Disclaimer: The FMANSW does not receive any payment from any of the resources mentioned in this post. All advice and information is provided in good faith. We do not accept any liability should you experience any financial hardship after following any of our recommendations.
You’ve cast your net wide. You’ve claimed your Google My Business listing, you’re making use of reviews and perhaps using their free website feature, you’re posting to social media and you’re managing your listings on tourism-based directories. You’ve even met the challenge of building your own website. Well done!! But there’s one more thing you can do to keep your customers coming back.
Probably the most important part of a website is the mailing list. Through your face-to-face contact and your social media, you have the tools you need to get people to sign up to a newsletter. Markets should definitely be doing this and stall holders, if you have the time, will also benefit.
A monthly newsletter is one of the best ways to keep your customers loyal and keep them coming back for more.
You don’t have to write an entire newsletter all at once. You can write in small chunks on your website’s blog (remember the photo!) whenever you have something to say. Share a short post on your social media. Publish a longer version on your blog. Then when it’s time for the monthly newsletter, you already have the content. Write a small amount of friendly chit-chat to kick off the newsletter, then just copy/paste in the news from the blogs you’ve already written, with the photos. Voilà!
Don’t worry about seeming repetitive. Most people will only see it once, no matter how many different ways you’re putting it out there.
There are a number of free tools you can use for newsletters. The most popular one is Mailchimp. It’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers and they’re adding more free features to their service all the time, including surveys (another awesome marketing opportunity).
Mailchimp takes care of all the legalities of managing a mailing list to make sure you’re not breaking any spamming rules, plus it will give you what you need to create a link to a sign-up form that you can add to your social media and website.
After you’ve created and saved a template for your emails (and Mailchimp has loads of sample templates you can start with and edit and you can get your googles on find free templates online, if you don’t see something you like), sending emails becomes a quick and simple affair. Like everything else, you just have to invest some time at the beginning to get yourself set up.
There are other ways to email newsletters, but Mailchimp is the most popular and that’s for a reason. It’s great for small lists and people who don’t want to spend a lot of time and money sending newsletters.
TO SUM UP
Marketing your market or enterprise is obviously super important, but it’s often the last thing we spend our valuable time thinking about or putting into action.
But without it, we are missing opportunities to attract more people to our farmers markets and discover all of the wonderful experiences farmers markets have to offer.
We hope that this blog series will encourage you to set some time aside and come up with an overall marketing strategy that you can then systematically implement and, more importantly, sustain.
Once you have a plan in place and a system that makes enacting the plan less onerous, markets and stall holders can work together to raise the profile of farmers markets in New South Wales and, in turn, support our wonderful farmers.