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Orchard Trail- Tips for Growers
( back to Orchard Trail )

Orchard Trail is a free service to fruit growers. With over 100,000 visitors a month it has become an important source of new retail business for many growers, and traffic is growing every month. You can do your part by helping us to keep the listings accurate. Area code change? New hours? Simply give us a call at 231-599-3486, or drop us an email at apple@applejournal.com

Read through the list of suggestions below to learn how to increase your exposure and revenue from Orchard Trail, and help us to help you.

  • Send along supplementary information for your listing, such as driving directions, hours of operation, and special features about your orchard and market.

  • Apple Journal visitors are particularly interested in the varieties you are growing. We have reveived inquiries about Honeycrisp, Zesta, Mutsu, Winesap, Macoun, Suncrisp, Golden Supreme, and Ginger Gold--but there are plenty of fans for all of the varieties.

  • Cider and U-pick are two big draws for the public. Don't forget to mention these. Petting zoos? Festivals? Tours? Let us know, so we can let the public know.

  • We encourage people to call before they come out. If we list your phone number, it is important for people to hear a friendly voice at the other end of the line. If that is not possible, an informative message which contains the hours of operation and the current crop conditions would be very helpful. A trip to the orchard is a new experience for many people. First impressions are important for attracting new retail customers.

  • Do you have a website? Be sure to let us know, so that we can link to it. If you need help with a website, or if you are interested in selling products online, we can help. Just call 231-599-3486. Studies have shown the people under the age of 30 routinely and overwhelmingly use the Internet to find information of all kinds, instead of going to the phone book or Yellow Pages. Members of this generation are your future retail customers, and they are internet "savvy." Does your website look professional? Or was it thrown together 'on the cheap?' Your website may be the only impression that potential new clients will ever have of your business. How many customers might be turned away and lost forever because of that poor first impression gleaned from your website? We estimate that 80% of the orchard sites currently online are amateurish eyesores at best and non-functional at worst--and frequently, a combination of both. Be careful. The damage done to your image can last for years.

  • If you have an interesting article or some photos of your orchard we can post them and link those to your listing at no charge. Recipes? Orchard Diary? Historical information? All of these make for interesting reading for our visitors and will help gain exposure for your business.

  • Link back from your website to Apple Journal. We receive many, many inquiries throughout the year, from those looking for everything from a truckload of cider to an orchard to visit with their tour groups. We refer many of these calls to growers. We receive calls from journalists wishing to do radio programs or write newspaper or magazine articles. Growers who currently work with us are at the top of the list for these referrals and, as many of you know from experience, we have thrown some good leads and publicity your way. Linking back is free, and it is a very important way to support our efforts as we increase public awareness about apples and help you increase retail sales.

" I know the look of an apple that is roasting and sizzling on the hearth on a winter's evening, and I know the comfort that comes of eating it hot, along with some sugar and a drench of cream... I know how the nuts taken in conjunction with winter apples, cider, and doughnuts, make old people's tales and old jokes sound fresh and crisp and enchanting."

—Mark Twain
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