How to import subscribers from your Apple Address Book to a MailChimp List

 Email marketing, Farm Diversification, productivity  Comments Off on How to import subscribers from your Apple Address Book to a MailChimp List
Nov 212013

How to import subscribers from Apple Address Book or (Contacts application, as it’s been called since Mountain Lion) to your MailChimp Lists

If you’re using OS X 10.6.6 or later, Mail Chimp has a lovely app called Chimport to get your subscribers’ details from the Contacts (the name for Apple’s Address Book application since Mountain Lion) into your MailChimp List. Here’s MailChimp’s article showing you how. Fine……….

If it works!

I’ve just tried it and although it claimed to import the subscribers, they have not appeared in my MailChimp List. Uh Oh!

Don’t let that put you off, others have made it work. I’m on OS X 10.6.8. If you have a later operating system, it may work for you. Give it a try! Or you can try my work around below.

Another way

My workaround may seem to have many steps but it is simple and straightforward. If you can copy, paste and drag, you’ll be able to follow this tutorial.

Before you tackle this, make sure people on your list have opted in to receive marketing messages. If you’re not sure of the rules check out the law in your country. Here’s what the UK Information Commissioner’s Office has to say on the subject. Scroll down for regulations on Electronic Mail Marketing.

If you’re ready, let’s get to it.

Getting set up

1. Open a blank spreadsheet, use either Microsoft Excel or Numbers for Apple Mac.

2. Open Address Book

3. Close any other open applications.

4. Re-size the Address Book and spreadsheet windows so you can see both on the screen.

Selecting the contacts in Address Book

1. Click on Address Book. In the first column, called GROUP, select ALL CONTACTS or choose the GROUP containing the email addresses you want to export to MailChimp.

2. To select more than one GROUP, hold down the COMMAND ⌘ key and click on the GROUPs you want, one by one.

3. When you’re done, click on one of the contacts in the second column, NAME. Then select all the addresses. You can do this by holding down the COMMAND ⌘ key and clicking A or choosing SELECT ALL from the EDIT menu.

Dragging the contacts onto the spreadsheet

1. Now you’re going to drag those contacts onto the blank spreadsheet. So simply place the cursor somewhere on the selected addresses, click and hold while you move the mouse to drag the cursor to the spreadsheet.

2. As you hover over the blank spreadsheet, you’ll see a white plus sign in a green circle and a red circle with the number of contacts in it. Let go of the mouse.

3. Next, you want to select the contacts in the spreadsheet. It’s very important, you only select cells that have contact details in them. Don’t highlight the column names. To do this click in the first cell of the first column that has data in it. Then hold down the SHIFT key and click on the last cell that has data in it.


If you have problems clicking on a cell containing an email address, hold down the SHIFT key and click on the cell to the left of the last one, then still holding down SHIFT, use the right arrow on your key board to move into the last cell.

Don’t worry about the order of the data. It doesn’t matter whether your first column is LAST NAME, FIRST NAME or EMAIL ADDRESS. You can sort this out during the IMPORT process.

4. Copy the data either using ⌘C or the COPY option from the EDIT MENU.

Copying and pasting the contacts into your MailChimp List

1. Now, go into your web browser (Google Chrome or Firefox for preference) and log in to your MailChimp account.

2. Select LISTS from the left hand side.

3. On the far right of the screen is a downward pointing triangle next to a button marked STATS. Click on that downward pointing arrow for the list you want and select IMPORT.

4. Scroll down and click on COPY/ PASTE FROM EXCEL. It is the second button in the top row.

5. Place your cursor in the box below where it says PASTE YOUR LIST. And paste your contacts using ⌘V or choose the PASTE option from the EDIT MENU.

6. If you have set up groups for this list, you’ll have the option to choose a group at this stage.

7. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see the IMPORT button. Hit the button.

