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Wine Email Marketing: Responsive Lists are Better

Today I start a series of emails about wine email marketing. This is the fourth step of the process of selling wine online profitably.

If you’ve been following my posts you’ll know this process is:

  1. Traffic – generate traffic to your site, especially from Google
  2. Conversion – convert this traffic into sales through probably good content, user shopping experience,  suitable wine range and fair prices
  3. eCommerce – have an eCommerce website i.e. online catalog, shopping cart and order administration system
  4. Repeat Customers – turn new customers into repeat customers probably through great customer service and follow up marketing.

I’ve done a series of emails for small wine retailers looking at each part of the process – apart from Repeat Customers, which I’ll start today.

So essentially this starts a series of posts on wine email marketing:

Essentially this is wine email marketing. In a previous wine email marketing post I said the following:

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My key tips for wine email marketing

  • mix up sales messages with wine information
  • not too often, not too late – every 1-3 weeks
  • use an email marketing service (iContact, MailChimp, VerticalResponse, aweber etc; there are scores of them) to send out email as this allows double opt-in, auto unsubscribe, personalisation, segmentation, tracking and helps you comply with anti-spam law
  • an email marketing service that automatically integrates (via a things called plug-ins, components, APIs) with your ecommerce website is preferable
  • some suggest a plain text email rather than a pretty html email works better (this school of thought uses plain emails because of poor html presentation in customers’ email software and it also appears more personal)
  • some suggest mid week is better than weekends, Monday or Friday.
  • do A/B split testing to test different ideas e.g. send half the list with one subject line and half with another to see which works better, then this becomes your control and you try and beat it next time with a new subject (continuous improvement)
  • have a email subscription form on every page of your website and ask customers to opt-in to receiving messages pre or post purchase.

The key point though is to turn expensive acquisition of new customers into profitable long term customers by building a relationship via email. You can also do this with blogs, facebook and twitter but email is still the proven method.

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I’ll be going over these tips in the next few posts

But first let’s do some math. It’s real simple math:

List size * Delivery rate % * Open rate % * Click through rate % * Conversion rate % * Order value $ = Value of one email mail out

Big List Small but responsive list Notes
10,000 1,000 List size – # of subscribers
80% 90% * Delivery rate – emails that still exist at time of sending
20% 60% * Open rate – emails opened and not immediately deleted or put in spam folder
20% 60% * Click through rate – readers actually click on link to your website
1% 3% * Conversion rate – readers who then buy something
$80 $120 * Average order size – a case perhaps
$256 $1,166 = Total Order Value – value of this mail out

Notice how the list that is 10 times smaller has an order value four times bigger!

So it’s not size of your list it’s what you do with it (no joke intended).

You could go further: if you send out 24 great emails to a responsive list then that’s $27,000, vs 6 poor emails to an uninterested list of $1500 per annum

But the math gets even worse

It may cost $5 to get a customer using Adwords i.e. $1 per click * 500 clicks * 1% conversion = $10 (no more math in this post I promise!).

But the margin on the sale is only $5, so you’re no further ahead unless you get repeat sales (note if you do then you can afford to pay these advertising costs and start to dominate your local market).

So in this series of posts I’m not going to look at list size but how to make your list more responsive

Got any tips before I start?

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