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Five Simple Automated Transactional Emails that Increase DTC Wine Sales

We all know the importance of using DTC (Direct to Consumer) email marketing to increase wine sales. But, sending out the ‘once a month’, or worse, ‘once in a blue moon’ wine offer or newsletter no longer generates the dollars it once did.

Why is that, you ask?

The generic, ‘one-size-fits-all’ email doesn’t work in today’s market.

As we have mentioned before, email marketing is permission-based marketing.

They subscribed at one of your touchpoints by giving you their email address, hoping you will give them something in return – preferably something of value.

This opens the door for you to send relevant, timely, targeted, compelling communication about your wine releases, winery events, wine sales and how they can get more of the wine they love.

It’s not just flogging your wares in a newsletter.

So, what can you be doing to increase DTC wine sales through email marketing?

Email Automation!

Email automation (also known as transactional emails) in conjunction with your monthly wine offer newsletter allows you to send emails at specific time intervals or in response to your customer’s actions. Hence why these emails are called transactional as some form of a transaction has taken place.

Email automation saves you time and money because you do not have to send individual emails physically.

On top of that, email marketing has an ROI of $38 for every $1 spent, and conversions generated by email marketing are 40 x more than social media.

Email automation can be created for individual messages or a more extensive email ‘drip campaign’ depending on your requirements.

These automated email workflows are triggered when the customer performs a specific action. For example, they purchase wine via your website, and this action triggers an email to say Thankyou for the purchase and offers them an upsell or cross-promotion of a future purchase.

And most transactional emails have something the rest of the email marketing messages don’t have: Expectation!

Your subscriber is expecting to receive the email. It might be an acknowledgement that they signed up for a newsletter or a receipt for their purchase, but they are expecting it. Therefore, they are more likely to open it.

So if your wine customer is expecting an email message that they will open, you have a captive audience.
Therefore, it’s imperative to take advantage of the situation to extend relevant offers and seek customer feedback. It’s a chance to truly engage with the customer that you cannot pass up.

How to create email automation workflows.

Step 1
Before starting, make sure you create an account with a quality Email Service Provider (ESP).
Outlook, Gmail or the email service you use to send your daily emails is not what we mean by Email Service Provider.
Email Service Providers offer email marketing services for bulk emails. They are built specifically to send bulk emails, run automation campaigns and help you sell your products.

We recommend Mailchimp. To begin with, you can send up to 2,000 emails monthly. Free of charge!
MailChimp also offers easy-to-use drag and drop campaigns, list segmentation, a vast array of customer training videos, A/B split testing, and user-friendly reports to easily measure your success.

Step 2
Ensure your Email Service Provider integrates with your eCommerce system (your website’s shopping cart).
We would even go as far as to say, ensure it integrates with your POS (Point of Sale System) in your cellar door and accounting system if possible.

The technology is readily available and will make your wine marketing and sales processes smoother.
Once you have completed the two steps above, it’s easy to create automated email workflows to increase your DTC wine sales.

What are the five must-have automated emails you need?

No.1. The Welcome email

Trigger: Joining the email database via the ESP List.

Whether a new customer signs up at your cellar door, an event, or a website, an automated email should shoot out to them within minutes.

Note: not days, weeks, months, or heaven forbid years as we have recently witnessed – but minutes! Instant gratification is crucial at this stage.

Imagine you walked into a tasting room and then ignored. No one greeted you, asked how they could help – just wholly ignored you. What would you do? Possibly, just walk right back out and never go back.

That’s the same with the Welcome Email – greet your new email database subscriber immediately.

This ensures the customer doesn’t forget who you are, and the great experience you created for them at one of the touchpoints is still fresh in their mind.

The Welcome Email provides a fabulous opportunity to:

  • Acknowledge and reaffirm your contact and
  • Fulfil the promise of permission-based marketing – give them something in return for their email address.

Engage the new subscriber with your wine story – build a strong relationship from the start.

Remind them what, when, where and how you will be communicating with them. And if you wish, reward them with an offer, i.e. free freight on their first wine purchase or a special offer that entices them to your website to purchase wine.

No.2. The Wine Purchase Email (Thank You email)

Also known as the Order or Transaction Confirmation email.
Trigger: The wine purchase via your eCommerce Store (website)

Order and transaction confirmation emails are essential for any eCommerce store. What do you do if you purchase something online and don’t get a transaction confirmation? Call the business immediately and find out what has happened to the money you just spent.

This needs to be immediate to sit perfectly within the Email Automation process like the Welcome Email.

Don’t send out the boring generic email stating what wines were purchased. Yes, include the purchase, but go beyond and don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit. It could consist of a favourite family recipe that pairs perfectly with the wine they’ve bought, a pre-sale offer, the next wine event or even a little behind the scenes history of what happened during that vintage.

Your wine customer is waiting for their wine delivery and probably feels excited. Further anticipation can be built by providing them with valuable, fun content and generating a stronger affinity with your brand.

No.3. Cart Abandonment Email

Trigger: Shopping Cart Abandonment
This one is a no-brainer, but still, many wine businesses don’t set up an automated abandonment cart email because they don’t understand their power.

This email is sent shortly after someone leaves your online wine shop without finalising their order. Acting as a reminder and possibly improving your conversion rate, especially if your customers are genuinely interested in the offer.

So, let me tell you what you are missing out on…. around 67% of all online shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes the sale.

Immediacy is vital here. Cart abandonment emails work well when they are both timely and relevant. If you want them to have an even more substantial impact, you can also add free delivery or a value add to the message, and you’ll see that customers will be happy to return and finalise their purchase.

No.4 The Anniversary Email

Trigger: Birthday or anniversary email.
Now, this could be a birthday email, but what if you don’t have your wine customer’s birth date? Another option is an anniversary email reminder that they last purchased three months, six months, one year. Remind them what they bought and offer an incentive to repurchase.

No.5. The Reconnect Email

Trigger: inactive subscribers who haven’t opened an email from you in ages.
No matter how important, people often lose track of things they started. And that is similar to people following their beloved wine brands. They may have stopped visiting your website or reading your emails.

So how do you re-engage them?

Send an automated email every time your wine customer stops opening your messages for a particular period. Remind them why they signed up in the first place and reward them with a special incentive that will steal their hearts once again.
Extra tip to get more emails opened.

To boost the success of your email marketing campaigns, why not try a Double-Open Email Marketing Strategy?
This quick yet powerful email marketing hack involves three simple steps:

  • Send your regular monthly wine offer email
  • Two days later, segment those who didn’t open the email

Resend the email again to the segment that did not open the list with a new subject lineYou can build this into your email marketing automation system, making the process super quick and straightforward.
Whether or not you get a dramatic difference in results with your second mail out, you’ll gain additional, valuable insights into what subject lines resonate best and, in turn, boost your open rates in future campaigns.

Ready to get started?

Suppose you’re considering making email automation campaigns a part of your wine marketing strategy. In that case, you may want to consider bookmarking this post and keep coming back for more ideas. Alternatively, contact us to help you set up, craft and/or manage your DTC email marketing.

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


Tania Shirgwin

Tania Shirgwin

Founder + Head Consultant

Tania is a marketing strategist specialising in tourism, wine and hospitality marketing. As founder of Decant Digital (formerly bizeez communications), Tania’s unique role over the past 14 years has enabled her to follow her passions of travel and her marketing obsessions of strategic marketing planning, consumer-focused web development, search optimisation, and training. With over 80 customised websites built to date, successful event marketing campaigns and new business branding, Tania’s wealth of experience ensures businesses continually increase website traffic, direct bookings, and sales via proven marketing tactics.

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