Like the old saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” It’s hard to believe, but OnionBusiness.com will soon cross the threshold into its fifth year as an onion industry advocate.
Founder/Publisher Sherise Jones, the graphic, creative and IT force of OB, said along with the publication’s growth in readership and industry reach, there have been additional advancements made as we continue to deliver a weekly, timely newsletter and maintain a lively and informative website.
“Recently OnionBusiness.com was awarded its third Constant Contact ENews All-Star award, and we thought this would be a great opportunity not only to share the good news but also to thank our readers, contributors, and industry as a whole for helping us with nearly four years of success,” Sherise said.
“Prior to launching OnionBusiness June 15, 2015, writer Kathleen Thomas Gaspar and I knew that first and foremost we wanted OnionBusiness.com to be an advocate for the onion industry and bring more focus to the crop we love. To do this we also recognized that news today runs at the fastest pace it ever has, and both younger and older readers have come to expect real-time information that can be accessed everywhere.
“So,” Sherise continued, “we built a partnership with Constant Contact, which is one of the most highly respected newsletter sources in the world. Since that June 15 launch date, we’ve been sending market and crop updates and relevant stories once per week on Thursdays. And, by the way, we have NEVER missed a week in the nearly four years we have sent out our newsletter.”
Working on staff with Sherise and Kathleen every week is Molly John, “who chases down retail pricing from coast to coast talking to produce managers in retail stores, big and small… and she just happens to wear our advertising sales hat, too,” Sherise said.
The upshot of that consistency, we found out, is finding out we have achieved the highest ranking offered by Constant Contact. Sherise said that ranking is “only afforded to less than 10 percent of CC’s partners.” For the years of 2016, 2017 and now 2018, OnionBusiness was given Constant Contact’s All-Star award, which indicates that we have had consistently high open rates of more than 25 percent and high click-through rates as well. Our bounce rates are low, and we’ve maintained regular communication with our audience.
There are additional activities that Constant Contact considers in giving the All-Star Award, including a web sign-up tool, a Facebook sign-up tool, links to our social media, regular monitoring of our reports and more.
“During this award-winning time frame not only have we been able, through our loyal and in-the-know contributors, been able to bring you real time market and crop updates, but we have also crafted hundreds of interest stories with the help of industry too,” Sherise said.
“We’ve presented stories about young folks taking the industry by storm – Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island, NY trusted us to tell her Millennial Trailblazer story when were just out the gate and she didn’t know us from Adam. And Ryan Fagerberg with Fagerberg Farms/Fagerberg Produce in Eaton, CO, who allowed us to paint his farming family story in an early edition. And Geoff Cutler, who provided an insightful family story about what it is like selling produce on the front lines,” she added.
“Then there were countless stories about all of those stellar businesses that support the industry and are on the cutting edge of technology, working hard every day to make it just a little easier for our farms and shippers to do business – like Volm Companies reps who allowed us to follow them through new office openings and grand trade show exhibits. And within the last month we wrote about Rietveld Equipment, which took a leap to bring in-stock equipment to the U.S.
“And of course we have covered everything in between, from bad weather to freight issues, governmental developments and legislation affecting onions.”
Sherise said, “Most recently we began a new series about veterans in produce and kicked it off with our own Jason Vee with Vee’s Marketing in Superior, WI. And we look forward to continuing this series.”
She concluded, “But while we are proud to share our four years of success, it is more important to us to make this story a THANK YOU to all of you. We’re so grateful for our contributors who week after week after week take our calls, and for the onion pros who allow us to tell their stories – and for the tens of thousands of loyal readers who range from growers, shippers, marketers and buyers to other support industries that make our commodity so strong.
“We look forward to continuing to bring you the very best of onion industry news and stories, and we invite you to join us by sending us your story ideas, photos and information.”