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Marketing | Online Store

Is your winery's email marketing not converting? Here’s why.

By  SKU Agency
May 23, 2023

While you might make some of the most delicious and exciting wines in the world, getting your wine tasted by a wider audience can sometimes be difficult, no matter how fantastic your product is.

As a winery owner, you’re doing the right thing by working on your marketing strategy to expand your reach and target new potential customers. But are you using your platform to your advantage?

There are many avenues for you to promote your winery, from in-person tasting room events to digital campaigns online and on social media.

If you’re looking for direct access to a potentially massive audience for your winery, then an effective email marketing strategy is your answer.

With over half of the world’s population actively using email, there’s a massive amount of potential waiting just one click away.

Why is email marketing so effective?

A successful email marketing campaign is a huge asset to your winery.

Maintaining a solid email marketing strategy can:

  • Give you a deeper understanding of your audience
  • Enable you to analyze your audience’s buying habits
  • Build awareness around your winery brand
  • Gain the trust of online customers
  • Enlist more wine club members
  • Increase sales and profits

When used correctly, emails are your strongest marketing tool and yield the highest return on investment.

But if you’re blindly firing out poorly written emails that haven’t been properly thought out, you could be doing more damage than just wasting your time - you could be actively pushing customers away.

Reasons why your email marketing isn’t working

Let’s look at the most common things that get in the way of effective email marketing to move your beautiful wines from your storage shelves and into the glasses of wine aficionados around the globe.

1. You're Not Monitoring Deliverability

You’ve written and sent out a fantastic email letting people know all about the wonderful wines you’ve got on offer at the moment, and that’s great!

But unfortunately, that’s just the tip of the iceberg regarding your email’s cycle. Deliverability is the most important KPI to measure in email marketing. You must understand where your email winds up once it lands in people’s inboxes or if the emails are making it into a subscriber’s inbox at all.

You can adopt several best practices to avoid your email being detected as spam, such as making it super obvious how to unsubscribe and avoiding spammy text.

If you're just starting out, a new email address can often land you in spam folders. Make sure you warm up the email address by sending a few emails before you send out a marketing campaign so that it will be recognized as legitimate.

2. You're not segmenting customers and potential customers

Email marketing is more than just shooting out a couple of blanket emails a month to your entire list. The truth is, not every email you issue should go out to every address in your mailing list.

Segmenting customers based on their different buyer personas, website behavior, and email engagement is essential to converting your emails into loyal customers and wine sales.

In fact, 39% of people noticed an increase in open rates when they appropriately segmented their mailing list.

For this reason, consider your recipients’ age, gender, location, and buying habits in relation to their buyer personas before you decide who will receive what email.

You’ll also want to segment users based on web behavior metrics such as “added to cart,” “viewed product,” “started club membership,” and email engagement metrics such as “open,” “click through,” and “click rate.”

3. You're not automating your emails

Automated emails, or email flows, use your data to help you target the right group of people at the right time.

There are lots of different types of automated emails, from sending a welcome email to a new customer or wine club member to reminding winery clients of items still in their shopping cart to encourage them to complete their purchase.

Flow emails are a fantastic way to use your email marketing platform to your advantage by streamlining your process while optimizing the impact of your content.

Not only is email marketing automation beneficial to you, but it also ensures you’re providing even more value to your clients by offering them a more customized and personal experience.

Email automation platforms such as Klaviyo make this process super easy, segmenting your contacts for you to increase your likelihood of converting them into sales and forming long-lasting customer relationships.

4. You're not testing and optimizing your emails

Email marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.

You can’t expect to blast emails and hope they perform well.

It’s essential that you adopt an ongoing marketing strategy that involves examining how well certain emails do so you can optimize and streamline your process going forward.

