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July 10, 2007 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Email Marketing | WineDirect Admin

Email design best practice?

Eric’s post last week on “Effective Email Campaign” has sparked some great conversation recently amongst our client development managers and designers. I thought it was worth revisiting as many of our clients are in the final stages of mapping out their campaign strategy for the Fall and Holiday seasons. In recent months, many of our winery partners have been working with our design team to produce beautiful, image-based emails that resemble those found from companies like Pottery Barn, Red Envelope, etc. We have found the conversion rate for a typical email campaign (conversion from recipient to order) is usually somewhere between 1% and 4%, depending on many factors including customer segmentation, the specific call to action, general health of the mailing list, etc. Our recent findings reflect a higher rate of conversion for those “pretty” image-based emails, and in some cases we are seeing conversion rates as high as 10-12% (again, based on many variables in the offers). There are several resources on the web for email “best practice” and I am certain that all who are reading this email have plenty of emails in your inbox that reflect some of these best practices, but I wanted to echo some of Eric’s points and support them with some empirical evidence:

Event-driven email campaigns (i.e. wine release, holiday, post-club shipment offer)

  • We have found that basing your campaign around an event has more impact than a routine monthly email. Often times, the winery must be creative in developing these events, but if you have wine in the cellar, then it may be time for a “library” release to reward your best customers

Support price points by avoiding simple discounting of wines

  • Some of our most successful client campaigns have been the result of higher $ per order, and movement of higher priced products, rather than volume driven sales. This has been achieved through discounted shipping or case quantities

Tailor email campaign to the customer segment you are targeting

  • Our winery partners have FINALLY begun to segment their mailing lists on a monthly basis through our email campaign tool (i.e. ALL customers who purchased a particular product previous vintage, all CA residents, etc.) which has resulted in much more effective email campaigns. Some of the most successful promotions have been a combination of snail mail and email, both driving traffic to the website for purchase.

If your are in charge of email campaigns for your winery, I suggest signing up for several of your favorite wineries’ mailing lists. In fact, if you don’t mind a little spam from companies outside of the wine biz, I would also suggest signing up for some of the mailing lists of the companies Eric highlighted last week. It is great to see the wine industry taking note of what has been happening in other CPG company Direct campaigns and apply them to our own universe. You can also decide for yourself, what stimulates you to jump into the pool of conversion rates for recipient to website visitor to customer.

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