The winery business is a highly competitive and tightly held one, and although wineries were willing to supply statistical data for inclusion in our overviews, most were recalcitrant to have the figures directly attributed to them.
Over 150 Wineries Participated in this Survey
A total of 157 wineries involved in email marketing campaigns responded to survey requests, and a total of 21 wineries participated in separate interviews.
The respondents were primarily small or boutique wineries, with a total of 79% listing themselves in these categories against 19% medium and 2% large.
Winery Email Campaign Sending Frequency
Their email send frequency is primarily of a quarterly nature with 54% of wineries engaging in four times a year sends. Monthly sends contributed 30% of the total, with a seasonal or annual send totaling 7%. Given the seasonal nature of the wine industry, with specific harvest and release dates, it is not surprising that some smaller wineries tend to only conduct email promotions and marketing at times that coincide with their wine releases.
Winery Email Content Type
The content of the wineries' emails showed that the most common type is the combined informational and sale / discount format. This allowed the wineries to not only educate their subscribers on their offerings but also to provide incentives to purchase. Campaigns that involved sale / discount offers alone in a form of email coupons or basic notices totaled 16%, and purely informational emails with no element of sale /discount constituted 7% of the total.
How Wineries Obtain Email Subscribers
The sources of winery email campaign subscribers are varied, with promotions resulting in a total of 32% of the overall lists. These promotions leading to list signups run the gamut from traditional advertising to in-store displays. A subset of this promotional proportion is wine club members that most often commit to receiving specific wines as released. The small winery industry continues to be a face to face business, with fully 52% of the lists being constituted of email addresses collected individually, either right on location at the winery through visits, tours, and tastings; or at fairs, events, and contests.
Typical Winery Email Subscriber List Size
The overall size of the wineries' lists of email subscribers reflects the figures showing that almost four out of every five respondents are small enterprises. Fully 32% of the wineries had lists smaller than 1,000 email addresses, with 33% involving 1,000 to 3,000 email addresses, 24% tallying 3,000 to 5,000, and only 11% having more than 5,000 subscribers.
Winery List Segments
The most significant factor relating to the overall small size of the wineries sampled is the widespread lack of sophistication in advanced email techniques and understanding email metrics
. Fully 86% of all respondents did not segment their lists
in any way and sent their email newsletter campaigns across the board to everyone on their lists. Email metrics seem to be poorly understood as well, with 68% stating that they did not know what their open rates
were, and an overwhelming 89% not knowing their click-through rates.
Email Open Rates for Winery Campaigns
Of the respondents who did track their email metrics, fully 13% of them received an average of over 40% open rate, which is a very high percentage when norms across all industries are considered. 8% reported an open rate of 25% to 40%; 7% were receiving 15% to 25% open; and only 4% were getting less than 15%.
When only the reporting wineries that maintained email open rate metrics are considered, then a remarkable 40% of wineries were getting more than 40% of their emails opened; compared with 24% receiving a 25% to 40% open rate; 22% obtaining a 15% to 25% open; and only 14% reporting less than 15% of their emails opened.
Industry Open Rates
These figures tally up to indicate that wineries receive an average open rate of 31.3%. This compares favorably with the average open rate across all industries of 25.3%, and with the related industry categories of Manufacturing at 26.7%; Restaurant at 26.2%; and Retail at 27.6. Of the industries relevant to the wine business, only Food showed a higher open rate at 36.6%.
Winery Subscriber Click-Through Rates
Given that only 11% of reporting wineries were aware of their click-through rate, the sampling is extremely small for statistical purposes. 12% reported a click-through rate of over 20%, 35% obtained a 10% to 15% rate, 41% got 5% to 10% of their emails resulting in clicks, and 12% reported a smaller than 5% click through rate. It is difficult to make reliable determinations on such a relatively tiny sampling, but overall the rates for both open and click-throughs are well above general industry averages.
Versus Industry Click-Through Rates
These statistical results show wineries reporting a 12.8% click-through rate, which is almost three times the rate of 4.3% for all industries. The closest industry, Food, reports a 7.9% click-through rate, with Retail at 5.8%, Manufacturing at 4.9%, and Restaurant trailing far behind at 3.4%.