Can A Bad Website Hurt Your Winery?


I kid you not! This is a real Yelp review I found while I was visiting winery sites and clicking through to Yelp reviews. This small California winery may be losing business to their tasting room because their website is outdated and hard to navigate! In this instance, the couple decided to visit anyway. They didn’t purchase anything, but was their experience already tainted because they judged the winery immediately by the website? Over a year later, the site is still the same and they do appear to be in business.How many other people looked at the site and made a pass to another winery that had a better website experience?

We all judge on first impressions. Does your winery website, which is the “hub” of your online presence, make the best first impression? Does it turn people away?

Industry experts have been pointing out that many wineries are spending more money from dirt to bottle production, but when it comes to bottle to glass..they give up! I concur based on my findings…..

In the past year, I have viewed EVERY winery website in California. When I came into the wine industry in 2004, I worked for a winery CRM software company, so I have been on both sides and wanted to see how things have changed since then.

I did informal research on a few key items:

1. How updated was the site and how easy is it to use?
So many sites looked like they had not been touched since they were first built..maybe 1999?! They still function, but they look tired, are not mobile friendly and some didn’t even have shopping 2017!! Some sites you really had to dig around to see if they were still in business because the site info seemed out of date. I am probably not the only one who wondered that! I saw newer and older sites that had poor navigation experience. One pet peeve I have is when you have a separate Wines and Shop page. You don’t need both. Make sure you can buy from ANY page your wines are on! Think how easy it is to shop on Amazon with one click and model that!

2. Is it mobile friendly?
Again, the old sites that were not responsive for mobile devices. Even some newer (well within this decade new) were not responsive. There is no excuse as this technology has been around long enough to be upgraded. Given that over 50% of emails are opened on mobile devices and almost 30% of transactions occur on mobile devices in the U.S., this is not something to overlook! Over 80% people polled over 2016 holiday shopping season, said they gave up on a bad mobile shopping experience and shopped elsewhere. Google now also penalizes websites in search that are not mobile optimized!

3. Did the site have a shopping cart?
Most sites do have carts these days, but surprising to see how many still asked customers to fill out an order form and fax it in or call during business hours. With the internet, business hours are 24/7. I personally do a lot of my online shopping at 2am in my pajamas. I may not take the time to call after your tasting room opens to order. If you have a shopping cart, make sure it works and is easy to use.

4. Is there a wine club member log in?
Well, if they had a shopping cart, they MAY also have a special member log in…but perhaps not. This may not have been as obvious unless I was a member with a login. Many sites with a login that I could shop through, did not appear to have new features like letting members log in and update their information or add/change their upcoming club orders. This is relatively new and useful feature winery CRM platforms have been adding, especially the wine club shipment changes. So many wineries are missing out on the opportunity to upsell.

5. Is there a mailing list signup form?
Shockingly, many websites don’t even bother to try and collect data from visitors! I did a study last year of my local county 30 days before I taught an e-mail marketing seminar in my area. I visited 219 local winery websites. If they had a website e-mail sign up, I joined. Out of 219 I visited, only 127 had a sign-up form. I waited 30 days for e-mails and ticked them off on a spreadsheet when I received one and counted if I received more than one. In 30 days, I SHOULD have received at least one e-mail from each winery. A quick welcome (and not just the one generated by their e-mail platform to confirm my sign-up). Nope! Out of the 127, only 27 sent me any e-mail at all! 7 of those sent a few e-mails. A third, by chance, of those wineries actually had attended my seminar! E-mail has the HIGHEST ROI of any marketing tool…for every $1 spent on e-mail marketing, there is a $44 ROI! Do YOU collect data?

6. Were social media links on the site?
If you have social media accounts and they are not even linked on the site, I wonder if you care at all about social media! This could also show the “age” of your site. You should encourage people to visit your social platforms and encourage people visiting your social platforms to visit your website!



