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7 Reasons Email is the Best Way to Sell Wine & Spirits (Video)

When it comes to marketing for a winery or distillery, email has evolved with the times, and people often don't see the benefits of email in the current world. We're not talking newsletters, we're not talking emails pushing people to buy. We're talking about converting your website visitors to subscribers, nurturing these valuable "leads" and converting them (over time) to paying customers.

This video details several reasons why we value email so much and why every winery or craft distillery should too.

If you've been looking for someone to explain to you why you need to dedicate some resources to email -- look no further! Ben will make a believer out of you when it comes to unlocking the potential of this powerful resource for wineries and craft distilleries. He is an expert in the use of email marketing for wineries and craft distilleries!



The Anti-Newsletter Strategy

00:14 - Introduction
02:37 -
Reason #1: Low Cost/High Return
03:31 -
Reason #2: Measurable Results
04:33 -
Reason #3: First Party Data
05:22 -
Reason #4: Build Trust with Customers
06:29 -
Reason #5: Infinitely Scalable
07:33 -
Reason #6: Speak Directly to Customers
08:56 -
Reason #7: Automation
- Bonus Tips
13:16 -


Seven reasons why email is the best way to sell wine and spirits.


Now, before we dive into the seven reasons, which we will get to very shortly, I want to just set the stage for a little bit about what this video's about. There's a lot of misunderstanding about email and the use of email marketing when it comes to selling wine and spirits. Most people tend to think of newsletters or wine club pickup announcements or just sending out weekly emails, promoting, promoting, promoting, trying to sell stuff, sell stuff, sell stuff. This is not the modern way to use email marketing. I don't advocate any of those things. If you want to have a newsletter, great, but only send it to the people who really want to receive it. Don't just send it to everyone on your list. This video is not about how to use email marketing so much as it is why, and that is my goal to convince you today of why you should do it.

So don't think newsletters, don't think blasts to your entire list, don't think about an endless stream of promotional emails. Think instead about the modern way to use email to build customer relationships, to build trust, to nurture your audience as they move along on a journey. Email marketing is very much about moving people along on a journey, and email is great for this. You'll see when I get into the seven reasons.

Last thing I want to say about email marketing is, it's all about personalization, writing as if you're talking to just one person and sending content to people that are interested in that content. That's what personalization's all about. It's also about segmentation. Segmenting your list properly into customer avatars or customer personas where you can put the right content in front of the right person at the right stage of their journey.

And the last thing I want to say about it is automation. Automation is so huge because you set this stuff up once and it happens automatically whether you get out of bed in the morning or not. And the automation piece of email marketing is one of the reasons it's the lowest cost, highest return way of selling wine and spirits. Please stick around to the end of this video because I'm going to share three really important bonus tips that will help you get started on your journey of having success with email when it comes to selling wine and spirits.

Reason #1: Low Cost/High Return

Now, these seven reasons are not necessarily in any order. I just wanted to communicate all seven to you. So let's start with number one. The number one reason is, it is the lowest cost, highest return thing that you could possibly do to sell wine or spirits. Email marketing is cheap. The software is cheap. It costs nothing to create and send an email. It costs nothing to measure the results. It's pretty remarkable compared to other ways you could spend your time or money. It is low cost, but it's also high return. You can measure everything you do and we're going to talk about that because that's one of the other reasons, but you can see what's working and what's not. You can make adjustments on the fly. You can constantly increase the return on investment that you're getting. But pound for pound, you just can't beat email when it comes to low cost, high return way of selling.

But you got to learn to do it right, and I won't get into that today in this video, but a little time spent learning how to use it to sell is going to come back to you many times over.

Reason #2: Measurable Results

Now, the second reason that email is the best way to sell wine and spirits is you are able to measure the results. It is so fun to see how many people opened it, how many people clicked, what did they click on, what else have they clicked on? Most contemporary email marketing software like MailChimp or ConvertKit or HubSpot or Kajabi or Klaviyo, they all have amazing metrics, amazing analytics that will tell you what people are responding to when you send out emails. So there's so many great things you can do to measure the results of your campaign, and over time, these measurements really help you get better and better and better at it.

Think for example, open rates. It's great to know about open rates and click rates, but it's even better to know how many times did somebody look at something, what else did they look at? Are they clicking on things that are kind of building up a little history of what they're interested in? I mean, you really can follow the customer journey by all these data points that you're getting. So I love email marketing for its ability to measure the results that you're getting.

Reason #3: First Party Data

Now, the third reason email is the best way to sell wine and spirits is first party data. You may already have a very large following on social media, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, and that's great. The problem is you don't own those audiences. You don't own that data. They could be taken away from you anytime. I've got many stories of where this has happened. But when you have email data, when you have an email subscriber list of several thousand or 10,000, 20,000, you own that data. It can't be taken from you. If you back it up periodically, you can never lose it. It's just so important to have this first party data. It's yours, it's your audience, you own. It can't be taken away. That is so, so huge, which makes it one of the most important reasons that email is the best way to sell wine and spirits.

Reason #4: Build Trust with Customers

Now, the fourth reason that email is such a great way to sell wine and spirits is it allows you to build trust with your customers, whether they're consumers or trade. You have to understand that selling isn't about a single transaction. Having a buy now button on a social post or a order now or buy now in your email that you're sending out, this is not necessarily going to be very useful if you're doing it to a cold audience. Email marketing is about taking people on a journey. First, they don't know about you, then they discover you, then they subscribe to you, and then you have an opportunity to build trust over time and then you can start putting offers in front of people.

So there's just no better tool that I know of to build trust than to send emails that have great value, some information that entertains or educates or just plain adds value to the recipient. Sending out emails is not about promoting yourself all the time. It's a marvelous opportunity to build trust. Now I have other resources that you can go to learn how to build trust using email, but for today, I just want you to know this is an important reason why email is so great for selling wine and spirits.

