A PDF newsletter is the most versatile type of electronic publication
by David Kandler
Editor’s Note: The author of this article, David Kandler, is founder, owner and president of CompanyNewsletters.com, an Internet firm that produces newsletters for companies throughout the United States. Learn more about how his firm can help your company produce printed and electronic newsletters.
There are many types of electronic newsletters that can be posted on your website or sent by email. But none is as versatile as a PDF newsletter, which can be posted on virtually any website or employee portal, sent as an email attachment and printed in high resolution on an office printer or even at a commercial print shop.
A PDF newsletter is named for the letters used in the extension at the end of it’s file name, for example, “newsletter.pdf.” PDF stands for “portable document format,” but most people just call it by its acronym. This type of file can be opened, viewed and printed using free software, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader (download it for free), and most people already have these PDF apps installed on their computers, tablets and other devices.
Download and view an example of a PDF customer newsletter that CompanyNewsletters.com created for a law firm.
PDF newsletters have many advantages. For instance, a PDF newsletter:
• Looks and prints out like a traditional, printed newsletter. The strength of a PDF newsletter is that – although it is an electronic format — it can be designed to look exactly like a traditional printed newsletter, both on screen and when printed. It prints out better and more cleanly than a website/HTML publication or email-only newsletter. That’s why it is an ideal electronic format to use when you think that a portion of your newsletter’s readers may prefer to print out the newsletter and read it offline.
• Is ideal for those who want both a printed and electronic newsletter. A PDF newsletter is also a perfect format when you want to distribute both a commercially printed and electronic version of your newsletter. In fact, when clients hire CompanyNewsletters.com to create printed newsletters for them, we also provide them with a PDF version of their newsletter for no extra charge. Our printed-newsletter customers love also having an electronic version of their newsletter available to email out advance copies, or even to place current and back issues of their newsletter on their website or employee intranet. That way readers have unlimited, easy access to download the current issue, as well as archived issues.
• Is compatible with virtually all types of websites and easy to upload. Unlike other electronic newsletter formats, PDF newsletters can easily be uploaded to virtually all types of websites, without any compatibility issues. For instance, whether your company has an HTML, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or other type of website, they all should allow you to easily upload PDF files to your website. Then all you have to do is place a link to the PDF file on your website or in an email. When people click on your link to the newsletter, they can easily download, view and print the publication using their PDF app.
Disadvantages of a PDF newsletter
There are two primary drawbacks to a PDF newsletter compared to other types of electronic or Internet newsletters.
The first disadvantage is that a PDF newsletter isn’t as easy to read and navigate on-screen as, for instance, a Website/HTML newsletter that is viewed on your Internet browser. This is not a major drawback … it’s just that readers may need to zoom in and out and scroll up and down more to read the articles in a PDF newsletter. That’s why CompanyNewsletters.com usually recommends an HTML newsletter for those publications that will be read on screen by most readers, rather than printed out and read offline.
The other disadvantage of a PDF newsletter is that, for complex designs, the large file size of the publication — which could easily be 2 megabytes or more if the newsletter contains lots of graphics and photos — can make it cumbersome for e-mailing. But in that case, we recommend putting the file on your Web site, and then e-mailing your readers a link to the file for them to download directly from your Web site. That way your email does not contain a large attachment and it’s still easy for readers to click on the link in an email and download the newsletter.
Because of all these benefits of a PDF newsletter, and its versatility, it is the most popular type of electronic publication that CompanyNewsletters.com creates for its clients.
To learn more about the author’s firm and how it can produce printed or online newsletters for your company, see http://CompanyNewsletters.com or call 952/892-6943.