Newvine Growing: Your Website and Email Newsletter — the Foundation of your Online Marketing

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Social media gets much of the chatter as the newest marketing tool, but don’t forget those older new tools: your website and your email newsletter. …

Social media gets much of the chatter as the newest marketing tool, but don’t forget those older new tools: your website and your email newsletter.

According to research by e-commerce analytics company Custora, for example, just 2 percent of online retail sales this past holiday season came directly from social media, while search, direct visits to business websites and apps and email marketing did far better.

A representative of NAFDMA’s Management Company will join with Colleen for this hour. Together they will reference this year’s best NAFDMA Celebrate Excellence Contest website entries, as well as NAFDMA’s revamped web site, “farmers inspired,” to introduce talking points and best practices your integrating website, e-newsletter and social media. Workshop participants will also be encouraged to share and compare successful strategies and tactics.

Ideally, you will connect all your channels together. Your website encourages visitors to sign up for your email newsletter, your emails mention your social media, your social media links to your website. Wherever people find you first, they should get a consistent message and find it easy to do business with you. We’ll consider the capacity of the group, build off the kinds of questions posed in the workshop Part 1 roundtable, and talk about best practices for email and websites as we tie everything together.

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  • This will be a fairly basic overview of putting your website and email to work – I’m not a coder so we aren’t going to talk about how to do the most cutting-edge, sexy, innovative things.We *will* talk about making sure you’re solid on the things your customers want and need most, the foundational elements.If that’s what you need, then let’s go.
  • However you engage with users, those activities should be designed with your goals in mind – and they should be interconnected.My recommendation is that your website is your center of gravity. Everything else orbits in relationship to it.
  • There are a lot of reasons to anchor with your website. One important one is that you control your website – you decide what content it has where and you have access to the data – while social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can make whatever changes they want, whenever they want, even if those changes hurt your business.Also, Google is like the new yellow pages. If I want to find apples or pumpkins in my area, the first thing I’m going to do is Google for a place to buy them. If I don’t find your site, if it doesn’t help me find out I can buy from you, I’ll spend my money with someone else.But your website doesn’t need to be the ONLY thing you do. You can build a marketing program that anchors with your website.Put your best content on your site – this is the place most people are likely to find you, make sure it makes a good first impression. Yes, you can *also* share on email, social, in your brochures, but make sure it’s all here.Link back to your site often – on social media and in your email, and tell people to clickMake social sharing buttons prominent for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr – and actively ask people to sharePost sharable content – Pinterest is based on photos, photos and infographics are hot on Facebook
  • The Custora Pulse tracks U.S. e-commerce statistics by analyzing more than 70 million online shoppers and more than $10 billion in e-commerce revenue across more than 100 U.S.-based online retailers.During this past holiday season, they found that online search was dominant - More than 40% of e-commerce orders originating on Organic Search (26%) and Paid Search / SEM (15%). Email Marketing accounted for 16% of e-commerce orders. Social media drove 2 %.Even if it’s hard to truly pinpoint what motivates a shopper – maybe the reason I Googled Macy’s to buy a Christmas present from them is because I kept seeing them pop up on Twitter – I think the takeaway remains that consumers spend a big chunk of their money based on online search.And if 100 of the major retailers – the Amazons of the world – who have huge marketing departments don’t see social media driving a big chunk of their sales, it’s probably a safe conclusion that at a smaller scale, your website and email marketing will be your most important tools, too.
  • Five basics your website should have:What you offer – this sounds so obvious, but I’m amazed at the number of websites where I can’t figure out exactly what they’re selling, like restaurants that don’t post their menusWhere you are – including a good quality map and any tricks, like GPS not giving the best routeWhen you are open – keep it updated, include any special holiday changesHow to contact youA Search function
  • But wait … that’s not very interesting, right?Have you ever been to a website that didn’t answer a really simple question you had, like when a business is open or where it is?CLICKThis is a joke fromXKCD that a friend of mine posted recently – it’s about the difference between what university websites have and what people go looking for on university websites.I think you could substitute almost any industry here and come up with a similar disconnect between the useful, real-life information people want and the clutter that’s on many websites.It’s helpful to keep in mind that your website is for your audience – your current and potential customers, the media, your suppliers … anyone you choose to communicate with. It is not for you. You already know all about your business. Your website is not for you.
  • Where you areWhen you are openHow to contact youSocial sharing buttons
  • When you are openPrice of admission and what it includesHow to contact youDown at the bottom, they’re telling me they take credit cards. That’s helpful… they also have their address at the bottom of the page and a big Contact us button at the top
  • I’m dropping down into the middle of Leeds Farm’s website to show you how jam packed this is with all the essentials …When you are openPrice of admission and what it includes, age restrictions, time of last admissionDirectionsActivities they offerHow to contact them… then if you scroll down, they have these giant buttons to help you find what you need. They even have a cute kid photo. With a baby.
  • What do you see here on Vala’s Pumpkin Patch that’s helpful or interesting?Look how easy it is to make a reservation – I can’t miss thatDown here, buy tickets.Events calendarHow to contact themAll their social media buttons are at the top, then down here, Instagram and a YouTube video… then if you scroll down, they have these giant buttons to help you find what you need. They even have a cute kid photo. With a baby.
  • Make sure you’re checking out competitor websites, whether that’s the farm up the street, the local grocery store, other wedding venues … or major national brands. See what good ideas you can borrow.What else are they doing? A blogOnline orderingRecipesAnyone doing those?
  • If you’re in agritourism, do you check out the big competitors? You think parents haven’t spent at least a little time looking at the Disneyworld website? Online, the big guys and the little guys all coexist.
  • According to this research from Statista and Mashable, about 17 percent of global website use and about 15 percent of U.S. website use in 2013 was coming from mobile devices.
  • Is your website designed with mobile in mind?When is the last time you looked at your own website on a mobile device?Let’s take a minute – pull out your phone and do that right now.
  • Watch out for words like free, mortgage or Viagra … spam filters look for anything that seems suspect and the things they look for are ever changing, so hopefully your email service provides a spam rating before you send.Keep it short – an increasing number of people are reading on their phones and even those who aren’t are drowning in emails.If you get my attention and I want to buy from you, make it easy. Tell me where you are, when you’re open, how to contact you if I have questions.
  • What bugs you in emails you receive?My pet peeve: please don’t use a no replies email address when you send an email. Do you know what that says to me? I want to sell to you but I don’t care about you, your questions or your concerns. This is about me, the seller, not you, the buyer I just lost.
  • In all your marketing channels, your focus should be your customer – who are you serving today, who do you want to serve, and ho do you reach them.Focus on your current and potential customers to make them want to buy from you.Think about who you’re trying to reach – your existing customers or potential new customers? And who are those people? Middle-aged moms in your town? Teachers who organize field trips? Young brides with affluent parents?When you have a sense of who you want to talk to, think about:What content they need Like what apples are available this weekend? If you want them to visit your farm, what information do they need?What content they want? Like recipes or cute animal photos?Are you giving them discounts?Are they getting something special? Something exclusive they couldn’t otherwise get?If you want people to be regular customers, how can you get them excited about coming back?If you want them to tell their friends, what’s the specific next step you want them to take?If you’re getting good customer information, you can segment your emails to be more targeted – one message for field trip organizers, another for brides, another for CSA members.WHAT EMAIL SUBJECTS HAVE WORKED FOR YOU?
  • Email remains a very effective way to reach people so how can you build a campaign to collect email addresses?75% of people prefer to receive offers over any other form of call to action, according to Textmarketer – so what can you offer that will encourage people to give you their email address?A screen saver, a T-shirt, recipes, discounts, special events?Most of us feel like our email inboxes are already overflowing so you need to give your customer some reason to hand over his or her email address – some reason why it will feel worth it to get one more email.
  • Let’s pull out our phones again – do you send an email newsletter? How does it look on your phone? Can you read it without a microscope?
  • It’s not just about cross promoting all your channels to each other -- they’re all tools serving your organization’s goals so they should all work together.They might have slightly different jobs but being in sync helps your business get where it’s going faster.
  • See how NAFDMA encourages you to sign up for updates right up at the top, next to the Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube icons?And how the mobile version of it has the same style and same features but scaled down for the smaller screen?
  • I use MailChimp to do marketing emails – it’s a free tool that offers pre-designed templates I can customize, and it offers reports on how many people opened each email, how many people clicked on a link, which links they clicked on …This is an actual report from an email I sent back in 2011.
  • I use Google Analytics to monitor my website traffic – like MailChimp, it’s also a free and easy.Among other things, it can tell me how many people visited my site, how long they spent there on average, whether they visited from a computer or a mobile device, even what devices they used.This is an actual report from my new website,, before it had officially launched. So these are clicks by me, my web designer and friends who were helping review it.
  • You can find me at – I will post this PowerPoint there, using a link to Slideshare.If you already use Slideshare, you can go straight there and find me at


