Both forms of newsletter production are effective, though there’s a leaning towards printed newsletters – especially when targeting consumers.
In the United States, electronic newsletters have gained enormous ground, especially in the area of information marketing.
Interestingly, the people at the very top of U.S. marketing such as Dan Kennedy use and recommend a combination of both – electronic primarily for lead generation.
Dan Kennedy strongly urges businesses to use a printed newsletter stating that his research has found they gain higher readership and retention thereby giving significantly better results.
We believe much the same, especially for businesses communicating to consumers. Business to business – maybe not quite so emphatically.
The late, Gary Halbert, one of the world’s most famous direct marketers was renowned for urging business operators marketing online to capture as many physical addresses of their online prospects as possible.
He said that if you can collect the physical addresses of your online prospects (ezine subscribers, for example), you can then send them a direct mail promotion and generate up to 400% higher sales than with the same copy delivered only on the Web.
Wow – and many business operators restrict themselves to the web because it’s ‘cheaper’!
Electronic Newsletters in PDF or HTML format
Significantly lower cost of production as there’s no printing and mail-out costs
Enables higher levels of frequency than printed newsletters
You need permission to send them which is great for existing customers or for people requesting the newsletter but it’s spam if you send to a data-base of prospects who haven’t ‘opted in’.
If you’re sending to consumers such as a couple who’ve taken a home loan with a finance broker there’s a distinct possibility that your newsletter will be trashed either by ‘junior’ getting on the computer before mum or dad have read the newsletter and there’s every chance mum or dad will trash it before the other has read it.
It’s interesting that even today when people want to read something thoroughly they’ll often print it out which indicates that comprehension levels are higher with printed copy.
Even though you can add the words “send to a friend” very few people do, with the result electronic newsletters rarely gain the same level of referrals to others that printed newsletters achieve.
You can send them to anyone – not just your customers but you can letterbox them to every home in a locality or you can mail them out to prospects via a list.
They’re brilliant for handing out at Expos. Excellent for gaining the names of prospects showing interest in your stand display.
There’s less chance of being trashed before another person in the household or business sees it.
Because of having higher retention value such as sitting on a desk or within the home there’s a greater chance of a printed newsletter being shown to others. Evidence of this has been seen especially with newsletters for motor vehicle dealerships, real estate agents and finance brokers where recipients of a newsletter have shown it to their friends or family members.
Apparent higher comprehension levels.
Considerably more expensive to produce and dispatch
Because of the time to print and dispatch they may not be as immediate as an electronic newsletter