Agritourism is all about offering immersive farm experiences. But how do you keep your visitors coming back for more? The not-so-secret tool is email marketing, when used correctly it can be extremely effective in helping to grow your agritourism business. But how exactly can it make a difference? Let’s dive in!
Email marketing is often overlooked by small businesses, particularly since the updates to contacting and data rules a few years ago with GDPR and so on. However, when used appropriately, it is still a hugely effective tool for businesses.
In today’s bustling digital age, emails provide a direct line to your customer. When deployed effectively, they provide a 1-2-1 style marketing message that is only matched by face-to-face selling.
Unlike fleeting social media posts that might get lost amidst endless scrolls, an email finds its place in your customer’s inbox, awaiting their attention. Email marketing can be both personal and efficient, particularly when combined with marketing automation. You can effectively reach hundreds or thousands of potential customers at once while still making them feel as though the email is personalised for them specifically. With every newsletter or offer you send, you’re not just marketing; you’re nurturing a relationship, building trust and offering value.
One of the most common issues small business owners face when considering email marketing is how to grow or even start their email list. You need to ensure you are doing this ethically, but you also want to reach as many customers as possible as quickly as possible.
If you take online payments, then you are already on to a winner. The current rules around data and email marketing say that you can contact any customer who has purchased from you in the last two years, as long as they haven’t specifically opted out. So making sure you capture email addresses at the transaction stage will quickly increase your mailing list and ensure you are collecting data from customers who already value your agritourism business.
If you don’t take online payments, or you are looking to capture non-customer email addresses, a couple good places to start are opt-in forms on your website and during the booking process. Even if you are not taking payment on the website, you can still have a voluntary sign-up option. You can also ask for email addresses and confirm opt-in during face-to-face sales or over the phone; it is a bit more fiddly and time-consuming, but remember how much each of those emails could be worth to your business.
To sweeten the deal, don’t just ask for an email; offer value as well. Maybe it’s a discount on their next visit, or perhaps it’s an insider’s guide to local attractions. And remember, transparency is key. Assure your subscribers that their data is safe and will only be used to enhance their experience.
Whether you’re updating them about an upcoming harvest festival, sharing a behind-the-scenes look at life on the farm or giving them a special discount, the content of your email should resonate with your subscribers. It’s about balancing information with engagement.
If you are new to email marketing, then having a template can help you to get started. Consider creating a little format or template for each newsletter. It might look something like this:
By tackling each of these sections and adjusting the template to suit your agritourism business, you can build your confidence in using email marketing and work towards having the skills to create ongoing email marketing sequences and campaigns.
Getting the most out of email marketing is all about knowing your customers and tapping into their customer journey. This increases the value you get from each customer and also helps keep old customers coming back for more. Email segmentation is key to developing this personalised and targeted approach.
Segmentation can elevate your email marketing strategy. By segmenting your list, maybe based on past visits or their interaction with previous emails, you can tailor your messages to fit the receiver. It’s like crafting a personal letter to each subscriber.
Segment your list based on factors like:
This could include offering specific discounts or freebies to specific types of customers. Or cross-sell by introducing them to collaborations or activities they might not have heard of, or give them exclusive sneak peeks. Personalisation is the name of the game.
Email marketing is highly effective when used to encourage repeat customers. For your agritourism business this might simply mean customers returning for another visit, or it could be customers coming for a different event or activity.
Email marketing is an ideal tool for implementing reward schemes, personalised recommendations and exclusive offers that can entice subscribers to revisit, ensuring your agritourism venture stays top of mind.
To ensure your subscribers don’t unsubscribe, you want to ensure they see value in your email marketing, even when they might not be in a position to make a purchase. One way to do this is to treat your subscribers like VIP customers. This could look like giving them early access to sales or exclusive offers not available to the general public. You may even decide to segment your subscribers into VIP and non-VIP status, so you can reward your best subscribers effectively.
While email marketing offers numerous benefits, it’s essential to be aware of regulations. GDPR has set guidelines on who you can contact and how. Always ensure you have clear consent before sending any emails, and always offer an easy opt-out for those who change their minds. Safeguarding their trust is as crucial as safeguarding their data.
For more information on the current data rules have a read of the ICO website.
Email marketing, when done right, can be a game-changer for your agritourism business. From building relationships to driving repeat business, it’s a tool every agritourism entrepreneur should harness.
It’s not just about sending emails; it’s about connecting, engaging and growing with your community. And remember, it’s a journey – so continuous learning, adapting and evolving is key. If you’re keen on exploring more about email marketing strategies, check out our previous articles on the topic. They offer a deeper dive into how email marketing can revolutionise the way you connect with your audience. And if this is all a bit daunting, we can offer email marketing as part of a bespoke marketing package. Contact us for more information.