Vin65 Blog

DTC wine thoughts served up by Vin65

Brent Johnson
April 30, 2013 | Brent Johnson

Five Automatic Emails and Why We Like Them

1. The Tasting Room Visit Receipt

Driven by sustainability and customer service, large retailers like Macy's, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Nordstrom, Best Buy, Whole Foods, Kmart, Sears and Gap all now offer consumers the option to have their receipts emailed to them.  In fact, a third (35%) of retailers offer digital receipts, and half of them do so at all their stores, according to a survey of 3,900 retailers released in 2012 by marketing firm Epsilon.  Is your tasting room taking a cue from this growing "green" trend?  This might be a great time to implement a reciept, or follow-up for a tasting room visit before the busy summer season.  Say "thank you for visiting" and watch them come back!

2. Website Abandoned Cart

If you think follow-ups are creepy, get over it.  There may be many reasons a customer would start to purchase something in your eCommerce cart and then stop.  The phone could ring, maybe they didn't have the credit card handy, or they got sidetracked.  A polite quick email touching base with this lost customer can be appreciated.  Numerous studies have now showed the effectiveness of this practice when done thoughtfully, quickly and helpfully.  Chief Marketer reported about a test that Movies Unlimited performed which including the title of the movie left in the shopping cart and an offer.  Their test resulted in a 13% conversion rate on the follow-ups, and these sales contributed 10% of all future sales.  That kind of a lift in sales is not bad at all for an automated email!

3. New Club Membership

Every customer wants to feel appreciated.  After all, the ultimate gift a customer can give you is approval to charge their credit card periodically and send them wine.  So, don't you think a "Thank You" is in order?  Whether they sign up in the tasting room, on the phone, or online, you can acknowledge the fact that they put their trust in your and gave you a standing order for wine.  Combine this welcome email with an offer or introductory combination of wine or merchandise and you can make them feel appreciated, and reap the sales benefits as well.  Then follow up with a thoughtful recontact strategy in email and you've got a customer for life.

4. Happy Birthday/Anniversary

One thing technology allows us to do is keep track of data.  This includes key dates, like birthdays and club sign-up anniversaries.  These are great opportunities to let your customers know you appreciate them, and provide them with a special offer to say "Thank You."  You can get creative with this as well.  How about reminding them of the last time they visited, or the fact that they purchased their holiday wine at this time last year.  If you think about it, there could be lots of milestones you could use to encourage repeat purchases.  It is automated, easy to set up in the system, and if done correctly can be very thoughtful and appreciated by your customers as well.

5. Credit Card Expiring

This is always a hot button before club processing time.  While phone calls are usually necessary for the stragglers, why not initially start with setting up an automatic email alerting customers 60, 30 or 10 days out that their card is about ready to expire.  You won't get everyone, but if you can decrease the phone call load, isn't it worth it?

These are just some instances where a little set-up can save you some time, show your customers you care, and maybe increase your sales.

For more information on setting up Action Emails, see our documentation site.


Larry Chandler's Gravatar
Larry Chandler
@ May 1, 2013 at 8:13 AM
All of these are great ideas, though an email about an abandoned cart would be creepy if it wasn't clear that the email was generated automatically. I don't think people would mind if they didn't feel that there was a real person following your browsing and commenting on what pages you visited. (And yes, this did happen.)

I love email receipts since I don't have random pieces of paper floating around where I can't find them when I need them.

Adam's Gravatar
@ May 1, 2013 at 1:54 PM
I found that sending the CC exp e-mail AFTER initial club shipment processing is more effective than when I have done it before processing. Just my two cents.

Courtney Holmes's Gravatar
Courtney Holmes
@ May 2, 2013 at 8:28 AM
@Adam is that because they may cancel their membership if you contact them before? I hear this often from clients and was wondering if that was your reasoning of contacting them after.

VinoShopping's Gravatar
@ May 10, 2013 at 9:22 AM
Another one: "We miss you", sent to good customers who didn't visit your shop in the last 30 days (or so)

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