Email marketing vs content marketing – what’s the difference?

In May 2019, Harry Dry posted his first marketing blog post on his website, Marketing Examples. At that moment, he did not have an existing audience and any subscribers on his mailing list. One year later, his list exceeded 19 000 subscribers.

During that first year, he developed a system that made it possible to use the same piece of content on multiple platforms and made sure that as many people as possible would sign up for his newsletter.

He posts the same content in a blog post and as an email to his mailing list. He then creates and posts a Twitter thread. He shares it on Reddit, Hacker News, and Indiehackers. He then goes on to share parts and visuals from the full article on Facebook and Slack groups. Among other platforms.

That one piece of content is spread across multiple platforms online. And they almost all end in the same way: by asking them to sign up for his newsletter if they enjoyed what they just read.

“My strategy is simple. I share my whole article. Then, I politely ask if the reader would like to join my email list.”

– Harry Dry, Marketing Examples

Your mailing list is the backbone of your entire marketing system. It is what makes sure that every lead captured is taken care of and nurtured. It is the communication channel that’s being opened up when someone signs up and the only channel that you fully control (in contrast to social media, your website, your Youtube channel, and so on).

But without content, your mailing list is nothing. There’s no way to Google the content of emails or newsletters. To get people on your mailing list, you need content that people can find. This is consistent, and continuous content creation is so important. Each time you post a tweet, write a blog post or record a Youtube video, you add another way for people to find you and get on your mailing list.

Similarly, creating content without having a way to get as many people as possible on your mailing list is like threading water without a plan for how to get to shore. 

The Internet is so fast-paced and constantly changing that you need to grab every person showing the slightest interest in what you have to say by the collar and duct-tape them to their seats as soon as they just happen to open the door an inch to peek into the classroom.

Email marketing is content marketing. Content marketing is email marketing. 

One can’t work properly without the other. And you need to plan and build them simultaneously – knowing exactly who you are building it for (your target audience) and why they should be interested (the pain points you help them solve).

Where does your mailing list fit into your marketing?

If put to good use, mailing list is like a huge bucket.

It is a way to capture leads and make sure you are able to keep talking to them.

To build trust, learn more about them and show them how your product can make their lives better.

Whatever kind of content you create – updates on social media, podcasts, videos or blog posts -your mailing list will do 2 things for you:

🧲️ Capture and nurture as many leads as possible.

🎯 Help you qualify the ones you have: to sort out the ones that would really benefit from your product.

Instead of using it as a way to “poke” people every time you post a new blog post or have a new offer – which will make people walk away from their inbox and into the very distractive internet – your mailing list should be a content platform of its own.