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Why Email Marketing Remains Essential; And How To Improve Yours

Adrienne Stillman
Mar 23, 2021   |   Adrienne Stillman Recommended for:   Marketing
Wd 081219 4824 1 Wd 081219 4824 1

Whether your customers prefer sparkling, red, white or rose, they all have one thing in common: an email inbox. And if you aren't reaching them directly, you're missing out.

You might be thinking "but wait: I thought email was dead?"

If your goals are to encourage online wine purchasing or virtual tastings — maybe even in-person visits, depending on where your winery is — it's a great idea to reframe your impressions around email marketing.

Conversations swirl around getting on the newest, hippest social media platform, but email is actually the tried and true way to reach your customers.

  • 59% of marketers surveyed by Emma say email is their biggest source of ROI
  • According to MailChimp, "hobby emails" — which includes wineries and wine clubs — have a 27% open rate - the highest of any category
  • Email generates $38 for every $1 spent, as HubSpot reported

Think of it another way: An inbox is a straight line to your customer as more and more bottles of wine are purchased online. In 2020 e-commerce grew 44.5% in the second quarter, the fastest growth in over two decades — a trend that's unlikely to revert back to those pre-pandemic numbers.

With the following tips, you'll understand how to leverage the ecommerce boom to make your winery's email list work alongside your other marketing efforts to create loyal repeat customers who enjoy receiving your communications as much as they love drinking your wine.

Step One - Use Paid Ads for More Email Subscribers

One way to encourage email list sign-ups? Paid, targeted ads leveraged on social media. Doing tests on these paid ads is the best way to reach your idea audience. Change up the copy, headline, button, and the featured image to see which ones are attracting people to your email list.

Once they've signed up, send them a welcome email to set expectations on what communications they'll receive on a regular basis. Show off your labels, give them a sense of the varieties you offer, and set your customers up for access to bottles, cases, clubs, gift boxes and more. This automated "hello" will be your first point of contact with your brand new email buddy. Learn how to automate emails here, to make the first touch point from your winery arrive while you're still fresh on your customer's mind.


Step Two - Know Who You're Talking To

Email works best when it stands out. In a crowded inbox, what is one of the smartest tactics to getting a customer to click? Personalization.

  • Campaign Monitor reports that emails that use names get 26% more opens
  • According to DMA, segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue

An email that says "Hello Wanda, we'd like to give you a reason to buy from us!" will probably at least get her to click through to examine your Chardonnay selection. The email might also contain a special discount just for her. This kind of personalization can work in your favor, as you identify the types of subscribers your email list contains, then dial into their needs.

Using personas — an ideal customer type defined by preferences and habits — like White Wine Wanda, for example, will ensure you know which bottles of your best fresh and fruity whites to highlight when you send her an email in the future. Got a group of reds-only customers who always want to know what's new? Segment those people as well (Red Ryans, Red Ritas) and send them exactly what you already know they love.

Step Three - Make Your Emails As Good As Your Wine

Grabbing your customer's attention as they sift through a full inbox requires a bit of skill, but a with data-based strategy, it's actually pretty fun.

Be sure to use a calendar like this one to plan your emails - just like you would with any other marketing. Acknowledge holidays with sales, and observe funny wine-appropriate days that have gained popularity thanks to social media. (May 25 isn't just Memorial Day in the US, it's also National Wine Day!)

Another key is to avoid sending exclusively sales-related content. If you know your audience is interested in the growing process, give them an inside look at the way your vineyards go from vine to bottle. Have someone on your staff who takes gorgeous photos? Send a "great visuals only" email every once in a while that puts your subscribers on the ground in your winery. The chances of email click throughs becoming, for example, a wine club membership, increase the more individualized your emails are.


Put It All Into Action

Now that you have your awesome emails, make sure you define your goals - do you want club growth, happy customer engagement like website reviews, individual bottle or subscription service sales? Collect data that helps you identify places to improve, and continue prioritizing your email subscribers. These tips can help you use your data wisely.

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