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Newsletters: information or new business?

Di Antonio Caneva English translation Paola Pr, 29 Marzo 2002

In one of the latest issues of the ADA (Hotel Managers’ Association) magazine I read an article commenting on the excess of information and the fact that, by the use of IT systems, news are delivered without interruption, in massive dosages, intrusive and confusing, and deprived of any communicative value. As people become aware of how easy it is to use the Internet, sites on the most various topics are proliferating; the problem, however, is that the exponential growth in the number of locations where useful information may potentially be found is confusing for the Internet surfer, who risks missing out on what is truly essential. There will inevitably be a selection, by which the sites that can best manage their activities will grow, while the others will be doomed to irrelevance. Newsletters are yet another discovery of the communication world which has proliferated in recent times: they started off in a low key some time ago, and are now turning into a hammering torment. You cannot download your mail from a provider without being flooded by increasing numbers of messages. What is the reason for this? Initially, newsletters were intended to be specialised communications from companies that wished to circulate their own news. Once you start you cannot stop, though: With a few little tricks they started including advertising banners in the headings, and that triggered a newsletter mania. If you have the misfortune of being registered in certain portals, you may even receive two communications daily, because for every mailing the sender has a revenue from the banner, and the revenue grows with the number of mailings (even if the messages are immediately eliminated upon receipt). The income is also proportional to the size of the mailing list, so that – with a total lack of good taste – newsletters are often sent to addresses which did not voluntarily register, with the simple note “if you do not wish to receive this, send us a message”. Nothing new under the sun – the easy money is spoiling a good tool, and newsletters, too, are shortly going to be viewed with suspicion. We have chosen for a line of care and caution: a newsletter a week, sent only to the addresses which have voluntarily registered on our site The results are proving us right – registrations are growing to a number which would have been hard to predict when we started off, and, above all, we are receiving virtually no cancellations (which is a sign of approval). In this respect, too, we wish to build our activity on sound foundations.

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