8. Next MAILCHIMP will ask you to match columns. In the first column you will either see MAKE A SELECTION or MAILCHIMP will suggest a column name e.g. EMAIL ADDRESS. To make a selection use the pull down menu, to find the appropriate column name, e.g. FIRST NAME. Then click OK. If MAILCHIMP has already made the correct selection, you just click OK or if you don’t want that data imported e.g. Phone numbers, then click SKIP. Then you’ll move to the next column. Check each column and click OK or SKIP. There’s a short cut if you have a large number of columns.

10. If you have brought in a large number of columns and you realise you don’t need most of them, there is a SKIP ALL option, it is above the columns, in blue text, in brackets after the text about how many unmatched columns are left. Only use this once you have hit OK for the email address column, first name and last name (if you have them).

11. Once the IMPORT is complete, check the list to make sure it has come in as you intended.

That’s it. Use the comments to let me know if this worked for you or if you tried out Chimport, I’d love to hear how you got on.

Why you should put more farm into your farm shop

 Direct selling farm produce, farm retail  Comments Off on Why you should put more farm into your farm shop
Nov 222012

Recently I visited Low Sizergh Barn Farm Shop and Tea Room just on the edge of Cumbria, home of the English Lakes. I enjoyed my cream tea while watching the cows being milked in the parlour below. At the next table were a mother and small son who happily played with the toy tractor and sheep, supplied by the tea room.

You couldn’t get a more graphic illustration of the connection between the cream on my scone and the cow in the parlour.

This farm shop has gone the whole hog and put their farm shop literally over the farm. Next to the dairy, the herd were housed in straw barns, ensuring that you couldn’t fail to notice that you were on a farm.

Being on a farm is what makes your shop different from retailers on the high street & supermarkets.

Exploit that difference.

You’ll never compete on price, so don’t even try, instead offer a slice of life on the farm.

How do you put more farm into your farm shop?

Be creative. No milking parlour? Here are some quick ideas to get you thinking:

• Set up a lamb feeding station next door to the shop

• Provide point of sale information about every farm product with pictures of e.g. Cabbage in the field

• Rig up a webcam in the dairy, lambing shed (lambing live), veg packing area, or cheese making area (make sure you ask staff first!)

• Set up a heated seed growing area in your shop with information on what’s growing and when it’ll be ready

• Set up monthly spinning demonstrations

• Try occasional cooking demonstrations (entice local chefs, or cooks to come and show off their expertise)

• Cheese making video running on a monitor

• Hay making video running on a monitor

• Wall size farm map with trails marked

• Pictures of farm & farm workers

• Nature table – encourage children to collect conkers, leaves etc to put on the nature table (needs supervision!)

• Renewable energy control panel (show for instance, how much rain water you’ve harvested)

Some activities will require supervision and some investment but others can be created once, like the videos, and then used over and over again in your shop and online.

Why does it matter?

We know that people perceive that food is cheaper in supermarkets (even when it isn’t) and so you have to give them a different reason to make the trip out to your place. In the end how you make people feel is important. For many a taste of farm life feels good. Increasingly people are looking for a connection with the land and soil. As a farm shop you can provide that access through creatively bringing your farm into the farm shop.

That will bring them back to spend more money with you.

Where can you get more ideas?

Think about every aspect of your farm shop in terms of the customer experience of being on a farm. Visit other shops and get ideas. Engage all the senses, touch, sight, smell (the good ones). Unlike a supermarket, you don’t have to manufacture the scent of baking bread to trick customers into buying, all you have to do is find ways to bring more of the farm into your farm shop.

What about health & hygiene regulations?

Yes these can be challenging but generally you can find creative ways to accommodate them and still bring in more of the farm

Like Low Sizergh Barn Farm Shop and Tea Room, use your farm to create a unique atmosphere that attracts people to eat, buy and shop with you precisely because you offer something they can’t find on the high street or at the out of town superstores.

