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Growth Strategy for Crabs

Crabby Beachcomber

I have a serious case of crabgrass. It is shooting up absolutely everywhere. I have never had an invasion of this magnitude – it is going to be quite a battle for supremacy in my yard.

Crabgrass follows a very interesting growth strategy. It sends shoots in all directions and hopes that where it pops up will be a successful place to branch out. Those that end up in the driveway are doomed. Likewise, those that end up in the middle of a healthy patch of grass have difficulty making it as well. But, if they make it through to a spot that is distressed – perhaps a bit of clearing without other grass coverage – the new shoot quickly settles in and starts to expand.

This is an expensive strategy. It requires large amounts of shoots that are destined for failure. It also requires a very aggressive growth capacity – the new shoots have to grow faster than the surrounding grass in order to gain an adequate foothold for expansion. This requires a very deep set of roots to feed the shoots with the requisite water and minerals. It is as if the crabgrass has a rich uncle somewhere constantly funding its expansion without concern for cost.

I find crabgrass really, really irritating.

E-mail marketing has a lot in common with crabgrass. For those that don’t want to receive the offer, it is like having this invasive species in your inbox. Campaigns that utilize e-mail as a primary vehicle often follow the crabgrass growth strategy – send shoots everywhere and hope that one pops up in a location that will allow a foothold. The ultra low cost of e-mail as a channel is that analogous rich uncle funding the crabgrass. It does not really cost that much to send out 1000 e-mails, even if you only expect two to be opened. You can afford to end up in somebody’s driveway without much loss. But, two will get opened and they may lead to business. Crabgrass eventually does get a foothold and does thrive.

On the other hand, not very many homeowners are happy with a crabby lawn. Crabgrass has a pretty low brand value. If you have been utilizing a crabgrass growth strategy you might be doing the same to your brand. However, you can’t really blame crabgrass for its approach – millions of years of evolution have trained it. It is not smart enough to target those open patches in your lawn. But, your growth campaigns should be smarter. You do have the ability to target where you will have a better chance of being successful – reducing the irritation of messaging sent to the wrong buyer. Likewise, targeting also prevents making offers to those that are going to buy anyway. You want to use special pricing to entice a new buyer, not reduce your margin with existing buyers.

Targeting does require a bit of extra effort. However, e-mail campaign techniques that utilize a sound web strategy have proven extremely successful – topics for another post. Buying lists and pounding folks with offers is just so last century.

I wish you a green and happy lawn.

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