So what are the current options out there if you need a website refresh?  There are at least half a dozen winery specific CRM’s out there of all sizes, options and costs. I don’t like to give a blanket recommendation on specific CRMs because each winery’s needs are different. When I perform audits, I evaluate each winery’s needs before I suggest any options. Some points to consider when choosing the best option for your winery:

1. Size of your winery
Most CRMS charge based on your case production or dollar sales you run through the system. This could make some options costlier for you. You may need fulfillment, compliance, inventory, accounting and other features that other wineries don’t.

2. Size of your wine club
See above. Larger clubs mean more dollars run through system a few times a year which could cause your monthly fee to go up.Some CRM’s may allow members to update their information and change club options. Some may not.

3. Do you need a POS system?
Most CRM’s offer a POS system. Prices and features may vary. What equipment will you need? Desktops, laptops, tablets? Will it require reliable WiFi to operate? Will you need printers for receipts.

4. Who Will Design Your Website?
Some CRM’s may assist with this, others do not. Some offer multiple templates to choose from to make it quick and easy. Others may require you to have a completed website to “bolt on” to their shopping cart. You have to take this into consideration with cost and time.

5. What’s Your Budget?
This is always a tough one to get an honest answer. Most businesses I have audited tell me they have nothing to spend on a new website! Today your choices vary. You could keep it simple and just inexpensively build a WordPress site, slap on a shopping cart and move on. You won’t have the wine club tools, POS, compliance, etc but you at least have a updated, mobile friendly site with a shopping cart. There are also a few of the winery CRM’s that are offering low monthly fees for smaller wineries ($150-$350/month) vs $1,000+/month. For smaller wineries with small staff, I always say you need to let the technology do all the work for you.

What are you losing by not having a website that reflects your winery, your wine and your tasting experience?

Question: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to updating your website? You can leave a comment by clicking here


Need A Review of  Your Website and DTC Marketing  Strategies?

If you would like a free evaluation of your website, current social media program, e-mail marketing, or other aspects of your DTC marketing program, sign up for the 2-Hr, no obligation marketing audit.

Only 4 audits are scheduled per month. We will fill slots in order they are received.

  Schedule An Audit

Win Over Wine Club Members With Your Welcome!

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.

Top Social Media Mistakes-Planning, Content, Images and More

Social media has become a powerful marketing tool for the wine industry in the last decade. I remember when I was working for a wine industry technology company when social media was first introduced and we had to to explain to our winery clients they would have to start tweeting about wine. A few head scratches and denials later, the wine industry embraced social media as a way to engage their existing customers and gain new ones.

Along the way, we have learned there is a right and wrong way to add social media to the marketing mix for your business. I focused on the top basic mistakes made that are made by novices and experienced alike.

Are you making any of these mistakes?

Top Social Media Mistakes-Planning, Content, Images and More


Mistake #1 – No Plan!
Social media started out as a way to personally communicate with people. It’s spontaneous by nature, but as a business, you should have a plan for MOST of your social media activity. I say MOST because you will have spontaneous items to share all the time, but the bulk of your calendar should be planned ahead.



Mistake #2 – Not Committing The Time
Do you have the time and resources to commit to social media on a daily and weekly basis? You should have a minimum of 3-5 dedicated hours per week minimum. Remember it is not just putting up a few posts or pictures and calling it a day. Social media management involves engaging your own audience, participating in discussions, responding to comments or questions, looking for content to share, creating new content and analyzing your platforms to see what is working or not. Hours may vary, but make sure you can commit before you dive in.


Mistake #3 – Not picking the right social media platforms
Do you use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn? Do you blog and have a newsletter? Your choices of platforms to participate should depend on your demographic. Is your demographic older? Younger? Take the time to research where your audience would be. Don’t spread yourself too thin. It is better to do a few well than many poorly. Start with a couple and add on as time and resources allow.


