Many businesses periodically send newsletters by postal mail to keep subscribers current on their affairs or industry-related news, for the goal of maintaining a loyal customer base to whom they can market additional products or services. With pervasive utilization of the net for information dissemination, and with RSS News Feeds gaining momentum as a powerful online communication tool, one must ask whether businesses are now actually better served by publishing news feeds in lieu of newsletters.
You can 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 if that’s the case, can anyone with essentially no knowledge of news feeds and with computer skills limited by sending email and browsing the net actually publish a news feed independently?
Putting aside well-known features of news feeds listed above, an essential question to ask when evaluating effectiveness of the newsletter versus the news feed is whether the info is time-sensitive. If the company is publishing information related to such topics as the stock market, real-estate, investments, weather, services or services, competitive analyses, product catalogs and prices (and you can probably add more to this list), the effectiveness of the simplenews dramatically diminishes as the delay between the “event” and the delivery of the info about the function increases. If a newsletter is published every 90 days, on average the info is six weeks old! And it’s not just that the info arrives too late to be crucial that you the recipient, but additionally because recipients can come to learn the newsletter is irrelevant for their affairs and tune out. Unfortunately, meaning it is going to be regarded as spam and tossed to the trash without opening. Why would I care about an investment opportunity if, by enough time I receive that advice, it’s too late to act onto 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 been depending more and more on email broadcasting to a registration list. You’ve seen the come-on — “Subscribe for our email list “.Even if one does reluctantly submit their email address to those hopefully-private lists, spam filters will often trash that email, and for the e-mail that does complete (and all 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 company has avoided the development, distribution, and delay problems associated with newsletters by utilizing email, if in the end 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 feed is instantly available online. Recipients can volunteer for the info with no it “pushed” at them, so there is no sense of spamming associated with news feeds. The audience for the info 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 a specialist who publishes a news feed, you may donate to that news feed – without giving your email address away – and whenever new information is published, you may receive a sign and operate on that information in real time. Imagine … literally within minutes after the advice is published, you may read and act upon that new information.
If your intention is always to spam – in other words, 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.