Words Sell Wine
No question about it: you’ll sell more wine if you really pay attention to the words that make people take action. Used well, words will excite and motivate customers and convert sales. In my experience, I’ve found three simple habits that make my writing more powerful, effective, and action oriented. Let’s dive right in and look at them.
Not We and Ours. You and Yours.
Before you write a word, you really need to know who your customer is. If at all possible, you should try to segment your customer list by their wine preferences; what they actually buy. Then apply those insights to turn your copywriting focus away from you and on your customer.
Since we wine marketers love to describe our wines, why not use those descriptive terms to motivate, rather than just inform our customers? Rather than say “Our Zinfandel is full-bodied, with plush, ripe blackberry flavors and creamy oak notes”, how about “You like big, ripe Zins. You’re going to love ours.”
Dan Kennedy does a great job of explaining the “you, not me” approach in his book The Ultimate Sales Letter.
Not The Past. Now. Invert The Triangle.
We also tend to talk a lot about the past; how the grapes were grown, how the wine was made.
Don’t get me wrong; talking about how harvest went is an important part of telling a wine’s story. But it’s not the most important part. Getting someone to buy it is. You need to tell your customer why they should buy this wine, so get right to it.
A technique called the Inverted Triangle is a good tool for this. Rather than take a narrative approach to writing, beginning with the details at the top of the triangle such as how harvest went, try starting with the most important point by “turning the triangle“ upside down.
Instead of talking about the vintage first, start with the result. So, “Looking for a great sushi wine? Our Sauvignon Blanc hits all the right notes: bright, fresh, and lemony.” Then, down the road a bit, “We harvested early to get those crisp, snappy flavors.”
This classic book goes in depth about the inverted triangle, or pyramid.
Don’t Tell, Sell. The “So What Trick”
Features tell, benefits sell. When talking about your wines, focus on the benefit to your customer. Ask yourself, “so what?”. Feature: “Aged in two year old Limousin oak barrels”. So what? Benefit: “Silky smooth texture makes this a wine you know your friends will enjoy”. OK! Gotta have it.
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