Publicity Overload Blog...
2nd March 2015
Suzy Saker, Account Manager.
Is the Printed Newsletter Dead?
Digital marketing – cheap, easy, effective and measurable. No wonder us 21st century marketing buffs like it. But where does this leave the faithful printed newsletter? Is it left to forlornly flutter its pages in the graveyard of disused pre-internet communication tools?

Not a bit of it. Printed newsletters have their own benefits to offer and shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. Here are just a few reasons why they may be worth your while...

It Pays to Stand Out

As more and more businesses hoist their sails and glide merrily into the vibrant waves of the internet, printed mediums are becoming less frequently used. “Why pay more when you can reach potential customers using websites and eshots at a fraction of the price?” cries the fiscally conscientious MD, receiving an acknowledging chink of the brandy glass from the Finance Director. These logical yet potentially short-sighted people are your friends. If they’re not doing it, and many others are not, then your newsletter will stand out without needing to raise its glossy head over too many competitors.

Don’t Ignore Me!
These are not merely the uncontrollable wailings of toddlers and those applying to become a Big Brother contestant. When developing marketing materials, you want to create something that captures the already-in-demand attention of your audience. The fact is, emails are easy to ignore – and, more importantly, delete – which goes some way to explaining why newsletters tend to have a higher response rate.
This was confirmed by the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA’s) 2012 Response Rate Report, which revealed that mail campaigns draw a better overall response than digital channels. For example, response rates for campaigns sent to existing customers averaged 3.40% for direct mail, compared with 0.12% for email.

My Lovely Budget
It’s true - newsletter production and mailing costs are comparatively higher than the cost of email campaigns. However, based on the response stats above, this equates to a roughly equivalent cost per sale/lead. These figures are based on sends to existing customers, although the trend is similar with other types of data lists. On that note, the availability of data is an important aspect to consider and newsletters can play their part here, too. If your customer list could do with a growth spurt, newsletters placed as inserts in key publications can be effective as a data-capturing exercise as well as raising brand awareness, so you get more value from your investment and make your budget work that bit harder.

Your Very Own Mini-Publication
My pages, my precious precious pages! Yes, they are yours to do with as you will without needing an editor’s consensus. Now don’t let it go to your head, you should still provide interesting, useful and/or entertaining content as you’ll be doing more harm than good sending a newsletter out that is duller than Comic Sans. But you do have free reign over a number of pages to communicate the messages that are most topical for your business and industry, as well as the opportunity to include stories that clearly communicate your business ethos, such as events, fundraising stories and sponsorships. Visual is powerful and a well-designed newsletter will send a strong, clear message to your customers. For more information on creating a good design, see what our expert Sofia Stergiopoulou has to say here.

Hopefully I’ve helped you understand the benefits printed newsletters can offer as part of a multi-media marketing campaign. Stay tuned for tips on how to write a stonking good newsletter so your customers don’t end up looking like this...