There is absolutely no doubt that the creation and online circulation of customer-facing newsletters has had until fairly recently a tremendous impact as an effective method of keeping customers up-to-date and informed about an organisation’s business activities.
However, online newsletters and increasingly email marketing campaigns are facing an uphill struggle in adapting to the rapid domination of the smartphone as the ‘go-to’ communication technology in constant everyday use by businesses and consumers alike!
About 3 in 5 consumers check their email on the go (mobile) and 75% say they use their smart-phones most often to check email. – Fluent “The Inbox report, Consumer perceptions of email” (2018)
If these developments aren’t staggering enough further disrupter technologies such as AI, Automation and critically Hyper Personalisation will force marketers to rethink how best to interactively communicate at all points on the customer journey when the very technologies themselves will start to shape and redefine messages and content!
In the face of these fluid and dynamic market realities, traditional on-line Newsletters suffer from a number of restraints and inefficiencies:
- Originally designed as PDF’s that work best on a desktop computer.
- Invariably need printing off to be effectively read (environmentally wasteful)
- Design and layout defaulting into inflexible forms unable to be reader manipulated.
- Non-interactive medium
- Impossible to automatically adapt to the reader’s device
- Difficult to read on smaller screen devices
- Virtually impossible to adapt to mobile devices
- Not current if monthly or quarterly - generally dealing with old new
- Impossible to update before next issue
Invariably busy viewers just don’t bother to make the effort and the result – an unread or worse deleted communication!
Coupled to these challenges are of course those normal issues that face any newsletter creator:
- Keeping the impact beyond Issue 1
- Developing an editorial style that matches the target audience’s preferences
- Creating a format that maximises the effectiveness of words and images
- Sticking to a regular commitment
- Managing the editor responsibilities - consistency
- Finding newsworthy stories
- Trying to remain topical and inspiring
- Evaluating readership reactions
Communicating news and information remains as vital as always – the key is to embrace current technologies while constantly exploring the next developments.