FarmFan is an app built by Small Farm Central. We're passionate about thriving farmers markets and farmers.
- 6560 Lilac Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Think about those customers that come to the market 3-4 times a year. Why don't they come every week? Life gets in the way. They forget. It's raining. There are lots of reasons.
These customers are a huge opportunity. They want to support local farms and they want vibrant markets in their community, but they still spend a majority of their food dollars at the grocery store because it's easier. How much will your sales increase if you can get these customers out to the market twice as often through the season?
Facebook and email are great marketing tools, but it's not enough and Facebook gets more expensive every year.
We can help you connect with these customers and the rest of your customers with our FarmFan app. Have your customers opt-in to get a text message an hour before the market and then check in at the market to get loyalty rewards.
Text messages are a bit magical because the open rate is 97% within 3 minutes of sending, so we can reach your customers at the exact moment when they are deciding to come to the market or not.
Let's work together and find your FarmFans!
"FarmFan was fantastic. We were really surprised at people's reactions to it. People love being a part of something, like it was a special club - 'Yeah, I'm a FarmFan' - they really bought into that. The weekly reminder, from a practical perspective, made a huge difference for folks at our Wednesday afternoon market. They can plan all week to come to the market, and forget or go home a different way, or get caught in a meeting. People would come to us and say that they would have forgotten to come to the market without the reminder."
-Karen Bryla Mcnees, Market Manager, Lexington Market at University of Kentucky
Customers opt-in to get a message on your website with our slick pop-up widget, through social media, from your email list, or at the market.
Send a 160-character message and optionally a photo to your FarmFans. If you don't schedule it ahead of time, FarmFan will send you a text message reminder and you can send your message just by replying by text.
Your message is delivered to your customers in the hours before the market, right when they are making the decision of whether to come to market that day!
Each market day has it's own passcode like "tomato". It is texted to you at market opening time. Write this on a whiteboard or tell it to customers as they make purchases. Your choice.
FarmFans simply text the passcode back to the message they got earlier in the day and they are checked in for possible rewards! No extra work for you.
This combination of real-time notifications and rewards keeps customers engaged and coming back week after week.
For example, if you have 1000 people coming to your market each week and 20% of them sign up for FarmFan, you have 200 FarmFans. During months when you send messages you will pay $50/month and nothing during the off-season.
For larger markets with more FarmFans, a package will save money versus pay-as-you-go. Choice of paying month-by-month or the full year. Yearly plans get 25% off (3 months free)!
Monthly packages are only charged during months when you send FarmFan messages, so you do not pay during the off-season. Yearly plans continue year-round. Any overage is charged at the pay-as-you-go rate.
|# of fans||Pay by Month||Pay by Year
(includes 25% discount)
|500 FarmFans||$99/mo||$891/year ($74.25/mo)|
|1000 FarmFans||$199/mo||$1791/year ($149/mo)|
|2000 FarmFans||$349/mo||$3141/year ($261/mo)|
|5000 FarmFans||$749/mo||$6741/year ($561/mo)|
Text messages have a 97% open rate within 3 minutes, so text messages reach your customers at that exact moment when they are deciding whether to come to the market. This is especially important when you have a new product, not-so-sunny weather, or other special message that you need to get to market customers.
Allow customers to check in at the market, collect points, and receive rewards. We'll help you figure out rewards for your situation, but you can design a rewards program however you like. One great idea is to have "event-based" rewards, for example if a customer checks in 10 times through the season they get an invite to an end-of-season V.I.P cook-out!
If you do not schedule your FarmFan update ahead of time, the app will send you a reminder by text message two hours before the market starts. Then, simply respond to the text message to send your update. This means you can't forget to send your update for each market!
Optionally, connect the FarmFan app with your Facebook and Twitter accounts so FarmFan updates are automatically copied to your social media profiles, including links to sign up as a FarmFan. This is a way to turn online interest (such as Facebook "likes") into actual customers at the market.
Integrate an attractive pop-up widget on your main website that turns your website visitors into FarmFans and then into customers!
Optionally, include a photo with each text message. You can even take a picture on the go on at the market and send your update message with photo simply by texting it in to the FarmFan app!
Yes, FarmFan works through any mobile browser and can be controlled via text message, so you can use FarmFan with just a flip phone.
FarmFans can check themselves in to the system to get rewards each week and sign up for FarmFan completely on their own, no extra work at the market!
Rewards can be monetary, such as "accumulate 10 check-ins and get $10 off your next order", or they can be more fun! Event-based rewards can be very compelling, such as, have a V.I.P. farm tour and cook-out for any customers that accumulates 10 check-ins.
No, only pay for FarmFan during months you are sending messages!
"The beauty of FarmFan is that it is really flexible. Any business that is looking to capture that relationship
with customers and any business that finds value in repeat customers will find value in it.
"I think we underestimate the fact that all grocery chains and gas stations have this sort of program. People are used to it and people are looking for it as recognition and validation of how they shop.
"We were trying to find some way to capture those people that love to support us at the farm markets and we value their relationship. Once they leave, you don't have any to thank them or a way to pull them back in, so FarmFan fills that for us."
"Customers that like our farm LOVE farm fan.. They see it as a way of making local businesses and supporting local farmers
and buying good food and getting prizes as a win-win. The software is ridiculously simple to use!
"For the amount of actual applicants we have they are SOOOOOOOO enthusiastic about running up their Farm Fan points. I think it's a game to them. I swear I think they are thinking, 'How high can I go?'"
"The most important feature for us so far is the weekly texts to customers - many have told me that they really appreciate getting reminded to come to the stand, and like to know what we have available before they show up. This aspect has been awesome for us! (and i love getting prompted on saturday morning to send out the text -- really convenient for me)"
FarmFan was conceived at Small Farm Central in Fall 2013 as an answer to the question, "How can farms utilize mobile technology in marketing?" Farmers markets are such a wonderful opportunity for farms and an asset to communities, but to be viable, farms must make a profit selling their goods. FarmFan seeks to close the gap between farm and customer.
Simon started Small Farm Central in 2006 to serve the technology needs of farmers. He grew up on a small farm in the hills of south-western Pennsylvania and later helped manage a produce operation in western Colorado that sold through CSA and farmers markets. Outside of work, Simon runs after his 3-year-old son, Eliot, and enjoys exploring fermented foods in the kitchen.
© 2015 Small Farm Central & FarmFan. All rights reserved.
We'll send you a few text messages over the coming days about FarmFan to show you how powerful connecting with customers via text can be!