The Difference Between Email Marketing and Newsletters

Good Business

The concepts of “sending out email newsletters” and “doing email marketing” are related, and it’s easy to lump them together. But it’s important to understand the difference between them, and to learn to utilize where they overlap.

Email Newsletters

Email newsletters are, quite simply, newsletters that you get in your email inbox. You are happy to see them arrive in your inbox, and you open them up expecting to be informed or entertained.

They can be all text, they can be chock-full of pretty pictures, they can be short or long. How a newsletter looks, or how big it is, can vary widely as long as it reaches the right audience.

Email newsletters should arrive on a regular schedule. Weekly, monthly, quarterly – whatever suits the sender.  Email newsletters shouldn’t be pushy about selling your service. Instead, they should foster a relationship with people who are interested in your service.

Email Marketing Campaigns

While a newsletter is informational, an email campaign’s sole purpose is to convince the reader to take action. Newsletters with a call-to-action are email campaigns. When companies send campaigns to the people who have subscribed to their email distribution list – that is email marketing.

(When companies send campaigns to people who have not subscribed, that is spamming — but we’ll get to that in a bit).

Campaigns may contain sales promotions, new product videos, offers to download or requests to signup, etc.

The goal of email marketing is to increase conversions (sales) on your website and to increase customer loyalty – both for new and existing customers.

Loyal, happy customers are the best ambassadors of your brand. They give great reviews and referrals, in addition to repeat business.

When you send out an email with the intent to drive conversions, well hallelujah! You have just created an email campaign. Go, you!

Image source: CampaignMonitor

It’s important to collect your own list of subscribers. You want people to visit your website and opt-in to receive marketing materials from you. A) you want to be a decent human and not spam people, and B) buying or trading lists of email addresses is soooo 1996 and will get you blacklisted on every reputable spam server in the country.

Combine newsletters and campaigns in your emails marketing strategy.

Newsletters can, and should be, part of your email marketing strategy. The best email marketers mix it up between engaging the reader with helpful content in a newsletter, and trying to get the reader to take action in a campaign.

You want to move the reader further down into your sales funnel.

The call-to-action in an email campaign can be lots of things: schedule a call, download a guide, join an online community, order an e-course, or make a purchase. A good ratio is to send three informational newsletters to every sales-focused one.

Newsletter vs. Campaign

Lime Crane newsletters

Email Newsletter Topic Examples

  • Latest Blog Posts
  • Free Downloads
  • Company Announcements
  • Birthday Messages
  • Local Event otices
  • Product or Service Updates

Email Campaign Topics Examples

  • Special Offers & Coupons
  • Paid Downloads
  • Appointment Reminders
  • Event Invitations
  • Post-Purchase/Transactional Emails
  • Changes to Fees + Prices

Effective email marketing strategies work for these three reasons:

1. They are built on nurturing relationships with people who know, like and trust you.

2. They are targeted toward people who have chosen to receive your marketing messages – they are already in your sales funnel.

3. They are able to be monitored/tracked – you know when emails are opened and exactly what links are clicked.

Now that you can make the distinction between email marketing and newsletters, you can create a few strategies and see how they work for you.

How to cultivate your subscriber list, how to measure and track the data around your campaigns is covered in Email Marketing Metrics – Know Your Data.

Are you excited to start email marketing, but dread taking on more work? Give me a holler – I can help.

While we’re on the topic…

Email Marketing Done Right

My Email Marketing Service

Email Campaign Metrics