[thelist] Email: Newsletter Programs

Steven Streight steven.streight at gmail.com
Tue Feb 6 17:29:05 CST 2007

Very thought provoking, but seems trapped in the print and tv broadcast
medium, these rants in favor of pretty pictures.

I'll give you this: immediate visual impact of most anything determines
viewer response and critique. Ugly web site = amateur if not sleazy,
unreliable. Beautiful web site = credible until proven otherwise, like by
the text and links and About and Contact pages, etc.

But does a newsletter, email variety, need graphics to do its job?

I hate plain text newsletters. But I dislike big flashy graphics in them,
too. I am dealing mainly with information newsletters, like on marketing
tips, usability studies, info architecture, etc.

Maybe it's just me, and ppl like me, but an email is not about photos and
art. I need it and use it mainly as text input, Google alerts, Nielsen alert
boxes, memos to colleagues, and usually with no attachments. It's like a
textual telephone, really.

If I want images, I got to the corporate site. Many images, however are
stock photos, generic pictures that have little soul, personality, too "all
things to all ppl", "useful in a variety of situations", and not avant garde
and spontaneous enough, too scripted, anonymous, bland.

Not knocking the stock photo ppl, thank God for them, and for MorgueFile.

But am I the only one who hates gratuitous, overly posed, stock photos in
web sites, smiling nobodies dressed appropriately for yuppie lemmingization,
doing nothing, just smiling and standing or sitting, in a pristine void?

Graphics in newletters seems to carry a wee bit of "let's make it pretty"
and "ppl like pix" and "it must conform to Corporate Style"... it's just
assumed that the newsletter shall have graphics, of course, why not,
everybody's doing it, etc. etc.

I'm learning along with all of us, not preaching, just persisting in a point
of view, as a writer, and book lover and Art Forum print v. subscriber, and
I make all my own digital art for all my blog posts and computer music CDs,
so I am visually oriented and pro art.


On 2/6/07, Luther, Ron <Ron.Luther at hp.com> wrote:
> Steven Streight promoted some more (IMO) misperceptions:
> >>Lousy rates and pretty pictures VS. good rates and no pictures.
> And who is this nameless insurance company with the good rates
> and no pictures in their advertising? And more to the point ...
> how long ago did they go out of business?
> Dude, righteousness != right and 'what should be' != 'what is'.  'k?
> SVAK [1] sells. It sells everything.  It has for at least 100
> years and I'm not seeing any signs that it's nearing the end
> of its usefulness.
> >>With insurance, the numbers tell more of a story than any picture.
> >>It's the numbers that make the sale. NOT pictures.
> There is more to advertising than closing the deal.  You can't make
> that sale - no matter how darn good your numbers are (or your product
> is) - if you ain't on the short list.  Those pictures get you mind
> share.  They get your company and your product considered by the
> consumer.  Having the best product in the world doesn't even come
> close to guaranteeing commercial success.
> And no, I believe you are still mistaken.  It's not the numbers
> that make the sale either.  Talk to any sales manager in insurance.
> (Or any other field.)  All of their sales people sell the same
> product at the same price.  Yet some salespeople are 'stars' and
> some totally suck at selling insurance. Sooooo, while the Joe
> Fridays [2] are important ... getting the sale closed takes more
> than that.  It always has.
> Have a good evening,
> RonL.
> [1] Sex, Violence, Animals, Kids ... The basis for most advertising.
> [2] "Just the facts, ma'am."
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Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate
Web Usability. Blog Revolution. Ecommerce.

steven [dot] streight [at] gmail [dot] com


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