Tingalls Blog - Marketing Tips & Tricks

Is a Printed Newsletter More Effective than Digital?

Guest Article From Steve Namio, Wells Print & Digital Services

Newsletter design - print vs. digitalWhen sending out your next newsletter, which medium should you use to gain the best response from your customer, e-mail or print?
You must understand the advantages and disadvantages of both before you can make a fair decision. An e-mail newsletter and direct-mail (printed) newsletter can include similar articles, advertisements, etc. and both require a mailing list.
One of the few advantages of an e-mail newsletter is cost. An e-mail newsletter will be less expensive to distribute than a printed newsletter, so you can send them out more frequently. The printed newsletter will have the consistent costs of printing and mailing, so these generally are sent out on a monthly or quarterly timeframe.
Response Rate
The downfall of the e-mail newsletter is the response rate. A good e-mail newsletter might receive ½ percent response. It is very easy for your customer to ignore or delete the e-mail without ever reading it, plus it also has the chance of landing in spam. Whereas, delivery is guaranteed with a printed newsletter through the mail. People like to sift through their mail and decide what to open. A printed newsletter might generate a more positive 3-5 percent response rate.
Here are a few additional reasons why a printed newsletter is still an overall better choice than e-mail:

  • The majority of people prefer a printed physical format. While reading an e-mail, people often have trouble focusing—studies show our brains associate text with the physical world.
  • The printed newsletter also has a shelf life. Your customer might hang on to it for a month or two before actually reading it. Also, they could decide to save it for a specific article or information within the newsletter or pass it on to a friend or colleague.
  • You can include more information in a printed newsletter. An e-mail newsletter has limits on how many articles can be included before your customer deletes it.

Overall, both the e-mail newsletter and the print newsletter contain informative articles and resources that help you connect with your customers and promote your business. Although the cost to develop and distribute and e-mail newsletter is less, the print newsletter remains the best option. From its guaranteed delivery, higher response rate and longevity the printed newsletter is well worth the extra expense to get your information out to your customers.