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Online magazine or newsletter?

I’ve had a client swap from online newsletters to paper ones recently and it got me to thinking about the relative benefits of a paper newsletter/magazine over an online version.

So, following on from yesterday’s discussion on blogs vs newsletters, today’s post is about online vs print for newlsetter

What are the benefits of a hard copy newsletter/magazine?

  • it’s easy to read – on screen reading is slower and harder, printing it yourself requires a printer and costs!
  • not everyone is online so a hard copy may expand your readership base, which is particularly important if you want to influence a wider range of people
  • many people find it exciting to get something in the mail, especially something that isn’t a bill!
  • it’s easy to mark your place if you can’t finish reading it in one sitting
  • it’s easy to make notes in the margins or underline specific points of interest
  • it can be stored for later use or handed to friends and colleagues
  • articles tend to be longer and more detailed in a magazine or printed newsletter which is great if you are after information

And how is an online version better?

  • it is very cheap to produce and distribute, and is therefore more likely to be available for free
  • it can be finished just before a publication deadline – hard copies need more planning – so can be more up-to-date
  • it can link to relevant resources, expanded information and the publisher’s website
  • it can be kept very short by just having article excerpts and linking to the main article online
  • the link/pdf/email can be passed onto friends

As a general rule, businesses will pay more to advertise in your magazine than in an online or email newsletter because it is the more conservative and better-known option, and it is more permanent.

Email newsletters become popular very fast because they were cheap to produce and could be sent straight to people’s computers. However, there are now so many email newsletters available that people become overwhelmed and don’t read all the emails they get.  Additionally, there is so much spam flying around that legitimate newsletters and the like are often caught by spam filters and are not read.

So when contemplating what to do for your business, consider your budget, the purpose of your publication, what your market may like and how important it is for your newsletters to be read promptly. Remember, you can always do both or stop one if it truly isn’t working for you and your clients.

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