How to use email marketing to increase farm sales.
Updated: Sep 29, 2022
Now more than ever it's important to keep in touch with your customers. It seems like the world is changing daily. But that is exactly why now is a great time to let your customers know how you're doing in this time and let them know you're thinking about them.
Here's 5 ways to build an email marketing list to touching base with your customers.
Step 1: Build An Email Contact List
Where do you begin? Well, start with building a list. Dig around and find all those past customers, new customers, repeat customers, prospects and your surrounding community. By sorting through your emails you can easily start building an email list so that you can keep your customers up to date with what items you have available and what events you might have going on.
Next, create an email sign up form on your website. Customers might come to your site but not buy anything right away. But they might want to be contacted to buy something from you later.
Another way of adding contacts to your email list is to invite customers to sign up at events and the farmers market. Call it your VIP list and make them feel special about signing up.
Step 2: Create Fun and Engaging Emails
This is the fun part. This is where you get to talk about your farm!
Here are some ideas for creating email content.
Give updates from the farm - Give them updates on new employees, what the (goat) kids are up to and other items going on around the farm. If you're weeding make it seem fun!
Promote product availability - Make it easy for them to purchase from you. What CSA items are available this week or month? Where can they get them? This is your time to shine!
Share farm photos - Who doesn't love to see an old tractor and a freshly weeded bed. Share your hard work.
Share recipes and tips on preparing and using your fruit, vegetables or meat.
Step 3: Include Call to Action in Every Email
This is an important step. You are sending them an email for a reason. Be clear about what do you want them to do. Have a few points in your email and maybe some valuable information (Hey what about a coupon for being a subscriber to your newsletter?) but at the end of the email ask them for something. Do you want them to sign up for a CSA, stop by the farm store for some yummy honey or jelly or tell them about an upcoming event they can sign up for? This is your time to ask.
Don't forget to add an interesting subject line so that people will open your email. And always include an unsubscribe link in case people don't want your emails anymore :(
Step 4: How Often Should you Send Emails?
How often do you need to communicate with your customers is a question you'll need to answer. You may only want to communicate quarterly but if you have time make this a priority to market your farm to your customers monthly.
That might not work for your schedule though. Sending a quarterly email campaign might be better for you. Do what feels right for your business. Better yet, ask customer how often they want to hear from you.
Step 5: Review Email Metrics, Test and Repeat
Make sure you've said all that you want in your email and that you've said it well. Don't make the mistake of hitting the send button too fast and end up sending out an email with a mistake in it. Take the time to rewrite and revise before you send it to the world.
If you're using an email platform to help you manage your contact list and send your marketing emails, it's a good idea to review your email metrics to understand which emails are working and how engaged your customers are.
Here's some tips:
Look for emails with high open rates to find subject lines that work.
Emails with high click through rates indicate a good offer or CTA (call-to-action)
Watch for high bounce rates and be sure to unsubscribe customers whose email bounces or ask to be removed from your list
Test different formats with just text or with images and graphics and see which perform best
Also note: Make sure that your customers have opted in to your mailing list.
Taking time to dive into your email marketing plan will benefit you in the long run. Here's some tips from Mailchimp on developing an effective email marketing strategy. Not only by letting your customers know what you have available to buy but that you are busy filling orders, helping others in the community. Being part of the community they will appreciate hearing from you. Communication with your customers is a great way to make connections. In a time when we all feel a little separate reaching out to your customers might be exactly what they need.