Recently I had cause to change the service I use to produce HTML newsletters and I was amazed by how many options are now available. Just a few years ago, the choices were limited: if you didn’t know html or have a designer on staff, there were only a few companies that offered solutions with good templates and WYSIWYG software. Not any more! With the options that are now available, there’s no longer any excuse for not integrating an electronic newsletter into your program.
There are several compelling reasons to choose an electronic newsletter over print.
- Measurability. With an electronic newsletter you know who received it, who opened it and what they read. It’s a real eye-opener when you find out what topics your readers really care about and it allows you to leverage that knowledge by making your outreach tools more relevant.
- Interactivity. Print newsletters are just another way that we push information on readers. An electronic newsletter enables you to create a dialogue with your readers. It’s simple now to insert surveys, enable direct purchases, or enter promotions.
- Integration. Your newsletter is part of your image. An electronic newsletter allows you to create actual links among your communications outreach tools to bring the reader full circle. Most important is that the electronic newsletter helps drive traffic to your company – or client – web site, where they can get more information about your products or services. Plus, you can archive your old newsletters on the Web site, keeping that information just a click away.
- Cost. No printing and no postage. Need we say more? See how to choose a supplier (below) for more on distribution costs.
Timely information. HTML newsletters typically allow you to get news out faster because the production time is so much shorter.
What’s the downside of going electronic? The only one I can think of is that people no longer have the paper in their hands. This can be a problem when your customers are not comfortable reading information on a computer screen or when they use downtime such as airline travel to read the newsletter.