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Sheri Hebbeln
 
March 18, 2014 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM), eCommerce , Email Marketing | Sheri Hebbeln

How to use wine marketing to your advantage

You may be employing several different tactics in wine marketing efforts, but don't rule email out. Even though this technique is the oldest form of Internet communication, it still demonstrates high return on investment, which could translate to increased online wine sales

In fact, Entrepreneur magazine cited data from the Direct Marketing Association, which found the ROI of email is $40 per each dollar spent. However, you can't use the same techniques that worked 10 years ago. For example, many marketers still try to utilize outdated email newsletters, and this does very little to get results. Technology has made attention spans shorter than ever - eight seconds, which is less than a goldfish. In addition, even though very few people are good at multitasking, most individuals do it anyway, and this means that subscribers probably scan promotional emails rather than devoting the time to actually read them. 

Mobility has also revamped the way people interact with their inboxes. In the past, consumers would sit down in front of their desktops to go through their messages, but now most adults in the U.S. have smartphones, which enables them to always be connected to their emails. Shoppers still want to receive emails from brands they like, but you need to change the way you're approaching this form of communication to stay relevant.

How to send more effective emails
If you offer an online wine store, email is an essential way to stay in touch with previous customers to encourage repeat business. Here are some tips to increase your subscriber list and retain customers over time:

1. Allow subscribers to define their contact preferences
Not only do consumers have shorter attention spans than ever, but they also want more choice in how you connect with them. Content that doesn't apply to recipients' interests and too many emails are the primary drivers for unsubscribes, according to Practical Ecommerce. When customers first buy wine online and opt in for your messages, you can consider giving them the option to select how frequently they would like to be contacted and what types of promotions they would most like to see. This can foster your relationship with clients because they will appreciate that you care about their preferences. 

2. Make emails more mobile friendly
Many people will immediately delete emails that don't display well from a smartphone or tablet, and some will go as far as unsubscribing from the list, Entrepreneur stated. While this may seem like it will add a lot of work, utilizing snappy subject lines, appealing images, big fonts and a clear call to action are features that will perform well from devices of any size. 

3. Personalized email content
Sending blanket messages to your entire subscriber base is a quick way to lose customers. Email should always be as personal as possible - you shouldn't be hiding behind a screen, Practical Ecommerce said. Wine lovers are all different. If a customer is browsing different reds on your website, it may not be very effective to send him or her an email about moscato. Utilizing previous purchase history and customer preferences can help you craft more relevant messages. Items that website visitors view may be a useful starting point. Shoppers will appreciate the attention to their interests. 

4. Don't do much with one message
Although newsletters with several different articles worked in the past, emails can function more efficiently when they serve a single purpose, according to Entrepreneur. Most email marketing platforms allow you to segment your user base to send more targeted messages. Sending the right message at the appropriate time to a specific audience can help you see more online wine sales.

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