Blog Posts vs. Email Newsletters...Do You Need Both?
If you’re a small business owner and you sell a service, you need to know something:
For your customer, investing in your service feels risky, vulnerable, and a little scary. They have something to lose while you have something to gain. They’re interested and curious about what you offer and how you can help, but they’re skeptical and very serious about wanting to make a smart choice with their hard-earned money. They’re not going to give it up easily.
Your job is to demonstrate empathy for your customers and the content you publish is a great way to do this.
When you have empathy for your customers, the things you write about should showcase that you:
- Understand your customer’s hesitation. Their concerns are valid.
- Have plenty of experience successfully helping people just like them.
- Truly care and can help them get results—and you can prove it.
Two great places to demonstrate this empathy are:
- Your business’ blog
- Your email newsletter
I believe small businesses should have both and each one serves a unique purpose.
The purpose of your blog…
If your website is your online home, then your blog posts are the equity-building additions you make over time. With each post, your website is enriched in the “eyes” of the search engines.
Related Post // 10 Reasons Your Business Needs A Blog
If your plan is to grow and monetize the content on your blog (think lifestyle bloggers, info/ecourse entrepreneurs), your blog’s mission is to build audience engagement.
But for small business owners like us, the mission is a little different. Yes, it’s important to nurture engagement with like-hearted people, but you don’t necessarily need to do that on your blog. You could interact with your people on a favorite social media channel or, how I prefer to do it, with my email newsletters.
When you have a small, service-based business, I believe your blog is a great place to showcase your experience and expertise. And the very best way to do this is to help, help, and help some more.
Related Post // What To Write About On Your Blog
The purpose of your email newsletter…
The thing about the content that lives on your blog— it expects the reader to remember to come back to your website.
The beauty of your email newsletter is—you make your reader’s life easier by doing the legwork of staying in touch.
That is why I recommend investing the time and energy into content for both your blog and your email newsletters:
1 | Your blog can attract people to your work. It demonstrates your expertise and legitimizes you.
2 | Your newsletter picks up where your blog leaves off...it creates a personal and more intimate connection with people who’ve been attracted to your work and are now curious. Because people are skeptical (rightfully so), your email letters can build trust at a natural pace, over time.
Did you know it can take up to 50 touch points before people feel either aware of your brand or comfortable investing in your services? (According to The Marketing Playbook by Lisa Jacobs). People are inundated with information, drowning in overloaded feeds. We’ve become really good at tuning things out. That’s why consistently reaching back out to people via your email newsletter is vital.
Related Post // Email Opt-In Do’s And Don’ts
Content for your blog vs. your email newsletter:
I don’t believe in cookie cutter answers because every business is different. You’ll need to pay attention to your clients and readers and follow your instincts. But I can share my personal approach.
How I use my blog:
- Answer common questions that come up repeatedly for my clients.
- Try to inspire my ideal clients with interesting stories.
- Teach step-by-step lessons that I know will help people.
- Share insights I’ve learned along my solo-business journey.
- Give away free printable tools to help people solve problems.
Basically, I give people free samples of what it’s like to work with me.
I treat my blog with a bit more professional seriousness than I do my email newsletters—because they’re meant to live online and ripen with age.
How I use my email newsletters:
- Share personal bits from my life so people can get to know me better.
- Treat my subscribers like actual friends and freely connect them with resources on and off the Simple & Soulful blog.
- Give behind-the-scenes thoughts, business updates, and client success stories.
- I'm also incredibly sensitive to the sometimes back-breaking and soul-crushing moments that are a natural part of building any business—and I encourage my pen pals to take care of themselves and stay strong.
My emails help me connect with like-hearted and similarly-minded people on an emotional level.
I take a more relaxed approach with my weekly email newsletters because I want each missive to feel like a personal note from a caring friend.
The thing that’s missing in my emails?
The hard sell.
As a service-based business owner, I know that my sales are dependent upon trust. It takes time to earn trust so I maintain consistency in reaching out and I never push, scare, sell, or try to convince. I simply share and invite. Share and invite. Share and invite.
Over the years, I’ve developed a simple (and soulful) grading system that my content must pass before I hit send or publish:
- Is it helpful? (Keeps me from being too self-indulgent.)
- Is it kind? (Because there’s enough yuck in the world.)
- Is it interesting? (If someone’s going to take five minutes to read something, I want them to really enjoy it and get something out of it!)
- Is it true? (It’s important to me to feel personally aligned. Embellishing, exaggerating, or using silly “fashionable” language I’d never use in real life would compromise my sincerity.
I hope today’s post gave you some good ideas about how you can use your blog and email newsletters as complementary marketing tools to help grow your service-based business. I also hope it inspired you with the perspective that content marketing can be very simple and feel beautifully soulful.