If you’d like on site marketing advice for marketing produce from your small holding or small farm,

Email me for quote for a farm visit

Cool apps from MailChimp for mobile email marketing

 Direct selling farm produce, Email marketing, farm retail  Comments Off on Cool apps from MailChimp for mobile email marketing
Sep 262012

I found an excellent list of apps from MailChimp to improve subscribers’ experience when receiving your email marketing campaigns on their mobile phones.

Of particular interest for farm retailers and farm entrepreneurs are:

Pyow for iPhones

A free app to generate and manage QR based coupons in MailChimp email campaigns via mobiles. You create a coupon in your campaign. Then when your customer shows up at the stall with the coupon showing on their phone, you simply scan the QR card with Pyow and verify the coupon. You can set how many times the coupon can be redeemed. This makes using email marketing to bring customers to your markets even more useful for you and your customers.

Find Pyow in the Apple App store.

Chimpadeedoo for iPad

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get people to sign up to your list on the spot? If you have an iPad, now you can! Chimpadeedo is a sign up app for iPad. You don’t even need to be connected to the internet. The app will collect subscriptions and store them until the next time you’re connected, then it pushes the contacts to your main MailChimp account.

This would be perfect at festivals, shows and events. If people are engaged and interested, ask if they’d like to subscribe there and then. Even at permanent retails outlets, like Farm Shops, you could have the iPad secured near the counter and if people are queuing encourage them to sign up. Restaurants and cafes too, could make it oh so easy for people to subscribe. If you do box scheme deliveries and people stop you at the van, you could ask them to sign up to find out more.

But remember, you don’t have a right to email people. They are doing you a favour when they give you their email address. And all the fancy apps in the world won’t persuade them to part with their personal information unless you are offering something of value.

So be clear and specific about what you offer. For example. Sign up here to get monthly updates of our new products/special themed nights/food tasting events/reminders about our next markets. It is easier to be clear and specific if you segment your lists and allow subscribers to choose the information they want.

Find Chimpadeedoo in the Apple App store.

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Why good signage for your farm gate sales (or farm shop) is essential

 Direct selling farm produce, Farm Diversification, farm retail, Marketing  Comments Off on Why good signage for your farm gate sales (or farm shop) is essential
Apr 262012

In Britain during World War II road signs were taken down because of fears of a German invasion. The thinking was that it would slow down an advancing army. No signs, no directions. Travel for just a few miles in the British countryside and you soon see how confusing it would be without signs.

Signs are really helpful! Especially if you want to direct people to your farm gate or farm shop to buy produce. Help people out. Put up a sign and make it easy to find your outlet.

What kinds of signs can you use?

Signs come in a variety of materials and sizes. For your farm entrance you can choose from wooden, metal or plastic signs. There are a variety of recycled plastic signs available which are cheaper than metal and easier to maintain than wooden signs. If you are part of a farm accreditation scheme or registered with a body like the Soil Association, there are often subsidised signs available.

A hand painted wooden sign can be very appealing, just make sure the painting is weather proof so that the sign looks good for years to come.

Let’s say you only sell produce in the summer months, then you want temporary signage. PVC banners can be strung up on your fence line when you’re open for business. What about road signs?

 Are there any regulations about signs?

On public roads in the UK, you may be able to get brown ‘tourist attraction’ signs but there are criteria to be met. The brown signs are regulated by the “Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002”. It is your local highways authority that authorises brown signs on local roads. Read more about brown signs in this article.

 Where should you put signs?

If you were travelling from London to Penzance, just think how many signs you’d pass. So don’t think one sign will do the job. You need to direct people in from the nearest main road right to your farm. And it doesn’t stop there.

Just because they’ve turned down the farm track doesn’t mean they’ll end up knocking on the right door. Don’t forget signs to guide people from your entrance right up to the farm house or farm shop door. Why do you need so many?

Remember what it feels like when you’re in unfamiliar territory. You start to doubt your self. If there is no sign, you wonder which way to turn and strangely many people ignore the obvious way and go off down side turnings.

Plenty of signs reassure people that they are heading the right way. It also avoids them ending up in your slurry pit or hay barn. So what information should go on your signs?

