Garden Connect

16 October 2014

Getting your message across to your customers is very important and when you have their contact details you’d think it should be easy, right? Newsletters are one method of contacting your customers, letting them know what is going on in your centre but you may find that you are having trouble getting your customers to open your newsletters.

For 2014, did you know that the business to consumer retail average open rate is 23.66% and the clicks is 3.57%? In the home and garden sector the open rate is 26.44% and clicks are 4.40%. The highest industry open rate is Hobbies at 30.71%, where the lowest is Daily Deals/E-Coupons at 13.2%. So how are you doing?

We’ve compiled five tips to improve the open rate of your newsletter.

Subject line
Keep your subject clear and straight to the point. Don’t tell your customers what is inside the email, give them a reason to open it. Try a subject with a question, “How do you care for your lawn?” or a number “3 ways to spruce up your boarders”. Try a personalised subject “Grow the best hanging baskets in London” or make your customers feel special “Last few potted plants, don’t miss out!” you can also try to be secretive like “There won’t be any more after…”

Your customers have signed up to your newsletters for a reason and by using tactical subject lines you will prompt them to open it.

Have you ever gone to eat something and the phone has started ringing? Or tried to leave early for a doctor’s appointment and someone has asked for your help. Sometimes people have bad timing, so don’t be one of them. Think to yourself, when do you look at your personal emails? When I wake up in the morning, it is the first thing I do and next when I am home in the evening. Try timing your newsletters at different times of the day to see if you get a better response from your customers.

One easy example: on bank holidays consumers make plans what to do during breakfast, so around 9 or 10 in the morning. Be sure you’re on their mind at that specific moment!

Catch your customers when they are ready for you and not too busy.

Spam Filters
Automatic spam filters may be stopping your newsletters getting to your customers. So don’t make your emails spammy. You can do this by avoiding too many !!!!!, CAPITAL LETTERS, words like free or click now. Sometimes it is impossible not to use certain words, but make sure the rest of your newsletter content is useful and not spammy.

Don’t give in to the spam filters.

Are your newsletters going to customers who wanted them? Most of you have a “Register here” button on your website where your customers register for your newsletters voluntarily, this means they actually want the information you’ll be sending. Are you a bit strong at the till getting people to sign up? This may mean they won’t open your newsletters or they may unsubscribe once you have started sending newsletters to them or they may give you the wrong email address on purpose. Do you get your customers to write down their own email address? This can result in not understanding their handwriting and inserting the email address in incorrectly. Every now and then you should have a search through your subscribers list finding out where the bounced, unopened or deleted email address come from.

Remember: it is quality over quantity.

Make sure your content is relevant to your business. They signed up to a garden centre’s newsletter so it should be garden related. If you do other things within your centre like day trips or evening restaurant events include it but don’t make it your main focus all the time. Customers want to know what is on offer in your centre but don’t make your email too sales related. Give your customers tips and advice and then from that you will give them reason to come back in to your centre. Have an article like “Tips on planting your bulbs” and then at the end of that message include the offers you have on bulbs, bulb planters or bulb mulch, remember: it’s all relevant.

Plant the seed in your customers head and let it grow, give them their inspiration to get gardening.

State of the Industry Update (September 2021)

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5 tips for improving your newsletter open rate
State of the Industry Update (September 2021)

Get our exclusive State of the Industry Update

Discover how to be successful in a post-Covid-19 world with more than 50 facts and figures from the industry.