Top-5 Automated Text Campaigns for Wine Merchants

By:  Bryan St. Amant, Founder & CEO of VinterActive

If you’re like many wine marketers, your to-do list is a mile long. You need to post on social media, update your blog, manage your next event, and launch a new vintage of wine. And that’s only on the marketing side.

  With so many hats to wear, today’s wine merchants need any help they can get.

  That’s where automated SMS workflows can save the day with personalized messaging sent to the right customers at precisely the right time to generate game-changing results.

What are Automated SMS Workflows?

  In an ideal world, your best sales rep would stay in touch with every customer and reach out instantly when your winery can offer them something they value.

  Automated SMS workflows offer this same service by monitoring consumer behavior 24/7, then sending personalized text messages whenever your business can help individual consumers enjoy your brand.

  Fundamentally different from one-off ‘blasts’ sent to everyone on your list, automated SMS workflows are triggered when customers take a specific action, like asking for more information, ordering products, or joining your club.

  By using automated workflows, any wine merchant can offer their customers an increasingly rare experience simply by paying attention and catering to their unique needs. The result is a virtuous cycle of happier customers leading to more sales — without requiring more labor.

Ranking the Top-5 Automated SMS Campaigns Available for Wineries in 2023

  With wine merchants reporting 32 times better results using text messaging instead of email to reach their customers, the race is on to identify which SMS campaigns drive the most sales.

  So, our friends at Listrak analyzed 1.1 billion marketing texts sent across all industry segments to conclude that automated SMS messages triggered by customer behavior consistently outperform marketing blasts — generating 2-to-20 times more sales per text than typical broadcast messages.

  In their landmark report “2022 Benchmarks: Text Message Marketing,” Listrak identified the top 5 automated campaigns available to today’s wine merchants:

1.  Welcome Series

2.  Transactional Updates

3.  Shopping Cart Abandonment

4.  Browse Abandonment

5.  Post-Purchase Sequence

  The revenue generated by these campaigns averaged eight times more than the sales produced by typical text marketing blasts.

  Of course, these results shouldn’t surprise most wine marketers. Automated email campaigns also maximize sales compared to email blasts. It turns out that timing and relevance still plays a vital role in the success of direct marketing.

  So that’s why we’ve been advising our friends for years: “it’s time to get past the blast…”

Automated SMS Workflow #1: Welcome Series

  A welcome text is your chance to make a great first impression with new subscribers, wine club members, and recent guests.

  Research on human behavior shows consumers are most engaged when they first sign up to receive your messages. That’s why their experience in the first few weeks of your relationship can often determine the outcome.

  If you offer consumers many ways to engage your brand, sending a series of messages might make sense instead of a single text. New subscribers to your list might enjoy…

•  A link to your winery’s social media pages

•  Info on what new subscribers can expect

•  A thank-you gift for joining your text list

  A similar welcome sequence can work for new wine club members and retail customers by using autoresponders to send your SMS messages at specific intervals.

  However you harness the power of an automated welcome sequence, you’ll be profiting from one of the most productive marketing techniques available to today’s wine merchants.

Automated SMS Workflow #2: Transactional Texts

  While many wineries work with commerce systems that can trigger personalized text messages whenever customers place orders, make reservations, or expect a wine shipment, most wine merchants have yet to profit from transactional text messaging.

  Transactional messages like order confirmations, shipping notices, and appointment reminders are among the most popular texts sent to consumers by their favorite brands.

  For wine marketers looking to deliver a world-class customer experience, enabling your commerce system to trigger text messages opens a new channel of communication that works 24/7 to engage your best customers without adding to your workload.

  And for U.S. retailers, the sales revenue generated by transactional SMS messages averaged $1.16 for each text sent.

Automated SMS Workflow #3: Cart Recovery

  Savvy wine marketers know that repeat customers like wine club members and mailing list subscribers place most online wine orders.

  Yet, for every ten successful orders placed by repeat buyers, another seven orders are lost due to cart abandonment – when customers fill their cart but don’t complete the checkout process.

  Of course, consumers have many reasons to abandon the purchase process before completing their order. Extra costs like shipping, a frustrating checkout process, or even a slow website can send thirsty shoppers away before purchasing your wine.

  But did you know that 20-40% of these customers can be lured back with a thoughtful automated cart abandonment campaign?

  To put these results in perspective, a typical winery experiencing 70% cart abandonment and a 30% cart recovery rate will generate 20% more online sales than wineries that don’t use automated cart recovery techniques.

  For U.S. retailers, Listrak’s latest report shows that abandoned cart campaigns generate an average of $1.04 of incremental revenue for every text sent, nearly six times more than a typical SMS blast.

Automated SMS Workflow #4: Browse Abandonment

  Like shopping cart abandonment campaigns, automated texts sent to shoppers who spent time browsing your products, but didn’t add them to their carts, can also boost online sales by turning “window shoppers” into happy customers.

  Both offline and online, browse abandonment is often just a natural part of the purchasing process.

  According to sales conversion experts, for every customer adding a product to their online shopping cart, three more prospects view your products without taking further action.

  So, if your website can identify opt-in SMS subscribers who viewed your products without purchasing, browse abandonment campaigns offer wine marketers another opportunity to nudge them to buy.

  Some of the most productive browse abandonment campaigns reinforce consumer interest by featuring popular offers like…

•  product reviews

•  related products/services

•  special time-limited promotions

  And for U.S. retailers, the latest research on SMS marketing shows that browse abandonment campaigns generate an average of $0.56 of incremental revenue for every text sent, three times more than a typical SMS blast.

SMS Workflow #5: Post Purchase Sequence

  Since market research shows consumer interest peaks at the time of purchase, direct marketers can leverage this honeymoon period to build long-lasting relationships by launching an automated post-purchase campaign.

  After customers receive their wine, successful marketers often use personalized messages seeking customer feedback on the purchase process, suggesting food & wine pairings, asking for product reviews, or offering a chance to order more wine.

  While many post-purchase messages don’t focus directly on incremental sales, the latest research still shows that post-purchase campaigns generate an average of $0.51 of sales revenue for every text sent, 3-times more than an average SMS blast.

The Bottom Line on Automated SMS Wine Marketing Campaigns

  Most wine marketers face the same problem: balancing a long to-do list against limited time.

  Devoting resources to SMS messaging — the wine industry’s most productive DTC marketing channel — is an intelligent business decision. But setting up automated SMS campaigns is even better.

  For wine merchants looking to delight their customers with personalized service, engage more consumers without doing more work, and grow their business using the best practices of SMS wine marketing, automated text messaging is a proven path to success.

  By generating 2-to-20 times more sales revenue than typical text blasts, the five automated campaigns outlined in this article can help any wine merchant maximize their profits with SMS wine marketing.

About the Author

  Founder & CEO of VinterActive, Bryan St. Amant, is a pioneer in developing preference-based direct marketing and its successful application in the wine industry. His award-winning work has been featured in books, magazines, and seminars, including CFO Magazine, Inc., CNN Money, eMarketing Magazine, Integrated Direct Marketing, Direct Marketing Association, Wine Marketing Report, The Grapevine Magazine, and the Wine Industry Network. VinterActive is located in Windsor, California at 707-836-7295 or

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