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Sheri Hebbeln
 
June 5, 2014 | Email Marketing | Sheri Hebbeln

Email Is One of the Most Valuable Wine Marketing Tools

While it may seem like it's time to ditch email in favor of newer digital marketing methods, this channel is still an effective way to reach customers - if you're running campaigns properly. Mobile devices and some retailers' extensive use of personalization has made it more difficult to attract new consumers with email. Here are some ways to improve your wine marketing efforts:

1. Pay attention to mobile
Smartphones are many shoppers' primary method of going online, so it's important not to neglect this group. A recent study from YesMail revealed that responsively designed emails had a 21 percent higher open rate than emails that weren't responsive. Even though responsive design is acknowledged as a highly effective approach to email, 75 percent of marketers weren't using this every time they sent messages. The study also discovered that hybrid viewership - or reading the same email from multiple devices - decreased in the first quarter of 2014, making it more of a gamble to not have mobile-friendly emails.

2. Don't send email blasts
Email marketing has been around for a long time. In the past, companies would send a generic, blanket message to every email address in their database, but this isn't an effective approach anymore, according to marketing website IMSoup. Your winery most likely caters to multiple customer segments, and each one has different interests and will respond best to a certain kind of message. You may want to split up your database by new customers, loyal brand advocates and wine club members. This enables you to craft better communications for each group. Asking customer preferences may be another way to drive campaign effectiveness. Certain shoppers may be most interested in particular kinds of promotions, such as wine shipping. Targeted messages will drive click-through rates and this boosts your opportunities to increase online wine sales.

3. Tablets are accounting for a higher percentage of online sales
Although mobile commerce only accounts for a small percentage of total online sales, YesMail revealed that purchases from tablets were on the rise in the first quarter of 2014. This creates a new challenge for email marketers because there's a chance a customer would receive a promotional email, go directly to the website and buy something, depending on the offer. However, this means you need to craft a compelling email, and it has to be mobile responsive.

4. Be careful with the unsubscribe button
Now that more people are reading emails from their mobile devices, it's important for you to place the call to action out of the way of the unsubscribe button. In traditional messages, the CTA is typically at the bottom, as well as the unsubscribe button, but the small size of smartphone screens could mean that a recipient tries to click to your website and ends up removing himself or herself from your email list. You can experiment with the placement of your CTA to get it right. However, if a subscriber does want to leave your list, the process shouldn't be impossible, IMSoup said.

5. Avoid too many images
Email can and absolutely should contain some visual elements - they are more compelling than a long block of text. Images can strengthen your brand, but it's important not to go overboard. Some email clients automatically block photos unless users choose to display them, according to IMSoup. This may lead to a different user experience than what you had in mind for your campaign. Graphics should complement the text, not convey the entire message. 

Contact a sales representative to learn more about how WineDirect's marketing solutions can help you boost sales.

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