  • 1. Colleen Newvine Newvine Growing Your website and email - the foundation of your online marketing NAFDMA 2014
  • 2. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Our agenda  Website basics you should have  Borrow ideas from competitors  Think mobile  Email basics you should have  Encouraging people to sign up  Think mobile – again  Monitoring results  Your questions
  • 3. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Center of gravity Your website
  • 4. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Anchor with your website Build your marketing around your website:  Put your best content on your site  Link back to your site often  Make social sharing buttons prominent  Post sharable content
  • 5. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Consumers look online 41 percent of online sales = Search
  • 6. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Website necessities Five basics your website should have:  What you offer  Where you are  When you are open  How to contact you  Search function
  • 7. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Remember your user You Your audience
  • 8. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing What do you see?
  • 9. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing What do you see?
  • 10. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing What do you see?
  • 11. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing What do you see?
  • 12. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing What do you see?
  • 13. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing What do you see?
  • 14. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Mobile continues to grow
  • 15. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Mobile continues to grow
  • 16. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Email is an effective tool A round up of statistics from Salesforce:  44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email. (  7 in 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the prior week. (2012 Blue Kangaroo Study)  Emails that include social sharing buttons have a 158% higher click-through rate. (GetResponse)  82% of consumers open emails from companies. (Litmus)
  • 17. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Email necessities Five basics for good email marketing:  A compelling non spammy subject line  A short message with a clear focus  Where you are  When you are open  How to contact you
  • 18. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing My personal email peeves  “X Business February newsletter”  “Greetings, everyone!”  “I can’t believe it’s 2014. Where does the time go?  Leaving out important information  Typos and bad grammar  Unsolicited attachments  No replies email addresses
  • 19. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Stumped by what to write? Consider your audience: o What information do they need? o What information do they want? o What’s the specific next step you want them to take? o What’s in it for them?
  • 20. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Motivate people to sign up HubSpot recommends this approach to collecting email addresses so you can build an ongoing conversation
  • 21. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing What do you see?
  • 22. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Everything works together Connect all of your marketing channels:  List your website on your business card  Promote social accounts on your website  Include URL and social accounts in emails  Encourage email sign ups on your website
  • 23. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Everything works together
  • 24. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Everything works together
  • 25. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Is it working?
  • 26. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Is it working?
  • 27. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Is it working?
  • 28. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Take this talk home
  • 29. #NAFDMA @NewvineGrowing Newvine Growing Marketing strategy and tactics for farmers, farmers markets and farm-to-table restaurants