 What should you put on your farm signs?

Roadside signs need to be simple. The name of your farm shop with an appropriate symbol is enough for signs several miles from your farm. Look out for those brown signs that indicate tourist attractions and you’ll get the idea. Once you get to the entrance you can add more details, your farm name, logo and any symbols you can use such as organic certification symbol.

Next to the door of the farmhouse or farm shop, put up a sign with even more information such as the opening hours of the shop, a contact number and website if you have one.

What if you don’t want customers in the winter?

You can simply have a sign below your farm name, which says ‘open’ on one side and ‘closed’ on the other. Bed & Breakfast places do a similar thing with ‘vacancies’ and ‘no vacancies’. If you want to make it extra clear, you could have the opening times at the farm entrance. For example,

Open June to September only, Mon – Sat, 8-6pm.

Don’t make people work to find your farm, use signs to guide them in

With no current threat of invasion you don’t need to skimp on signs. Even with sat navs, people like the reassurance that they are on the right track. Invest in clear, good quality signage and guide people right to the door of your farmhouse or shop.


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Why taking a Perample Sample into butchers gives you twice the chance of getting a regular order

 Farm Diversification, farm retail  Comments Off on Why taking a Perample Sample into butchers gives you twice the chance of getting a regular order
Apr 052012

In the days before websites, I turned to the Yellow Pages to find butchers’ shops in the nearest city. Once I had a list, I set off, without any samples, hoping to interest them in our organic chickens. At each shop I gave my spiel about our wonderful chickens, and smiled hopefully.

What happened?

All but one said no. That one butcher took a chance on me and asked me to deliver 10 chickens the following week. He took a big risk because I had nothing to show him.

Imagine how much more compelling my spiel would have been, if I’d offered a sample. Imagine if it hadn’t been any old sample but a Perample Sample.

What is a Perample sample?

A Perample Sample is the sample that creates the best, but true, first impression. It is a perfect example of the quality product you can deliver to the butcher’s shop week after week. Let’ say it is a fresh, oven- ready chicken, plucked to perfection and dressed with an inconspicuous poultry tie. The skin is firm and taut with perhaps a golden tinge from an outdoor life pastured on grass. It looks ready to be basted and popped in the oven.

It comes in a pristine, cardboard poultry box where it sits on crisp, clean grease proof paper. Because you know how to process birds properly the chicken has set properly and there isn’t the hint of a blemish anywhere on the bird.

 Why does it give you twice the chance of getting the sale?

There are 3 reasons the butcher is twice as likely to want to do business with you. These are:

1. You’ve shown the quality of your product

2. You’ve made the effort to bring in the sample

3. You’ve shown enterprise in cold calling

How does the Perample sample help the butcher decide?

They always say you never see a poor butcher. Why? Successful butchers combine an uncompromising attitude to quality with a farmer’s attitude to price. To make their margin they will push for the lowest possible price. Quality is what brings their customers back. They can’t afford even one sub standard lamb chop, so woe betide any supplier that tries to get away with seconds or poor quality meat.

By bringing in your Perample Sample, you allow the butcher to weigh up the quality right in front of his eyes. If satisfied with that, all he has to do is focus on getting the right price. Without a sample he is taking a big risk by ordering with you.

When should you take in a Perample Sample?

Pick your time to deliver a Perample Sample. Avoid delivery times as you’ll be jostling with established suppliers. Avoid times when customers are queueing, the butcher won’t give you the time of day. How do you find out the best time? An hour before closing when equipment is being cleaned down, is a good time to call in.

 It takes too much time to visit butchers with samples

Taking a Perample Sample to the right butcher could get you a £100.00 worth of weekly orders, that’s over £5000 worth of business per year. If you take your Perample Sample then you’ve taken away half the risk for the butcher, making them twice as likely to place an order with you.

A carefully prepared Perample Sample will create a lasting, good impression which will increase your chances of winning new business. All you have to do is make sure every consignment maintains the same quality.


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