According to Wikipedia, PDFs first emerged in 1993, as a way to get around the pesky problem of sharing documents with people using different systems to yours.
It’s now 2015, which means that PDFs have been around for 22 years. That’s a long time for a digital format. If PDFs were a person, they’d be moving to a retirement village right about now.
At one point, PDF newsletters were the standard. However, times (and technology) have changed. If the following points are important to you when sending client newsletters, you might want to consider looking at options other than PDFs:
You want to avoid the spam trap
PDFs have a tendency to run on the large side. A standard 4-page client newsletter in PDF format can easily be 5MB. Sending hundreds of emails with a 5MB attachment is taxing on mail servers, and makes it more likely that your email will end up in a Spam folder somewhere.
You want your newsletters to be mobile friendly
The rise and rise of mobile devices means it’s likely that a large number of your clients are reading your newsletters on tablets or smartphones. With many mobile providers still charging an arm and a leg for extra data, it’s unlikely your clients will want to download a 5MB PDF.
You want to encourage clients to share your newsletters
Referrals are an important part of obtaining new clients in the financial planning industry, so you want to encourage your clients to forward your emails onto their friends and family. Depending on what email programs your clients may be using, your PDF attachment may get lost in the ether, and fail to reach as many people as you’d like.
You want to utilise email marketing software
There are a wealth of email marketing services available now, which make emailing your database a snap. However, most of them (including our favourite, Mailchimp) lack the ability to send attachments en masse.
While relying on PDFs as your primary newsletter format can be problematic, the format still has its place. If you’re planning to print your newsletter – either in-house or professionally – it’s the only option. And a number of our clients upload PDFs to their websites, to create libraries of their past newsletters. Others prefer to send a HTML email newsletter, and provide a link to a PDF so their clients have options.
It’s important to look at your options, and settle on a solution that meets the requirements of your clients, as well as the needs of yourself and your team.
Whether you prefer to send HTML or PDF newsletters, Advant Plus has you covered. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any help with either, or follow us at @AdvantGroup for tips, tricks and news.