In this guide, we are going to show you how to use marketing automation to increase your wine club membership, retain your existing members longer, and boost wine sales.
Let’s take a look!
How Does Marketing Automation Help Wineries?
Wine isn’t just a liquid; it is experience in a bottle.
However, that experience doesn’t have to be conveyed only in tasting rooms. You can bring the delight closer to your customers even digitally. According to Silicon Valley Bank’s 2019 Wine Report, tasting room experiences make up for 42% of winery marketing mixes. Closely following are wine clubs, which make up for an additional 36%.
Wine clubs have revolutionized the way we market wineries.
However, people won’t just opt for any wine club. They have to gauge their value digitally, which can be done with marketing automation. Just imagine if you could stop your wine club members from unsubscribing.
It’s possible with marketing automation.
Marketing automation helps you:
- Cater to specific wine club consumer preferences
- Reach your prospects in the comfort of their own homes and assure them that your wine club is worth joining
- Reach customers that previously wouldn’t have been able to hear about your winery, and convince them to add you to their to-visit list
- Personalize your offer at a scale
- Add more value to your winery’s digital experience
- Increase customer engagement and boost your sales; on average, customers who engage with brands online spend 20 – 40% more
In short: marketing automation can help you boost your winery’s sales more than any other method available.
You’ll simultaneously keep your existing customers happy and ordering your wine even when a club shipment isn’t due, and attract new wine aficionados.
How to Promote Your Winery with Marketing Automation
Digital marketing for wineries is beneficial in general. However, marketing automation helps you market your winery and your wine club at larger scales. Your winery marketing’s main focus have to be the needs and desires of your customers – both prospective and existing. Fortunately, marketing automation is no longer as expensive as it used to be.
Today, you can use it to fuel your winery’s sales, and ensure that every member of your wine club receives the wine they want and the delight they need.
How to Retain Wine Club Members: Email Marketing Automation
According to WISE Academy’s research presented at the 2019 Oregon Wine Symposium, wine club members unsubscribe because of bad experiences and lack of flexibility.
We’ve all seen the point where a wine club transforms from delight into a chore. No one is really paying for a wine club membership just because of the drink. They’re paying for it because of the experience. And over time, this experience can turn into nothing more than a transaction.
According to WISE Academy’s research, wine club members stay subscribed because of personalization and delight.
How to Personalize for Retention
Wine club members love being in clubs that allow them to customize their shipments, and send them the information they care about. Whenever someone signs up for your wine club, you can trigger an email to be sent.
This way, you are storing the customer’s first name and email address. Then, you can add on more information, including information about their preferences, as you acquire it through:
- The number of opens on particular emails (e.g. group A opens Syrah emails more, group B is more interested in Merlot emails)
The entire philosophy of email marketing automation for wineries boils down to audience segmentation. When you can distinguish between different types of customers, you can separate them into distinct groups with clearly defined preferences.
For example, you may find (through data aggregation and automation) that your Syrah lovers are usually women, 35 – 55 years old, who respond well to digitally rich experiences such as videos showcasing your winery’s atmosphere.
Conversely, your Pinot lovers may be men in the 45 – 75 age group who have a penchant for purchasing limited availability bottles.
With marketing automation, you can adapt to both groups seamlessly, allowing them to consume the content they are interested in and engage with your winery the way that suits their preferences best.
Email Automation Tools and Metrics
Email marketing tools help you understand your customers and tailor your content to their preferences. With email marketing tools such as MailChimp and Constant Contact, you’ll be able to send targeted messages to different customers. And when you’ve hit “Send” on those emails, you will be able to track:
- Link clicks
Every metric will tell you how engaged a particular customer is, and what content they’re interested in.
Engaging Your Wine Club Members
In the long term, you can use the information you gauged from email automation to create content tailored to customer groups with similar preferences. Automation makes it easy for you to keep every single wine club member in mind, and create a special experience they will enjoy. For example, you can offer additional value through oenological and lifestyle content. The more targeted it is to that specific customer group, the better.
Similarly, you can create interactive experiences.
Live streams of wine tastings, reviews, winery tours… Wine club members love it, and it all adds to the perceived value of being the member of your wine club. This way, you will increase their engagement (they’ll click on your links and offers more if they’re personally interested in them), and improve your sales.
Triggers are another very important aspect of winery marketing automation. Let’s say your customers take specific action. For example, they sign up for your wine club, make a purchase through your digital storefront, or even abandon their cart. Every event is considered a trigger.
When they take that action, the mailing system will send them a specific email.
Depending on the trigger, the email can be:
- A greeting
- An inquiry about more information
- A special offer
- Cart abandonment reminder
And so much more!
Remember: the experience is what truly matters.
