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About The Changes In The Newsletters


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#1 Ro

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:15 PM

Because we have received a few questions about the changes in the newsletter, I thought that I better explain. Because I want you to really understand what is going on, my note is a little on the long side.

Yes, there have been some content changes. We have actually returned to have the newsletter used to be for many years.
You see, over the last couple of years, we kept growing the newsletter issues larger. We kept adding more and more content to each newsletter edition and before we knew what had happened, the newsletter had become so complicated and extensive (we were sending out far more content each month than a published magazine provides), that it had become very draining to our entire team to produce.

We were losing design time and family time. We were having an increasingly difficult time coming up with ideas. We were losing our joy in what had formerly been a very joyful thing to do for our readers.

For instance, as much as I love writing the muses, the pressure of trying to create three, unique, interesting things per week had started to create such conflict inside of me that I found it harder and harder to go to the computer each day. I stopped creating new products because the weight of the muses had become too great. I felt like I was phoning it in when I wrote the muses. I was sending out too many reruns. I completely stopped blogging in my personal blog and almost completely stopped journaling. I was losing my desire to write (and I LOVE to write). I had become as blank as a piece of cement. And then, I started to notice that I didn’t even want to scrapbook anymore. Instead of having fun when I scrapped, it became a terrible chore. It was very depressing to me to feel like I was losing two things that brought me happiness because I had put too much pressure on myself.

We also noticed that people had begun to open the newsletter less. It had become so largely that many people felt too busy to read it. So newsletters were piling up in people’s Inboxes, unopened. They kept waiting until they had time to read them – which never arrived.

You need to know that unlike most of our competitors, Scrap Girls pays people to write the articles and tutorials you read in the newsletter. We also pay people to assemble and send out the newsletter each day. We value people’s time and so we hire people instead of relying on voluntary labor (besides, nobody would volunteer to do such a massive thing!). This means that we have expenses that other companies in our industry don’t have including the expense of the building the newsletter (which had become very burdensome). It takes a lot of resources to provide our customers with the level of service that we believe in.

One day, when discussing the situation with a team member, I realized what a mess I had created by adding more and more content to the newsletter over the years. I knew that I needed to simplify it back to its former state for the sake of everyone on the team. It was scary to do – because I don’t like to disappoint people and I knew that some people would miss all of that content – but as the chief “have to make tough decision person” – I knew that we had to try it.

I know that change can be difficult. I know it takes time to get used to new things and I hope that you will be patient with changes we have to make. But we ARE continuing to provide you lots of new articles, free tutorials, and free downloads each week. We have not abandoned the ship or our commitment to you. We are building up the blog with neat ideas for you and the best thing about them being there is that they are easy to find again (unlike trying to search through a whole mess of emails to locate what you want). If you subscribe to the blog, you won't miss a thing!

If you don’t mind, I feel that I need to be frank with you now. Scrap Girls is dealing with the same economic pressures that every other company (and family) is experiencing at the moment. We have to make tough decisions about what things we can do to keep us viable. We need you and your support so that we can continue to be here for you guys. It costs a lot of money to provide this forum and gallery, to send out all of those newsletters, to maintain the blog, to provide excellent customer service, to maintain our large catalog in the Boutique, to send you replacement files when you lose your hard drives, and to provide you free downloads six days a week. Without your support, Scrap Girls will cease to be and we will all lose this amazing community that we have built up. I hope you will understand about our need to simplify a little bit.

I pray that you continue to open the newsletters when they arrive and see what we have for you each day. I pray that you will check out our blog (please subscribe to it so that you won’t miss things) and see the cool articles our team is writing for you. I pray that you will participate in the contests, challenges, and chats we provide and have fun with the prizes we hand out.

Please, continue to enjoy the free downloads that our team generously provides you. They get no compensation for providing them for you. They create them with the hopes that they will receive your support in return. When you buy their products, it encourages them and helps them to provide for their families.

We want you to know that appreciate everything that each of you has done for us over the years. We appreciate so much every time you choose to support Scrap Girls with your purchases in our Boutique. My hope is that with your continued financial support, Scrap Girls will be here for you for a very, very, very long time!

P.S. Our blog address is: http://scrapgirls.com/blog There are links to it all over the website, but I think people still don't notice it. :-)

#2 ~*Kiana*~

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:34 PM

:wub: HUGS!! I'll be here as long as you'll have me!!

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#3 diannecp

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:38 PM

I'm a big blog reader so accessing the tutorials, etc. that way sounds great to me. I know change is never easy but it usually works out for the good!
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#4 Becster

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:38 PM

Well said, Ro! Thank you for putting this out there, it really goes a long way in explaining things! I, for one, really appreciate the work that goes into every aspect of Scrap Girls. Having been a site maintainer I know what it takes to keep things going and I really don't now how you all do it all!!!

We're not going anywhere and if there's something else we can do to help I hope you'll let us know.

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#5 jenrou

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:43 PM

I subscribe to the newsletter and read it each morning, saving the ones with tutorials. What is the Blog, besides Ro's personal one? You have the best newsletter of anyone in the business, so I regret you have to change it, but I understand.