Mistake #4- Not having enough diverse content
If you don’t plan ahead, it is easy to fall into a trap of posting the same content over and over. How many updates do your followers need of the vines growing or the same old pictures of grapes being picked? You can post about events, new releases, employee stories, guest visits, winery animals, wine education, wine humor, information about your area. You have a lot of options. Make sure you are putting all ideas on a calendar so you can plan the content ahead of time.

 Mistake # 5- Not having a similar “voice” across all platforms and posts.
Your posting style should always reflect your business. You want a single voice on your platforms that it is appropriate to your audience. For example, if you have an older demographic, you may turn them off by using a lot of slang that a younger generation may use. You also don’t want to be too casual if your company is not as casual.  Make sure if you have multiple people posting for you within your company, that everyone knows what that “voice” is so they stay consistent.


Mistake #6 – You don’t post at the right times for your audience and platform
You want to post on the platform when your followers are there to engage with.  Each platform can tell you the best time to post for that platform, which usually works for most people, but pay attention to when YOUR followers are commenting, sharing, liking…in other words…engaging with your posts! Here is a link to give you the usual proper posting times for each platform..but make sure you check and make sure you have your audience most engaged at the right times!


Mistake #7– ALL you do is SELL, SELL, SELL!
You are in a business to sell your products or services, so it is natural to want to push the sale all the time. But this practice could turn off your fans and followers. The general rule of thumb is 4 out of 5 posts should be non-sales posts.



Mistake #8–You NEVER ask for the business
This is the flip side of “Mistake #6” and I see this just as often. It is easy to get too friendly and off-topic on social media and forget that the primary purpose of you using social media was to support your business.



Mistake #9-You don’t engage and respond
Ohhhh…this one is painful to witness! Someone comments on a post and the company never responds. Good or bad, you should always engage in your posts. Even a simple ‘Thank You’ can go along way. When it is a customer service issue, you should have a plan on how to respond. Negative and positive reviews should be handled with a public or private comment. NEVER ignore. Always look at it as a chance to make improvements and win back customers!



Mistake #10 – You don’t look at your analytics
Stop every now and then to measure your success, not just overall but piece-by-piece. Which types of posts get the most interactions and which are bombs? What sort of feedback is your community giving you? Keep doing the things that work and change the things that do not. There is an art and science to what, when, how and where to post.



Mistake #11- You Don’t Listen!
Are you “Listening” to social chatter about your business or industry? Using tools like Hootsuite, Google Alerts or winery specific listening tools like AveroBuzz (formerly known as Vintank), you can listen to anyone talking about your brand or industry keywords (ie. Napa chardonnay, Paso Robles wineries). Listening to industry keyword terms can help get people to your door, look for tasting room or wine trends or give you marketing ideas! Learn to listen!!


Mistake #12 – You Give Up Too Soon!
Social media takes time! It is about relationship building and there is no shortcut to building relationships that result in community. I have heard way too many business owners say “I tried social media once, but there was no ROI”. There is an ROI, but the investment window is longer than the 30 days you gave it. You need to make a solid 6-month commitment to social media to start getting the significant returns you had hoped for. The revenue is in the relationship!

What About The Images?

And now for the visual mistakes of social media and marketing….Gina Cinardo of Ginici Studios in San Luis Obispo  is a lifestyle and commercial photographer specializing in personal branding and marketing. She offers photography sessions for wineries to give them a great portfolio of images to use for social media and marketing.  She shared with me a few of her top visual mistakes not to make:

Visual Mistake #1-Don’t use images that are too busy, out of focus, or low resolution

You really like a particular photo your friend took with their phone. However, if it is too busy or too fuzzy, it is just hard to see. People may not get the message and may even get irritated because of the lack of quality of the image. This will reflect poorly on your company and will give off an unprofessional vibe from your viewers first impression.

Make every photograph you use online and/or in your printed marketing clean and clear. Images need to be in sharp focus right at the area of interest.  Peoples eyes should be in focus or a wine bottle, the label, sharp focus. Your photographs should also be simple and not cluttered. If there is too much going on in the background it will detract your viewers eyes from the primary point of interest. In this case, the message you are trying to get across could be lost or ineffective.

