entry in your blog, just a teaser.

    There is a rash of blogs springing up every day on the net.

    In all probability, the visitor that came to your blog and signed up for your newsletter has visited other blogs and may not remember you URL, or even that you exist

    Keep the newsletter going to keep your blog alive

    Webmaster

    http://www.affiliatemarketingintro.com

  11. Mark,
    Interesting response. I’m not questioning anyone’s integrity. Not sure where you’re getting that. Marketing is about enticing people to respond to your stimuli. Integrity doesn’t figure in at the level I’m speaking of. Integrity comes in at how. I’m speaking about what.

    Sure I have a bias. Yet my bias toward something doesn’t intrinsically make the other wrong. That wouldn’t be a wise stance. And my bias…that the consumer controls how they want to be marketed to, and when, instead of being interrupted at the whim of the business owner. That includes me, by the way. I’m a business owner too. And I need a steady stream of clients too. I just see marketing from a different perspective. Not better, different.

    But marketing is changing, along with technology. We’ve simply crossed the line as conscious beings as to how much information we can take in. We’re turning off being marketed too and searching for what we really want. And Google’s making that possible in ways unknown before now. Really, unknown. Never before has information, products and services been so available to the masses – for them to search for themselves, without being prodded by media.

    Really, marketing is changing.

    Anyone agree/disagree?

  12. I think unless you are targeting a technically inept target audience you should eliminate enewsletters. Certainly I think it is foolish to have content that is only presented in an enewsletter (if you think of course that is stupid we agree – but people actually do this).

  13. Great topic Dawud. As you know, this is one of those questions I have asked myself – and you. And just to back up what Mark said, the tone of your “spin” on ezines is definitely negative in the entry. At least to my point of view. (Even though you soften it at the end with your admission that you also have a list).

    I concur with Adam and Aaron that, at least at this point in the development of the blogoshpere, there are far too many people who do NOT read blogs to drop an ezine list completely.

    Also, in certain fields – personal development being one – you would most definitely be cutting off a huge chunk of your target audience if you did not include an email list in your marketing repertoire.

    I will also point out that those people who subscribe to my ezine list are much more likely to buy a product or service from me. And, hey, that’s what being in business is all about. The conversation is great! But if we don’t sell anything, it’s not going to last very long!

    I’ve gotten into the habit – in part thanks to our conversation – of including a section in my ezine with links to the most popular or conversational posts on my blog during the last month. It seems to be helping people on my e-list understand what a blog is and get over their intimidation about this “new world.”

  14. Hi there!
    Maybe the problem is there seems to be more than one definition of an email newsletter and an email list. One is a service meant to be used by readers who for whatever reason prefer not to read my blog in its natural habitat or via RSS feed. I have such a newsletter and I receive a few — I prefer them to feeds because they are “intentional” in that they reflect the design as the blog author would have it be seen. This newsletter really is my blog content in an alternate form. Why would I want to not offer this alternative?

    The other vehicle is a marketing ploy. It’s offered to “get” my email address. It’s meant to “keep” me in the “funnel.” The content is advertortial often more direct sales than useful. It lasts in my inbox for a version or two, but really I haven’t the resources for the multiple requests for my time and my $$$ that these “self-serving” gems keep bringing to my door.

    You see the issue is are we doing it for readers or are we doing it for ourselves?

    How you answer that question is the answer you need. :)

  15. I think some people are still don’t get blogs, and that a newsletter serves this need to keep in contact quite well. Additionally, let’s say you don’t have time to read all the posts I did in a week. Sign up for my newsletter, and you’ll get what I consider the “best of the week” plus a little more. And I’ve always got a theme or something that doesn’t fit on my blog.

    Another reason for newsletter instead of blog is because of all the memes going around that may or may not relate to the topic of your blog. I’m happy to “play” with a meme or 5, and my blog readers don’t seem to mind it. For some, like the “why I blog” memes, my newsletter subscribers who don’t have blogs could care less about.

    I think it’s a “yes and” proposition, not an “either or.”

    Though Adam’s got a great model at Monk at Work, so does Brad Isaac from Achieve It!

    Let your readers decide what they want, and give it to them. That puts the control where it belongs, right?

  16. John,
    I hear what you’re saying. I can see having private content, but I do wonder the point. Isn’t this about sharing, giving, transparency?

    Edward,
    Looks like I struck a nerve, unintentionally, with my statement about newsletter content. I meant no harm with it. It’s just an honest report on what happens.

