TruGreen: Is the Past the Future?

I currently live in a townhome in a managed community, which would make this solicitation from TruGreen an easy Fail for List. But the creative has some interesting elements.

Front of letter
On the front of the letter, the Johnson Box appears to have a general introduction sales message. If you read only that, you know the offer and the call to action. However, that darn asterisk suggests that there may be more to the offer than advertised. Looking on the back of the letter, we find in the disclosure: “Special price of $29.95 is for the first application only, for new residential EasyPay or PrePay customers only,” and so on. OK, fair enough. But I would not necessarily be a “new” customer. I am a prior customer — albeit at a prior address where I owned a house with a Texas-sized lawn

In fact, the first subhead and footer both ask that I “Come back to TruGreen now …” Perhaps I was targeted for this solicitation because of my prior customer status, which would make this mailing a win-back effort. Setting aside the fact that this is still a Fail for List — because I cannot purchase TruGreen’s services for my townhome — the offer is confusing. If I am a prior customer (e.g., not really “new”), am I still eligible?

Back of letter
I get the sense that the win-back messages were wedged into a new customer solicitation mailing. While there are two headline-level messages suggesting I “Come Back,” the body copy and outer envelope teaser suggest that I have never been a customer and am unfamiliar with the product. Perhaps this was a multi-cell mailing and the variable copy is in the spaces with the green background.

Aside from that, there are some creatively strong elements to the mailing. TruGreen’s message of “153 of your neighbors have TruGreen lawns” lends legitimacy to the product proposition (but, again, seems irrelevant to a former customer). Core messages are conveyed multiple times in the Johnson Box, side bar, sub-heads and the back of the letter. The use of color with emphasis on green and complementary lifestyle photos results in a pleasant resonance.
Outer Envelope

  1. Target customers who can purchase your product or service.
  2. When messaging a customer based on knowledge you have, ensure your messaging is consistent.