This morning, while I had some time to kill, I opened a newsletter I receive every week and prepared for another insightful and inspiring editorial from the newsletter owner. What a disappointment it was to instead wade through what was cleverly dressed up as an ad. It was the obvious ad before the editorial, but instead of an editorial, I got an advertorial, which is an advertisement in the disguise of an editorial or article.
I was NOT happy. This particular newsletter is one of my “Friday read” newsletters. I receive it earlier in the week but I always save it to read on Friday because I have found that I enjoy ending another busy writing week by reading certain newsletters. These newsletters inspire me, move me and reignite that passion I have for writing. These are the newsletters that I turn to for strength, inspiration and guidance. So when I got nothing but ads from this particular newsletter which, in the past, had inspired me or moved me in some way, it was a huge letdown.
It's really annoying when people try to use their newsletters and their editorials as a way to push ads into readers’ faces. They try to be sly about it, disguising their ad as a serious conversation or as a means of hyping up someone's success story, but I can pretty much tell the difference between an editorial and an advertorial.
And if all they throw at me is an advertorial where an editorial should be, they won't keep me on board as a subscriber for very long.
I recently unsubscribed from a newsletter that went from weekly to daily. I thought that, with the switch to a daily mailing, I'd begin receiving some valuable content that the owner had to share every day. What a disappointment it was that his daily mailings took a huge shift from being a "daily tip" feature to a "daily ad" feature instead. I hate ads. I despise them. So I was NOT happy to receive daily ads from this newsletter owner. Of course, he tried to disguise this ad by hyping it up or sharing how Very Important this product was and if I did not buy it then (gasp!) the world would come to an end.
But no matter how a writer disguises an ad, it's still an ad. They can hype it up all they want. They can write a moving advertorial that would bring David Ogilvy to tears if he was still alive. But the bottom line is, it's STILL an ad! Put a feather on it, dress it up and stick a fork in it all you want to, It. Is. Still. An. Ad.
And if it's not a product I'm interested in, then I'm not going to buy it. NO MATTER what is said about it.
The thing of it is, though, with that daily newsletter, I kept getting the same song and dance about this product or that service every single day. Stuff I was really NOT interested in. So on top of being annoyed with having a daily advertisement landing in my inbox, I had to stop reading about stuff I wasn't interested in and delete the newsletter mid-sentence. Because that was ALL the newsletter was about. No real tip. Nothing valuable for me to read. Nothing inspiring or even humorous at all. Just the ad. Ugh!
Now I understand that the majority of people are on the Internet to make money. That's what the Internet is all about these days, anyway. Making! Money! Heck, I use the Internet to find jobs and to work with people who give me jobs. And I totally understand the “once-in-a-while mailing” newsletter owners send out to spread the word about a product or forthcoming event they have going on. I get that. But a newsletter should have a little something in it besides an ad. Or even the obvious ad and then the advertorial for something else.
I like reading newsletters for VALUE. And ads do not have any value or interest for me. So, please, put something else in a newsletter besides an ad. Throw in a REAL editorial, share a recent experience or, gee, I dunno, give readers something that they actually EXPECTED from the newsletter when they signed up in the very beginning.
I don't sign up for newsletters to only get ads. So, please, give me content that has takeaway value, not just ads. Because if there's no content and just an ad, I won't stick around.
Zen of Ebook Formatting by Guido Henkel
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