TM0101_Market Focus, Gardeners
Seed buyers represent good pickings for mailers of all sorts (735 words)
By Dan Pastorius
Every spring, gardeners turn up their soil for another year's worth of glorious flowers and vegetables. Indeed, an estimated 80 million Americans garden as a hobby, according to the Web site LandscapeUSA.com.
With so many enthusiasts, is it any wonder the seed market can be lucrative? And the direct mail market for plant seeds is a strong one that enjoys high response rates, say industry experts.
"People who love [plant] seeds love to shop by mail, so they're direct mail responsive to all kinds of different offers," says Carol Aubitz, president of Excelsior Direct, a full-service marketing agency that specializes in direct response and target marketing.
Don Zeidler, director of direct marketing for W. Atlee Burpee, a seed company, says the most interesting thing about Burpee's customer list is its diversity. "It's all over the map, age wise ... and about evenly split between the genders."
Aubitz agrees that seed buyers are a varied group. "There's no general description that fits every seed buyer from every mail-order seed catalog."
Seed marketers use several strategies to target their audience. Aubitz recommends researching customers' profiles, checking their age and gender, and then matching the information to what's being marketed.
Zeidler says seed buyers seem to have one thing in common—a love of gardening. And that's what makes them, as a group, such a good direct mail market. They're responsive, need to buy product every year and are enthusiastic about the pastime, he notes.
What else they buy
In turn, marketers are enthused about seed-buyer lists because these consumers respond to a bevy of different product offerings. Suzanne O'Rourke, senior account manager for list company American List Counsel, says seed buyers tend to also purchase home products. Aubitz agrees and adds that she often recommends seed-buyer lists to her marketing clients who sell cooking-related merchandise, for example.