A good business newsletter is an effective tool for reaching your audiences with important information. Our partners at International Paper/Hammermill Paper understand this, and have shared their knowledge with you in this blog.

You can use your newsletter to expand your customer base, keep existing customers excited about your business, or attract new sources of funding. It can be strategic by demonstrating your business plan in action or it can be pragmatic and introduce new products, services or capabilities. Or it can do both.
There are a few things to keep in mind when putting your newsletter together to make sure it is as effective as possible. We’ve put together some pointers to help make it easier.
Ready to create your newsletter? Check out our Business Newsletter Templates.


Define Your Audience

Who are you trying to reach with your newsletter? Make sure you have a clear idea of your audiences, then try to organize your newsletter contents to reach them in order of priority. In other words, speak to your most important audience first and then secondary audiences after. You can dedicate an entire newsletter to a single audience and reach a different audience with the next one or you can try to reach as many audiences as possible in each newsletter.

To reach each of your audiences with the information they value, it’s a good idea to develop an editorial calendar. Think through who you are trying to reach and how often you want to speak to them. This will help you decide what each newsletter needs to accomplish, as well as how often you need to send them out.

Be Customer-Focused

Your newsletter should provide your audience with information that is valuable to them. A newsletter that speaks only to your accomplishments or capabilities isn’t really customer-focused. Take the extra step to show how your accomplishments or capabilities can help your customers achieve their goals.

The headline for each section of the newsletter should present a customer benefit. For example, rather than saying “X Corp. Achieves New Milestone in Y Acquisition”, try something like “Deliver Your Products Faster, Cheaper”. A subhead can be used to provide important details, such as “X Corp. has reduced shipping time and cost with the strategic acquisition of Y company.”


Figure Out Your Call-to-Action

What do you want your audience to do after they’ve read your newsletter? Visit your website? Contact a representative or salesperson? Join your mailing list so you can initiate a conversion process? Be clear about what you want your audience to do, and tell them. “For more important details, call us at 1-800-555-9999,” or “To pre-order our new SuperFast Everythinger, visit us at “

Prioritize Your Information

Begin with stating the customer benefit in the headline, then provide a summary explanation in the subhead. The body copy can go into more detail as needed. This helps audiences pressed for time get the most important information quickly while also allowing anyone who is interested the details that are important to them.

Show It

Good imagery can generate interest by showing people what you are talking about. Remember that quality is important. A quick shot with your phone camera is probably not going to show your product in its best light. Take the time to use good imagery, but remember…too much of a good thing can work against you. If your newsletter has too many images, the imagery can distract from your messaging and what you want your audiences to know and do.

To make all of this easier to put into practice, we’ve developed some useful Business Newsletter Templates that will help you organize news and information in a way that is easily read. It’s a good idea to check your work by printing it out first–we recommend using a quality paper like Hammermill Premium Multi-Purpose 24LB. printer paper.

“Spring” Into Action With Organization & WIN Your Own UColor Two-Pocket Coloring Folders

“Spring” Into Action With Organization & WIN Your Own UColor Two-Pocket Coloring Folders

We are happy to share C-Line's recent blog post with you, and offer you a chance to WIN their new UColor Two-Pocket Coloring Photos. C-Line Products are available at Jacobs Gardner.

It is finally officially Spring! As the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” At C-Line, if you “shower” your classroom or office with our new colorful products, they will “bring” you a year of an organized lifestyle.

Teachers, let our Classroom Connector School-to-Home Folders rain down puddles of communication between you and your student’s parents. When you, your students’ and parents are on the same page, life between school and home becomes a smooth transition. The Classroom Connector makes communication between home and school efficient with the imprinted interior pockets. Plus, the variety of color selection could spark students’ interest in learning, which in turn, brings communication to an enhanced level.

