Print vs. Electronic Newsletters.

Try to forget for a moment that you are a printer and think of yourself as a marketer, which of course you are. If you were developing a newsletter, you would want to use the most effective means, right? So let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each channel:

Print Newsletter


  • Ability to reach everyone in your database
  • Easier to rent print lists for expanded circulation
  • High resolution reproduction that delights the eye
  • Ability to demonstrate your capabilities & power of print
  • Portability—easier to take to a coffee break, read on an airplane, etc.
  • People tire of reading computer screens all day
  • Less competition—fewer print newsletters being produced
  • People enjoy receiving relevant print publications


  • Expensive
  • Slower production and distribution process
  • More difficult to present timely news
  • Limited tracking ability for generating marketing metrics

Electronic Newsletter


  • Inexpensive
  • Virtually instant distribution
  • Easier to present timely news
  • Trendy
  • More interactive capabilities—instantly link readers to deeper, related information or contact with you
  • Superior tracking ability for better marketing metrics


  • Permission based
  • Email address availability tends to be spotty even in customer databases
  • Limited list rental options for expanded circulation
  • Easily ignored, deleted or canceled
  • Lots of competition

And the Winner Is…

There is no winner. They are different channels with different sets of pluses and minuses. The answer is a milk toasty “it depends.”

What is clear is that different channels work best in combination with one another. Our most successful newsletter clients use a blend of print and electronic media to communicate their message.

They produce quarterly print versions, usually in 8-page formats, then provide short, one- or two-topic HTML editions on a bi-weekly schedule. This approach not only allows the printers to communicate important information on a timely basis, but also demonstrates that they are multichannel players who understand today’s media environment.

— by Larry Bauer

Explore posts in the same categories: eMarketing, Marketing

2 Comments on “Print vs. Electronic Newsletters.”

  1. Brian Says:


    The difficult part is coming up with enough RELEVANT and ENGAGING topics to stay in touch with. And I’m not talking about newsletters about the value of PDF and what CMYK really is. If I’m going to do a newsletter, I need to be able to communicate something worthwhile that people will pass along to peers…marketing challenges, HR issues, new trends and ideas. Additionally, I’m in sales and don’t have the time to be writing content.

    Any suggestions?


  2. Larry Bauer Says:

    Thanks for your comment, Brian. Your are right on about not wanting to present the typical print drivel that doesn’t excit anyone in a marketing decision roll. And while the intention of Print Strategist is not to beat my own drum, I have a lot of experience in helping a select group of printers distinguish their newsletters and other marketing messaging from the crowd. So rather thanchoosing mundane newsletter topics like those you mentioned, I recommend and write about more relevant topics like reaching multicutural markets with print and other timely issues. Delivering the right content can make a world of difference in establishing you as a thought leader who gets invited to strategy meetings with the “cool kids.”

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