Initially written in 2016 as “Seven ways to ethically grow your winery email database”, we have repurposed this blog to cover the wine industry’s re-ignited love affair with QR Codes and the necessity to re-engage consumers directly. This 2022 version has an extra 13 new ways to grow your email database fast.
Email marketing allows you to build relationships and sales leads. It’s your opportunity to speak directly to possible customers via their inbox at a time that is convenient for them.
Email can become one of your most impactful marketing and DTC wine sales channels with the right messaging.
Why does email marketing work?
At its core, email marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses electronic mail to communicate commercially. More importantly, email marketing is permission-based marketing, i.e. people give their email addresses freely (with permission), and you can then send them targeted marketing messages.
Permission-based comes with the expectation that you won’t abuse the privilege.
It works because you have already established a relationship through a touchpoint such as your cellar door, events or even social media.
Here is the kicker with growing your DTC wine sales through email marketing – you actually have to have an email list! A database of wine enthusiasts who know, like and trust your wine brand and want to purchase your wines.
So, it’s essential to cast a wide net in your approach to seeking subscribers.
That’s why we’ve put together 20 simple yet proven strategies that will help you grow your email list FAST?
The tasting room is a no-brainer, and it is going to be possibly your most effective way to gain those valuable email addresses.
1. Sandwich Board
Include a call to action (CTA) on a sandwich board outside your cellar door, encouraging shoppers to sign up for your database using a QR Code as they enter or leave.
Create posters advising the benefits of joining your newsletter or wine club. Making a few fun and quirky calls to action can make the tasting room an even more memorable experience.
3. Instagram/Facebook Photo Prop Frames
Social sharing props (selfie frames) have long been an engagement tactic at wineries, so why not take it one step further and, using your hashtag, add a subscriber QR Code.
4. Tasting Notes
Offering a QR Code sign up plus a manual written sign up at the bottom of your tasting list is an excellent idea to capture new subscribers.
5. The iPad in the Winery
Leverage tablet technology and turn those engaged cellar door visitors by providing touch screen email sign up forms straight from an iPad.
6. At Checkout
One of the easiest ways to get a customer to sign up to your database is to have a staff member ask them if they would like to join when purchasing wine at the checkout. But, when a tasting room gets bustling, it’s easy for staff to forget to collect email addresses, so having a quick QR Code form in front of the sales counter is a good idea also.
7. Signup Form with Wine Delivery
So you didn’t get that valuable email address at the tasting room, but you did get a sale. Maybe a signup reminder form with the wines you’re shipping may do the trick?
Implement a customer-focused email conversion strategy in your tasting room and ensure it’s a top priority for your staff.
Because building a robust database and creating targeted communications to engage with your customers long after they leave your tasting room is the BEST way to increase DTC sales.
8. Sign up at Events
Event signups are a powerful lead magnet similar to joining at the cellar door. Because people have already made that connection, they’ve met the winemaker, viticulturist or team member whose passion for their wines shines through.
9. Signup Form on Your Website
Your website should play a huge role in wine marketing strategy.
If your prospective customer has found your website, make it super easy for them to sign up for content and wine offers with a simple opt-in form on your website.
Your signup form should be on every page of your website. You never know where site visitors will land!
A signup form on the website Footer works as people scroll on their mobile devices, and it’s the last thing they will see. Remember not to ask for too much information – name and email address are enough information to start the relationship.
10. Display Page-specific Opt-in Forms
Don’t show the same opt-in on every page or blog post; use a lead magnet or content upgrade specific to the content the visitor is currently viewing.
11. Create a Gated Content Area
Gated content is content on your website that is not accessible until the visitor enters their contact information. Usually, it offers something in return for the email address.
Gated content could include:
- A discount coupon
- An ebook on places to visit in your region
- An exclusive behind the scenes online tasting or video of the winemaking process
12. Instal an Exit Pop-up
Besides adding a signup form on pages, add an exit popup on pages and blogs to convert abandoning visitors.
There is a bit of controversy in the wine industry around popups. Many wine business owners or marketers still think that they may annoy consumers.
In reality, popups on websites can be as subtle or as intrusive as you wish. It all depends on your target audience and your wine brand’s needs.
Just remember, DO NOT allow popups on Product or Checkout pages.
13. Sign Up on Facebook
Most email service providers offer widgets that allow the integration of a signup form on your Winery’s Facebook page. You can also use Facebook’s Call-To-Action button!
14. Social Media Bios
Add a call to action to all of your bios on your various social media profiles with a link to your opt-in landing page.
15. YouTube Videos
Make your YouTube videos interactive with call-to-action cards. Then, link the cards to your opt-in landing pages.
16. Sign up link in Email Signature
How many people do you contact via email daily? These contacts may not be on your Winery’s email list, so try to convert them by subtly suggesting they sign up to receive your email newsletter.
Include a link to your hosted web form in your email signature, and your prospects can sign up to receive your emails without even closing your email message.
A clever business practice is to have a standard format for employee email signatures.
17. Business Cards
Add a signup QR Code to your business card.
Add a signup QR Code to your brochure.
Add a QR Code to all your printed materials and advertising linking them to your opt-in landing page.
20. Reward subscribers referring friends
Add email-only offers to your boxes, packages, and mailings.
And lastly, one more for good measure…
21. Wine bottle
Lastly, why not add a signup QR code, maybe with an engaging video on your wine bottle? The customer has already engaged with you in a purchase, so why not keep them in your sales funnel and ask them to join your email database?
Ensure they work seamlessly with your email service provider such as Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Constant Contact etc.
According to Hubspot – email marketing databases naturally degrade by about 22.5% every year.
Continuously refresh your email database with new leads, so your email marketing strategy is not based on a dying asset.
So yes – it is essential to be strategic and grow your winery email database to make up for these lost contacts. Collecting and growing your winery email list should be a priority as it is hands-down the best direct road to keep your loyal wine ambassadors engaged and increase your DTC wine sales.
Need More Inspiration?
As you now understand, the FAQs page is an integral part of your tourism marketing arsenal. Don’t leave it off your website; if you need help, reach out.
Done for You Automation Emails Swipe File
20 email templates proven to propel open rates, clicks & sales while taking the stress out of you writing these important automated emails yourself. Each template has highlighted content that you change to make these emails personalised to your subscribers and on-brand for your winery.
The Done for You Automation Email Swipe File includes:
- Welcome Emails with Automated Sequence Options
- Thank You for Purchase Email with suggestions to upsell
- Abandoned Cart Email
- Anniversary Email
- Reconnect Emails & Automated Sequence Options
- Email Newsletter Checklist