Use the “PICK UP PARTY” to connect with customers
Where direct sales are concerned, the name of the game is connecting with your buyers; with real people who can become real advocates for your brand and products. This is of course the whole point of the Wine Club, a very special collection of folks who have become so enamored of your wines that they are willing to join your club, give you their credit card and tell you, “ship me wine when you are ready to”.
Any chance you have to become even close to this special collection of club members should be pursued. And that’s the purpose of a particular kind of event that every winery who maintains a Club should host: The Pick Up Party.
The Pick Up Party is a simple concept and easily executed. Instead of simply shipping club members their shipment of 2, 4, 6 or 12 bottles of wine, contact them in advance to attend a special party just for club members at which they cannot only pick up their wines, but taste the wines in the coming shipment and mingle with their peers. The basics of creating a fun, effective Pick Up Party are pretty simple.
- Use e-mail or snail mail to contact club members to let them know their shipment is coming soon.
- In that communication, let your club members know they are invited to defray shipping costs and come to the winery on a set date to pick up their wines and enjoy an intimate party among club members
- Make sure you get RSVPs so you can plan how much food and space you’ll need to arrange for.
- Stress that by picking up the wine they avoid all shipping costs
- Offer incentive to come such as a deeper discount on a certain wine, the chance to taste from the barrel, good food, entertainment, special guests such as authors of wine books. Give them good reasons to come.
- Allow your club members the ability to add to their club shipment order in advance of attending the party.
- Make the party special; “For Members Only,” but encourage them to bring a guest.
The “Pick Up” party is one of the easiest of all Wine Club events to organize. It builds loyalty. It strengthens the bond between the customer and the winery. It always leads to increased sales. And it often leads to the sale of more club memberships. We are at a moment in the economy when retention of your best customers is what will get you through. Don’t let the release of the new club wine be just opportunity for your shipping department to work harder. Make it an opportunity to solidify your relationship with your best customers.