Newsletters or Email or News Feeds – Which is Better?

Many businesses periodically send newsletters by postal mail to keep subscribers current on the affairs or industry-related news, for the goal of maintaining a devoted customer base to whom they are able to market additional products or services. With pervasive utilization of the net for information dissemination, and with RSS News Feeds gaining momentum as a strong online communication tool, one must ask whether businesses are now better served by publishing news feeds in lieu of newsletters.

You will find obvious convenience factors that favor publishing news feeds over newsletters: No newsletter design delays or expenses, no printing delays, no printing costs, no postage costs, no mailing lists. But are news feeds far better than newsletters in delivering the message? And in that case, can anyone with essentially no knowledge of news feeds and with computer skills limited to sending email and browsing the net actually publish a simple newz feed on their own?

Putting aside the obvious advantages of news feeds in the above list, an important question to ask when evaluating effectiveness of the newsletter versus the news headlines feed is whether the data is time-sensitive. If the business is publishing information related to such topics whilst the stock market, property, investments, weather, services or services, competitive analyses, product catalogs and prices (and you are able to probably add more to the list), the effectiveness of the newsletter dramatically diminishes whilst the delay between the “event” and the delivery of the data about the big event increases. If a newsletter is published every 3 months, typically the data is six weeks old! And it’s not merely that the data arrives too late to be important to the recipient, but in addition because recipients will come to understand the newsletter is irrelevant with their affairs and tune out. Unfortunately, that means it will soon be viewed as spam and tossed to the trash without opening. Why would I value an investment opportunity if, by the time I receive that advice, it’s too late to behave on it? (At my postoffice, a recycle bin is provided in the lobby so that you can conveniently toss away your spam without even taking it home.)

Recognizing this time-sensitivity problem, businesses have now been depending more and more on email broadcasting to a subscription list. You’ve seen the come-on — “Register for the email list “.Even if one does reluctantly submit their current email address to those hopefully-private lists, spam filters will often trash that email, and for the e-mail that does cope with (and most of us understand how effective spammers have become), the e-mail from the legitimate businesses usually gets lost amidst all that spam. So what does it matter if the business has avoided the development, distribution, and delay problems associated with newsletters by using email, if in the long run the message never reaches welcoming ears.

News feeds effectively overcome the shortfalls of newsletters and email broadcasts. With news feeds, nothing is ever printed or emailed, and the news headlines feed is instantly available online. Recipients can volunteer for the data without having it “pushed” at them, so there’s no sense of spamming associated with news feeds. The audience for the data can receive that information at their convenience and can receive alerts or “signals” whenever new information is published. For instance, if you were enthusiastic about listening in on investment advice from an expert who publishes a news feed, you could donate to that news feed – without giving your current email address away – and whenever new information is published, you could receive a signal and operate on that information in real time. Imagine … literally within a few minutes following the advice is published, you could read and act upon that new information.

If your intention would be to spam – quite simply, to send unsolicited information to others with the intent of gaining some advantage – than news feeds are not for you. Your targets will simply not listen in to news feeds that don’t interest them! Spammers are stuck with email and mass mailings with the hope that recipients will accidentally open the spam and get teased to the proposition by the seduction of the message.


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