Email marketing has proven to be an incredibly effective tool for digital marketing, and this holds true for the wine industry, as well. In fact, researchers have estimated a median 122% return on investment for dollars spent on email marketing – which is higher than other digital marketing channels like social media.
With the lingering effects of Coronavirus on guests’ ability to visit wineries in person, the importance of email marketing for wine sales only continues to increase.
I know this firsthand, through my marketing work for wineries, where selling online has become paramount. We’ve tested different kinds of eblasts over the years and during the current pandemic, continually learning what leads our subscribers to purchase and what needs to be improved.
So how can your winery drive the most wine sales possible from your email marketing efforts? The tips below are a great place to start!
Keep Your Email Design Mobile Friendly
As we carry our mobile phones everywhere, marketing emails are increasingly opened first on a smartphone instead of on a computer. Campaign Monitor estimates that 47% of all people open emails on a mobile device. Therefore, it is crucial that your winery’s emails look just as good on a small vertical screen as they do on a wide laptop screen.
What does this mean, design wise? Avoid text that is too small and difficult to read on a phone screen. Consider how your images will look on a small screen. For example, super wide landscape images may not be as impactful on an iPhone. If your audience isn’t able to easily take in the information you’re sharing, regardless of device, they’ll be less likely to purchase wine from you or click over to your website.
Be Intentional About What Appears “Above The Fold”
The phrase “above the fold” comes from newspapers: What does a viewer see on the front page, above the bottom fold of the paper, that will entice them to open up the full story? In digital terms, the “fold” translates to the bottom of a user’s screen (whether on a phone or a computer).
What will your winery’s subscribers see when they first open your email but haven’t begun to scroll yet? Does the image or text there make them want to scroll? Grab your audience’s attention with striking photography or a headline they can’t pass up, be it for a wine promotion, new release, or your COVID reopening procedures.
Break Up The Text and Keep it Short
Think about how YOU as a consumer read a webpage or a marketing email. What’s your initial reaction when you come across a large wall of text without headings? It’s overwhelming, and time consuming.
When it comes to selling online, capturing viewers’ attention has to be quick, before they decide the effort isn’t worth their time and they move on to something else.
Think about how you can distill your email’s key messages down to the most essential parts. Then, find ways to break up the information into shorter, more easily digestible sections. With so many marketing emails competing for your customers’ attention in their inboxes, the ones that convey information in the most user-friendly ways will receive web traffic and sales.
Provide a Clear Call to Action
In marketing, it’s not enough to share the basic facts of a wine sale or other announcement. You must also be very direct about what you want people to do with that information, whether it’s “shop now,” “learn more,” or “make a reservation.”You’d be surprised by how such direct language can prompt an otherwise passive viewer into checking out your online store.
In addition to the words used, the design of your Call to Action (CTA) is equally important. Everything about the layout of your winery’s marketing emails should be driving the viewer’s eyeballs toward what you want them to do.
You might start with a nice image, then provide some explanatory text, then follow those with a larger button or bold text with the CTA. Using bright colors is another way to make sure your CTA stands out. Learn more creative ideas on Campaign Monitor.
Test, Test, Test
Finally, I couldn’t end these tips without the most important email marketing advice of all: test everything, multiple times, with multiple people! Eblasts are not like social media posts: you can’t edit them once they’ve been sent. That means that you need to spend a little extra time making sure every link works, everything is spelled right, and that your subject line looks okay in inboxes before sending to thousands of people.
Be sure to use your email marketing provider’s test function numerous times before hitting send. Even the most detail-oriented marketer can miss mistakes sometimes, so it’s also important to share your tests with another set of eyeballs before calling it final.
And don’t forget to open your test emails on your computer AND on a phone!
Meaghan Webster is an experienced wine and food photographer, social media manager, and designer. She’s worked as a marketing consultant for wineries and restaurants in DC, Virginia, Napa and NY. Learn more about her work at meaghanwebster.com or see her latest work and tips at instagram.com/meaghanwmarketing.