Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools for engaging your audience and creating revenue. While simply sending emails to your mailing list is a good start, optimizing your email strategy is a massive opportunity for wineries. As leading experts in the DTC wine space, we can observe a wide range of data from wineries around the globe and share those insights with you. One recent observation is that wineries are not capitalizing on the opportunity to send emails on the weekend. We see this as an enormous opportunity for a couple of reasons:
We see less competition as most wineries are sending emails only on the weekdays. Consumers also have a different mindset on the weekend as they are in more of a ‘weekend mood', such as being less likely to ignore emails, especially ones featuring delicious wine. Stand out from the competition by taking advantage of these opportunities.
But each audience has different preferences, and it's best practice to test and see which time your audience prefers to receive emails from you. Let’s dive into a few ways to do this:
What is A/B Testing, you may ask? Well, it's the process of sending different versions of a single email and seeing how small changes can impact your results. You can choose what you want to test, such as subject line, content or sending times, and compare results to determine your subscribers' preferences. A/B Testing is a great tool that all brands should use to find the optimal email settings and what drives the most sales.
Some of the many benefits include:
Here are the steps to A/B test your emails with WineDirect:
1. Set a Goal
Before we start segmenting and creating emails, we need to set a goal for A/B testing. This can include testing to see what kind of content does better, CTAs, or different sending times. For this example, we will be showing you how to A/B test with varying times of sending as we see a significant opportunity for wineries to expand when they send their emails.
2. Create Lists
Having a solid list of email subscribers is the core pillar of effective email campaigns. You do not want to have a massive list of inactive subscribers, as this can cause your emails to rank lower in the inbox and potentially end up in the spam folder. Monthly cleanings are crucial to maintaining a solid list of active subscribers who love hearing from you! If you need any help with getting a list created, please feel free to check out the WineDirect Academy for loads of great resources and tutorials.
We recommend wineries divide a current list of contacts in half. This will give you two audiences with the same attributes and will not cause any bias in the results. You can do this by:
1. Picking a list you want to use for A/B Testing. This can be done by going to Contacts> List Builder> Pick the list you want to use > Generate List > Download CSV
2. Create two contact types by going to Contacts> Contact Types> Add a Contact Type> Create two separate contact types
3. To upload your contacts, you will go to Settings> Import/Export> Customer Importer. You will need to 'Download Sample File' and copy over the emails and the new contact types as the ones you created earlier. Once done, save the CVS form and 'Import.'
3. Create Emails
Now for the fun part! Create an email newsletter you are looking to send to your audience. This newsletter could be anything, such as a sale, monthly update, or a new product. Check out the WineDirect Knowledge Center for some great blog ideas heading into Spring. You can create emails under Contacts> Email Documents.
4. Send Emails
It's time for lift-off! 🚀
First, make sure you have the two sending times picked. For example, you can send one at 10:00 am on Tuesday and one at 10:00 am on Saturday. You will need to send the corresponding email at those times as it will be sent right away. To send your two emails to the two new lists you created, you will go to Contacts> Email Documents> Send Email> Add your email category and document > Pick one of the contact types lists you created earlier > Next> Send.
5. Analyze Results
Once the emails have been sent and given time to mature, you can now look at the results and see which email saw better KPIs, such as open rate, click-through rate, bounce rate and more. This will give you a good idea to see which send day produced the better results.
We hope this helps you test and optimize the emails you send to your customers. Remember, A/B Testing is not just a one-time thing. Constantly test your emails and compare results as list behavior can change as fast as the seasons do. Remember that your customers do want to hear from you - so make sure you have a clear CTA and are emailing your members often.
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