Although they share the same name, LinkedIn and email newsletters are quite different. And some of the differences are substantial.
In this article, I will address the most important ones.
What is LinkedIn Newsletter?
LinkedIn newsletter feature enables other LinkedIn users to subscribe to your articles. Once you publish your first newsletter, LinkedIn will automatically generate a page for your newsletter.
You can set your newsletter's title, description, logo, and publishing frequency. LinkedIn users can visit this page even if they're not signed in and see all your past newsletters. However, they can only subscribe when they're signed in.
LinkedIn Newsletter vs Email Newsletter
Each of these content channels has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Their usefulness is unquestionable, but they're not equally as valuable for every marketer or company.
Let's examine the critical differences between them.
You own your email newsletter and all the contacts in it
One of the critical differences between LinkedIn and email newsletters is that you own your email newsletter. Not only do you not own your LinkedIn newsletter, but you don't even have any contact information for your subscribers.
If you get banned, or LinkedIn decides that they all of a sudden don't want this feature, you can say goodbye to all your hard work and effort.
LinkedIn newsletters are indexed by Google
For your newsletters to appear in the SERPs (search engine results pages) as an answer to a query, they must go through the same scrutiny as any other blog post.
Google will consider all the on-page and off-page ranking factors and rank your newsletter for the given query.
Additionally, having an authoritative LinkedIn profile with many connections/followers doesn't hurt. This enables you to get your content before even more eyes than just those of your subscribers.
LinkedIn newsletters are hosted on a platform with a vast user base
LinkedIn currently has over 830 million users, which has been steadily increasing. If current trends continue, the platform is projected to hit 1 billion users sometime in 2025. (Statista)
Needless to say, tapping into this vast user base has the potential to help you grow your LinkedIn newsletter much more quickly and efficiently than growing an email list. This is especially true if you are starting from scratch with both. 51% more users have used LinkedIn newsletters in Q3 2022 compared to Q2 2022.
Email newsletter is an established monetization channel
From the consumer perspective, email newsletters are well-established. Unless it's your first email newsletter, you know what to expect when subscribing.
Basically, products or services will be pitched to you, and the good ones will balance this with some value-adding informational content.
On the other hand, the LinkedIn newsletter is a relatively new channel that people are still learning to use. Basic marketing principles can and should be applied to LinkedIn newsletters too, but you'll be much more on your own to figure out what works and doesn't.
You can only send one LinkedIn newsletter every 24 hours
Most marketers won't need to publish more than once every 24 hours, but it's a nice option to have. It's certainly conceivable a business might want to publish more than once a day in some circumstances.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn decided to put a hard cap in place most likely to avoid spam. Email newsletters don't have such restrictive limitations.
LinkedIn newsletter pages are public for everyone to see
This is a positive for LinkedIn newsletter, and here's why. A lot of users will check out the past issues of your newsletter and then decide if they want to subscribe or not.
Inevitably, some will choose not to, but this is not a bad thing. It's not about the number of subscribers. It's about the number of true and loyal subscribers who love your content.
These people will convert easier, and doing business with them will be much more enjoyable for both parties.
Final Verdict - Which One is Better?
The email newsletter is superior because with it, you're building an email list that is yours to keep. While the LinkedIn newsletter has many benefits, the complete ownership tips the scale for the email newsletter.
But the real question is, why not do both? Create a LinkedIn newsletter and drive traffic to your website and email newsletter. Funnel users to the channels you own rather than building a community that can be taken away from you on a whim.
Email is still one of the most potent monetization channels in digital marketing. When you have someone's email, you have direct, uninterrupted access to them. And if you don't abuse this privilege, they will let you keep it.