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The key to selling more wine is capturing email addresses so that you can market to people after they've left the tasting room. With Vin65, I have been able to capture thousands more emails because we do not print receipts. We let people know that they’ll be added to our mailing list and we urge them to have their receipt sent via email. 9 times out of 10 they give us their email address.
Vin65’s list builder has been my best friend. With the ability to tailor lists, I have been able to e-market to 5,000+ people over the last year vs only 2,000+ the previous year (before Vin65). I have utilized the list builder to help me form new wine clubs too. An idea I had was to offer unlimited free shipping to a new tier of members, on club shipments and all other orders. However, I needed to know that it would be worth it for us. I figured out how much we would be paying vs. how much additional we would bring in with sales. I looked at all buyers from out of California, then looked at key wine buying states, as well as states that cost a lot to ship to: Texas, Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia, New York, and Virginia. Then, I generated an email to them stating what the new wine club was, how it includes free shipping on the quarterly commitment of one case, as well as anything outside of the club selection. I then broke down the shipping cost to their state based on 1, 6, and 12 bottles. We had 10 people join right away, bringing in a revenue of $7,000 per quarter.
I can attribute our e-marketing success to knowing and listening to our customers, tailoring our lists, and utilizing all of the extra boxes, auto emails, and fields within Vin65. Take the time to learn about all of the features offered. You never know when something will come in handy that can be used to sell more wine (such as carrots).
Timing is Everything:
People love to buy wine for holidays, after they’ve filed their taxes, for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc. The more information you have about a person, the more wine you will sell to them.
I use action emails to email members on their wine club anniversary. Everyday someone, somewhere receives an email saying:
“Happy wine Club Anniversary! You’ve been a member for XX years, thank you so much for being a part of our wine club family! As a thank you from us, we want to offer you 50% off on any of our current [LINK to current wines online] release wines for TODAY ONLY. Visit us at the winery, email us, or buy online”
Since January 1, 2014 we have generated $30,000 in extra sales thanks to this automatic email for club members. This is money that we did not bring in before Vin65 because we had no easy way to track club anniversaries. Like everyone else in my position - I had every intention to send emails like this on my own but that task quickly became buried under more important tasks.
Know Your People:
It’s much easier to sell online to our mailing list and members because they know our team - and they know that they’re buying from us. They know when they reply to an email from us, we get back to them with answers. They appreciate that we pay attention to them.
Check Abandoned Shopping Cart Orders:
When running a flash sale (or any kind of sale), I always check on the abandoned carts. If I have their info - I email or call them to find out if they need help finishing the order. Sometimes I have found that shipping was an issue so I’ll make the call to offer them a deal on shipping in order to get the sale (if it’s worth it). Other times, it was someone who wanted to pick up at the winery but ordered online so I helped them by creating an order over the phone and setting the wine aside for pick up. (** I have since turned on the “pickup at winery” option online for flash sales).
Figure Out What is Worth Emailing About:
I email flash sales because I have excess inventory - but it's also what my consumers want.
Events go out as a calendar to all. They may live out of state but could possibly be visiting during an event - we don’t know their travel plans. Last minute event tickets go to a local club and or local mailing list only.
Pickup party invites go only to our members because it’s wine club only.
Winemaker dinners in various states go to the buyers who live in that state.
Wine releases go out to everyone. If there is a discount or promotion involved it goes out as two emails - one to non-club and a deeper discount for club members.
Any good press needing promotion should go out to everyone. I will typically add this into another email instead of creating a dedicated email for press.
When a wine is running out - let your mailing list know. This can boost sales too. Example: I have 40 cases left of my Zinfandel, it was the very first vintage and it was released last October so it sold fast. I am going to send an email to all of the people who purchased the Zin and offer them the last of it. I’ll offer wine club 35% off and non-club 20% off. I will send the same email to everyone using it to entice non-members to join the club since they’ll see that members get deeper discounts.
Baby your club. People join because they like you, the winery and the wine. Make sure you do your part to separate your brand from the sea of other brands who make great wine. I don’t like hearing from members that they “didn’t know about the wine release” or they “didn’t know about the event”.
Shipping discounts are fantastic - people will always buy. There is a caveat to the tailored list here: sometimes I’ll send out shipping discount emails to only out of state, but then if it’s around the holidays (Cyber Monday deal, Thanksgiving or Christmas), I will email everyone because a lot people like to mail wine as a gift - you don’t want to lose out on sales.
Some things are best not included in your newsletter; they can be on your blog or Facebook page. Make sure to link to those posts in every newsletter. Keep people in the loop on the happenings around your brand, property, family, and wines through the blog or on Facebook and let the newsletter contain key points, sales, releases, events and deals.
This is the second post of a two-part guest post from Jessie Poshepny Vallery. She has been working at Trione since 2008, has been in the wine business for 13 years - and a Vin65 client since 2013. Jessie serves as the President of the Geyserville Chamber of Commerce, writes for Sonoma Discoveries magazine and enjoys promoting the local businesses and area.