Perking Up Your Email Subject Lines

I received an email from a winery, the other day. As I receive lots of emails from wineries, I don’t always read them right away. However, the subject line caught my attention.

Email subject lines are not always designed to make you open them. Here are a few from wineries that have popped up in my Inbox lately:

• Spring Release Weekend • Need To Restock Your Wine Supply? • Have You Tried Our Selections? • Easter Wine Release • It’s Spring, Save 15%… • “Spring Release • One Day Sale • April Events

If I were a follower of any of these wineries I may well check out the offering (if I had the time). However, if it was not a winery I was particularly familiar with or did not usually buy from, I may not bother to even look.

However, I did get an email from a winery that caught my attention and I opened it to read the post. What I saw was, “We Climbed 1,400 Feet…” which was all that would fit into the size of my Inbox. However it was enough to make me want to find out what the people had climbed 1400 feet for. The whole subject line was: “We Climbed 1,400 Feet for the Best Pinot…” The post was about a vineyard that the winery in questions bought grapes from. The vineyard was at a 1,400 feet elevation. The post went on to describe the family who own the vineyard as well as the location (the facing, cool temps, bright light, etc.). Good job on the subject line and the post! It made me more interested in your winery.

An interesting subject line may bring (should bring) more guests to your site and possibly to your winery. Think about what you can say that is different. Some of the ideas for subject lines that encourage people to open the email include:

  • Make readers curious: See what we have in store for you
  • Alliteration: Catch a compelling Cab
  • Mystery: It’s all over on June 5th
  • Retarget: You missed a great wine (this is for people who abandon their cart)

Start thinking about email subject lines that can improve your sales and increase the connections between you and your customers.

A tip of the glass from me to you!


Words of Wisdom

Today (Monday, March 4) I read a Facebook post from Tina Caputo. For many years, Tina was the editor for Vineyard & Winery Management and she is a great writer. Tina had a really important point for any business looking to interest the media in their company or products, regardless of the type of media. Her post read:

This isn’t a rant just for wineries, but for any type of business that cares about being included in media features. Please, please, for the LOVE OF GOD, do not list info@ as your only email contact, or make people fill in one of those horrible online forms to get in touch with you. They make us feel like our messages are going into a black hole, because they usually are. OK, I’m done now.”

I wholehearted agree with Tina. In addition, it is not only the media that should be subjected to messages going into a black hole; it is also customers and prospective customers. While you may ask them to complete a form, make sure that, for those who don’t want to do that, there are other ways of getting in touch with you.

Lately, I was doing some research on a winery that wants my help in marketing their wine. The first thing I do when I am approached by a winery is to check out their website. After doing so, I went to “Contact Us.” There was the dreaded form for me to fill out. I completed the form and pushed the submit button. At that time, a message came up saying that the page was not available. There was an info at email option so I sent an email saying that I was unable to sign up for their list on their website. I did not hear from them, so after a week I tried again, still the page was not working. I then sent another email. It has been over two weeks now and I am still waiting.

At least I know why they are not selling any wine! No matter how good the wines, customers have choices and they will choose the wineries that treat them well and follow up.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

Searching For The Lost

If cases of wine were missing from your winery, would YOU start a search to find out what happened to them? Of course, you would. The idea of cases of wine disappearing without a trace is not good. After all, you have a lot of money tied up in the product.

So… what do you do when customers are missing (i.e. no longer buying from you)? Do you go searching for them to find out why? Customers may stop buying from you for many reasons. It may be that they have been busy and just haven’t had time. It could be that they were not treated well on their last visit or they may have been ill. There are many reasons for customers to stop buying, though if you don’t follow up to find out why you won’t get them back.

Fortunately, with CRM systems it is easier to research who is buying what, when and how. Use your CRM system to regularly check your customers and see who has stopped buying, lately.

If they are regular customers, pick up the phone and call them. You may say that you hadn’t seen or heard from them lately and wanted to check that everything was well. Your customers will appreciate the call and tell their friends that you called. One of the reasons that your regular customers are regular customers is that they like you. They will be gratified that you called.

If you don’t like the idea of picking up the phone, send an email or contact them through social media; you can private message them through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

You might even want to send a personal note. As hardly anyone does that anymore, it certainly will be memorable.

Once you find out why they no longer visit or buy from you (perhaps they have moved and cannot get wine shipped to that state or country), you have the option to offer an incentive to come back.

Whatever you decide to do, do something to re-engage with these customers.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

Keeping Front of Mind Awareness

In today’s world, people are inundated with information, advertising, and promotion about products. Without regular reminders of the benefits of your products or services, you may not have the top of mind awareness you need.

There are many ways to promote your wines, events, etc. Some of these methods are costly, while others can have little or no cost to you. However, regardless of the price of the promotional piece, it boils down to effectiveness. Are the promotions you are presenting effectively working for you and are they cost effective?

One of the most cost-effective and powerful ways to encourage customers to purchase more and potential customers to become buyers is through testimonials, reviews or comments from others about your wines. The people who have purchased and liked your wines and are willing to put in writing their opinions or experiences with your wines or events can and will bring you new customers.

How often are you asking your regular customers for their thoughts on a product they purchased from you? How many times, when a customer makes a comment (either in person or over the phone) do you ask them if you can use their comment in an advertising or promotional piece? My guess is, not as often as you should.

Any positive testimonial or comment can, with the agreement of the person who made the comment or wrote the testimonial, be used in your newsletters, advertising, promotion, social media, etc. to encourage new customers.

The people you ask for and use to endorse your wines don’t have to be celebrities. Your regular customers’ opinions are compelling in encouraging others to take a chance on your wines.

Start collecting these powerful and inexpensive testimonials today. Send emails to your best customers asking them for a quote about what part your wines play in their lives or how they like them. Ask contributors if you can use their names or initials with the contributions. Then start using these reviews or comments in all your marketing and promotional pieces.  Keep track of what works and use them again.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

Customer Differentiation

As human beings, we understand that in many ways we are all very much alike. We have the same basic needs for air, water, food, sunshine, etc. However, we like to think of ourselves as individuals, that we are unlike anyone else.  In a word – “unique.”

While many businesses small and large would prefer that people walk into their business, love the products, buy lots of them, stay connected and continue to buy for years to come… that’s not usually how it works. As customers, we are overloaded with different avenues through which we can buy products and one of the few things that makes one business stand out from another is service. How customers are treated when they choose to do business with us is the important thing to them.

Treating each guest or customer who shows an interest in your products or business as an individual, with distinct differences from others, is the best way to create more long-term customers and increase their dependency on your products.

The level of interaction that customers wish to have with your products or business varies by the type of product you have. If you do not wish to have lots of personal interaction with customers, stick to products that are more utilitarian. For example, if I buy a different dishwashing soap and I don’t particularly don’t like it, I will still probably use it until it is gone and it won’t affect my life too much.

However, if I am having an important dinner party and I buy a wine that does not suit the food I have prepared or I find the wine is corked, the negative consequences may be more pronounced.

Think about the people who buy wine from you the way you think about your wines. If you think your wines are special, remember that your customers are too. It is a rare winery that doesn’t think that the wines they make are a cut above the rest. If you think about your customers the same way you will use the same care and attention when interacting with your customers as you do with your wines.

Next week, the blog will continue to talk about the different consumer categories and how to sell to them.

A tip of the glass from me to you!