As you gear up for the busy fall harvest and holiday season, do a quick assessment of your planned email campaigns to your customer list. Make sure you have a good mix topics:
Events – Make them enticing with a “theme” and, if you are charging, allow the customer to buy tickets online beforehand. This commits them to the event (and helps you plan for the right number of guests!) and allows an actionable link from the email campaign. I usually don’t recommend too much segmentation of your lists for event purposes (unless they are events in a local market) – you want to make sure everyone knows you have regular events in case they are planning a trip to wine country.
Wine Offers - Again, only people local to your winery (or who happen to be in town at the right time) are usually able to take advantage of events, so you need to continue to offer your wine via email to everyone else. That doesn’t mean drastic discounts or shipping incentives (although those are definitely a good way to generate sales) – you also need to advertise new releases and give customers an opportunity to buy all of your wines.
Vineyard updates - People love updates on the vines, grapes and vineyards. For one of my clients, a post of veraison on Facebook garnered the most “likes” of any post in the last six months (and we had some good ones!), so why not deliver that information directly to your customers inbox?
Recipes – Almost everyone interested in wine also enjoys knowing which foods to serve with wine, so be sure to offer pairing suggestions and recipes for your wines. Include them right in the body of your email campaign or link to a more permanent posting on your blog or website.
Winery updates – Bottling, racking, blending: all these items are part of the romance of wine production, so be sure to highlight any activities that add to the interest in your wine. Pictures speak a thousand words, so adding in good shots of all these processes give people the feel for how wine is made and further engages them with your brand.
And be sure to continuously thank your customers for their support – make them feel important and valuable with every communication!