    Personally, I do have a preference toward feeds. I’ve unsubscribed from most of the ezines (noticed I say most) I once subscribed too in favor of feeds.

    What’s most important in all this is knowing where your target audience is and how they need to be reached.

    Liz,
    I really side with you. What is our focus? Who are we serving?

    I can’t answer that for anyone except myself. I feel how I feel, but I’m not going to say how anyone else feels is wrong. We each have unique businesses, business models and approaches. Not to mention niches. And each one of these requires different needs, don’t you think?

    Phil,
    I hear you. I think the reader’s should decide. Isn’t that who were blogging (and in business for) in the first place?

    Yet I know that those coming from the static website world don’t get how their blog and their newsletter list can marry. That’s why I started this conversation. Any ideas?

  17. My personal opinion is that each are tools in your toolbox, but not a replacement for each other. Email allows the advertiser or marketer to ‘push’ the message directly to the inbox. A perfect example is the email you sent letting me know about this post! ;)

    A blog is a ‘pull’ technology. That is, the content sits until I decide that I want to find it and/or read it. Sometimes I’m a week behind on my reading, but I still get through it.

    Time-sensitive or very important messages may deserve to be a little more intrusive and ‘push’ through to the inbox. If the reader disagrees, they can always (hopefully) unsubscribe.

    As well, advanced email service providers like Exacttarget allow people to segment their audience and dynamically generate content. That allows for a better targeting of the message. Unfortunately, we still can’t accomplish that on a blog!

    It’s a good conversation. I just think it’s comparing different mediums that both have their own advantages and disadvantages.

    Cheers!
    Doug

  18. Wow, we’ve gotten responses from some people who definitely have some experience in these matters – great post for drumming up the conversation, Dawud!

    Maybe you should take the highlights of this conversation and copy and paste them into your newsletter… ;)

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist! {grin}

    As far as your question about the open rate on email newsletters, you do make a great point. My newsletter list is far larger than the number of people who actually open the newsletter (usually between 25%-40%).

    However, as others have indicated, covering all of the communication channels does have merit. For the near term, there are still going to be people who need to hear their “new mail” sound file in addition to (or instead of) reading a blog.

    All of that being said, I guess the question then becomes about a return on the time or financial investment involved with having a newsletter list and a service that sends out the newsletter for you.

    As long as I can keep up a 25% + open rate on my newsletter, I’ll probably keep it going. However, if it became more time consuming than constructive, I could ditch it without losing any sleep over it. :)

  19. Douglas,
    I think that too. As I’ve said, I’m not making one better than another. Yet I do have my own bias.

    Do you see a time when we might use email a lot less because we’re communicating through social media and feeds?

    Aaron,
    Great idea! I’ll do that – really…But you’re going to have to join my list to get it :)

    I think you make a great point when you said, “…if it became more time consuming than constructive, I could ditch it without losing any sleep over it.”

    That’s what I’m wondering; how many of us are attached to it being one way?

  20. Personally, I think the emailed newsletter will soon be a thing of the past, unless it changes dramatically. Feeds via email is growing, bringing content directly from the “oft misunderstood” blogs.

    Honestly, how often do you read emailed newsletters that end up in your inbox? Do you read them immediately, or let them pile up on your “to do” list? I’ve got a few hundred emailed newsletters waiting for me to find time to pay attention to them. I’d rather cruise my feeds first.

    Marketing and advertising are not changing – that’s the problem. They are SO far behind technology, and they bring old thinking to new technology, slowing change and evolution, and losing money in the process. I swear, online advertisers are still thinking “print”. Some I’ve talked to just can’t get their heads around the idea, but those who do, will move forward with the times.

    Now, this comes from a conservative, old fashioned thinker with too much experience in the ad world.

    I’ve offered newsletters in the past, and once blogs started entering the field, subscriptions dropped. I stopped. Now I offer my feeds via email, which is growing fast.

    It also depends upon your readers/users and how they want content. If they are still liking the emailed newsletter, then keep providing it, while embracing other methods. But if constantly providing alternative content in addition to your blog is wearing you out, offer your blog content via emailed feed and put your energy where it belongs.

  21. I have a blog, with RSS and e-mail options. All three methods do well (come to my site vs. get it via e-mail vs. RSS). Diff strokes for diff folks, right?

