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Individual Approaches to Email Marketing

Benchmark’s Winery Email Marketing

With the variety in the number of wineries comes the differences in the approaches, with each winery having their own approach targeted to their specific product mix and clientele.

Targeted Email Campaigns Through Segmentation
Unlike that remarkable 86% of all reporting wineries, Canyon Wind Cellars in Palisade, Colorado, maintains meticulous control over their segmentation, differentiating the customers who subscribe on their online signup form from those who express an interest in receiving their newsletter at the many events the winery participates in. Jay Christianson, on Canyon Wind Cellars' marketing team, reports that the winery tests emails and though they term the success rate of their various new promotions sometimes unpredictable, they are able to generate a strongly above average open and click-through rates.

Email Campaign Personalization
Alpha Omega Winery in Rutherford, California is a committed believer in email campaigns and their remarkable return on investment. The winery states that their ROI is "very high" as their email campaigns are successful in generating significant sales. The winery has spent considerable time and effort to build up a strong wine club membership: Wine Club Manager Bruce Donsker emphasizes the value of turning email marketing into a personal conversation, as the winery receives "very good returns by tailoring our emails to each customer as an individual and not as a mass mailing. We treat our customers as part of our family." Alpha Omega Winery is also aware of the importance of simplifying and concentrating the email content. "Keep the message simple," states Mr. Donsker. "People are getting tired of long emails and do not have the time."
Offering Email Discounts Works
The development of their own wine club is the key to Ampelos Cellars' email successes in Lompoc, California. Their quarterly email campaign is paralleled by a specific email newsletter directed to wine club members. Co-owner Rebecca Work reports that discount and special offers play a strong role in their market accomplishments as "two for one" wine bottle offers, 30% off discounts, and a variety of sales primarily drive their responses.

Offering promotional sale pricing works well for Calstar Cellars in Santa Rosa, California. Winemaker Rick Davis reports that his winery discounts new wine releases through their email campaigns. At Calicaro Wine based in San Francisco, owner Dave Ball says that the winery's email sales are driven by "offering special pricing, bonuses over and above regular purchases such as an extra bottle, as well as free shipping." Giulio Battaglini, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Battaglini Estate Winery in Santa Rosa, California, sums up the value of discounts and special pricing in a very direct manner: "usually the lower the price, the more successful the promotion in terms of sales."

Seasonal Marketing & Reinforcing Limited Availabilty
The informational aspect is also harnessed by Boyd's Cardinal Hollow Winery in North Wales, Pennsylvania, as they tend to concentrate on discussions of the winery's different types of wines and any new releases the season may bring. Owner Christopher Boyd also uses the winery's campaign to inform readers of popular wines that they have just sold out of. The winery has found particular success in soliciting signups at their participation at farmers' markets in the local greater Philadelphia area. They do not segment their list at all, providing their informative newsletter to all subscribers, and this approach has led them to achieve a respectable open rate.
Being Exclusive Works for Some
A winery can be a highly exclusive niche business catering to a rarefied clientele. Victor Gallegos, General Manager & Director of Winemaking at Sea Smoke Cellars in Lompoc, California, states that the winery's "list members receive an email each spring informing them of their allocations for that vintage. They purchase in spring and we ship in November upon release. Our wines are completely allocated and sold out prior to release." The winery does not engage in conventional email marketing, as Mr. Gallegos states that they "have a waiting list of three years to get to be a member of our wine list."