The image of a farmers’ market doesn’t immediately evoke “high-tech.” Over the years, however, farmers’ markets have slowly adopted digital technologies to reach an increasingly connected consumer.
The move toward digital often began with building simple email lists.
“I would use [a list] to do a weekly pre-market pump up, tell them what would be there,” says Stacy Miller, executive director of the Farmers’ Market Coalition, an organization serving farmers, consumers and communities by providing resources and state and federal representation.
Miller, who previously served as marketing manager of a farmers’ market, adds, “Email lists were kind of the spark for communicating electronically with a customer base.”
Over time, those emails evolved into a market website.
“Our first MailChimp e-newsletter was sent to 62 people,” Caplanson admits. “Slowly but surely, by publishing an email newsletter with completely original content and gorgeous photos and with a lot of value — recipes, growing tips, how-to instructions — we built an opt-in following.”
Coventry’s list currently has around 2,600 subscribers with a high rate of opening and click-throughs.
Today’s farmers’ markets are embracing digital technology in a number of ways beyond email. Here are just a few that are taking advantage of online tools to connect to their customers.
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