    I also have a newsletter. The content of my newsletter is very different than what I blog about. The audience is different. The message is complentary … I haven’t pushed any of my ebooks on it yet, and I don’t use it as a sales tool… maybe I’m missing the boat there, but it’s totally different.

    Most of my newsletter recipients don’t read my blog. Joann is saying that is something I should question (why not?), but the reality is, outside of our web2.0 little self-publishing world there are tons of people that don’t surf blogs or websites like I do (let me stereotype and assume that most bloggers will surf the web for content (ie, blogs) more than the average person).

    In other words, my newsletter recipients live on their e-mail and have a life outside of the computer… there’s no way they would be interested in my blog subject matter, or frequency (I blog daily). But they are interested in my newsletter (where I talk about what my business is doing, growth, new stuff, etc….

    Anyway, that’s been my experience :)

    Jason Alba
    CEO – JibberJobber.com
    :: self-serve relationship management ::

  22. Dawud,
    Just signed up for your newsletter BTW :)

    There is room for both, for both push and pull.

    Also, many people don’t read blogs regularly.

    Even if one of my favorite bloggers writes something, I MAY miss it, whereas I look at the title of every email that comes my way (modulo spam filters of course).

    Interesting that the my last newsletter was exactly on this topic! I’ll post it to my blog in the next few hours.

  23. Lorelle,
    Do you know I love you?

    I, too, see email marketing going by the wayside in the near future. It just can’t continue. And once people see that they can have far greater control over who they’re marketed too, they’ll be a mad dash off newsletter lists. That’s my opinion.

    And I think you’re right…businesses aren’t getting it. That’s why I can ask a question like this and get such an interesting response. Business models are very slow to change. Yet, technology is going to force the change. Look what Google’s already done to marketing.

    No one predicted Google’s influence in business – and our lives in general, for that matter. No one predicted how blogging, and now podcasting and vcasts would explode.

    But what’s the trend – more control to the end user. That’s not going to stop. In fact, it’s accelerating. People like having more control over their lives – I sure do. How about you?

    Jason,
    Hey, wait a minute…I have a life outside my computer. Or, at least I used too… :)

    I hear you on the non-self-publishing (blog) world. Yet I search Google all the time and see more blogs at the top of search results than static sites. And I’m not just searching blog-type search terms. I think many people find themselves on blogs without having any idea. So does that mean we should, perhaps help them understand more about where they are and the potential for interactivity?

    Ted,
    I agree. As I’ve said above, I’m not at all about making one way right over another. I just think that business owners need to be considering where technology is taking them. And in the case of marketing, not only technology, but psychology as well.

    Here’s the link to your post, Blogs and Ezines ? Complementary?, by the way.

  24. Lorelle, who (whom? Heck, I’m a blogger, not a professional writer :p) I adore, writes:

    Honestly, how often do you read emailed newsletters that end up in your inbox? Do you read them immediately, or let them pile up on your “to do” list? I’ve got a few hundred emailed newsletters waiting for me to find time to pay attention to them. I’d rather cruise my feeds first.

    So, my argument is, what about the people that don’t have readers? I don’t use a feed reader. I know tons of folks that don’t. So they aren’t as distracted, and they live out of their inbox rather than let hundreds of posts pile up :)

    Jason Alba
    Fan of Lorelle

  25. Hey gang,

    With all due respect, who died and made us King? That is so 1980′s. We are not in charge anymore. The consumer is.

    My agency has had a e-newsletter since 1999 and we have thousands of subscribers. They seem to like it.

    I have had a blog for less than a year. Have a good number of subscribers but certainly not the thousands that the e-newsletter has. The blog subscribers seem to like it.

    Some of the e-newsletter subscribers have opted to also sign up for the blog and visa versa. (I try not to use the same content).

    If we have learned anything in this era of citizen marketing — we don’t get to decide. We offer up value in a variety of media and let the consumer choose which option works for them.

    And if we think that e-newsletters are more sales driven — we are crazy. I have seen blatant blog posts that practically begged for work. I’m not saying that is bad…but I saying we are deluding ourselves to think of one as a sales tool and the other as an educational vehicle. Both…can be both.

    As long as we have subscribers to either vehicle, I will keep writing them.

    Drew

  26. Jason,
    My thoughts…you should be using email. If that’s how your audience interacts with you, of course you want to meet them there.

    And, is there a reason to educate them?

    Drew,
    I love it. I knew you’d come in and shake things up a bit.

