Are Newsletters still relevant?

A few days ago I received this question through Twitter

@michael_n@justinflitter Is having a monthly newsletter relevant anymore for a small biz? Or should they just blog and use social media?

I asked Glenn Edley from  for his opinion

I think newsletters that add value to your contact list are more relevant than ever.

One reason is it's a great way to tell people your on Twitter or Facebook. People seem to think their customers will just follow them and forget they aren't psychic. You have to tell them what your up to.

This is how I see email working with other social media tools:

From Drop Box


Another reason for newsletters is you can hire someone else to write, build, deliver and measure them for you. Social media takes up someones time and that person in a small business is generally the owner. However they can't do everything and too much time on Twitter and Facebook without a strategy could actually damage their business because they are on Twitter instead of working.


People who receive your newsletter are already familiar with you, asking them to follow you on social media is a great way to get started.

I agree. Newsletters are complementary. Many social media campaigns are still database harvesters, give someone something interesting in return for their email address or contact details. Delivered well newsletters offer you a direct communications link with your customers thats more than 140 characters, full of rich media and special offers or information. 
What do you think? Do you still use newsletters or do you think social media will reduce the impact email newsletters will have?