The passionate few

We have a e-newsletter that we send out to just over 900 e-mail addresses. You sign up for the e-mail either at our web page, a forwarded e-news, or at the nursery by writing your e-mail down, which we then enter. Now a lot of those e-news go to people who may never visit the nursery. They live outside the area and are just interested in what we have to say. Out of those 900+ e-news about 39% on average open the e-news. This is a good rate as far as e-news campaigns go! Now out of those 39% of people who open the e-news how many react to our message? 29% of the 39% click on links in the e-news. So about 250+ people on average are interested enough to read more information on what we have sent. How many of those come into the store and actually spend money? I don't know how many people actually respond to the e-mail by spending money at the nursery.  It's a small number of people, but a very important group of people. What we are finding is a certain small group of people consistantly respond to our message. They just don't delete the e-news when it shows up in the in-box. We all know how easy it is to delete e-mail that seems to be spam. Why such a large group of people sign up for a e-news and then don't bother to read it is a mystery? The fact is it happens and that's the nature of e-news. What's more important are those few people who do read it and respond.

It seems  more and more that our business success is because of a small group of powerfully influential people. People who open the e-news, forward the e-news to friends, and bring friends into the store. This is one reason I beleive that mass media advertising is not the way to go for small garden centers. Better to find the people who like what we do, and allow them the means to spread the word.

My guess is that most nurseries have a core group of people who support the business and spread the word. This is where the small and medium sized garden stores have it over the giants in the industry. Scotts Miracle-Gro tried it with their customer written blogs.  While the blogs are still there but many are written by Scotts and the rest are just kind of there. No passion. How passionate can one person get about spreading the word about Scotts?

The future of our business involve being passionate about what we do, find others who share our passion, and give them the means to spread the word.  It's not easy being passionate about running a business during an economic slowdown! Yet, it is the key to making it through the current economic cycle. The passion you show for your business is a direct result of the passion for life that you have. People want to hear a positive message, and we have the ability to provide that message. Let's take this opportunity between all the negative news people hear each day and insert our positive message. Gardens and gardening can change the (your) world.