The pendulum is swinging back. For the last five or ten years the push for authors to send out a digital newsletter was encouraged on every front. Turns out that it became so popular everyone did it. So much so that as email newsletters became more and more prolific, readers soon felt overwhelmed. In order to handle the load, people started filtering the emails into sorted files that rarely were opened or simply deleted them after a casual disinterested glance at the subject line.
Even though digital newsletters could be sent in full color, 84% of the browsers that received them had pictures and images turned off to guard against spam and viruses. An email with plain text has to be pretty amazing to be read in this day and age of short attention spans.
As email turned into a chore and a headache, the delete key started being used with greater ferocity. A mediocre headline meant instant banishment to the trash bin and a pitchy sales lead went into the spam folder. An email list of thousands might sound impressive but not with an open rate of less than 3%.
As snail mail was used less and less, readers started paying more attention to print letters that they received. An email letter might be tossed but a handwritten letter from Aunt Joan was tucked lovingly into a drawer for further reading. An animated message of super deals that bombarded the unsuspected reader who opened a digital sales catalog was clicked off without a thought, while a catalog of books and special offers tucked into the lonely mailbox at the end of the driveway was opened and casually perused for a few minutes.
Email is here to stay and it has its place but more and more retailers are finding that sending out quarterly or even monthly printed material is perceived as having more value and credibility. Authors may find that the so-called, old fashion advertising methods of using postcards, printed flyers and newsletters may entice their readers more than ever.