Congratulations! You have a new wine club member! They hopped on your bus for your winery journey!

Now what?

Do you give up on reaching out because you got them in the club? Do you leave them alone until the next club run?

Absolutely not!

This is one of the most critical steps in your wine club marketing program. If you mess this up, you could be leaving a vast sum of money on the table.

Don’t believe me? Check this out these statistics…..

It is 10 times more expensive to acquire a new customer compared with selling something to an existing customer.Repeat customers spend 67% more than new customers.

Treat your wine club members like royalty. Seriously. A 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.

But this is where I find wineries fall short. In all my years in the wine industry, wineries still tell me they are afraid to reach out to wine club members other than to charge them for wine because they are afraid of cancellations. Are you THAT winery as well? Perhaps they cancel because you DON’T reach don’t make them feel special..they are the forgotten family member who only hear from you when you want something..they are just a credit card number to you.

My rebuttal to wineries I hear this from is to GET OVER IT!  Reach out to your club members. Cancellations will happen. These are not your brand ambassadors. But the more you reach out and make them feel special, the more likely they will stay.

I joined three local wine clubs in the last year, by chance, a small, medium and larger winery. I rarely hear from them. I usually just get the “we are about to charge your card” email and the occasional event email. The one winery I have been in the longest, I stay because I do like their wine of course, but when I go to the winery, I feel appreciated at least in person. Their tasting room gal always remembers me, greets me with a smile..comments on my latest hair cut and asks if I want to sit on the patio with some cheese and wine..she keeps me on the bus!

So how do you welcome them onto the bus and keep them on for the long ride?

Start with a welcome series of emails!

Of course, most of you start with at least one welcome email after you get their application in your system, but after that initial email, keep it going. Some ideas for additional emails:

  • Offer them a special offer on exclusive one time only “welcome to the club” deal.
  • If you offer logo’d products like tees or hats, offer them at deeply discounted prices or offer a buy one get one free deal. This gets your member a club “uniform”. They wear it to feel like a family member and advertise your winery for you! You could also offer a keychain or other small token, but better to offer wearables for brand awareness.
  • Invite them to join you on social media. Remind them to use your hashtags(s)
  • Meet the staff! Share stories about the staff they met at the winery. If you track which staff member helped each customer and can segment, put them in a welcome series from that specific staff member.
  • Send food and wine pairings/recipes. Remind them of the many ways to enjoy your wine and encourage them to order more.
  • Remind them to bring guests in for complimentary tastings they receive as a benefit if you offer that. When they do make sure their guests are aware of the wine club benefits.
  • If you offer food , remind them of the offerings.
  • Share local resources. If you have community websites for local activities and events, send them links to encourage them to come back to the area and visit.

I would recommend keeping the emails non date specific..don’t include an events page as there may be a  time you have no events. You can always send specific event emails separate from the welcome series.

How many to include in a welcome series?

This is up to you. I have done up to 6. You can send one email every 3-4 days so you get this done within a month. Then you move them on to your regular email campaigns. Best way to set them up is using automation tools (Mailchimp and Constant Contact are two popular platforms that have automation tools. I use MailChimp as do most of my current clients)

Finally, make sure you check your campaign analytics. Are your emails getting good opens and clicks? Adjust emails based on results. You can change up the subjects of the series if you find you are not getting good results.

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