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June 14, 2007 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM) | WineDirect Admin

Hook the Big One - and Hold On

Getting (and keeping) good customers is not unlike fishing. Standing by the shore will not work. Using a net from the shore won’t either. You gotta get your feet wet – or pay for a boat… and don’t forget the good lures and bait.

Make room for the big fish. Get rid of the guppies.

Clean up your database. First, try a promotion to see who your buyers really are. If you have mostly physical addresses, send a note in the mail. Give your customers a promo code that allows them to make a one-time (within a prescribed period) discounted purchase or have them check out your site and update their own information. Capture email addresses! This is also an opportunity to pick up the phone and call top buyers (or another segment) on your list. Ask for their updated information. Tell them about an event or new release. Ask if you can send them some wine. If, after repeated attempts, you find that some contacts are not going to become customers, drop them from your list – make sure you tell them you will do so and why.

Give the line a tug every once in awhile.

Make sure the hook is still engaged. If you neglect to stay in front of your customers they will forget about you. If this is a good customer for you, chances are they will be a good customer for someone else, and if you are not top-of-mind, that other winery will be.

A good rule of thumb is to send an email monthly (or bi-monthly) to stay in front of your customers. Segment your list and send targeted emails. To your contact list (those who have never bought) send something to incent them to buy – offer discounts on shipping or a first purchase. Give your most loyal customers a reason to get their friends into the fold. If you are going to be in Florida for your nephew’s Bar Mitzvah, let your customers in Boca Raton know you will be at XYZ Wine Bar on Friday night.

Every email should include a call-to-action: visit the website and log in, join the wine club, or buy wine. Vary your correspondence; email, printed piece, phone. Find out what your customers respond to and measure efforts against returns.

Use your good lures.

You can’t just put your line out there and expect the fish to swarm. From tasting room, to printed piece, to web presence, keep your message clear and consistent. Make sure everyone in your organization knows what that message is. Give visitors to your tasting room a reason to visit your website: web-only special pricing, event information, recipes to accompany wines. Make sure that all printed pieces include web address and target web features. Keep website content fresh – give your customers a reason to visit your site again and again. Use keywords to keep your site at the top of the search engine list.

Fishing takes time – and patience – but it all pays off when you reel in the big one!

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