I spend WAY too much in the store, but you have the best designers and the best customer service! I hope that won't change. I'm paid up far in the fute for your clubs. ;)

Good luck, and take the time to live.
Jean

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#6 Cheri T

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:44 PM

Everyone at SG works so amazingly hard to keep this place going fabulously - thank you for the explanation re: newsletter changes, and of course SG still has my 100% support:) I missed the sale b/c we are on vacation, but I'll be ready for the next one!;)

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#7 Ro

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:44 PM

Scrap Girls has a neat blog. You can get to it at http://scrapgirls.com/blog

Check it out!

#8 Artsy22

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:56 PM

All good changes. Change is just hard. But it can bring new life into a place. Believing that will happen in this case.
Mandy Steward, Scrap Girls Designer
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#9 PBarnes

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:57 PM

Thanks for the great note of explanation. I'm one that was having trouble finding time to read the newsletter everyday, and I do leave them in my inbox and eventually have to go through and weed them out. Hopefully, with the new format, I'll be able to pay more attention to each one as it comes out and save what I need from them. I will start watching the blog more too!

#10 cherise

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:07 PM

I love the look of the new simplified newsletter - so much easier to read! Thanks for the explanation, Ro!

Cherise

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#11 no_idea

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:21 PM

Whether the newsletter is long or short, it is full of great things, and I look forward to it in my inbox. Thank you for providing it!
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#12 teecee

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:33 PM

Thanks for the explanation Ro!

#13 elibar

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:51 PM

Thank you, Ro!

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#14 Jo Corne

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:52 PM

thanks for making it clear as to why changes have been made, I, for one, LOVE the new look newsletter, makes it so much easier to read and to see the product. I love the blog as I subscribe so every time something new is posted it pops into my inbox and I can head on over and take a lookie.
Ro, you run an amazing company that provides not only quality product but quality people and wonderful friends and I for one am in it for the long long long long run.
God bless you in making the right choices for you, your company and for us, who call ScrapGirls our home away from home

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#15 jode2771

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:52 PM

Thank you for explaining, it may have been better to do this first before people got upset but at least it came, thank you... I hope the new newsletter format will provide fresher content with a renewed outlook, with old layouts and multiple pages by the same person it was getting a little dull and I admit I skimmed through it... Can't wait to see this newer, fresher more vibrant newsletter and um... Off to find the blog ( again, I am one of the ones who never visited it...). Thanks again and best of luck with the new design.

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#16 Ro

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 04:07 PM

Hi Jody,

I didn't say something before because I didn't think it was necessary. We've changed the newsletters so often over the years that I assumed that people wouldn't think that much about it. (Probably was in denial! LOL)

Gosh... even I got so I skimmed through it. I get so busy sometimes. It's always a bad sign when the CEO feels too busy to read her own newsletter, eh? Sometimes, I'm a little slow! I try to remember that if something is bothering me or annoying me, then I need to fix it because if it is bothering me, it has to be bothering TONS of people, but sometimes it takes me a little bit to wake up. We all get used to the status quo, right? Me, too.

But like I said... sometimes, I'm a little slow. :-)

#17 luckyladybug

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 04:27 PM

Thanks for the words of explanation, Ro. I do enjoy the new format--the only thing I really miss is the upcoming events. I'll adjust my habits, and will be sure to subscribe to the blog. I've enjoyed checking out the blog, and you are right about that being a more appropriate format for tuts.

Like so many others, Scrapgirls is an important part of my life, my neighborhood. I even included a link in my holiday newsletter, and I'm working on getting family members hooked up. Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication!
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#18 PolkaDot

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 04:58 PM

Thank you for the explanation, Ro. Sounds good, makes sense. Also, Jaymee makes sense when she says that she will adjust her habits.
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#19 MariJ

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 06:28 PM

Just wanted to affirm that I NEVER thought the NL too long nor did it ever feel a chore to read each day.. In fact, it was a favorite part of my daily morning routine - I'd read the Newsletter first thing while still sitting in bed! I agree that I like what I'm used to and status quo.... But, I truly did LIKE the way the Newsletter just the way it was and read it carefully end-to-end. No unopened NLs in MY inbox!
Like Jaymee and Dot - I'll adjust. And, I understand all you wrote and thank you for explaining, Ro.. But, just wanted to note - for all those people you mentioned who spent lots of time and effort on those Newsletters -- there was at least ONE ScrapGirl (& I'm sure more) that was avidly and faithfully enjoying your efforts each day - they were not in vain.... I'm sorry it was burdensome, but please be assured I appreciated it! And, thanks! :)

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#20 Florida granny

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:05 PM

Thanks for the explanation, Ro. The fact that you would take the time to explain things in detail to all of us makes me feel even more a part of the SG community. I greatly appreciate it. I've always enjoyed the newsletter and am sure I'll enjoy the new format as well.

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#21 Smiles

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:46 PM

It's taken a couple of days to adjust my expectations, but I am really liking the new format. I used to have a twinge of guilt when I skimmed over sections in the newsletter, because I knew how hard folks worked preparing it. It's a breath of fresh air, just in time for Spring!
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#22 mbc72

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:36 PM

I have so many newsletters saved to read later from the last few months. Great info, but I agree, too much for a quick run through in the morning. The shorter newsletter is easier to get through, thanks for the info, Ro!

