Guest blog by LisaMarie Dias, e-newsletter diva
As a designer of e-marketing materials, people will often ask “Should I blog, tweet or start an e-newsletter?” While the question is usually posed as ‘which one’, I will often answer “Yes” in an attempt to help them re-frame the query. There are valid reasons to start any one of these and in my opinion, often very good reasons to have all three!
First and foremost, you need to be very clear about the message you are trying to share. The mode of transport – and that is all that these choices are, different modes of transport for getting your info out into the world – depends on what, exactly, you want to say and to whom. Are you selling a product to a new customer or disseminating information to establish your expertise? Are you speaking to someone that knows of you and your product or are you introducing yourself? Once you clarify the message and the recipient, it will usually be easier to determine how to share it.
Each mode is best suited for a different type of message with some working well in multiple situations. An e-newsletter gives you the time to introduce yourself and to provide detailed information. It also allows you to define your ‘tone’ and to post upcoming events. But it is not a good medium for sharing time sensitive information or for last minute reminders. Blog posts are excellent for distributing daily and timely comments, insights and musings but work best when they are sent to someone that already knows you. The same goes for tweets. They are the perfect way to stay on someone’s radar with quick observations, retorts and reminders but only when received by someone that is ‘following’ you. They are not a very good vehicle for introduction and certainly not for explanation.
One client, a financial planner, offers a tremendous amount of timely and valuable financial information and advice each month complete with references, charts and foot notes. This is obviously not a message suited to a blog post or ‘tweet’. His e-newsletter offers the space and time to deliver this information properly. Blog posts are a great way to define your tone and to grow your following. By posting frequently, people get a feel of who you are and over time, you can build a level of trust. This same client might blog about the daily ups and downs in the market as well. It would not necessary conflict with the e-newsletter and, if done well, could certainly support it. And I suppose he could tweet too, though I am not sure if financial advice via tweet is in anyone’s best interests. My point is that these modes are not mutually exclusive.
Sometimes I will hear the question, “I have a blog and I am active on Twitter, do I need an e-newsletter/ e-zine as well? “
I believe that, if you have the stamina – and do not underestimate the amount of time and effort each of these endeavors will require – it is often best to combine all three modes, using e-newsletters to introduce yourself and define your area of expertise, blog posts to build on that expertise and tweets to ensure that you are on your reader’s radar.
Promoting an event is a great opportunity to use the strengths of all three modes. An e-newsletter calendar, posted regularly, makes someone aware of the event and allows them to register and plan to attend. A blog post can then be used to discuss the event and build anticipation followed by a ‘tweet’ to remind them when the date arrives. Working together, in a coordinated timeline, these three tools will increase the likelihood of having your message received and in this case, ensure event attendance.
Pick the format that works best for your message. Or better yet, try all three. This is not an ‘either – or’ proposition. They are all useful tools which should be created and designed to work together to ensure that your message is broadcast and shared.
LisaMarie Dias works with people to create dynamic online marketing materials using Constant Contact. She offers individual and group classes for those that are interested in doing it themselves and full packages for businesses that want it all done for them. Give her a call and let her help you get your message online and into your client’s in-box!