One of the powerful things a winery can do with tasting room traffic is convert them from casual visitors to members of your winery's mailing list.
Tasting room traffic tends to reflect passing customers who are on the "tour" and once they leave your tasting room they are gone. If you are lucky enough to stand out in their mind there is still a good chance that they will forget your website address, and they won’t take the effort to track down your wine.
Converting tasting room traffic to members of your winery's mailing list offers great marketing opportunities that you can tap into for sales year around and for years to come.
I especially like the Ceja Vineyards tasting room sign up form because it doubles as a postcard as well. If the visitor doesn't get around to filling it out in the tasting room they can always put it in the mail later. I might also suggest prepaying the postage to make the sign up process even easier, and maybe have check boxes as to what they are interested in so you can market to segmented lists, another strategy to customize your mailing list communications. You could also enhance the sign up form a little by putting a photo of the tasting room staff or have a photo of the wine bottle on one side to strengthen emotional attachment.
These types of tools and strategies are so easy to execute on the office color printer. You would expect that every winery would have some mechanism to transform their most fleeting customers into more engaged, profitable customers, yet so often we find tasting rooms just don't execute on these tools at all.
Make it your goal this year to do simple things like this. It will make a difference to the bottom line in the long run.
If all you're sending them is a sales pitch, then people aren't going to want to do it. And that's the expectation: a sales pitch.
So, what did people who signed up actually receive last year? What came in the mail (or e-mail)? What events did they get invited to? What other goodies come along with signing up?
If you know the lifetime value of a mailing list customer, you can even figure out how much of an incentive (corkscrew? coaster? ...?) you can offer to encourage a sign up.
*Show* the benefits of providing contact information, and I think you'll see the benefits.
PS: if people don't like your wine, they definitely aren't going to sign up.
I feel like so many wineries don't even do the basics...and this is a great start.
And while we''re looking at that tasting room data, think about adding social network contact info. If you really want social media to be a direct to consumer channel, here again you've got to focus on the list.
Another way is to ask to become a fan or follower on Facebook or Twitter or other social media app. A printed card that can be returned with an email address can also include the Facebook or Twitter account names. Let the customer decide how much of a relationship he wants with the winery. And if a winery doesn't have a presence in social media, now might be a really good time to consider one.
Some wineries never collect email or even seem to care if the customer returns or buys more wine. Let's see how long they will be around.
It was such fun meeting you at ZinsValley Restaurant on February 11, and, seeing you again at Ceja Vineyards in Carneros the following day, was even better. Thank you so much for making the trek to our beloved Carneros in the Napa Valley and for including our "Join Ceja Vineyards Email List" in your blog.
We agree with Mike, Andrew, Susan, Diane, Larry and you -- wineries often miss opportunities in capturing visitors' contact information. You all offer great advice and we are listening to your suggestions -- muchas gracias.
You all have an open invitation to visit us to taste our legendary Ceja wines anytime!
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