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Wine Email Marketing: Content is King (again), some Suggested Topics

This is the last in a series of posts on wine retailers and email marketing.

In this post we look at wine retail email marketing content

So far we’ve covered,

  • email marketing being central to turning new customers into repeat customers
  • a responsive list is better than a large list just do the math:
    List size * Delivery rate % * Open rate % * Click through rate % * Conversion rate % * Order value $ = Value of one email mail out
  • boost responsiveness through an email service provider who will have double opt-in, automatic unsubscribe, ‘clean’ your list, and be law abiding
  • boost responsiveness through a customized “confirmation page”, personalizing emails, be wary of html formatting, and regularly send out a little a lot.

The content of your wine retail email marketing

There are two types of emails

  1. Information type emails
  2. Promotional emails

Information emails keep people interested. See the Enthusiasts, Image Seekers, and Overwhelmed as per this wine consumer research by Constellation; or Image Oriented and Experimenters in this wine consumer research by Johnson and Bruwer.

But information emails will get less response.

Promotional emails get great responsive (at first). Of course we want sales but if we send out too many promotional emails then they will regard it as spam and customers will stop opening them or unsubscribe.

So it’s a mix, keep them interested and responsive. We also want one message per email.

So do a few information emails then a promotional one, once a week unless you have the stamina for more.

Test, test, test

I’ve just reread the advice I’ve given above and stand by it bar one key point. Rather than rely on my (or others) opinions you should really just test.

Randomly split the list into two. To list 1 send out more promo emails, to list 2 send out more informative emails. Find a winner after a longish period (rule of thumb is both lists have at least 30-40 sales). Then start another test.

Subject Line

I would also first test the subject line with different copy as the subject (and headline in web pages) drives response the most. It is likely to be the only thing that all your lists sees before making a decision as to whether to open your email.

Call to action

No matter what content you write, always have a call to action that links to a relevant page on your website, preferably to a product page where they can buy a particular wine. The call to action might be something like Buy Now or Read More. It would be prominent and at the top, middle and bottom of the email.

Email Content

Below I’ve listed some prompters for emails. Your subject line would be the prompter in Title Case. Your content would then be a few paragraphs (or just one) on the subject line. You would always have a call to action. They would be part of a sentence. Where I use [brackets] then the word is just an example.

Information: “Sub Editor” (garner response by intriguing people like a newspaper does)

  • The King of
  • Once every 30 years
  • A Discovery at
  • Adventure in
  • Share your love with
  • Sure to Surprise
  • Crisis in
  • No Justice in

Promotional: Discount

  • Save 33%
  • 1 cent shipping
  • Free shipping
  • 1 buck shipping
  • Save an additional 15% on already reduced prices
  • Rush shipping on Us
  • Best Deals
  • 50% off end of vintage clearance
  • First Buyer Special
  • A great offer from [vineyard]
  • Half price
  • Buy one get one free

Information: Attention Seeking Emails

  • Alert
  • Top rated
  • 94 point rated
  • Private Selection of
  • Action required
  • The best of
  • Top [40]
  • Best selling wines under $15
  • Deal Alert
  • Vintage of the Decade
  • Pay Dirt at
  • [Merlot] Heaven
  • The [Merlot] Insider
  • [Pinot ] Wine Guide
  • Wine 101 – how to
  • Wines from
  • Wines of
  • Wine and [Food e.g. Salmon]
  • Wine and [Climate e.g. Summer]
  • One of the greatest
  • Cult like

Promotional: Scarcity (of time)

  • Last call
  • Last chance
  • While they last
  • Final chance
  • 3 days only
  • ends at midnight
  • ends tomorrow
  • Today only

Information: News (preferably breaking news)

  • Just rated by Wine Spectator
  • New Arrivals
  • New from [vineyard]
  • Just awarded gold at

Note: these are taken from many of the larger online wine retailers, I wish I could say I was this creative!

What’s the best wine retail email you’ve ever seen? (copy the subject line or a link below…)

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