Make the Most of CSA Day (Tomorrow)
Tomorrow is CSA Day!
What is CSA Day? And why February? According to www.CSADAY.info, February 22nd is “the busiest day for getting new CSA signups.”
There is some data to back it up. In 2014, Small Farm Central, run by the brilliant Simon Huntley, surveyed more than 250 CSA farmers and came up with February 28th as the most popular day for CSA sign-ups. I don’t know why they moved it to February 22nd, presumably because the most popular day is the last Saturday in February, but I say let’s roll with it and hopefully we will all be sold out by the 28th anyway.
CSAday.info has some suggestions for you here, but we came up with a few ourselves:
A one day “early bird” discount? A t-shirt? A Raffle? Maybe one lucky #CSAday subscriber gets a dinner at the farm with the farmers? Or gets a free share week. Something. Think about an incentive or two to get people thinking about your CSA.
Have Customers Post About You on Their Social Media
Word of mouth is the most powerful tool for selling practically anything—it is, indeed, native advertising at its best when a customer talks about a product publicly with their friends. And you can’t expect anything you don’t ask for, so shoot out an email or a post and ask your customers to share their experiences. Maybe even attach some incentive to it—a rebate on the share if someone signs up on their recommendation? It’s much more rewarding to pay your CSA members than Facebook, just sayin’.
Do a Promotional Video
Why not show potential customers a little behind-the-scenes of the farm? Show off your family (as much as you are comfortable with such things). Put a personality and face behind your product. Remember, grocery stores and Blue Apron-type companies will always be more efficient and convenient than you. BUT, they will never be able to build the relationships you can—so work it.
Hit the Streets!
We almost always hang up a few fliers every year for our CSA, so why not on CSA day? Hit the coffee shops, gyms and libraries (librarians being one of our main supporters over the years), and any community board that comes to mind. Celebrate CSA day wherever and however you can—get out in the public and post photos of yourself in recognizable areas. People like making connections between where they live and what they buy.
A Concerted Effort
Maybe you already have all the members you need for the season (if so, you rock). Maybe you’re wondering when to make the big marketing push? CSA Day is a great focal point for the CSA community as a whole. When small farms across the country begin posting about CSAs on the sameday, using the same hashtags and blowing up feeds everywhere, it raises awareness and can cut through the noise so many of us encounter when just trying to market ourselves, our CSAs, alone. Speaking of concerted effort, Small Farm Central also created a CSA charter worth passing around.
Whatever you do, make sure to tag it with #CSAday and thank Simon Huntley the next time you see him for putting so much work into promoting CSAs and giving a damn about making small farms thrive. Also, check out Harvie if you’re looking to grow your CSA membership or just improve your retention rate. Harvey offers a platform for easy CSA member share customization from week to week, seamless harvest/pack/delivery reports for managing multiple pick-up locations, and —most importantly for this time of year, besides starting those seeds, of course—marketing assistance and online sign-up. Now, back to the greenhouse.
How are you celebrating CSA Day? What creative things have you done to drive membership or keep members coming back, year-after-year? Let us know in the comments!