Welcome to the Vin65 blog. We are using this space to try and convey our little piece of insight into winery websites and best practices to sell more wine online.
In my last blog post I talked about the email newsletter still being critical to promoting your wine website and developing your loyal fans. In this post I wanted to talk about optimizing the sign up funnel so that you get the most out of the pixels that you devote to that widget or process.
I think for the most part winery websites simply put up a form to capture email addresses in the hopes that people will sign up for fun, and to say that there is a newsletter sign up on the website. This strategy or lack there of isn't effective and leads to a very small group of individuals to market to. Which in the long run doesn't create a valuable business resource.
So how can we make this better?
Here are some tips:
Building a trusted email relationship and creating a database of customers who want to hear from you will serve you well in the long run. Customers get a lot spam, but if you are willing to work at building the trust and giving the customers on your list something worth signing up for it will mean more sales and stronger loyalty.
A little bit of a self promotion. This morning we launched our new interface on our admin panel. (137 websites are awaking to the new interface today, the other 160ish sites are seeing the new UI in the next couple of weeks).
We have some clear goals around our admin panel. It has to be as simple as possible. We want the user interface to be intuitive and friendly (both for a positive experience for our users and because it cuts our customer support costs).
We have some lesser known goals. The interface has to work with some of the technology in place. The CSS has to be light and fit well into existing code. The overall interface has to be 'white brandable' for some of our partners.
Here are some of the decisions we made with a new user interface:
If your a current admin panel users - we would love your feedback. Either email me directly at email@example.com, or leave a comment below.
We've seen consumer reviews make a large difference in conversion rates online, and we've known for quite some time that people trust other people's opinions. Here are the numbers according to Nielsen. 70% of consumers trust consumer opinions posted online. This is higher than trust of TV, newspaper, magazine, radio and all other mass advertising listed in the survey. (Thanks Kristina for sending this to me earlier this week.)
If you are not letting consumers post reviews on your website, is it maybe because you don't trust your consumers?
Are you training your customers to delete the email you send?
My grocery store has me trained. They have one of these loyalty rewards programs where I receive a point for every dollar I spend. Every two weeks they send out a flyer (via mail) and it has 50 products advertised, each with 10 or 15 bonus points. They also always have two coupons that are for 2500 points each if you spend $95 or more.
Over the past couple years I've discovered that all the coupons suck, except the 2500 point coupons. So like clockwork, every two weeks I cut out the two good coupons. The rest of the coupons are in the garbage. I've never use them. I can't even remember the last time I glanced at the offers.
So here's my point. Customers can be trained. Amazon sends me an email, I'll read it, and if that email is of value I'll remember. Because the last email was of value, the next email I receive from Amazon I'll read. If there is value there, I'll read the next email. It spirals up. I start to predictably open the emails from Amazon.
The opposite happens at some wineries. An email is created. Rather than creating a specific value proposition for a specific target audience, they send the email to their entire consumer list (after all, it costs almost nothing to send the email out). Some customers don't see value in the email. Another email is created and it goes out to the entire email list again. Again a group of customers don't see any value. The winery has trained a group of customers to ignore the email.
Tonight we analyzed the open behavior on one million emails sent over the past two year where the customers had been emailed 5 or more times. After 4 emails there was an 91.4% chance the customer had been trained (and responded to all future emails in the same manor).
So to put my point in a few sentences. Customers are predictable. If they are opening your email and responding by clicking back, you should probably keep doing the same thing. If they are consistently ignoring you email, it might be time to change what you're doing.
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