Pros and Cons for a
Mailed Printed Newsletter and e-Newsletter List
Topeka PC Users Club, Kansas
As with many groups, the cost of producing and mailing a printed newsletter is a major expense for the TPCUC.
The club exists on the revenue generated by the membership dues (approximately 80 members) and the 50/50 drawing. They have been fortunate to have a little extra income from the software drawing the past few months. On the other hand, they have not had any advertising in their newsletter for quite some time, and no one has volunteered to help the club generate any income by that means.
TPCUCís Executive Board wants to make the best choice based on what the majority of members want to receive although it does seem that receiving the newsletter in an electronic format is the next step in the evolution of their club.
The Board came up with a suggestion to cut costs:
Instead of mailing the newsletter, it could be created in PDF format (in full color). An e-mail will be sent to all members with the newsletter attached. To allow members time to try this format, the February newsletter will be in PDF format and will alternate with a printed version mailed in March. In April, it will be presented to members again in PDF format. By alternating the receipt of the paper copy for a few months, members will have time to evaluate the change.
Their January meeting featured a presentation on the Portable Document Format. What is a PDF? How is a PDF used? How do I create a PDF? All of this and more was answered at their meeting.
The check-off list for the Pros and Cons for a printed newsletter v. an e-newsletter list is below.
Pros for Paper Newsletter
- You can carry it around with you
- Itís already printed out for you
- Paper newsletter should be included in yearly dues
- Old fashioned users like paper newsletter
- We have done it this way for the last 20 years
- If itís not broke, donít change it
- I donít like reading newsletters from computer monitor
- I donít like scrolling up and down to read on computer
- I have a dial-up connection
Cons for Paper Newsletter
- No one is helping to get advertising to help subsidize newsletter costs
- Club members not willing to donate time and gas to help secure ads
- Not enough readers to justify ad expense for business owners
- Most readers already have products business owners sell
- Paper and postage costs keep increasing
- Black and white only Ė color too costly
- Takes a week for printing and mailing time
- Cost involved for postage of returned issues (addressee moved, etc.)
- Time needed to stamp, label and put tabs on newsletters
- Extra cost and travel involved to get mailing labels, stamps, and tabs
- Extra costs due to courtesy copies, either mailed or distributed in Topeka
- Limited number of members join through bulk distribution of newsletters
Pros for e-Newsletter
- Full-color monthly newsletter Ė will make newsletter more attractive
- No printing or mailing costs (save $175.00 a month) Ė major monthly expense for club
- Newsletter delivered in Adobe Reader format (.pdf is now industry standard)
- Better quality photos
- Faster delivery
- Demonstrate and apply new technology by publishing an electronic newsletter, thereby possibly acquiring new members
- Will have updated e-mail addresses so we can notify club members of last minute scheduling changes
- e-Newsletter will be stored on website for archival purposes
Cons for e-Newsletter
- Members would have to print pages of newsletter if they want a paper copy
- Members would be responsible to keep their e-mail addresses updated to receive newsletter
- Someone would have to maintain accurate and updated e-mail address list for newsletter