Losing money by saving money

I was in a condo building yesterday.

Like most condos, it has a newsletter for residents, to keep them up to date with happenings in the building.

In the elevator yesterday was a notice proudly saying that the newsletter was no longer going to be printed. The condo was “going green” and “saving money.” Residents would need to log into a website to download the latest newsletter.

Bad idea.

Here’s the thing:

Before, there was a stack of newsletters in the lobby and residents could easy pick one up.

Now, they have to go to the trouble of logging into a website, finding the newsletter and downloading it.

Ain’t gonna happen.

So, the result will be that residents become disconnected from the condo. All those messages (don’t throw cigarette butts off the balcony, take down your holiday decorations because, hey, it’s June now…) won’t get read.

The same thing happens when businesses stop their print newsletters to “go green” or to “save money”.

The trouble is, they don’t consider return on investment.

It could be the case that the print newsletter, despite costing money to produce, brought in a lot more money in sales. So, instead of saving cash, the business is actually losing money by stopping the newsletter.

I’m not against sending email newsletters (hey, this is coming to you by email), but I am against stopping print just to save money or to wear the green fig leaf of environmental responsibility.

Without thinking about your return on investment, stopping print could be one of the most expensive decisions you ever made.