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How Miracle-Gro Mastered Digital Marketing

The lawn care company has mastered the art of the marketing email and created innovative ways of connecting with customers. Digital marketing experts have taken notice.

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Two million people subscribe to the newsletter of Scott's Miracle-Gro, a lawn and garden care company with products ranging from fertilizer to insect control services.

To repeat, two million people subscribe to a newsletter about Miracle-Gro.

Indeed, the $3.4 billion Marysville, Ohio-based company has established itself as a leader in the digital marketing space by leveraging consumer data to create customized email content. Using customers' zip codes, for instance, Scott's can send personalized emails based on the weather issues that may affect their lawn in the coming seasons.

According to Joel Book, principal of marketing research and education at digital marketing consultancy ExactTarget, tailoring marketing messages in such a useful and practical way that doesn't come off as creepy is a fine line that Scott's walks perfectly.

"Customers want the same experience they get shopping online in email marketing, the key is to personalize the content," Book said this week at the Argyle Executive Forum Leadership in Digital Marketing conference in New York, adding that 41% of consumers are now buying more from retailers who send emails based on past buying behavior. "The key to getting beyond creepy is to invite customers to opt in."

The tactic seems to be working from a financial standpoint, too, with quarterly earnings growth for Scott's reaching nearly 59% year over year. Talk about coming up roses.

Mariah Summers is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Summers reports on hospitality, travel and real estate.

Contact Mariah Summers at

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