Finally, your photographs should have the proper resolution for your uses. You may have gotten photographs from other people and did not realize they sent you a low resolution image. Or maybe you’ve sized and reused an image so many times you’ve lost track of the original. Really small images will look pixelated in your presentation when you go larger than what the image will print. Common rule of thumb: pixel dimensions ÷ 250 = largest size in inches at which you can print. Contact me for a more detailed explanation, I love to geek out on tech stuff like this.

Visual Mistake #2-Don’t allow employees to post or tag the winery in posts that may reflect poorly on your business

Make sure you have guidelines clearly spelled out to your employees who are tasked with publishing on your social media accounts as well as other employees who may tag the business simply because they work their. I heard a story about an employee posting drunk selfies with a wine bottle from her place of employment and tagged the winery in the picture. The picture was not at the winery and was on her own time, but tagging the winery made it more visible to the business and customers which may not be want you want to portray. Firm guidelines will help avoid these situations. Make sure you approve photos for use in marketing.

Visual Mistake #3-Don’t use images that are copyrighted

There are photographs are all over the internet and social media. If you use another persons photograph for marketing you better know you have the right to use that image. There are many stock agencies online that offer royalty free images. However, if your organization has events it is worth the investment to hire a professional photographer. Just be clear what you want.  Photographs of the event itself can produce great images to market future events. You are selling the experience. People should be happy and having fun. While you have a professional at your location ask them to shoot details of your venue and/or organization. This can include products, the exterior of the building, the grounds and people. All of those images can be used in multiple campaigns. Use them on your social media, blogs, printed marketing, trade shows and more.

If you are interested in hiring Ginici Studios for a marketing session contact her and tell her Patty sent you. She has created special packages for wineries to photograph wine club events, wineries, winery staff and more.

2-Hour DTC Marketing Audit

If you would like an evaluation of your current social media program, e-mail marketing, website or other aspect of your DTC marketing program, sign up for my 2-hr DTC Marketing Audit. You can visit my Audit page to learn more and schedule an audit.

ROI of E-Mail Marketing For Wineries

“Email marketing has an ROI of 3800%.” – Direct Marketing Association

“When it comes to purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message, email has the highest conversion rate (66%), when compared to social, direct mail and more.” – Direct Marketing Association

With those statistics, I should just “drop the mic” now and walk away, right? So why is email marketing still an afterthought for many wineries? Why do we still encounter wineries not even collecting customer data online or in the tasting rooms so they can send emails to anyone willing to hand over their information?

Today’s World of Email Marketing

We love it and we hate it. We complain about our overflowing inboxes, but we still spend hours each day reading through our emails. Email marketing has changed, but not as far as the basics. You receive an email. Offer looks compelling. You click through. You decide to buy or not. What has changed is HOW you are reading your emails. Back in the day, we all read emails on our desktop computer. Now you have your inbox literally in your hands all day! According to Campaign Monitor, over 53% of emails are now opened on mobile devices with the iphone being the most popular device for subscribers to open their email the first time. Are your emails mobile friendly? Is your website mobile friendly? If not, it’s long past time to change that!

Emails and the Customer Journey

I like to look at email marketing as a journey on a bus with each customer. Guest comes into the tasting room and look to you to tell them how cool it would be to hop on your bus. You do that by sharing your wine, your story, your facility, etc. You try and get them to buy a ticket for a long journey (the wine club). Some will take that ticket immediately and join. Others may some day want that longer bus ride with you but are not ready at that moment. They may just hop on and off the bus with a day pass. They may buy a few bottles right now and you might be able to get them to engage further now and then. Others may just want to hop on the bus once and hop off. You need to be collecting data for EVERY person who is willing to share it so you can get them on the bus with you for however long or short a journey they are willing to take. You keep them on the bus by engaging them with emails, social media, events, etc.

