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Elements of a Strong Wine Club

Building a solid wine club takes careful planning and execution, involving everyone at the winery.   The result is that you only have to sell a Wine Club membership once to keep reaping the rewards on an ongoing basis.  Make sure you have considered the following when structuring your Wine Club:

Exclusivity.  Make sure you are offering your members something that not everyone can get, whether it is wine, events or some other experience.

Insider Information.  Everyone wants to feel connected to the winery, the winemaker and the owners.  Share information with them on a regular basis on what is happening – focus on the cellar, the vineyards, events, etc. and allows include the personal touch.

Collateral.  Collateral material is key in wine club shipments – again, focus on exclusivity and insider information when creating your enclosures.  Include a special offer, detailed wine notes and recipe pairings to ensure engagement and loyalty.

Consistency.  Make sure you wine shipments and information are consistent and prompt.  Do not bill too far in advance of shipping (your customers will be expecting their wine immediately) and make sure adhere, as closely as possible, to your published schedule.  Otherwise, people will lose confidence and interest and move on to the next winery.

Communication. Communication is key for all aspects of the wine club.  Make sure all communications from the members are answered promptly and make sure you have a planned outreach program in place to let them know about any problems or upcoming shipments.

Customization.  While the initial model of a wine club was all about uniformity, the trend these days moves toward allowing the customers to choose their own wines.  While this may be an attraction for the customers, make sure you have the systems, inventory and customer service on the backend to handle all special requests.

Discount.  Many wineries cringe at this word but it plays a factor in joining a wine club.  Customers want to feel like they are “getting a deal” but you also need to acknowledge the role “loyalty buying” has on your bottom line.  Do not be too quick to offer deep discounts – conversely, even limited-production, higher-end wineries will offer some incentive to their big buyers, such as free shipping on a case or more, as a “thank you” for their purchase.

Your Wine Club ensures consistent cash flow and inventory reduction, so make sure you keep your members happy and engaged.

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