Consider these elements when you’re auditing your email content:

  • See what kind of subject lines get the highest open rate
  • Try different content pillar combinations
  • Experiment with different send times
  • Only use images that enhance your emails
  • Find a design that fits your brand and stick with it
  • Personalize emails where possible
  • Assess what kind of offers customers respond to

5. You're using the wrong ESP

Not all email service providers (ESPs) are built the same.

There are tons of platforms out there, but some of the more popular ones are too generalized and aren’t focused enough on the specific needs of eCommerce winery owners.

Klaviyo uses your data to deliver targeted emails tailored to each unique recipient’s online behaviors and interests. It uses AI-powered optimization to predict their buying habits and send appropriate messages that may encourage them to purchase.

Their directed features and tools allow them to gain deep insight into any field, making them an excellent digital marketing choice for email campaigns in the wine industry. WineDirect also has an integration with Klaviyo as an add-on, making your winery email marketing strategy incredibly streamlined and efficient.

6. You're not looking at your data

Your customer data is your most valuable asset when it comes to effective email marketing.

Email analysis allows you to identify areas you can improve and where you excel.

Failing to use this useful information is a surefire way to guarantee your marketing efforts go to waste.

Even worse, if you don’t examine your customers' email habits, you might get reported several times, resulting in your domain being blacklisted as spam.

Here are the most important data collection elements to examine:

  • What emails get the highest deliverability
  • Click-through rate and open rate of different types of emails
  • What works best in terms of conversion rate
  • Which emails led to unsubscribing and spam reporting
  • Monitoring email bounce rate
  • Measuring forwarding rate to gauge what’s popular

Unfortunately, many analytics platforms lack the level of detail a winery needs to truly understand their data. That’s why many wineries use Enolytics and WinePulse, which are apps that can offer winery-specific insights to fill the gaps in your data sets. 

7. You're trying to sell instead of help customers and wine club members

Nobody likes feeling like they’re being sold to.

It’s important to remember that your communication with your audience should always be rooted in helping them, such as reminding them their discount code expires soon or letting them know when you’re low in stock on their favorite wine.

Many marketers make the mistake of writing emails that speak to a broad audience instead of trying to make it more personal and something the recipient will actually want to read.

When you’re writing content for your marketing emails, try putting yourself in your reader's shoes. Ask yourself whether this is something you’d be happy to receive and whether it offers real value.

Remember that the purpose of contacting your mailing list is to offer them something that will benefit them. Even if you’re super excited about something, think about whether or not it’s relevant to them and whether it may result in another unsubscriber.

When you focus on more personal content that addresses your target audience directly, you’ll start seeing better results for your email campaigns in no time.

8. Unclear Call to Action (CTA):

Your email subscribers require a clear and compelling Call to Action (CTA) that directs them to the next step. Conversion rates will suffer if your emails lack a clear CTA or if it is buried in your message. To improve your CTAs, do the following:

Make It Pop: Make sure your CTA button or link is visible and clearly discernible within your email.

Instead of generic CTAs like "Click here," employ action-oriented terms like "Shop Now," "Reserve Your Tasting," or "Join Our Wine Club."

How can you improve your winery email marketing campaigns?

There are a lot of moving parts to successful email marketing.

Make sure to avoid making the mistakes outlined in this blog when you set out to do your next email campaign for your winery. And remember, the bottom line is always to provide value to your customers.

Ensure you’re using an efficient email service provider to make your life much easier and to be certain that you’re properly gathering and taking advantage of your user’s data.

If you want to make your life even easier and yield even better results, the simplest way to grow your winery through email marketing is to get help from the experts.

If this is something you’d be interested in, WineDirect is a leading eCommerce platform that helps wineries achieve growth, form better customer relationships, and ultimately sell more wine.


With a focus on wineries across the United States, SKU Agency excels in implementing innovative email marketing strategies. As Klaviyo Gold Masters, we possess the expertise and capabilities to assist your winery in leveraging the power of email marketing. Reach out and let's explore how advanced email marketing can enhance club member retention and drive substantial growth in your winery's online sales.

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