Are paper newsletters better than mailing lists?

Paper Newsletters

Continued from Are mailing lists overrated?
Paper-based newsletters have many advantages over their electronic cousins. They get read. One newsletter can be read by the whole household or the whole business. It can be passed around the house or office, or left on a coffee table. In this way, it has a longer lifespan than an email.

When I arrived at a client’s residence or business, I would present them with an information pack which contained a business card, a “free support” sticker for their computer, a list of other services I provide, the training manual if they were a training client, and a current newsletter. If I had some past newsletters left over, I would put one of those in as well.

Paper-based newsletters can be used like a glorified business card.

Paper-based newsletters can be used like a glorified business card.


When you meet someone, hand them a newsletter with a business card attached with a nice paper clip.

Paper-based newsletters have greater perceived value. They are real. The effort that has been put into creating them can be seen, touched, and kept for future reference. Even though the same effort would go into crafting an email newsletter, the paper version is given more respect.

Paper Newsletters are real

If you are mailing your newsletter, there is less and less competition in that space. People and businesses are sending and receiving less ‘snail’ mail. The postal service is reducing both staff and deliveries. Some places no longer get mail delivered 5 days a week. Some days, people only get one piece of mail.

Please let it be mine

If you are mailing your newsletter, you can put other things in with it, such as stickers, fridge magnets or any other branded swag that you might have. Everyone loves to open lumpy mail. It might be that the swag will get you past the personal assistant (hereafter called the Doberman) guarding the decision maker’s door.

Mailboxes do not have spam monitoring for addressed mail. Your addressed newsletter is much more likely to get to the person it is intended for. If you are going for the surprise factor, address it by hand with a sharpie. Use a hotel envelope from your last hotel stay, particularly if it is in a foreign place. That should raise the curiosity level in your prospect.

If you are hand delivering mail, respect “no junk mail” stickers and the laws of your state or territory.


Paper newsletters do have a couple of negatives. They can be more expensive. This can be reduced by self-printing, using B&W only, self-delivering, or targeting only small numbers of individuals at a time. Some people might consider printing bad for the environment – you could use recycled paper and encourage recycling once it has been read by adding a little note on the footer of the newsletter.

Continue reading for 21 tips for writing amazing tech newsletters.