The Scotts Company Sends Lawn Care Advice Via Email

The Scotts Company recently announced it is using ExactTarget's Web-based person-to-person email marketing software to deliverer customized lawn and garden care advice into the email boxes of nearly 750,000 customers based on individual geographic and horticultural needs.

ExactTarget's technology enables Scotts to generate hundreds or even thousands of individualized recommendations from a single email template, based on the customer’s zip code, grass and garden type, and continually changing variables such as weather and other local growing conditions. This ensures that Scotts’ customers with St. Augustine grass receive different care recommendations than those with Kentucky bluegrass, for example. Or that rose gardeners receive different advice than vegetable gardeners, and that residents of Beverly Hills receive different information than residents of Detroit, and so on.

In addition to prompting customers to fertilize, plant and perform other maintenance activities at the appropriate time for their geographic location and their lawn and garden type, the company also issues special email alerts with treatment advice regarding pests, drought or other problems reported in a specific area.

Scotts' email marketing program is based on Scotts' extensive agronomic expertise coupled with information submitted by customers when they sign up for the services on the company Web site, Through integration with those customer-created profiles and sophisticated dynamic content functionality, ExactTarget's software seamlessly changes information in each message to correspond to each customer's particular requirements.

All processes are automated and implemented with point-and-click procedures, reducing Scotts' reliance on technical resources to implement its email marketing initiatives. Rather than creating hundreds of versions of each message, Scotts uses ExactTarget to automatically customize each email to fit the customer's profile.

"Scotts is an example of how email marketing is evolving from a one-size-fits-all approach of blasting the same email to all customers, to a highly personalized form of communication that leverages vital information in customer databases to achieve true person-to-person marketing," said Chris Baggott, founder and vice president of ExactTarget. "Scotts and other companies are recognizing the importance of this kind of extreme targeting, and the technology now exists to support these initiatives."

ExactTarget's software also handles all email distribution, includes multiple features designed to improve deliverability of email messages, and provides tracking metrics that enable Scotts to analyze whether customers read their messages.

"Scotts’ customers will benefit from ExactTarget's technology and dynamic content distribution capabilities because the information we can provide is far more relevant to their specific needs," said Joel Reimer, manager of interactive marketing at Scotts. "Ultimately, it will help our customers be more successful in their lawn care and gardening activities. From a service perspective, we can focus on developing helpful content, and ExactTarget's software does the rest. This improved capability is just one more way that Scotts continues to strengthen its customer relationships."

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