You can also bloom your student’s creativity by using our UColor Two-Pocket Coloring Folders. Students can use a rainbow of colors on these folders, allowing them to show their individuality as well as keeping them organized. In addition, these coloring folders are not limited to just students or children, adults can have some fun too! Take a mini break during the hectic day and quickly fill in the intricate designs with unique color patterns. Not only is it relaxing, but it also helps sort papers. Also, by creating different colored folders you can color coordinate in your own way.

Spring is all about being fun and colorful. Don’t let the April showers bog you down. Show your organization skills and be playful!

To WIN Your Own Two-Pocket Coloring Folders, comment below, or on our Facebook Page.

The Lost Art of Listening

The Lost Art of Listening

Do you ever wonder if you are really being heard? All of us want to feel that what we have to say is important. Even in casual conversation, we expect to receive the courtesy of our listener’s attention.

In business and professional settings, being heard can be even more important.

Active listening can be defined as concentrating completely on what a person is saying and confirming that the message is both received and understood. Common courtesy dictates that we owe anyone that takes the time to speak with us the courtesy of our complete attention – to actively listen.

We have all experienced the frustration of saying something which we feel is important to someone who doesn’t seem to be listening. We instinctively know what poor listening looks and feels like. So, if we reverse what a poor listener does, we can easily see then what a good listener SHOULD do.

     A poor listener provides little or no verbal feedback. Good listeners nod their heads and provide some vocal confirmation that the speaker was heard.
     A poor listener might assume a very relaxed posture. Good listeners sit up and even lean forward to hear better.
     Poor listeners will ask few pertinent questions. Good listeners want to make sure that they understand and might ask a lot of questions.
     Poor listeners come without a pad or pen. In business settings, it is very important to be prepared to take notes.
     Poor listeners leave the speaker wondering if the message was really received. Good listeners always re-cap what they heard to confirm the message.

"It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is privilege of wisdom to listen." – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Spring Cleaning – 3 Steps to Declutter Office Paper

Spring Cleaning – 3 Steps to Declutter Office Paper

Your “mess” may be comfortable to you, but it might make others in your office very uncomfortable!

You know where everything is and you can find that important piece of paper quickly. Still, if it looks like the paper is winning the battle for control of your work area, you may be losing face with your co-workers, and more importantly, with your boss!

We’ve heard that we would someday be working in a “paperless office”. But, computer reports, printed e-mails, high-speed copiers and technology in general have all conspired to increase paper in the workplace. Sometimes it seems that most of it ends up on your desk!

Some people may feel that their job is more secure if they “look” busy. But clutter can signal a lack of control. A cluttered desk equals a cluttered mind. Employers view clutter as inefficiency, so if you appear too busy, maybe you are just inefficient. Inefficiency costs money and that is not a good way to get recognized.

Here are some simple ways to get the paper under control. After all, no one is really prepared for the endless supply of paperwork that attacks us all:

1. Get rid of the piles. Dump anything that you might, possibly, could, maybe use, read or act on “someday”.

2. Set up five files as follows:

    a. A “tickler file” by date of future work – items you can’t do this week. Move next week’s tasks to active each Friday.
    b. An “active file” for current work – all due this week in priority sequence by day. This is the basis for your daily “TO DO” list.
    c. A “meeting folder” for topics pertinent to specific meetings or for articles you want to read while you wait for the meeting to begin.
    d. Create “The Boss” folder for issues that concern your employer.
    e. Folders for subordinates or colleagues by name – for regular meetings with your people – not confidential material.

3. Label anything that is on, in or around your desk. You should be able to go on vacation and be comfortable that your boss or subordinates can find important information – easily.

Your desk is now organized, labeled and task oriented. Take care of urgent issues as they come up. Don’t waste time filing them. If possible, put all of these files away at the end of each day so your desk is clear of paperwork.

There is another benefit to clearing the mess and organizing your work area. When you are in control of your space, your mind will be more alert, confident and creative. You will impress those around you, including your boss, with your command of your job. You will be ready for your boss’s questions, prepared for meetings, and able to complete tasks on time. You might even have time to think! Who would dare “mess” with you?

How do you manage your paper clutter? Let us know!