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#23 diannecp

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 10:17 PM

For those of you not familiar with blogs, it's easier than you think to keep up with them. My personal preference is to subscribe to them in Google Reader. When I open Reader, I see at a glance which blogs I subscribe to are sporting new posts that day. So much easier than checking so many sites each day and I can easily click over to the sites as needed. But you can also subscribe by email (ScrapGirl's email signup form is about 1/3 down on the right hand side). Or you can follow them on Twitter & Facebook too. Lots of easy ways to keep up with the blog, and like Ro said, it will be so much easier to "find" things again. Google Reader has a great "search" feature that I use often.

And like Marilyn, the newsletter continues to be part of my early morning routine so please know your efforts were never in vain. But kudos to you for doing some painful pruning . . . always necessary before growth occurs!
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#24 mimes1

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 11:05 PM

I'm not all that savvy with blogs, but I just subscribed so I don't miss anything! Ro, thank you for all that you do. Being boss isn't always easy, but I know you have everyone's best interest in mind! I'll have a 5 year Scrap Girl Anniversary coming up here real soon, and I expect to be around (at least) 5 more! Keep up the good work!

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#25 Sara Arell

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:59 AM

Thanks for the explanation, Ro - but you'll always have me no matter what the changes may be - I like the newsletter and the changes, but I have always liked it before and never missed reading one of them - they are a big part of my day and the first thing I read in the morning. I appreciate everything everyone does to make our newsletter possible and kudos to everyone who puts it together for us.
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#26 jode2771

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 04:26 AM

Ro, thank you for taking the time to reply... Please know that I never skipped the educational side, just some of the detail like which kits etc as it was too hard to take it all in, I faithfully read the techniques described by the designers... That was NEVER a waste of time... Those efforts are much appreciated by all of us I am sure!! It just got overwhelming with all the layouts etc... I would rather quality over quantity any day :-) and 2 more quick things: I understand you never felt the need to explain before but also know that when you do we will respond to that, being part of an inclusive community is what makes Scrap Girls so special.. We want to know so we can all keep "in the loop" and secondly... Could a new article perhaps be about using the Google reader and finding our way around the blog and the best way to get the most out of it?? I don't usually read blogs so it is all new to me!! You must be pleased to see all the support you have and I always have respected the way you explain your position, understanding is the first step to accepting :-)

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#27 podiumchick

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:54 AM

Hmm, I guess I'll have to admit that I had not noticed any significant changes--just the little ones like before. And I like that it is short. I confess that I have times I have to let the NL sit for a day or two to read it. I love getting it everyday--love the articles, tutorials, and freebies. Keep up the good work, Ro and the team!

#28 Reminiscing

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 06:22 AM

I may not be around in the forums here much anymore, but I still scroll through the newsletters every day, read tutorials if it's something interesting at the moment, look at whatever catches my eye, download most of the freebies, and make note the the chat schedule.

I didn't notice a major change in the newsletters; seeing this thread took me by surprise. I only noticed that a couple of days ago there were no chats listed in the newsletter for I think the first time ever (since I've been a subscriber since, i think, 2006) . . . okay, several years at least. :D

I totally understand, but don't change drastically. The SG newsletter with the tutorials and daily freebies, along with the the high quality of the products here, are what made me decide in 2007 that SG was the place for me, and why I spent all my digi-scrappin' time here, almost exclusively, for years.

I've got to get going to a dentist appointment, but I'll be back soon! :)

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#29 MariJ

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 06:30 AM

For those of you not familiar with blogs, it's easier than you think to keep up with them. My personal preference is to subscribe to them in Google Reader. When I open Reader, I see at a glance which blogs I subscribe to are sporting new posts that day. So much easier than checking so many sites each day and I can easily click over to the sites as needed. But you can also subscribe by email (ScrapGirl's email signup form is about 1/3 down on the right hand side). Or you can follow them on Twitter & Facebook too. Lots of easy ways to keep up with the blog, and like Ro said, it will be so much easier to "find" things again. Google Reader has a great "search" feature that I use often.

And like Marilyn, the newsletter continues to be part of my early morning routine so please know your efforts were never in vain. But kudos to you for doing some painful pruning . . . always necessary before growth occurs!


Thanks, Dianne - I appreciate the blog explanation as part of my distress at the shortened NL is I really don't read blogs and can't get into them - so your tips were a help.
Also I like Jode's idea - that maybe there could be an article in the NL about getting around the blog? I find it not as inviting as a NL - but know that's partly because I'm not a blog reader, nor do I subscribe to FB, Twitter, etc.. Just an old-fashioned reader, here! :)

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#30 princessrunningfingers

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 06:30 AM

Thanks, Ro, for the explanation. My computer time has been rather limited lately, so I am guilty of "skimming" the newsletter some days, but my mornings wouldn't be right without it. Change is difficult for us humans sometimes, but I understand why it is necessary. I would be lost without Scrap Girls. Keep up the good work.

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