In previous articles, we’ve shown wineries how to set up and run wine marketing campaigns on major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, and even how to use print media to sell more wine, but in this article, we want to discuss how to use email best practices as part of an integrated wine marketing strategy.
If you're looking for advice on how to improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns, you are going to like this.
Here’s a list of direct-to-consumer email marketing tips to help you promote your brand digitally and sell more wine.
Let's jump in.
Email Marketing for Wineries: Top 6 Tips
1. Use Time-Sensitive Promotions
A time-sensitive promotion is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a sale or discount that is made urgent by an appeal to the short duration of the offer.
For example, an email with a time code that counts down to the end of the promotion.
Do time-sensitive promotions work? They do, and for proof of concept just look at Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Both sales are extremely time-limited, and as a result, drive demand (the great prices help, but often you can get equal or better prices at different times of the year).
But be careful—consumers are not naïve.
If every time they hear from you they see the same “For a limited time only 15% off” graphic, they will see right through your promotion and will quickly grasp that your wine is marked up an extra 15%. It’s okay to mark up your prices and have time-sensitive promotions, but be genuine and keep them infrequent to build trust.
(Yes, technically all sales and promotions are for a limited time only, but what we are calling “time-sensitive” promotions here are discounts that emphasize the brevity of the offer, rather than hiding the expiration date in a footnote).
Basic economic theory teaches that when supply decreases for high-interest items, demand increases. Airlines understand this, and so does Amazon.
When you see “only 4 items left at this price” or “only 2 tickets remaining” you’re seeing the scarcity principle at work. If you have a limited supply of a wine variety available, don’t hide that fact, proclaim it!
Send an email announcing your limited supply with a headline like “Only 15 cases left of our award-winning cabernet” and watch those last few boxes fly off the shelves. Be sure to include a recommendation for similar wines as well, so that when they sell out, your customers will have easy access to other wines that can satisfy their urge to buy.
3. Interactive Emails
There’s a good chance you haven’t experienced an interactive email, because they haven’t been adopted widely into the mainstream yet.
But that just means you have a chance to be ahead of the curve!
Interactive emails can be anything from a picture that changes when you hover the mouse over it, to a “scratch off” box that reveals a promotion. Interactive emails are a great way to attract interest to your emails and increase the click rate.
If your emails are fun and interactive, and especially if they offer the chance of a really great promotion (for example, if the scratch-off box says “1 in 1,000 wins 60% off”), people will start looking forward to your emails and will open them to see the creative ways they can engage with your emails.
4. Animated Emails (GIFs And Animated Elements)
Millennials are on their way to being the largest segment of the wine-consuming market (forecasted to occur in 2025). Why is this important? Because Millennials communicate with GIFs and memes.
Memes are essentially repurposed viral posts, often from popular media, but sometimes from obscure and unpredictable corners of the Internet. Over the last few years, memes have infiltrated every aspect of communication, from our smartphones to the workplace, so that now it’s common to have email chains and text messages filled with these humorous and illustrative images.
For an edgier brand that appeals to millennials, take advantage of animated emails with GIFs and other elements to create memes that set you apart and communicate the quirkier side of your brand. But there’s a caveat—be authentic!
If your brand doesn’t have a quirky side, you can still use animation. For example, a Budweiser email could use animated draft horses (or even talking frogs), and it wouldn’t be perceived as off-brand, but it wouldn’t make sense to see those same images on a Screaming Eagle Cabernet.
Personalization involves more than just saying “Hello [Customer Name].” To use personalization to its full effect, you’ll want to target your customers by segment.
One way to segment your customers is by wine preference (whites vs. reds, single bottles vs. cases, etc). You can also segment by location, age, or demographics if you have access to this information. Your goal is to avoid sending emails that get tossed in the spam folder while reaching as many people as possible with messages that people are going to open and act on.
Last but not least, if you want to sell more wine, you really need to be using a retargeting strategy.
Traditionally, retargeting involved placing a small piece of code on your website that would install a harmless cookie on the browser of anyone who visited your site. Then, regardless of where they went on the web, they would see ads for your products.
Email retargeting uses an identical principle, only instead of installing the code on your website, you include it in your email signature or in the HTML of your email itself. The great thing about retargeting is that your ads stay in front of consumers, but you’re not spamming their inbox.
It’s far less obtrusive to see wine ads show up on Google and Facebook than it is to receive multiple emails for the same product.
Bonus: The 3 Types Of Email Every Marketer Should Know
As you can see, email is one of the best wine marketing tactics available, but email isn't just for marketing. Savvy marketers put emails into three categories: marketing, transactional, and operational.
These include newsletters, coupons and promotions, and information about your upcoming events or products. They are used to generate demand among consumers, who open your emails because of the catchy subject line.
If the content of your marketing emails provides value, they will stay subscribed to your list, and ideally, convert either through an online sale or in person the next time they visit your winery.
To make the best use of marketing emails, follow the tips laid out above.
These are triggered by customer actions.
For example, a welcome message, order tracking, received payments, and registration confirmations. Since transactional emails are initiated by consumer action, they reveal a strong likelihood of further interaction.
To make the best use of these emails, take advantage of the high open rates to cross-sell and offer additional promotions.
For example, a customer signs up for your email list and gets an immediate thank you email with a ten percent off coupon in it. Or they receive an email receipt from a purchase, and it contains a link to sign up for your wine club.
These contain essential information about your business, including standard hours of operation, holiday hours, closures, and other updates that could affect customers.
Just like transactional emails, you can add a sidebar, blurb, or eye-catching photo with links to sales and marketing content.
For example, you might send out an email about longer summer hours, and include a photo and link to your “best summer wines of 2019.”
Sell More Wine Using Email: Key Takeaways
Using time-sensitive offers and scarcity helps you express urgency which in turn, boosts wine sales
Interactive email elements like GIFs and "Scratch-Offs" will engage your customers and reach younger audience segments
Providing a personalized experience through customer segmentation is a proven way to increase brand trust
If you aren't using email retargeting, you are leaving money on the table
This article originally appeared on Hearst Bay