Why Email Marketing?

Everyone has one. Some have many. Email addresses are a type of currency. They cost nothing to give out, but their value to the recipient is “priceless”… well not quite, but very valuable. In fact, after your existing customers, getting emails from prospective future customers is your most valuable asset.

Why discuss email marketing at all? There are so many other marketing subjects of interest i.e. Loyalty clubs, social media, mobile marketing, winery PR. Mid-year planning is a good time to get back to the basics, and email is one of the primary branches of the content tree, leading to many other points of connection with consumers. I still meet people who are just getting started with social media, mobile devices and other tech, but I know for a fact that just about everyone already has an email address.

The value of email is to facilitate communications and build brand loyalty. It is likely that some form of social media will replace email communications in the future. Evidence of this is generational. My mother who is in her 80’s doesn’t have email and can’t be bothered. My niece who is 15 may have an email address, but has only given me her phone number for texting.
There are several things I like about email marketing compared to social media (at least right now):

• Subscription is opt in and can easily be cancelled, so there is little risk for new followers

• Subscribers will receive your communication, unlike social posts which are now highly filtered

• Promote adding the winery email to address books, and your email will definitely land in Inboxes

• Email Marketing System (EMS) 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

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 how 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 are 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 this blog post where the balance of 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.

Content has become as important as the media through which it is conveyed; and targeted content even more so. Use strong Subject Lines to get build immediate curiosity as attention spans and reading time are so short these days. Segment your email lists and deliver content relevant to specific group interests. Shipping promos for out of state subscribers and local events for those in state are simple examples.

Newsletters are just one of many ways you can build customers and followers. It is critically important that your newsletter is consistent with your advertising, posts well on social media, sizes correctly on mobile devices and is easy to share. Additionally, you can create integration and build your emails lists with signup forms on your website and your social networks.

I see so many newsletters with content that seems very noisy and spammy with lots of pitches and sales promos. I get that, but your newsletter needs to appear educational. Use the 80/20 rule (Educate/Promote) and you’ll be fine. People will appreciate it, and when you do offer special deals they’ll take notice. Newsletter marketing will boost wines sales and the effect can be immediate.

CARL GIAVANTI has been involved in business marketing and public relations for almost 25-years; originally in technology, digital marketing and project management, and now as a winery marketing and media relations consultant. Carl partnered with Alan Goldfarb over 3 years ago to form a Winery PR Consultancy (www.CarlGiavantiConsulting.com/Media). Their clients are or have been in Napa Valley, the Carneros, Dry Creek Valley, Willamette Valley, and Columbia Valley.