The Next Step-Email Marketing Automation

While not entirely new, the wine industry is just catching up with the concept of marketing automation. The ability to automate marketing processes, especially email so you can more easily build customer journeys and not just do one email blast to everyone. Examples of email marketing automation is the ability to create “ if this, than that” type automations. You send an email out to everyone, but set up an automation to follow up with everyone who didn’t open the email a few days later. Or resend a new email to everyone who opened, but didn’t click through. So based on behaviors of the subscribers, you can automate the process to continue the journey with them. Other examples of automation are birthday or anniversary emails that are set up to send to everyone you have those important dates for. You can also set up a welcome series for club members to welcome them to the club. Vin65 currently offers these type of automated emails in their “action email tools” and other winery CRM platforms are just starting to scratch the surface of offering the tools. I recently talked to Stephen Mutch, founder of winery CRM platform SimplyCMS, about marketing automation tools and he has recently added these features into his platform. I am sure we will see other platforms follow suit as the demand grows in the industry for taking e-mail marketing to the next level!

Start your engine and get the bus moving!

Now that you are convinced of the great conversion and ROI statistics, you are ready to get started. So what should you do first?

  • Start collecting data in the tasting room and online. You most likely are collecting wine club member information already, but make sure you have some type of way to collect from everyone who comes in. How you do it is up to you; an old fashion sign up form, guest book, POS receipt signup, digital tablet kiosk.
  • Create an e-mail marketing calendar. Sit down every year in November or December and plan out the coming year. Get all the national holidays, local and regional events, new release dates and winery events on a calendar. Next look at each month and what you want to feature. Plan out the exact days for email campaigns to go out.
  • Figure out which messages will go to which segment of your list. Wine club members may get different offers than non-members. You can try different emails to different segments of the list (A/B testing). If you are sending automated follow up emails, you will need to figure out what the follow up messages are if different from the original. In other words, TEST, TEST, TEST!

The actual sending of emails will vary by your available staff and tools you have available. If your winery CRM platform does not have built in basic emails tools and/or marketing automation tools, there are email platforms out there like Vertical Response, Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, etc. that can get you started with the basics. Whether you have in an in house marketing person or hire an outside professional to help, make sure you stick to your calendar and be consistent in engaging your “bus riders” to keep them on the journey with you as long as possible!

If you would like a complimentary 2 hour DTC Marketing Audit of your winery, please contact me.


Originally published in Grapevine Magazine March/April 2016 Issue 

“This article is an update from Part One which I shared with The Grapevine Magazine readers in July 2015. It’s my feeling that email marketing is more important than ever as a strategic part of your DTC Marketing programs.The Persistence and Benefits of Email Marketing.” Carl Giavanti

Co-Authored by Carl Giavanti & Patty Ross

Why does email marketing persist? I ask this because there are so many other exciting marketing subjects such as next gen wine clubs, experienced based tasting room programs, paid advertising on social media platforms, text marketing, mobile marketing, and Winery PR. To paraphrase, it appears that the death of email marketing has been greatly exaggerated. And here’s why – Patty Ross, a DTC Consultant Network member, and owner of Virtually For You says “For every $1.00 invested, email marketing is shown to return $44.25 according to a study by EmailExpert on the ROI of email marketing. It has the highest conversion rate by far of any other form of direct marketing.”

Email marketing persists because it’s affordable and indispensable to your DTC success; and email marketing is one of the best ways to facilitate communications and build brand loyalty; and to promote either owned content (your website, blog, photos, videos, etc.), or to use earned media (your 3rd party endorsements, media coverage, accolades). It also persists because it is low risk to subscribers, permission based and your followers will receive information related to their specific interests.

