July 11, 2014 | Sheri Hebbeln
As a wine merchant, your role in building your online store is making sure you get as much of an audience as possible. Wine marketing tends to mean seeking out customers from places around the country who may not have your vintage at the nearest wine shop or supermarket. An email campaign can be a great way to reach out to these customers, especially after they buy their first bottles from you. However, as we have suggested before, there are many ways to mess this up magnificently and drive away customers. So here are five more ways to avoid that fate and improve your standing with your customers:
- Know and care about the products you're promoting
If you're a winery, it goes without saying that you should be able to show a lot of care about the vintages you're promote. But if you're a wholesale wine distributor, it's easy to get trapped in the idea that you can just sell and ship products without much of a thought and just use the winery's ad copy. As Karol Król of MarketingProfs suggests in jest, wineries should take the time to tailor their message so that the distributor will be interested in actually sampling the product first before selling to restaurants and hotels. More importantly, when writing these emails, you should provide your own personal thoughts on these wines.
- Only send e-mails when you have something to talk about
Previously, we discussed keeping down the frequency of emails so that you don't flood your customers' inboxes and deter them from using your services. A more important thing to consider, though, is the content you provide. Simms Jenkins of ClickZ advises against distributing repeat emails or reminder e-mails for the sake of sending something. Instead, push something out when there's something new in the business, or if there's a new promotion that will attract customers' and distributors' attention and get them to click.
In addition to making sure you have new content with each email, it just makes sense to have quality content and information to go with them. That can mean a lot of things at once, but at the very least you should make sure messages are actually relevant to your business, as Jenkins suggests. Don't write content that only gets to the point after a few minutes of reading, like a history of your online wine sales that concludes with a new method of buying wine online. More importantly, though, keep your posts short. Król recommends no essay length posts. They tend not to work well at all on mobile devices, especially if read from a smartphone.
- Don't ever send attachments
Email is a far more flexible medium that most people imagine. With HTML coding, you can almost recreate Web pages in your messages. On the most basic level that means if you have some flashy copy that you want to send to your customers, you should figure out a way to recreate it in the mass send. In other words, don't send it as an attachment. In fact, don't send any attachments, as Król advises. It makes your promotions look spammy and shows excess waste.
- Use a proper e-mail service provider
While it is awfully tempting to save money by running company emails on a free service like Yahoo! Mail or Gmail, it is a guarantee that your mass promotions will end up in the junk folder of many of your customers. If your Web host does not offer a robust email system, seek out a quality email-specific service provider who can provide features that make mass promotional messaging easy.