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How Scotts Miracle-Gro Uses Its Email Newsletter to Nurture In-Store Sales

by Stephanie Miller  |  
June 29, 2010

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.

Yet Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (, like many consumer packaged goods companies, has no direct online sales channel—and it finds that email-newsletter subscriptions boost purchases on average 1.5 times annually.

Perhaps the reason the Scotts Lawn Care Update email newsletter is so successful is its commitment to the roots of the program—customer service.

"The idea was to be helpful to customers, take out the guesswork in product selection, and let them know what products to apply to their particular lawn type in each season," says Kip Edwardson, senior manager of Interactive Marketing at Scotts.

"We've learned that knowledge equals revenue," he says. "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."

Scotts uses a combination of data to make the newsletter personal and relevant to each subscriber. The newsletter is customized to the season, grass type (input at registration), and ZIP code.

Dripping information out via email newsletters speaks to a central business driver: A beautiful lawn depends on repeated product applications. Each email speaks to the value of the multistep process—and the glory of success.

For lawn owners on the go, an application is available (iTunes link) for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

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Stephanie Miller is vice-president of market development for Return Path, Inc. ( Reach her via Twitter (@StephanieSAM) or

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  • by Danii Ingram Tue Jul 13, 2010 via web

    "We've learned that knowledge equals revenue," I think that this is a really important point when it comes to email marketing.

    There is a temptation to create an email that is full of promotions, yet if a business doesn't explain why they are a necessity for the recipient then they are unlikely to buy.

    I think this blog post just goes to show how valuable email marketing can be for businesses if done correctly!

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