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Wine Club

4 ways to nurture your wine club

By  Jessica Foye
July 21, 2022

You are well aware that your club members are a significant source of predictable revenue throughout the year. The most recent data from the Q1 2022 Wine DTC Report backs this up:

“Wine club continues to be the strongest contributor, accounting for over half of Q1 DTC Sales in each of the past 5 years.”

By nurturing the relationships your winery has with its customers, your wine club members will engage with you, spend more money and churn less. In this blog we are looking at 4 ways to hold on to your valuable club members.

1. Create convenience

While it’s important for all your customers to have a smooth buying experience, we recommend that you also differentiate between members and non-members so that your club members feel the perks of membership and stay enrolled.

WineDirect client Dobbes Family Estate have a loyalty points system in place for members that is continuously enticing them to purchase more wine:

Dobbes Family Winery

It is so important to listen to your customers. If you are frequently hearing the same request, consider creating a new club tier to offer this. For example, if you only send six bottles in an order and you are hearing of people cancel because they have too much wine, consider a two or four bottle club. Frequent meetings with your staff selling the club might provide more ideas.

2. Focus on your tasting room

Consumers love in-person experiences and focusing on your tasting room experience is a good way to impress members. Need some inspiration? Follow these 6 steps to improve your tasting room experience.

With the resurgence in tasting room traffic, ensure that your onsite experiences are engaging and memorable, delivered by hospitality driven tasting room associates. Club members will be reminded of why they joined your club in the first place and will be eager to share the experience with their friends and colleagues.

3. Build relationships

During the height of the pandemic, almost 94% of DTC Net sales were generated by club members and repeat buyers. The importance of using your existing consumer data to drive website sales has become even more apparent.

Known Buyers, March 2020 - May 2020

This means you should be investing in getting to know your club members so that you can make offerings that are relevant to their tastes and preferences. You can do this by keeping track of key information such as: types of wine and amount purchased, gender, generation and geography. You can also get to know them even better by adding personal touches, “Take note of your customers’ preferences and personal details, like their favorite wine or their dog’s name—anything you can use to shape future experiences.” You can then use this information to segment your database.

Tip: WineDirect's powerful List Builder tool can help you segment your customer list into categories. This will give you more insight into your customer database.

Segmenting your audience will also help you to identify club members that are at risk of ending their membership and give you the tools to investigate past cancellations in order to really understand where you can proactively reduce churn.

Tip: Use WineDirect's carrots to flag these important details in your customer's record and have it display for staff in the tasting room.

4. Stick to your long-term strategy

Offering discounted wine to your members can be a great way to entice people to join, but it may not be the best long term strategy. So, before you mark all of your exclusive wines down, think deeply about your master plan, and how discounts will really factor into this.

For example, we know that shipping incentives are more successful than purchase discounts. There are different ways to implement shipping incentives, of course. Here are a few ideas:

  • Offer low, flat-rate shipping ($10-15) that may vary based on each club tier. You can also make shipping included (free) for your highest tier.
  • Allow members to add on to their club order without payment more for shipping.
  • Offer discounted shipping to out-of-state members who can’t take advantage of other more “local” perks like events.

We hope we’ve given you some ideas on how to make sure those very important club members don’t take a back seat. We would love to see your member benefits so be sure to send them to us on social media!

Download the Q1 2022 DTC Wine Report

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