Blog posts and email newsletters: kissing cousins?

blog posts,email newsletters,business blogging,email marketing,content marketing,inbound marketingDid you know that your blog posts can make very good email newsletters? This combination works very well for many people and provided you get the balance right in terms of how many and how often of which, it may well work well for you, too.

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I don’t use my blog posts as email newsletters for two reasons: one, I blog 6 times a week which is far too frequent, even if I were to use a compilation format (see below) … although the Evil Bald Genius (EBG) himself (Jon McCulloch, email marketer extraordinaire) might disagree, but read on, Jon, before you shout at me … and two, my main email newsletter is Blog Writing News which is different – it’s a curated list of links to the best articles on business blogging from all over the place, not just my own stuff, and isn’t directly related to what I post here on the main site.

The difference between email marketing and email newsletters

With email marketing à la EBG, there is a strong sales message and call to action in almost every one of his daily emails. That’s why it’s called email marketing: because it’s about establishing a good relationship that leads directly to sales. The EBG does this superbly and enjoys a huge amount of success with it, because his conversion rates are very high. It is a successful marketing exercise.

With email newsletters we’re still looking at marketing in a sense, but this side of things is all about content marketing or inbound marketing or whatever is the latest synonym for PR – i.e. establishing a good relationship with your customers and prospects by giving them something useful, without asking them to buy something in the last few lines. The main objective here is to create the right climate to facilitate a sale driven in later on another vehicle. A good email newsletter that achieves these objectives is a successful PR exercise.

Blog posts, email newsletters and timing

Most experts agree that email newsletters are most effective if sent out no more frequently than once a week. Once a month is perhaps too long, but once every two weeks is an acceptable gap too. (I send Blog Writing News out every other week and so far have only had one unsubscribe out of over 600, so it doesn’t look like I’m doing them too often.)

If you blog at the same intervals, then it’s a no-brainer. Just one point here: it’s nice for your subscribers to receive your newsletter before  you post it as a blog, so they get first sight of it before you hand it over to the rabble. An interval of a day or two is probably enough.

What if you post more than once a week?

In this case, you can send out a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter that’s a compilation/digest of the articles you have posted on your site in the timeframe. You can list the headline and the first couple of paragraphs of each article, ending with a line that says something like “to read the full article please click here” with a link going through to the whole article on your site.

I believe there are even WordPress plug-ins and other tools you can use to generate such a compilation as a newsletter – if you’re interested drop a note to the intrepid Babs Saul on and I’m sure she can tell you what these tools are and where to get them from.

What about the duplication when readers see both blog post and email newsletter?

With the single article version of the email newsletter this shouldn’t be a problem if you send out the newsletter a day or two before the blog post in question goes live.

With the compilation version you do risk some duplication – assuming all your subscribers go on your blog every day to keep up with your news. Realistically, although they may have seen one or maybe two of the articles introduced in the email newsletter, they won’t have seen them all. So the newsletter will remind them of what they’ve missed.

What experience do you have of using blog posts as email newsletters? Please share your thoughts and advice!

photo credit: Christopher S. Penn via photopin cc




  1. Thanks for a good reminder about the importance of emails. I look on all content as being recyclable, and recycling is a good thing.

    So, my best (feedback and reads) blogs get sent as email newsletters (although I don’t like the terms newsletters as who wants to know your news?).

    Some people worry that their readers won’t like seeing the same things twice. In 5 years of doing this, nobody has ever complained to me about that (am I now opening the floodgates).

  2. Good points, Jon, although my own inclination is to send out the blog post you think will be most useful for your list, first – before it’s published on your site. That way your listers get first sight of it, before the general public does, so if they should catch it again later on your site they won’t feel irritated.

    But as you say, you’re very unlikely to get complaints about such trivial duplication anyway!

  3. I’m just setting these things up now, so found this very interesting. I haven’t gone beyond figuring out how often and a template yet, so will take all this into consideration for the coming decisions. Thanks. 🙂

  4. Glad this was helpful for you, Robyn. Good luck with planning your blogging and mailing strategy!

  5. Thanks for giving the information about the relation of blog post and email newsletter. It reminds us that how many times we pot a blog in a day or in a week also. It is very interesting.


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