    Of course you’re right (oops, that’s so 80′s too). The consumer is the one who decides. Yet we also decide for them by what we offer them. So it seems necessary to understand how our niche wants to interact with us. No one way is better, or more right. And it’s an interesting conversation.

    Why? Because how we communicate is changing rapidly. And what we’re willing to tolerate as consumers is also changing – though less rapidly. So I think it’s going to be important to keep up with the real shifts in technology – no the fads, but the real shifts.

    Just watching Steve Job’s face during an interview at the D5 conference when talking about where portable devices are going leads me to believe that we’re in for a very exciting coming few years.

    Of course, no one way is right in all this. What’s right is what works. Wouldn’t you agree?

  27. [quote comment="10443"]I think it’s a “yes and” proposition, not an “either or.”[/quote]

    Phil about sums it up for me too. In my market, feed readers, blogs, social networks, web 2.0 and the like are still fairly new.

    I get tons of compliments on my newsletter. People seem to enjoy it. Can’t imagine why I wouldn’t do it. My opt of % is really low – sometimes 0.

    Of course, my material is a bit different. I focus on creating relationships. It is my idea that clients will evolve out of those relationships. My business is not typically one of impulse. So my time is better spent building trust than selling my practice.

    Plus – I like it :)

    Great question Dawud!

  28. Great timing!! What a thought provoking discussion and post, thank you.

    I am in the midst of importing my email list into constant contact to publish my first newsletter this week…and I’m convinced its the right thing to do for my audience. My audience of women entrepreneurs aren’t RSS feed readers as much and so they aren’t hopping on my site everyday (although I wish they would) and they want the scoop, the insider info, event info summed up, etc. I have been asked by many when I’m going to do it and I’m afraid that it’s been about 6 months since I did my last email one…now I have the full color template with logo one and I’m excited, but I have to admit, I’m tired thinking about doing it on a monthly basis and keeping it up so maybe it’ll be just a quarterly thing, I just can’t keep up with the energy it demands, but maybe I’ll get used to it.

    I’m also supposed to be done with the edits on our eBook as well…it’s a best of posts eBook from our 1st year and it will be what we use to build our list. I don’t think it’s evil because people can always get the free eBook and then unsubscribe, unless of course they LOVE it and want to keep in touch…

    We give the power to the reader, they decide how often they want to hear from us. You know the Fly Lady? she sends out multiple emails a day to her 1million subscribers, so there is obviously an audience who loves email.

  29. Interesting question.

    I think we need newsletters, but the newsletters needs to be even more targeted than the blog.

    If your blog is about design, your newsletter might be about a certain design technique (css) that you are an expert on.

    I think that the newsletter needs to be a niche inside your niche if you get my point.

    Some people (including myself) have more general newsletters, that are almost an exact copy of the blog, and that’s not really necessary.

    If your newsletter is very targeted, you will know exactly what you can and cannot offer your subscribers.

  30. A newsletter is the way to monetize your list… without it you are banking on traffic only.

    A great opt-in strategy and landing pages are the ingredients to making money from your blog… give them a reason to want more.

    This also lets you pursue affiliate opportunities and use the newsletter to “share” the news.

  31. Joanna Young says:

    Thanks for prompting such an interesting discussion Dawud. As a novice blogger and website owner it’s great to have the chance to learn from the collective experience here.

    I do have an e-mail sign up list and I write out to everyone who’s signed up about once every 4-6 weeks. I wouldn’t call it a newsletter as such, but make it a very simple, easy to read e-mail with some highlights of what’s been discussed and learned on my blog, and an update on any business developments.

    I try to be totally upfront about what I’m writing and why, and how often people can expect to hear from me. There’s also a clear option to unsubscribe in every e-mail if they don’t want to get any more.

    I’m guessing (but don’t know and maybe should try to find out) that signing up signals some kind of interest in a more direct communication from me. I write as if I was communicating with a group of supporters and friends.

    I think the key is respect for people’s e-mail addresses and inboxes. My guiding principle is only to write when you think you’ve something of value – to them, not you – to say.

    Joanna

  32. Communicatrix,
    Crapification nails it for me. Great assessment of the content out there. I say out there because I simply unsubscribe from crapified ezines. And when I want on a list just for the freebie – I use a Yahoo! address for that purpose so I don’t have to be bothered with email at all.

    And I love the idea of little presents. Really fits what I know about you.

    April,
    I can certainly see using a newsletter to build relationships. And you can’t go wrong with the multiple touches – especially if you enjoy doing it. Are there other methods you’re using that are more effective?

