Insider Tips to Sell More Wine - Part 1
This is 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. This post will give you concrete examples on how she sells more wine.
Personalization. People want to see emails that are targeted just for them. We all get a barrage of emails between certain hours and on certain days because somebody somewhere said it was a good time to email blast. When emails are blanketed and don’t even apply to you, they get deleted automatically without even reading the second paragraph. I know I often delete emails after reading the first line. I can’t count how many times I’ve received an email, “welcome to our wine club!” having never even visited that winery. I’ve even gotten a “your allocation has increased because you’ve met our required allocation over the years”, without ever purchasing the wines… you get the gist.
Through my experiences and what I have heard from my customers, I have tailored lists based on location, wine likes, event attendance, people with children, cancelled members, wine club tiers, people who pick up their wine clubs, people who have their wine clubs shipped to them, people who live out of California, and more as they come up. I have found that people appreciate our efforts in ensuring they receive relevant emails about our winery and our wines. Through Vertical Response, I can see a huge change in unsubscribes and opens because of the targeting.
Around Easter, I had 200+ cases of our Pinot Noir to sell. Luckily Pinot is a nice red wine - light and fruity, popular and pairs well with meals. I created a 50% off any amount (unlimited) promo for two days only. I kept the email short and sweet so everyone would read it and if reading on mobile, they could see the point of the message before even opening:
I emailed 4,700 people and 1,582 opened the email, 487 clicked through to our website, 196 clicked the buy online link, and 181 clicked the Pinot Noir link. We sold $17,000 worth of wine in two days.
Checklist Items to Sell More Wine:
- Have various templates: one for a quick email blast that requires minimal content, one with pictures of wine bottles (if that applies to you), and one for more copy.
- Make sure your email templates, website, and any other online marketing look and feel the same or similar. You want to ensure consumers always know they are clicking on your brand, not something that looks foreign.
- Link to the shopping cart - and link to the wine within the cart.
- Test out the coupon code - and make the code user-friendly. I always just use all caps to make it easy to read.
- Make sure bounced emails are fixed so those people receive emails.
- Keep a running calendar on your newsletter template with current and upcoming events so that people will always know what's going on and you don’t have to use up the space in the body of the email for it until you’re ready. Link to your events page on your website.
- Put ongoing deals in the template so they are always there. Example: we offer a bag discount of 5% whenever someone brings in their Trione wine tote, they receive 5% in addition to whatever the discount is they are getting that day. We put that in the bottom of every email to remind people. They all bring their bags and as a result we have brought in an additional $5,700 in revenue.
Ideas for a Successful Email Marketing Campaign:
- In my Easter example, I emailed on a Friday night at 6pm. Most people were probably off work, thinking about their holiday plans and already thinking about buying wine.
- Set a deadline to create a sense of urgency. I have found that less than four days makes people jump on an offer right away whereas giving them 30 days - they wait and then forget.
- Email people who buy a particular wine. In my case with the Pinot, I emailed everyone on my list because it’s versatile and great Spring wine for most people. You have to be flexible and make the call on a case-by-case basis.
- Stop thinking about the number of times you should email and start thinking about relevance. Keep an editorial calendar and list out the campaign names, dates to be sent, and who these will be sent to.
- Ask people what kinds of wines they like when they sign up for your mailing list. Talk to your consumers in the tasting room and find out what they like to see in newsletters, ask them what makes them open or delete an email from a winery.
For me...no matter what I chose any wine I sell is wine I wasn't selling before!
On your next post, or maybe secret part 3 can you touch on what you prefer when offering discount off and/or complimentary shipping for 4/6/9/12 packs...or any other combination?