With over 50 vendors and a year-round schedule, this Arizona-based farmers market has a lot to share with the community. Learn how they use SMS to do it.
They say to keep your friends close, and your farmers closer. Okay, maybe no one actually says that…but they should! When you know the people who grow your food, you get higher quality products and support the local economy. No one knows this better than Prescott Farmers Market in Arizona. Since 1997, they’ve provided residents of Yavapai County with access to locally grown food.
The PFM needed a way to quickly inform fans of the market about what’s for sale and encourage them to stop by. A survey of over 200 small businesses found that 8 in 10 rely on email marketing for customer retention. However, the average email open rate in the agriculture and food service industry is less than 24%. That’s why PFM decided to use texting instead. Almost 98% of texts are read (most within just minutes) making them great for announcing events, connecting with customers, and bringing in traffic.
We spoke to Kathleen Yetman, the executive director of Prescott Farmers Market, to learn more about how they’re using SMS to reach their audience and support small-scale farms in the process.
Capturing Phones Numbers with an Easy-to-Use Form
A successful market requires dedicated vendors and excited customers. To capture the phone numbers of the latter, Kathleen’s team added a pop-up form to their website.
People interested in the market’s hours and locations are presented with a simple form to sign up for text reminders. This form asks for the visitor’s first name, last name, and phone number.
The PFM team also created a custom field for the two market locations: Prescott and Chino Valley. This allows visitors to self-select which market(s) they want updates from.
Within this information collected, they’re able to create audience segments. These are dynamic lists which are automatically updated based on the information the users selected. When it’s time to send out a text campaign, all the team at Prescott Farmers Market has to do is select the segment they want to send a message to.
Sending Enticing Text Announcements
There are over 50 vendors at the Prescott summer market and 40 vendors at the winter market, all of which have unique products and in-season foods. On the day of the market, the team at Prescott Farmers Market sends out a message with items that their audience may be excited about.
Reminding Residents About Pop-Up Markets
Prescott Farmers Market’s mission extends far beyond just selling great food. They’re dedicated to ensuring food security for their community. This includes bringing fresh produce to areas where it’s hard to come by. They do this by hosting pop-up markets. These events happen less frequently, so a text reminder helps ensure nobody misses out.
Future Plans for the Prescott Farmers Market
The PFM team works tirelessly to bring farmers and urban consumers together. The work they do supports the local economy, keeps smalls farms viable, provides a low barrier to entry for food entrepreneurs, and educates people about the importance of food.
We asked Kathleen what plans they have to expand upon their mission. As Prescott Farmers Market is a nonprofit organization, they need all the community support they can get. Soon they’ll be introducing a volunteer program to provide assistance to the market staff. After the positive feedback they’ve received from market visitors about the text messages, they’ll be using SMS to communicate with volunteers too.
We love working with organizations that have a positive effect on their local communities. If you have a nonprofit that could benefit from text messaging, try out SimpleTexting free for 14 days. And while you’re getting started, take a look at our guide to texting for nonprofits. When you’re ready to upgrade, ask about our 15% off discount for 501(c)3 organizations.