Benefits of Email Marketing:

  • Subscription is opt in and can easily be cancelled, so there is little risk for new followers
  • Subscribers will receive your communications, unlike social posts which are now highly filtered
  • Can promote adding your email to address books, and your email will definitely land in Inboxes
  • Email Marketing System publishing is now highly integrated with social media networks
  • Analytics and Tracking allow you to see results (opens, clicks, bounces), so you can take action
  • Multiple collection options include paper signup forms, iPad or Tablets, your website, and POS

How to Get Started

If you are not already sending emails to your lists, start by creating an annual marketing calendar. Map out the full year, considering all holidays, winery club events, new releases and area events you may be involved in. Then fill in the calendar with promotions you may typically run like Black Friday specials, library releases, etc. Putting your winery business on a calendar ahead of time also helps you see what you might need to plan to attract new visitors and bring in wine club members on a regular basis. This may seem basic, but many wineries tend to operate “on the fly” and give up when they run out of ideas. You can always adjust the plan as you add events or promotions, but get the foundation down.

Test, Test, Analyze and Test

Once you start sending emails, make sure you test different types of emails, do split tests known as A/B testing to see what different approaches work best and analyze the results so you can adjust your approach next time. All E-Mail Marketing platforms provide basic analytics like open and click through rates. You can also link your emails to Google Analytics and create “goals” to follow the links and clicks all the way to a sale. You should know the basics of Opens, Clicks and Conversions to help you get the most out of your email campaigns.

All of this brings me to the point of this article. Email Marketing is a proven driver of actions you want your current and prospective customers to take. It’s inexpensive and you can segment and target your audience specific to their interests and track the results. If your winery has a tasting room, this is where you drive traffic to promote your wines, and where you’ll be able to really connect with people. And, if subscribers are out of state, you can communicate by pointing them to your website and hope to transact business there. If you’re one of my email subscribers and read this article in my next newsletter, I’ll suggest that you “click here to read more”, which takes you out to my website blog page where this article resides. I want you to read the conclusion of this article on my website, which is my point here. It’s difficult to sell wine with newsletters and social media, but you can create calls to action that take your customers where you can sell wine, either in person or on your website.

Successful Content Marketing is imperative for small producers to build their brands and to sell with direct to consumer. Targeted content increases the likelihood of success. Use strong Subject Lines to build immediate curiosity as attention spans and reading times are so short these days. Segment your email lists and deliver content relevant to specific group’s interests. Shipping promos for out of state subscribers and local events for those in state are simple examples.

How many email subscribers do you need? The answer is as many as you can get, and more specifically a minimum of 1,000 to 5,000 are good goals. If you aren’t already incenting your staff to sell signups, please do so. I attended the 2016 DTC Wine Symposium and the range of spiffs paid per signup was reported as $1-$5.00 each. Sound like a lot? Would you pay $2.50 for a return on investment of $44.25? You bet you would.

Be Consistent!

I can never say that enough. Consistency is truly the key when it comes to e-mail marketing. Don’t send out one email and then give up. Don’t be afraid to send more emails to general interest subscribers; and your club members want to hear beyond reminders to update their credit card. Use the 80/20 rule (Educate/Promote) and you’ll be fine. Your subscribers will appreciate it, and when you do offer special deals they’ll take notice. And don’t relegate e-mail marketing duties to your already busy wine club or tasting room manager where the job of sending e-mails usually falls behind taking care of visitors, doing tours and washing glasses. Find a dedicated person to help you keep the calendar on track! Newsletter marketing will boost wines sales and the effects can be immediate.

CARL GIAVANTI has been involved in business marketing and public relations for over 25-years; originally in technology, digital marketing and project management, and now as a winery media relations consultant. Carl started by focusing on DTC Marketing for wineries 7 years ago, and formed a Winery PR Consultancy over 4 years ago ( Clients are or have been in Napa Valley, the Carneros, Willamette Valley, and the Columbia Gorge.

PATTY ROSS, owner of Virtually For You ( has been assisting wineries and other small businesses with digital marketing, social media, email marketing, tasting room support and wine club logistics for almost 15 years. Patty’s has helped winery clients in Napa, Sonoma, Monterey, Mendocino and Paso Robles, and currently resides on the Central Coast of California.


Stay Informed!
Get News, Events and Blog Updates First
We respect your privacy.