Reason #5: Infinitely Scalable

The fifth reason that email is so great for selling wine and spirits is that it's infinitely scalable. There's no way I can oversell this to you. The scalability of email is what makes it so great. I don't have the right words to describe just how amazing this part of email marketing is. It's just as easy to send an email to 20,000 people as it is 500 people or even one for that matter.

There are a lot of things that are hard to scale. You can't scale the number of visitors that can come to your tasting, and we are limited by how far away they live. You can't control how many people come to a in-store tasting demo, and you can only do so many in-store tasting demos by yourself. Anytime the physical presence of a human being is involved, it's really hard to scale. But email is infinitely scalable, and that's one of the reasons it makes it so marvelous for selling wine and spirits. You can over time build a very large body of subscribers that you build trust with and then put offers in front of, and there's just no limit to how high you can go with those numbers.

Reason #6: Speak Directly to Customers

Now, the sixth reason that email is the best way to sell wine and spirits is about being able to speak directly to your customers, whether those customers are individual consumers or trade buyers. The three tier system has made it really difficult to speak directly to the end user and to speak to the third tier of the three tier system, which is the retailer and the restaurateur. But email makes it very easy to do that. Now you have to do it right, you have to cultivate trust. You can't be selling all the time because that turns people off. The number one reason people unsubscribe from list is because they get too many emails. The number two reason is the emails just aren't relevant to them. So if you understand how to use this tool properly, you're going to be able to build a marvelous rapport with your customers. And so being able to speak directly is so important.

Let's say you get a really good score and you want to tell everyone about it. Good luck getting your distributors to carry that message out to the trade. It's not going to happen. But if you had your own list of 500 or 600 trade buyers who regularly like to check in with you or hear from you and you let them know you just got a score and you can click right here for a sample, or you can click right here to place an order for a six-pack or whatever, this is incredibly powerful and it costs you nothing to send that email. So this ability to speak directly to people, build a relationship and trust is why email is such a powerful tool.

Reason #7: Automation

The seventh reason that email is the best way to sell wine and spirits has to do with automation. Email marketing can be automated. Everything from a automated welcome email to an automated nurture sequence to all different kind of subscription sequences that you can set up depending on how people behave, you set it up once and it's automated.

Let me give you an example. I have a lot of lead magnets on my website. One of them is our digital advertising cookbook. Somebody comes and grabs that cookbook and fills out the lead form, they automatically are subscribes to a nurture sequence that gives them more information about advertising on Facebook and Instagram. So they're going to get a lot more free content that's relevant to the piece of marketing that they grabbed. In this case, the Digital Ads Cookbook. So having that new subscriber automatically get follow up emails at a nice pace, this helps to nurture and build trust so that later we can put an offer in front of them and the chances of them buying are much higher because we've spent time building trust. But automation's what makes all that work.

Now, if you're like me, I have six, seven different lead magnets going on my website at any different time, six or seven ways you could sign up for my email list, and depending on the way that you sign up or what digital asset you grabbed, you will be subscribed to a series of emails that fire off automatically. This is gold. This is magic. Now, you set it up once and it just keeps running forever.

Bonus Tips

I promise at the beginning of the video, I would be providing three bonus tips to help you get started on this journey of having success using email to sell wine and spirits. So here we go.

My number one bonus tip is you need on your website multiple places for people to join your email list. A lot of people just have a little thing down on the footer of their website where you can sign up for our newsletter or join our newsletter. You're going to need multiple places to do that. You want to keep the number of fields that you have to fill out to a minimum. Ideally, it's just email address. If you want to go beyond that, use email address and first name, but that's it. Don't make them fill out a bunch of other information or you're going to really inhibit how many people are signing up. You want to have a lot of conversions of visitors to subscribers, and the best way to do that is have multiple places to join your list and keep the number of fields that you're requiring to a minimum.

So you might have a popup on your menu, inviting people to join, maybe throw in a little discount for their first order. Maybe you want to have different places on the website where people can find out how to join, and so multiple places making it easy for people to join is a huge step in the right direction.

The second bonus tip is you want to provide compelling reasons to join your email list. "Join our newsletter," I'm sorry, however concise it is, it's just not very compelling. So you need to add some reasons, like get 15% off your first order or stay informed. You might even make a promise like, "Join our email list. We promise not to send too many emails, and we'll only send the things that you're interested in." Give compelling reasons. "Stay up to speed on special offers." "Be the first to know about special events." I'm sure you're smart enough to figure out a few really compelling reasons that work for you and your brand and make sure that those reasons are part of the little signup form.

Now, the third bonus tip is setting up an automated welcome email. If anyone joins your email list from any of your multiple places to do it, you want to have a welcome email that fires off automatically. You set this up inside your email software like MailChimp or HubSpot or whatever. Just a simple email making them feel welcome. Don't try to sell them anything. It's way too early in the relationship for that. Now, if you offered a 15% bonus on their first order, that's okay to put that in that welcome email in a little button where they can go ahead and use that coupon. That's great. But try to go easy on being self-promoting. Make them feel welcome. Show them how to access your social pages. Invite them to go check you out on Instagram or Facebook. You might have a button that takes them back to your website. You might have just a few little extra resources. The idea is to make them feel welcome, should be brief, to the point and packed with value.


So there you have it. Seven reasons why email is the best way to sell wine and spirits. I would love to hear any comments you have below. Maybe you have an eighth and a ninth or a 10th reason you want to add to my list. Maybe you have other ideas that you want to share with the audience. That would be great. I answer all of the comments that you put down below, so feel free to chime in on any of this.

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