Fresh eyes

Print or digital company newsletter? Ask the audience

Print or digital newsletter - ask the audience

Written by Dan Hooton,
Designer at Freshfield

In the fast-paced digital world we now live in, it’s easy to assume that company newsletters and magazines should be ‘online-only’ content and that ‘print is dead’. However the printed company magazine still has its place – with the Content Marketing Association (CMA) highlighting that last year 52% of all customer publishing was in print format.

A print newsletter gives more scope for analysis and insight that a reader would struggle to absorb on a screen. There is also an intangible feeling of quality in a publication you can hold, turn the pages (and even smell). A publication on a screen, tablet or e-reader just can’t offer this experience – which could help your brand stand out from the digital crowd.

On the other hand, with a digital version there isn’t the same lead-in time, allowing you to be more topical and include ‘breaking news’. It will also have a direct impact on website traffic and social media shares – as the reader is ‘plugged in’ to the web. Finally you can use analytics to see what your target audience is interested in – and tailor future content accordingly.

Also the cost consideration isn’t as simple as “print = expensive and digital = cheap”. While print and mailing costs are obviously higher compared with digital version creation and e-mailing, print offers a far higher return on investment. Recent research by the American Direct Marketing Association highlighted that response rates for larger direct mail pieces in 2012 are up to 40 times better than for e-mail marketing.

The relative importance of digital is set to continue growing with the CMA expecting it to overhaul print as the most common format in 2013. However, print will endure as part of many content marketing strategies – due to the advantages it offers to particular clients and industry sectors.

In determining whether to use print or digital, think about your audience and their consumption habits. Certain demographics prefer print and vice versa. Do your research and set a strategy first.

We produce both print and digital magazines for clients across a wide range of industry sectors, with compelling relevant content at the heart of them.

If you are considering using a company newsletter as part of your marketing strategy please contact us to find out more.

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