Traffic Is Oxygen

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Email Lists

Or maybe it’s your bloodstream. Whatever the metaphor, it’s what keeps your business alive. Your business depends on traffic, and there are few better ways to build traffic than to build your mailing list. The Direct Marketing Association estimates that in 2018, ROI for email marketing was an eye-opening $38.00 for every dollar spent. Not only that, but 81% of responding businesses say their primary acquisition channel is email (Emarsys, 2018). Clearly, email marketing is an incredibly important part of your marketing mix.

So, how do we build our list? This is an area where I believe the wine industry has a lot of catching up to do with other CPG industries. We simply don’t employ many of the basic techniques that direct marketers typically use to capture consumer data and retain customers. Which is ironic, because our product, wine, captures the imagination of consumers in ways that few products can. Here are a few steps I like to take.

Talk To Your Customers

First, as wine marketers we enjoy opportunities to engage with our customers that other marketers only wish they had. For example, we can survey our customers. People love to talk about wine. Can you imagine if you had to do a survey of your customers in the deodorant industry? Not so fun (and no offensive, deodorant marketers). But wine? You can’t shut people up about it. A simple survey of what folks like about wine, what motivates them, where their pain points are, or what their learned behaviors are can start a conversation that will reap enormous benefits down the road. It can give us the data we need to create content that people want to consume, which translates to engagement, which results in people giving us their contact information. Surveys can be done online, in person in the tasting room, or at outside tastings (just keep it short, and give them something in return-you’ll be surprised how many people will fill out a simple questionnaire in exchange for an exclusive taste of a reserve wine, for example).

Create A Magnet

Once you’ve learned a little bit about what your potential customers are looking for, turn that into something actionable. Give them something that solves their problem. Maybe you’ve heard from your respondents that they’re not confident in picking wines they think they like. Why not create a little educational book that you can offer, to teach them the basics of how to select a wine? Or maybe they’ve told you they’re unsure about pairing wines with food. You could make a simple video that shows them some easy pointers, and throw in a recipe or two to boot. All you ask in return is that they sign up with their email.

Rinse, Repeat

Your content can be repurposed numerous times and this is when you can really start multiplying the effect of your email magnets. Use your content on your social media channels, with slight variations, to capture more emails. Images, of course, are critical, and you can test different images to see how your CTRs vary. In fact, test everything. Headlines, subheads, body copy; a couple of tenths of a percent difference in response rate can really make a difference. Another great tool is to set up landing pages on your site that make it easy for customers to sign up with you. The point is to make all of your content driven efforts work together, with a single purpose: gather emails.

The Most Important Point

What’s most important is to simply get started. Most of what I’ve talked about here is not new, nor is it particularly creative. I’m always surprised, though, by how little some of these techniques are used, and I’m convinced it’s simply because the hardest part is just getting started doing them. Yes, they take time, and planning. But once you realize how important your mailing list is, you’ll wonder why you didn’t spend more time on building it. Of course, I’m happy to help you with your list building efforts, by designing and implementing content strategies that work to sell more wine. Call me, text me or email me any time for a free hour’s consultation. I think you’ll find it worthwhile.

John Calmeyer 707.953.0719

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