    Kelly,
    Thanks for joining us. I’m a fan…

    Will your newsletter be content off your blog or specialized content that won’t show up on your blog?

    Jens,
    Thanks for joining the conversation. I do think you’re on to something in regards to being more refined with your target market. I can see how you might do that differently than on your blog. Has this changed how you blog? How has it affected your business?

    Dwain,
    I definitely see that. Yet there’s ways to monetize your feed as well. Do you think a feed can be as effective?

  33. First, let me go ahead and acknowledge my “Johnnie Come Lately” status on this topic. I have been publishing a “blog” for a couple of years but I have never offered a newsletter in conjunction. And here’s why…
    …I’m a baby boomer that aging breed who considers a newsletter something I can hold in my hand and drip mayonaise on over my tuna on rye at lunch.
    …I feel like a newsletter should have physical substance. Aside from the acknowledged landfill impact, there is still something to be said for a marketing tool you can pass out at a convention.
    …While most folks will spend about 30 seconds scanning a web page, they’ll spend a little more time going through a newsletter.
    …IF you decide to distribute your newsletter electronically to email addresses, odds are the filters that blog non-work related sites won’t block you out.
    JIMHO
    Peace.

  34. A newsletter has to have value of its own, and not simply be a way to upsell your customers. If your readers are “junkies” for your content, give newsletter subscribers more and different content than you put in your blog.

  35. Know More Media doesn’t offer newsletters at the moment but this discussion has sparked my interest. Thanks Dawud!

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  37. OK, I will soften my comment LOL. I can see where an email list would be useful as an executive summary of your blog. It would refresh people’s memory about what you write about, and why they should visit.

    I question putting new content in the newsletters tho, that doesn’t appear in your blog. I’ve thought about that myself, but it sort of defeats the purpose of providing the best content to all your readers.

    I will admit I’m completely new at this, and so I’m still learning. I note that I am taking the advice of Joyful Jubilant Learning blog, and reading on the blog themselves rather than just reading the feeds. She was mentioning how much more information shows up in the comments, which don’t show up in the feeds.

  38. Reg,
    All these are valid, if you ask me – especially the last point. I’m not looking for the end of email, yet I do believe that we’re on the cusp of a major change in how we communicate that we’ll see many of the interruption methods of marketing be pushed out by consumers.

    Carol,
    Sure, without a doubt – for now. And as social media continues is massive growth, you’re going to see people rely less and less on email. For now I think e-newsletters are good. And as consumers understand that they can have full control over how they’re marketed too, fewer and fewer people will want to be on lists.

    Easton,
    May sound odd considering my stance on this topic, but I’d suggest building a list. Ride the wave while it’s still viable.

    Joanna,
    Respect…how’d Aretha put it – R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me. Very important to understand what your audience expects so you can respect them, I feel. Thanks for a great point.

    Erin,
    Thanks.

    Joann,
    My, I think we’re all learning – at least I would hope so.

    Great point about the comments…as you can see there’s some great information you can find in the comment box. And that conversation is something we can’t find in a newsletter. Yet it’s that very conversation that really helps us build the relationships we’re trying to build through our newsletters.

    Thoughts?

  39. If you have the budget, you definitely should have some ads if not Word of Mouth will have to do for now!

  40. David,
    I think that all depends on what you want from your blog and what your readers expect. Same for your newsletter.

  41. Dawud,

    You are right — marketing is changing. But I think that means we’d better offer more choices, not fewer.

    I think much of the negative “sales gimmick” stigma attached to ezines is bunk. It’s not the wand, it’s the wizard.

    We both know bloggers who are all about selling their services (or books)and make no bones about it. We also both know ezines that are filled with incredible content and very little sales pitch, if any.

    It’s all about intention, not the delivery mechanism. So why limit the delivery mechanisms?

    It’s been very insightful to read people’s take on this issue. Thanks for raising the question.

    Drew

  42. Dawud,

    Hey! I was waiting to hear when Internet Marketing and Successful Blogging would collide. Liz mentioned it wisely – it really depends on your motives – to offer your readers an alternative way to enjoy your content, or to ‘build a list’ to market.

    I entered this whole game via the ‘latter’, and have been trained to follow that Rule – ‘The Money is in the list!!’. Heck, I was buying product after product, so I know the system works!

