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What type of Online eNewsletter to use?

What type of Online eNewsletter to use?

A Marketing article written by Lynne Newbury

Online newsletters are quickly emerging as the replacement for print publications. This change can rightly be attributed to a cost.

While printing and distributing physical newsletters used to be the norm, this often ended up costing the company a hefty sum, especially with a growing readership of the newsletter. The switch to online newsletters only seemed logical, as they offer the advantage of zero printing costs, and no limitations on geographical location.

There are two main ways to distribute online newsletters to readers. The first is through email and the second is through internet websites. Take notice that just because someone can read email, doesn’t mean they have direct access to internet and vice versa.

Newsletter Type Requirements Audience


HTML Email Newsletter

These types of emails allow for great customisation and creativity. With HTML based emails, the writer can incorporate a variety of graphics into the email such as photos, rich text formats and multiple columns, to name a few. The advantages of using this type of newsletter is that it allows you to customise the newsletter with graphics, more ideal for those who will read the newsletter on the screen, and can compare with expensive print newsletters. The disadvantages are that not everyone has access to HTML-based email programs, and that it is restricted to those who have internet access.

Plain-Text Email Newsletter

As it states, plain-text email newsletters are just as they are named, plain and simple. These types of newsletter can be read on any email program. They consist of the basic text with no colours or added text effects. The advantages of using this type of newsletter is that it can be sent to everyone, it can easily be printed out, and can be quickly created and sent. The disadvantages of these newsletters stem from their simplicity. Consequently, readers may lose interest in the newsletter because of the lack of colour and graphics.

PDF Newsletter

This type of newsletter is available to both internet and email users. The newsletter is sent either as an attachment on an email, or can be posted on the internet site for download. What is needed is a version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (available for free). Many magazine companies have started to publish their online version using this format as it allows for greater customisation. The advantages with this type of newsletter are that there are no limited design restrictions, users are able to print the newsletter easily, and they can create the same look as print publications. The disadvantages of these types of newsletters are that file size can be quite large, which means it takes longer to download the file. You also need a special program to view the file, which not everyone has, and photos can sometime be blurry when printed because of the reduced quality.

Web Based Newsletter

This type of newsletter is usually displayed on a hosted website by the company. To access it, readers must have internet access and visit the website directly. The advantage of using this type of newsletter is that it can be just as attractive as any webpage you have ever seen, it is quite ideal for on-screen viewing, and it can quite easily be archived online. The disadvantages of this type of newsletter are that not everyone has internet access, people have to go and seek the newsletter out, and it never looks as good when printed out.