Re: Inbox vs. Online Newsletters

From: Shawn Merwin <>
Date: Fri 3 Sep 1999 14:25:54 -0400

>What if we were to take our newsletter and build it on the
>site rather than sending out a text email? We could then
>send an email teaser to draw people to the site to read the

Rob, Juliano, Scott and All:

I was remiss in not mentioning three points in my last

Juliano's samples of Brazilian HTML newsletters reminded me
of many HTML newsletters I have seen in the US. While they
are aesthetically pleasing, they don't provide all of the
information the subscriber wants. They are too much tease
and not enough substance. My conversations with subscribers
of various newsletters have shown me that they generally
don't want to be teased and then forced back to a Web site
to get the information. If you are promising subscribers
information via email newsletter, then give them that
information in the email. The use of too many graphics or
menu bars makes the email look exactly like a Web page,
which makes the subscriber feel like they could have gotten
the information without having to subscribe. The email
newletter should be something special, whether in HTML or
text format--something the user couldn't have gotten by
simply going to your web page.

Secondly, HTML email does not necessarily equal 50KB email.
An HTML email newsletter we create allows subscribers to
receive weather information, including a variety of weather
maps, including radar and satellite images. This HTML email
averages around 6KB, about half the size of this text
Online-Ads newsletter. As I said in my previous post, it is
not the medium, but the performance and goals of the people
using the medium that count in the long run.

Finally, more important than a debate of the virtues of HTML
email versus text email is giving the subscriber the option
of either. When we developed our Informz messaging system,
we made sure that the message creator could format both
types of email (plus a formatted text email, pager
messaging, and fax delivery methods) without having to input
data and format messages repeatedly for each delivery
method. If all these formats can be created in one step,
and done so in a pleasing and relevant manner, why not let
the subscriber decide not just what information they want,
but in what format they want it as well?

Thanks for listening,

Shawn Merwin
Director of Software Training - The New Leader in Opt-In Messaging

Received on Fri Sep 03 1999 - 13:25:54 CDT


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