Hand holding smartphone with receive newsletter form screen on c

Did you know email marketing is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter?

Given all the different ways to interact with your customers online it can be easy to neglect email marketing. Yet not only are emails fast and affordable, but they continue to convert higher than social media. This means that more people who receive your email will buy from you versus fans that follow you on Facebook and see a post.

In fact, email consistently generates the highest return on investment for businesses among all marketing channels according to online research resource, VentureBeat. Whether your goal is to grow your business, acquire new customers, launch a new product, advertise a sale or promote an event, your winery should be utilizing email. Marketing data experts at McKinsey & Company found that email is actually 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter!

The truth is, if your winery is not actively building a database of customer emails, you’re missing out on a HUGE opportunity to connect with wine drinkers, build brand loyalty, and increase sales. You can capture customer email addresses via a form on your website, in the tasting room, when they create a wine club account, checkout at the winery, or even during a phone call. You’ll get more email signups if you offer something for free in return (like we do with our Free 7 week email series “Sell More Wine”), or have them enter to win a drawing of some kind.

So what can you do to ensure that your emails deliver the right message at the right time to the right audience?

  • Get Permission – Make sure that you’re only sending email to people who have given you explicit permission to contact them via an email address they provided. (NOTE: Buying an email list is never a good idea. It’s a waste of money because the audience is rarely targeted, and using a purchased list can get you in a lot of trouble since no one on it gave consent for you to email them.)
  • Personalize It – Ever get a piece of mail addressed to “Resident”? Yeah, that doesn’t leave you feeling very warm and fuzzy about the sender. Using someone’s first name or other individual-specific data like birthday or favorite wine helps build a relationship between the recipient and your brand. According to Experian, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.
  • Segment Your List – Building on the previous tip, use different fields from your customer database to group your email list into smaller, more specific segments. For example, you can have a Wine Club list, a March birthday list, a “prefers sweet wine” list, and so on to send targeted messages that are relevant to that audience.
  • Optimize for Mobile – Make sure that your email looks good and functions as intended no matter if it’s viewed on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone; your email should be easy to read, with images displaying properly, and all links working. (Fortunately, many email clients offer mobile responsive templates to make this easy.) A report by Campaign Monitor revealed that on average 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices, and TechCrunch reported last May that 75% of Gmail’s 900 million users access their accounts on mobile devices!
  • Test Subject Lines – Take advantage of the A/B testing feature built into most email clients, which allows you to send an email with two different subject lines to two smaller subsets of your email list. Once enough data is collected, the application will automatically send out the email with the winning subject line to the rest of your list. Over time you will learn which subject lines are most likely to motivate your audience to open your emails.
  • View Reports – After each email you send, pay attention to the various analytics available in the email client such as A/B test results (which subject line was most compelling), open rates (the higher rate equal more engaging content), click thru rates (the percentage of people who received your email that clicked your links to get to your site), and conversion rates (the percentage of people who received your email who purchased from you). Then use this information to improve future results by testing different send times or days, content, and layout.
  • Add Social – Emails are a great way to drive traffic to your website as well as increase your following on social media sites. Make sure that every email you send out includes direct links to your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Although we’ve focused on the importance of email marketing here, social media should still be part of your overall marketing strategy.

Lastly, while there are multiple respectable email providers out there, at Bauerhaus we use MailChimp.com and often recommend it for other small businesses. They offer a “Free Forever” plan for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month with no expiring trial, contract, or credit card required. Their free account includes features such as responsive templates that look great on mobile devices, built-in sign up forms, email campaign reports, and more.

Too busy or just need help?
If you’re interested in having us manage your winery’s email marketing for you – please contact us here or email [email protected]. We’ll set up a time to discuss your specific situation and provide you with a free estimate customized for your needs.