Monday, February 15, 2010

Marketing Throwdown: Print vs. Digital Newsletters

Many business owners might agree with me that an external newsletter is an effective marketing tool for driving deeper brand recognition and awareness of a company’s expertise, verve for customer care and knowledge of industry trends.

However, if your company produces a printed newsletter, there may currently be an internal debate about switching to an electronic alternative. Digital communication is hands-down the timelier format for news, updates and announcements. It’s about access, speed and convenience. But it’s also about brevity—concise, cut-to-the-chase content—and the savings on printing and postage are obvious.

On the other hand, a printed newsletter provides opportunities for insight and depth—trend analysis, idea pieces and thought leader articles, which are great tools for building brand admiration and credibility. Your company’s e-newsletter hits your recipient’s in-box accompanied by a jumble of spam, other commercial email and inter-office exchanges—a volatile communications environment ruled by a trigger-happy Delete key. What’s more, due to the inherent immediacy of the medium, digital communications do not age well. A high-quality printed piece may sit on a person’s desk to be read or referred to over time, serving as a constant ambassador for your business.

An e-newsletter has true functional advantages over print. The digital ability to instantly link to your company’s website, as well as related information sites or articles of interest can enrich the reader’s experience and regard for your company and its communications.

What’s important to ask yourself is, why not both? A monthly or bi-monthly e-newsletter covering news, promotional programs or new products and services can dovetail effectively with a quarterly printed publication focused on trend analysis and think pieces which position your company as an industry expert by mining and sharing your company’s knowledge and know-how.

Whether it be print or electronic, give CMA a call and we can develop communications that elevate your company’s brand, products and services and position your business as an authority figure throughout your targeted market, ultimately helping to create new opportunities.

Jeffrey Barnhart
President and CEO

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