Sheri Hebbeln
December 12, 2013 | Email Marketing | Sheri Hebbeln

How to send effective holiday emails

Email marketing is one of the most useful wine marketing tactics you can use during the holiday season. But keep in mind consumers are getting inundated with messages from every retailer they have made a purchase from in the recent past. This means your winery needs to stand out from the pack to command attention during the busiest shopping season of the year. It can mean big direct-to-consumer sales for you and a successful year's end.

Holiday emails can involve a bit of trial and error and what appeals to one customer may not be relevant to your wine club members. Real Business says you shouldn't be afraid to send more emails, but doing so requires you to have more ideas. You can't repeat the same messages over and over without the risk of losing subscribers, but more communication isn't necessarily a bad thing at a time of year when consumers are scrambling to find gift ideas. And is there a more appealing present than a bottle of wine?

The potential to increase sales with these emails means you need to carefully craft messages based on different segments of subscribers. Depending on how much data you have about your clients and wine club members in your customer relationship management system, you can generate more relevant messages.

Subject lines are also more important at this time to get around email fatigue, according to Real Business. Include the discount in your subject line to encourage more opens. Similarly, shorter headlines may be more effective at grabbing attention.

Examples of effective email tactics for the holidays
Outside of customer data and subject lines, a lot of thought goes into crafting an effective holiday email. Taking a note from Cyber Monday promotions used by several online retailers, Practical Ecommerce analyzed the following strategies that can help you gain more online wine sales in the next few weeks:

  • Featured products: If you have bestselling vintages, this is the perfect way to highlight them. Alternatively, based on CRM information, you can tailor the email to suit a customer's purchase history.
  • Take the focus off prices: Trader Joe's sent out a Cyber Monday email with holiday shopping guidelines, but there weren't any huge deals or promotions, Practical Ecommerce said. This approach highlights the relationship customers have with your winery. A simple reminder may translate into sales.
  • Email early, email often: Again, frequency is not a bad thing. You can offer special promotions and set a time limit to encourage action.
  • Keep it simple: Consumers are overwhelmed with emails during the holidays so a simple message may be effective for driving the point home. With the stress of the last minute rush, a straightforward discount with very little fine print can boost your sales.

Don't forget a catchy call to action
Email marketing is a necessity for a successful holiday season, but your well-designed message may fall flat if you don't have the right call to action to inspire the next step, Ecommerce Times said.

While a CTA is essential for higher sales, you don't need to overthink it. The source cited findings from Invodo, which revealed text such as "click to learn more" or "click to view offers" was more effective than linking to a video with no description. Calls to action are sometimes treated as an afterthought that gets tacked on at the end of the message, but you need to design the rest of this message with this in mind.

The holidays are the perfect time for consumers to buy wine online, so don't neglect this essential channel. With the right message and compelling headlines and calls to action, you can see strong sales.



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