Past Sunday, I spend a beautiful sunny day outdoors with my family at Von Thun Farms Fall Festival.
Von Thun Farms received a fair amount of attention from the media such as Fox News, ESPN and Yahoo News in the last couple of months because of their Derek Jeter Corn Maze. They flew in a corn maze specialist company from Utah to design and cut the maze when the huge field of feed corn was mere inches tall.
For the past couple of weeks, there were thousands of people every weekend having a wholesome day of farm fun enjoying hay rides, bouncy castles, pumpkin bowling, corn canons and apple picking.
But what happens when all those families go home?
How could you stay in touch with them, get them excited about your fresh produce, get them to come back for your Halloween event or even to sign up for next year's CSA?
Inbound Marketing Can Help You Keep In Touch With Agritourism Visitors
Most farms have recognized the potential of agritourism as an additional source of revenue as well as a way to cross- and up-sell your products.
Imagine the possibilities if you can capture everyone's information and send them helpful emails about farming, how to best store their pumpkins or offer them yummy recipes. You could nurture them and slowly turn them into a brand promoter or sign them up for next year's CSA.
#1) Set Up A Landing Page On Your Website For Your Visitors To Download A Coupon Or Buy A Ticket
Depending on your preference, you can ask your visitors to download a coupon or buy the ticket from your website. If you allow them to buy the ticket, you can have a separate line to let them in faster which speeds up all ticket sales on site.
You can do this by setting up a landing page.
A landing page is a page on your website and includes a headline, some text and images and a form. To set up a landing page you can use a simple form on your website (some WordPress themes even come with a landing page template already set up), HubSpot, LeadPages.net or even email marketing tools like Constant Contact. Make sure to ask as little as possible but as much as necessary, for example first and last name, email, and whatever else information is crucial.
(For more tips on how to create awesome landing pages, check out 10 Best Practices To Create Awesome Landing Page.)
#2) Follow Up & Delight With Your Visitors with Email Drip Campaigns
After your visitors downloaded their coupon or bought their ticket, you have their email addresses in your database. You can sort them in a smart list called "Fall Festival 2014" and email them helpful information before and after the event. For example, if it looks you will be rained out, let them know, their tickets are valid tomorrow also and if you are adding a make-up day. After they attend the event, ask them to share their favorite memory in a Facebook post. Or send them spooky carving templates and recipes for all the pumpkins they bought.
In Inbound Marketing language we call this lead nurturing. This is an important step because most people will have a day of fun and not remember the name of your farm a month from now. They are just looking for information (in the case of the farm a fun day with no strings attached).
By using marketing automation software, you can set up automatic email drip campaigns to keep your workload minimal. You set everything up once and the software sends emails based on the behavior of the visitor. If you are not using marketing automation software, you can set up a manual email drip campaign with MailChimp or Constant Contact or your email marketing tool of choice.
#3) Use Social Media To Your Advantage
Social Media can be an excellent tool to market your fall festival for several reasons: Most sucessful social media content is visually based and people love to share photos. If they had a fund time, they are often happy to recommend your event to their friends and family. And even strangers trust recommendations on social media.
Here are some suggestions for using social media:
- Encourage visitors to check-in with Facebook to get a free perk (e.g., free ear of corn or apple). Chances are they will also like your page.
- Create a hashtag that people can use to receive hints how to get through the corn maze.
- Run a caption contest on Facebook or Instagram - just post a funny picture of something that happened at the farm that is related to the farm festival.
- Ask people to post their photos to your page based on a theme - e.g., cutest pumpkin in the field.
- Create a fall recipe board on Pinterest and feature it in a blog post or email.