    This model should still work and be pursued in niche markets, since us Internet Marketers are pretty much skeptical and jaded (when you receive daily pitches, no content, and regurgitated copycat promo emails.. it doesnt take long). Which is also great, since now I see through everyone else’s pitches and am saving some money (which is 2nd best to earning some).

    I am not sure I am finishing this comment with how I intended to, but I guess to just answer your question.. if you are successful at blogging then a list may seem unncessary and I agree with Lorelle. If, like most other bloggers, you need alternate means to bring home the bacon.. you should have a list, that offers something different, more, and could hopefully lead to other potential income, assuming it (the list, your blog, etc.) is in the right market, you know how to offer content and market, and not too much of a time suck. Wow.. how is that for a run on sentence? :)

  43. PS – Inspired by your piece here, I just went back to my site to find the article I wrote in Feb 07 about Email Marketing 101.

    It was written when I was just started blogging (in earnest) as an Internet Marketer. Of course it is still all relevant, timely, and I would probably have been more succe$$ful, had I just stuck with that direction, instead of letting my personality take over :).

  44. very nice an informative post.i think it all depends on your niche.

  45. Hi,

    I am quite new in the online marketing arena and I cannot discuss this question based on my own long experience as many others here certainly can.

    Nevertheless, I would actually ask this question the opposite way:” If you have a large targeted list of newsletter subscribers, do you need blogging ?”

    Why the opposite way? Well, email marketing existed long before online marketers started to use blogs as traffic and marketing weapon. “Money is in the list” existed long before “blog your way to the bank”. That’s why I think that the majority of online marketers still use blogging as traffic generating tool, while their main focus is on list building. Now, blogging is very good way to build relationship with readers, but why not have a list of, say 20 000 subscribers, send them 1 promo email and make a minimum of $1000 from one mailing ?

    I think that running a newsletter and blogging is perfect combination for building strong relationship with readers while making awesome money from both.

  46. Almin,
    Great observations.

    There’s nothing wrong with email marketing in general. Yet, it is a slowly dying medium for marketing. Fewer and fewer people are signing up for newsletters and those that are are being quite a bit pickier. And if you follow the trends, email is becoming less and less viable of a marketing option. So we need to look for alternatives.

    That said, I’m not suggesting that we all dump our lists. Nor am I suggesting that email won’t be a viable option for some time to come. It will be. Just be aware that the times are changing. That’s why I asked the question the way I did.

  47. I think a newsletter is always a good addition to a website because not everyone is used to the rss feeds. Moreover its a good way to collect e-mail adresses…

  48. very nice an informative post.i think it all depends on your niche.

  49. I have been thinking these SAME THOUGHTS lately. I feel like I am posting everywhere (I am!) and the thought of putting together a newsletter every month is draining. I wonder about the value of it. I would get a bite every other month from it, and suppose I should, but like you said… people are getting pickier and who wants a newsletter??? I myself have said NO to newsletters and replaced them with my GoogleReader (LOVE THAT!).

    Anyway, it’s good to hear everyone’s thoughts on this subject. Thanks.

    Best,
    Erin Kennedy
    Professional Resume Services

  50. The post is very informative and very interesting. I will agree with your suggestion but email marketing is good. It is very interesting to read others conversation. Not only the interest, but many people conversation contain very good information.

  51. The way I use my blog is that I write posts of around 300-600 words and of course keep it interesting (I hope).

    Sometime I start wrtting and feel that some real extra quality has come this time.

    I’m so excited I email my list straight away and often turn the post into a PDF and add some images.

    That level of contact I feel is quite important.

  52. You post is really informative, especially for a newbie like me. In this post I have learned quite lots. I have to be honest in the short time I have been online I have noticed that there are few honest people, lots of them are just after your money. I am happy that I have found your site.

    Thank you,
    Simon

  53. dick obrien says:

    Greast info especially for the beginner. I greatly appreciate your work and sharing. Thank you.
    Dick

  54. For me sometimes newsletters can be annoying. It quickly fills up your inbox. Though for the marketer’s side, newsletter is a great tool to keep your readers updated.
    Regards,
    John Sumner

Trackbacks

  1. Anonymous says:

    If You Blog Do You Need An E-Newsletter…

    Many websites today are setup to get visitors onto a newsletter list. But who does the list serve? It serves me, right? How can it serve my audience when I’m in control of it?…

  2. [...] if email newsletters should still be in play. Lisa’s question was prompted by a blog post by Dawud Miracle which poses the same question. And Yaro Starak believes he has the answer: [...]

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