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Disadvantages of newsletters

Newsletters are a common method of communication for clubs, communities and families. They help a central coordinator or volunteer pass the same information on to many people. However, companies also use newsletters for promotional purposes in business-to-business or business-to-consumer communication. The ability to package a lot of information in one missive has advantages to the sender but the commercial use of the newsletter format has disadvantages.

Printed newsletters

The cost of producing a printed newsletter is relatively high, when compared to e-newsletters. For it to be eye-catching and attractive, full-colour printing is often necessary. Distribution involves posting directly to the intended recipient, or door-to-door delivery by someone hired for that purpose. Both methods are expensive. When your newsletter arrives, you cannot be sure that it reaches the intended recipient.

Electronic newsletters

The increase in popularity of electronic newsletters is due, in the main, to the low cost of producing and sending. Problems can arise when spam filters stop your newsletter arriving. Privacy protection in some mail programs stops images being shown automatically, profanity filters take exception to words you considered innocent, and these things happen before the recipient makes a decision on whether to open and read the newsletter or not. Automatic previews mean if the first headline in your newsletter isn't interesting to the reader, it is likely they will not continue and open it.

Content

The newsletter is full of information you feel is important. While accepting this is the point of the newsletter, it isn't always information that the recipient really wants to read. Often, the content of a newsletter is not something the recipient is sufficiently interested in to read from beginning to end.

Interactivity

Attachments to electronic and email newsletters should be avoided wherever possible. They require additional action on the part of the recipient. Further information can be given in links, but then the reader has to click on those too. In print newsletters, further information is even harder to give as it requires effort on the part of the reader to type in a web address or call a phone number given. Often, electronic newsletters are sent from an unmanned or 'no-reply' email address which makes it hard for those who read the newsletter to provide feedback or ask questions.

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About the Author

Clare Green began writing professionally in 2008 after managing an organization lobbying for business in the U.K. She is also a journalist and has worked for Northcliffe Media on local projects, as well as being published in online business journals such as "The SME."