6 Winter Nursery Marketing Ideas

Winter is here. All things green are hibernating and garden center sales are dipping as low as the temperature. No matter how many promotions are emailed, those seeds and spades just won’t move off the shelf.

Many businesses have off-seasons for their sales. There’s almost no reason to sell sometimes.

So don’t.

Don’t stop emailing, though! This isn’t an off-season for your campaign. Instead, it’s an opportunity to build respect and trust through relationship marketing.

Create value with your subscribers by sending them interesting content they can use now, nestled in their cozy houses while their garden waits for spring.

Cultivate Respect With These Content Ideas

What can you write about that your readers will give a green thumbs up? While you’re digging for ideas, you might want to try these:

Winter Maintenance Tips
What should your readers do to keep their gardens safe until springtime? They may not be aware of all the steps they should take, so let them know!

Cameos of Spectacular Gardens
Research gardens like those at The Grow Spot. Present them to your readers as pure entertainment, or include ideas on replicating them at home.

Trend Predictions
Are economics affecting the gardening landscape? Is a new technique catching on? Give your readers the inside edge, and you’ll be one of the trends they follow.

Interviews with Experts
Do you know any gardeners with years of experience and a following of their own? Ask them for an interview. Get the dirt on how they like to garden, and share their fresh perspective with your readers.

Ideas for Indoor Craft Projects
Keep your readers busy with wreaths in December and windowsill herb gardens. Include photos and instructions for a complete lesson.

Garden Planning Advice
Marie Ianotti, master gardener and author, presents important details to consider. Check them out, then create your own guide for your readers.

When early spring arrives and the rush for lilies and loam begins, your subscribers will be used to getting emails from you with content they appreciate.

So tell them what tools will be useful and what flowers will flourish. Link to products on your web site or provide your store address and hours to complete the sales.

Your readers will already respect what you have to say and expect your information to be helpful, so they’re likely to follow your suggestions.

Laying the groundwork now while the soil is frozen just might help your sales blossom when it thaws in the spring.

What’s Your Winter Strategy?

What content do you send during your business’ off-season? What kinds of emails earn your loyalty – and your purchasing power?


  1. Sean Breslin

    1/19/2010 12:50 pm

    Well written piece, I subsitute freeware broken link finding software for Gardenias, the principle is the same. Consumer value and trust!

  2. Samantha Hartley

    1/19/2010 6:30 pm


    I love this article! It looks beautiful and the links are excellent examples. Very well researched and presented.

    What I love most is the idea that even during times we aren’t selling, we are still building community. As you point out, when it comes time to buy, I’m more likely to do so from a brand that has woven itself into my thoughts by being top-of-mind and letting me know it’s still thinking about ways to add value to my life.

  3. segun

    1/22/2010 3:45 am

    I love to more on Nursery marking ideas, why, because I run Nursery school in Nigeria.thanks

  4. kare Anderson

    2/1/2010 4:11 pm

    People buy by situation not product category
    To suggest that nursery owners forge complementary partnerships with others who serve home owners (from landscape designers to painters) to co-create Hot Tips sheets + service/product packages around situations that are timely and timeless: Ten Things to Spruce Up Your Home This Spring (Plan now) for example.

    The more complementary, credible partners you recruit to serve your Mutual Market the more prospects you can reach (through each other) so that you can attract more customers and per-client spending will reducing your promotional costs. See more ideas at How We Partner + Moving From Me to We

  5. Valma Jessamy

    2/20/2010 3:02 pm

    I am in the Caribbean – new to this business and find the advice rather helpful. We have no winter but this is the dry season and we have a drought this year – so not much sale of plants etc.

    We surely will use your ideas to have customers coming to us when the rainy season starts in June.

  6. Amanda Gagnon

    2/22/2010 10:04 am

    Kare ~ Partnering takes this to a whole new level! If you can work the details out smoothly, that’s a huge way to reach more people very quickly.

    Valma~ Let us know how it goes!

  7. Tim Andren

    2/23/2010 7:26 pm

    These marketing ideas are just like seeds. I like the value of giving your subscribers content to enable them. This method really does work.

  8. Andy

    12/17/2010 2:38 pm

    Great advice in this article – many people tend to forget that there are sales and marketing techniques that can prove very valuable in off-seasons. In addition to emailing out the above ideas, it can be helpful to continually add new types of content to your site. Not only the new content increase your reputation as a thought leader, but it will also help with SEO.