A small business can handle their "Keep In Touch" Marketing (where you keep in touch with past clients, interested prospects and people who have requested that you email them) in a few different ways, such as:
- Email Newsletter
- Blog Subscriptions
- RSS streams
Should you have an ezine list or have people subscribe to your blog?
The answer to this depends on the amount of work you want to do in your marketing.
Running a newsletter mailing list is more work – you have to write the newsletters and send them out. You can customize this option more – from look and feel, to the frequency that the newsletters are sent out with, to other offers or promotions that you send out with your information. But, this also means that you have to do the work of sending out an email newsletter:
- signing up for a newsletter service
- setting the account up
- designing your email newsletter template
- setting up your newsletter each time it has to go out
- testing and sending it
And, that is the process you have to go through each time the newsletter has to go out (and I'm not even talking about putting together your articles and offers for the newsletter)
If you just have people subscribe to your blog (through a service such as Feedblitz, which integrates easily with Typepad or WordPress), then the work of sending out the newsletter is done for you. Your blog posts, if you have made any, get emailed to people who sign up once a day. You don't have to do anything extra. If you don't write a blog post, nothing gets sent out. And, if you want to communicate with your list, you just post on the blog – and take care of 2 marketing tasks at once, because your blog is refreshed and your customers have been updated.
Feedblitz also allows you to log in to your account on their site and view a list of your subscribers – to see exactly who's subscribed. There are other features on their site that allow you to email your subscribers separately from your blog – for example, if you want to make a special discount offer to subscribers only.
The other option is to have people read your blog through RSS Streams, or RSS assistance programs like Feedburner. These are neat and easy for the client to do – they just grab your RSS address from your blog and then paste it into their email program or RSS aggregator. And, they increase the likelihood that people will keep up with your blog – instead of leaving it to them to remember to pull up your blog site every few days. But, the major disadvantage to you here is that they don't have to give you their details in exchange. That means that you can only communicate with these contacts through the blog – which is better than nothing, but not ideal.