Wine Club Marketing Tactics: Email Drip Campaign
By Courtney Holmes
Converting tasting room customers to wine club members doesn't have to be limited to visits to your winery. Think of the first flight as an introduction, an opportunity to engage with them. With a wine club marketing email drip campaign you can continue to captivate them and convert them to a wine club member. The average taste to wine club conversion is 6% (Bennet Valley Group, 2012); with our strategy you should able to bump that percentage to at least 8%, which can lead to earnings of over $100,000 a year for many wineries.
Build the List
First things first, build a segmented email list. Make sure when you sign people up, that you categorize them by the following:
1. Tasting Room Visitor
2. Wine Club Members
Have the subscriber checks off what type of emails they want to receive. For example:
- New Releases
- Special Offers*
The key to 50% open rates for your winery’s emails is to only send information they want to receive. So when you create your subscriber lists in Constant Contact, eWinery Solutions or the like, segment groups by the above categories. For what we are going to discuss, use the “tasting room visitor” subscriber list for the email drip campaign.
We also suggest offering incentives to either the tasting staff or the taster to share their email. Some wineries give the sommelier a $1 for every email contact they get. The other option is to offer a free tasting of your reserve wine if the taster provides their email address. Be sure that you communicate to the prospective contact that they are not signing up to your e-newsletter, rather follow-up emails to invite them back to your winery.
* We only recommend discounting your wine to wine club members.
Create the Emails
We suggest the following 3 themes for each email.
Send out an email thanking them for visiting your winery, but also ask them to give your winery a review on Yelp or Google. If you would rather not risk a bad review, we offer a service where your reviewers will only be able to publish positive comments.
The more reviews you have the higher your search engine local rankings will be.
Bring the tasting experience home; don’t leave it at the winery. Producing a winemaker tasting note video does not have to be a big production. You could shoot it with your cell phone camera if you really have to (ours start at just $500). The objective is to let your customers know that your winery goes above and beyond and that they don’t have to visit your winery every other month to learn about your latest release - they can learn from the comfort of their own home.
It's also a good idea to provide links in the email to your wines that are referenced in the video, so they can then purchase them on your website.
Promote the wine club in this email and offer an incentive if they join - like a free promotional wine glass with their 1 year commitment to your club, also offer them a promo code in the email to enter when they sign up. Make sure that you provide every new member with a free promotional product.
Set up the Sequence
Setting up the series is tremendously easy with MailChimp.com. If you use Nexternal for your wine e-commerce, then you can effortlessly import the contacts to Mailchimp. Vin65 and eWinery Solutions also offer “drip email” capabilities.
For MailChimp, set up your free account (if you have less than 2,000 email subscribers) and then click on “Auto Responders” to set up your email drip campaign. You only have to do this once and every time you upload your newest subscribers, they will automatically receive the emails in the proper sequence. We recommend sending the emails out in the following sequence:
Email #1 - 3 Days after subscribing
Email #2 - 7 Days after subscribing
Email #3 - 12 Days after subscribing
If this all seems overwhelming, take a deep breath, it's simpler than it sounds and with some patience and enthusiasm for learning new marketing tools, email drip campaigns should go off without a hitch and you should see your wine club grow to 2% more each month.