“One click between email message and e-commerce is so ingrained for all of us—as both buyers and marketers—that it’s almost nostalgic to think of using email solely to promote offline purchases,” writes Stephanie Miller in an article at MarketingProfs.
But that’s exactly how Scotts Miracle-Gro—a company with no direct online sales channel—uses its email-marketing program. During the registration process, subscribers provide their grass type and postal code; then, once each month during their region’s growing season, they receive a Scotts Lawn Care Update newsletter with content tailored to their needs.
According to Kip Edwardson, the senior manager of Interactive Marketing at Scotts, the company’s newsletter has a clear mission: to take the guesswork out of product selection for any lawn in any season in any location.
“We’ve learned that knowledge equals revenue,” Edwardson tells Miller in the article. “We are guiding them through the lawn-care lifecycle, and that education encourages them to not only buy more product but to feel confident and gratified by their purchase. We take very seriously that customers gave us a permission grant, and we want to provide something of value.”
Subscribers can also register for Consumer Information Alerts that offer advice on coping with adverse weather conditions or anything else that might harm their lawns.
“We cull through our call center, retail feedback, and website for spikes in activity—say, a freeze in Florida or heavy moss in the Midwest,” Edwardson explains. “We then proactively alert subscribers and the retail-store managers in those regions with tips on how to address the issue.”
A good email program can grow more than subscriptions. Scotts gives its in-store sales a significant boost by offering real help to customers via its email messaging.