August 5, 2014 | Sheri Hebbeln
There is a belief that wine can be marketed over social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. Being able to order wine online is increasingly becoming as simple as clicking on a tweet. However, is it an effective way to get your blends out there? At this point, the answer is no. It remains to be seen just how effective social media is as a marketing platform, simply because there is little in the way of converting views of a status update into direct sales. Meanwhile, email marketing maintains its strong position as a source of promoting goods such pinot noir or chardonnay. With this information, it's important to consider sticking with the latter for now.
Email still clicks with wine lovers
Advertising Age, in a recent white paper discussing the current developments of the advertising industry, went into great length on the use of email promotion and social media marketing as two separate entities. Their findings may come off as surprising to some who are more attuned to what is happening in social media. For one thing, more than 76 percent of all consumers who receive retail emails use them in some way for shopping online. In addition, at least 92 percent of those surveyed who receive messages from online shops will at least occasionally click through to the store site or visit it at a later time in response to the content or offers within. In comparison, 46 percent of all those who use social media never use it for shopping purposes.
There are various reasons for this. One is the different approaches from which you receive promotions from both channels. Email is mostly optional, yet pushed to the consumers' inbox. This allows a greater degree of flexibility in creating an offer that favors the needs of patrons. Also, even if the message fails to get across, you can still try again. These are not the case when dealing with social media. More importantly, though, there is a matter of email having a personal aspect that you cannot get across with Facebook, no matter how custom-tailored or targeted the advertising is, according to KISSmetrics. There is also the fact that ads on social media outlets tend to look more like banner ads than anything else, lending to their ineffectiveness.
Effective and efficient
Numbers also make the difference with email marketing in blatantly obvious ways. Twitter and Facebook, the two largest international social media networks, have more than 1.5 billion registered users. In comparison, there are more than 3 billion email addresses out there. On raw numbers, that translates to a far higher reach for most of your intended audience. More importantly though, consulting group McKinsey reported on online marketing efforts and while organic searches remained the top source of customer acquisition growth with just under 16 percent on an annual basis, email had a decent rate of growth at about 7 percent, while the two social media titans had under half a percent combined. Put into simple terms, marketers were 40 times more likely to acquire customers from the inbox than from the feed.
What helps greatly is that email messages are useful in getting people's attention. A lot more marketing content can be placed in a single email, such as new variety developments and different ways of shipping wine, than can be done on a social media message. Even a Twitter feed won't have as much efficacy. In addition, despite mobile device supplanting computers as the dominant means of going online, more than 75 percent of them used it to check their email, while only 60 percent used it to look at Facebook. These statistics show that emails are still an effective solution to sell wine online.