Customers associate wine with feelings of luxury and hedonism, so your customer service has to be stellar. With automation, all you have to do is set the standard and every interaction will be incredible.
How to Boost Wine Sales: Email Marketing Automation and Omnichannel Experiences
If you want to boost wine sales in between regular club shipments, you can use the following two methods of marketing automation:
Trigger-based email automation
Trigger-based email automation primarily allows you to maximize the value of your existing customers. You can send your customers special offers. The first step is segmenting your customers into different groups. This is easy with email marketing automation.
Then, you can customize offers and cater to specific audience segments.
For example, if your winery produces Syrah and Merlot, you could use marketing automation to engage two consumer groups simultaneously: those who prefer Syrah, and those who prefer Merlot. Each group gets offers made specifically with their preferences in mind, without any overlap with the other group.
Don’t worry about cart abandonment.
If your customers added wine to their carts but never bought it, something happened.
Chances are, they got distracted.
Fortunately, your automation system can automatically remind them of the wine they wanted to order. An email triggered by cart abandonment will motivate them to go back and purchase their wine.
They use social media to get updates on their favorite people and brands. When they want special offers and pampering, they turn to their inboxes. And when they need to find something new, they ask Google.
In order for your winery to stay competitive for years to come, you will have to provide your customers with omnichannel experiences:
Omnichannel experiences are a method of engaging customers by seamlessly communicating with them across different platforms (e.g. ads, social media, and email marketing).
While email is certainly one of the most cost-effective approaches to marketing automation, you shouldn’t forget social media.
Typically, consumers use social media to receive notifications about your winery and communicate with you one-on-one. It’s important to keep that in mind as you shape your omnichannel strategy.
Consider social media to be the place where you’ll connect with your customers on a personal level:
- Share behind-the-scenes images and videos of your winery (e.g. Making wine, team members unwinding and/or preparing a tasting)
- Post engaging videos such as digital tours through your winery and/or vineyards
- Taste other wineries’ wines and share your insights (Don’t be afraid to compliment them – it won’t drive your customers away, but demonstrate your expertise and personality)
- Invite customers to share their own content and thoughts (What are they drinking? How do they prefer enjoying their wine – alone or in pleasant company?)
Is it effective?
Yes. Over 57% of consumers will increase their spending with a brand that they feel connected with. Similarly, 70% of consumers feel more connected to brands whose owners and employees are active on social media.
It’s a great way to boost sales in between club shipments.
By following the same branding you use on your website and your emails, as well as adding a few more tools in your winery marketing toolbox, you’ll be able to provide your customers with a pleasant omnichannel experience that will make them not only buy more wine, but actively seek out opportunities to visit your winery.
When it comes to social media automation, consider using tools such as:
These tools will help you create, schedule, and automate posting to social media, as well as create a coherent omnichannel automation strategy.
How to Increase Wine Club Membership: Automation and Advertising
In addition to other automation methods at your disposal (namely, email and social media automation), you can leverage your automation data for advertising.
Chances are, your next customers are similar to your existing customers.
Contemporary automation tools provide you with everything you need to gather, analyze, and implement customer data.
You can use Google Analytics to understand your customers’ journeys:
- How do they arrive to your website?
- Which pages are they most interested in?
- Where are they from?
When you install Facebook and Google Pixels on your website, you’ll be able to “track” potential customers across the internet, and retarget them with your advertising.
This is particularly true for the Facebook Pixel.
You can add the code to particular pages, such as wine club membership sign up or purchase pages. Then, Facebook Pixel will “track” your existing customers on social media, and find more people like them to serve your ads to.
If you want to recapture visitors and turn them into customers, you can retarget them with special ads:
- Promotions and discounts
- Enticing videos
All of this happens automatically. All you have to do is add the code to your website and set up your ads.
Facebook will take care of the rest.
Search Engine Optimization
You can reach plenty of new customers with search engine optimization.
Submit your website to Google Search Console, and you’ll optimize for search engines flawlessly:
- Find out which keywords your customers use to find your winery
- Identify your top-performing pages
- Reach more customers with accurate keyword research and targeting
You can even install heat map software like Hot Jar to understand your customers’ website usage patterns.
Is It Time to Level Up?
With data and the right tools, you can easily understand complex things like your customers’ preferences. Then, you can leverage that knowledge to create experiences tailored to their habits.
You can automatically personalize every aspect of your communication with your customers.
Imagine having a direct portal to your customers’ heads and understanding how they think. With automation, it’s possible.
You’ll know how to motivate your customers to make a purchase.
You’ll know how to make them upgrade their wine club membership.
And you’ll even know what to say to make them book a flight and come visit you in your vineyard.