My son is a United States Marine.
I remember when he went to boot camp almost 3 years ago.
It was tough.
During the long 3 months of no communication, I watched video after video of what he was going through each week in training. Many times with tears in my eyes!! (Ok, fellow mamas of Marines, please tell me I’m not alone!)
Wondering, why do they have to do it that way? Why do they have to yell in their face and punish them if they smile, cry or puke?
Why don’t they feed them enough food? Why can’t he contact us?
Do you know why they continue training this way?
Because it works.
They have not found an equivalent substitute that turns recruits into warriors as boot camp does.
When he deployed two years ago to Africa and the Middle East, this peaceful Mom was grateful he was prepared. He was able to live on minimal calories and at times minimal water, work 18-24 hours some days/nights and maintain the mindset of a warrior.
I recognize farming is not the Marine Corps and it’s not a deployment.
If we don’t work with the same focus, don’t train, and don’t show up consistently, we won’t be here to “serve” for very long.
I know that because I communicate with hundreds of farmers every week who struggle to get their products in front of the people who can happily pay a price that makes the farmer a decent profit.
Email Marketing, when done correctly, builds relationships and trust so people will buy from you.
1. Email Is a Conversation
Email should never be used for the sole purpose of selling. If you only email your customers when you have something for sale, you’re training them to ignore you. Think of email as a text message (only better).
If you sell raw milk, you might text a friend to say, “Milk is ready for pick up! See you when you get here.” Sounds simple, friendly and conversational, right?
Write as you talk, it keeps the relationship strong. Email shouldn’t be boring or stiff.
Imagine sitting in a coffee shop or in the barn with a close friend talking about your farm. When you do that, making the sale is faster and easier.
Pro Tip: Facebook & Instagram will NEVER replace email. Social media should be used as a tool to meet new customer and start the conversation.
2. Email Is Consistent
When you send emails consistently, you stay top-of-mind. And staying top-of-mind is a huge deal when it comes to the buying psychology of customers.
We are bombarded with thousands of message daily. Customers will never remember your farm unless you email them consistently.
When you post on Facebook or Instagram, your reach is very inconsistent (and low). Barely anyone will see what you post unless you pay Facebook or Instagram to put your post in front of your audience.
But when you send an email — your customer gets it in their inbox! And the cost is waaaay less and most of the time it’s free.
Email is the best way for you to stay in consistent and top of mind with your customers. The sooner you embrace this, the sooner you will be profitable.
3. Email Is Easy to “Forward”
At the beginning of my email marketing days, at the very bottom of every email, I’d say, “If you know someone that is interested in raw milk, please forward this email to them and brighten their day.”
We all know word of mouth marketing is the best kind of marketing to have. It’s free and builds a high level of trust almost immediately when you are “recommended” by family and friends.
Ask customers to forward your email to friends and family that might also be interested in grass-fed beef, organic chicken or fresh flowers.
You’d be surprised how effective this simple trick works.
4. Email Crushes Social Media
If you’ve been on Facebook for any amount of time over the past few months/years, I’m sure you’ve noticed the decrease in likes, comments, and shares on your Business Page.
In 2010, organic reach on Facebook was much higher than it is today. Today, Facebook is a “paid to play” platform that will get you insanely good results but you must be willing to pay a premium for those results.
And if you think Instagram is any better, you’re sadly mistaken.
So if you’re trying to build a customer base on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest you won’t be profitable anytime soon.
Email is KING and has been for decades at this point. When you send an email, customers get it straight to their inbox.
Now, it might land in their spam folder occasionally, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t get it.
When you post on Facebook or Instagram over 90% of your followers or fan will NEVER SEE IT.
That is a terrible way to build a business. Email crushes social media when it comes to building an audience.
If you take nothing else from this blog post, remember an email list is how you’ll make money and become profitable. Start building an email list today and ever stop!
5. Email Has a “Forever” Lifecycle
Did you know that a social media post has a life cycle of about 5 hours? Twitter — even shorter.
Email = forever. When you send an email, it stays in someone’s inbox forever or until they delete it.
Social media works like this… You post on Facebook. No one sees it. No one comments. The post disappears from the top of the newsfeed never to be seen again.
When you post on Facebook it’s out of sight and buried very quickly. When you email someone they see it in their inbox and can choose to open it then or later when they have more time.
They will NEVER go back to dig on Facebook or scroll through Instagram to find your post.
Email is forever.
6. Email Sells Anything
After you’ve built a relationship with customers, you can directly ask for the sale.
When planning what kinds of emails to send to your customers, you should remember this 80/20 rule:
80% of your emails should be nothing related to sales or selling. This can be any form of valuable content like recipes, blog posts, a story with cute pics of the new baby cow born this week.
It’s important customers don’t feel like they’re being sold to all the time. How do you feel when someone is constantly sending you emails to “buy my stuff?” You delete them right?
Then, once you’ve earned the right to ask for the sale, send a sales email. This should never be more than 20% of the time.
And when asking for the sale, be direct. Don’t beat around the bush and say, “If you’d like to purchase, I’ll be at the farm store on Saturday taking orders.”
That soft, passive approach will never work.
Be direct and clear. Never pushy. For example, “Click here to purchase a ¼ beef.” or “Click here to read the blog post.”
It’s nice to have a list of your products on your website, but know that 95% of sales will NOT come from your website.
Sales will increase when you send a clear email asking them to “Buy Now.” It’s your job to educate customers on the sale.
Ask for the sale 20% of the time and if done correctly, I’ll bet you GET IT.
And I know what many of you might be thinking, “My customers don’t open emails. They prefer to text.”
And that may be true (for now), but the first time you sell out in email (and a customer missed their opportunity) I can almost guarantee they’ll open the next email from you for fear of missing out.
Give them a reason to open your emails! I promise this works if you’re consistent and strategic.
And email marketing works in every industry too. I’ve done this myself so I know it works. Email will sell your anything too.
At this point, I’m sure you can tell how much I love email. Email marketing has changed my life and now I teach farmers how to do the same.