I work with many wine producers and sellers (especially eCommerce) here in Australia. The wine industry is perfectly placed to take advantage of email marketing to increase brand awareness and sales.
Whilst wine making in Australia is, broadly speaking, very fragmented, the wine retail sector itself is dominated by two companies; Woolworths Limited (Dan Murphy’s, BWS) and Wesfarmers (Liquorland, 1st Choice). The dominance by these two retailers can make it difficult for many wineries to get the margins they want from their product or even to get sales in the first place. Using email marketing effectively allows wine makers to market directly to consumers with the aim of higher profits and increased sales.
From my working with many wine brands, the following four ‘items’ are those where the biggest gains in email marketing, and ultimately additional sales, may be realised in the wine industry (for the lease effort).
MailChimp integration massively increases sales
If you sell your wine direct to the public and use Shopify, WooCommerce, Vend or other POS or eCommerce software then it’s highly beneficial to integrate MailChimp with your sales software.
Integrations are usually very cost effective and with the likes of Shopify and WordPress WooCommerce, it’s simple to increase sales through automated email marketing to existing customers. As an example, an automated email series can be setup so that when a person buys your Chardonnay they will get an email with tasting notes. A week later a follow up email can then be sent to the same customer recommending they try your Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio blend with a button directly to the sales page on your website.
Segmentation is key to improving wine sales
There is no real point in trying to sell a $10 bottle of wine to someone who usually buys wine at $40. Likewise, the most benefit you’ll get from sending your weekly cellar-door only wine specials is from people within driving distance of your premises. Segmentation is how we divide our MailChimp subscriber list by interests that we use in MailChimp to target in our email marketing.
Wine consumers are often passionate and loyal. They are also remarkably consistent in their preferences and price tolerance. Segmentation allows us to target people and personalise the communication to them; for example, if we have our eCommerce integrated with MailChimp we can send an email campaign to all people that purchased a sparkling wine around Valentines day last year to repeat purchase this Valentines day.
Sending the correct content to increase wine sales
Relevant content and segmentation go hand in hand. We need to understand our consumers and send them content that they are most likely to open and click (and ultimately buy). This doesn’t mean constantly selling sales focused emails.
The more time that our subscribers invest in engaging with our content, the more likely they are to buy. What tends to work best is an email marketing strategy of combining sales related email campaigns with those focused on brand engagement. Sales campaigns are those that are asking a recipient to click to buy. Brand engagement emails are those that tell the story of your product and brand (such as sharing an email about what goes into growing the healthiest grapes). Of course brand engagement content is ultimately aimed at future sales but is more subtle than ‘hard-sell‘ content.
Subscriber quality matters
In MailChimp training I often get asked what a good number of subscribers is. The number of subscribers isn’t nearly as important as the amount of engagement that you get from your contacts. We should be aiming to get repeated sales from every one of our contacts (and adjust our segmentation and content to get more repeat sales).
Wineries are usually in a great position to get good quality subscribers; if a person has purchased from the winery in the past, or has shown interest in receiving further information, then these contacts often make for very engaged subscribers. As mentioned previously, your eCommerce and POS system offer a source of good quality subscribers. Also, if you have a cellar-door, then you have a very fertile ground for attaining email subscribers that will likely result in future sales from email marketing. Grab an Android or iOS tablet and install the free MailChimp Subscribe app and place on your cellar-door counter. People that are already engaged with your brand (i.e. at your premises) can then subscribe for further information on-the-spot.