You’ve got a Wine Club. How do you take it to the next level?
This post was originally posted on Wine Direct.
Now that you’ve got your back-end, inventory and fulfillment up and running for your Wine Club, it’s time to focus on growth and retention!
Wine Clubs offer strong recurring revenue which is why 75 percent of wineries have one ¹. Here are some great strategies you can implement to help you achieve wine club success.
Define Your Story. Make people care.
This won’t be the first time you’ve heard it but leveraging your story and embracing what makes your winery unique is one of the best ways to resonate with your members. Tell your story loud and proud and turn your casual drinkers into your cheering squad. Every business is unique but ask yourself, what makes you, you!? Two great examples of confident brand stories are Gentleman Farmer Wines: “The human side of winemaking” and Mi Sueño Winery: “Taste the American dream”.
Communicate clearly the benefits of joining your club.
You’ll find that once you have a defined story, talking about your product becomes easier. Next comes the need to communicate the advantages of joining your club. We call it the 59 second rule ². In a mere 59 seconds a potential member should understand all your club advantages.
On your website: Use bullet points or pop-ups to showcase your offering. Remember to keep it short. For example: free shipping, exclusive wines for members only, private event invitations, special discounts, vintner celebration, etc. Keep the process easy. Consider having an enquiry button, as well as a purchase button. The enquiry button is a way for customers to reach out with questions so that they can become club members faster.
Every business is unique so ask yourself, what makes you, you!?
In the tasting room: Have printed handouts handy and your staff trained to talk about your Club with confidence. Demonstrate to visitors that they can re-live their wonderful tasting experience every few months when they are a member. Emphasize how they then become part of your story. Use quality visuals and keep it short and sweet.
In their shipment: Knowing your customer will be in a great mood upon opening their delivery, embrace the occasion and go the extra mile to make it extra thoughtful. You could, for example, include tasting notes inside each box.
This printed sheet should include individual bottle shots with tasting and reminder notes next to it. You might include the best drink by date, optimal degustation temperature, aging, level of exclusivity, pairing ideas & recipes. If you’re sending a shipment to your VIP members, why not try a handwritten thank you card or an invitation to a private event for your local members!
Show it, don’t just say it!
If a picture is worth a thousand words, make sure to share photos of your products whenever and wherever you can! For both existing and potential club members, imagery creates an evocative and emotional bond. It helps people connect to your brand. You can create a real community amongst your members by encouraging people to share what you are all about.
On your website: Keep your homepage fresh and engaging! More often than not, it’s one of the first places people are pointed to. Test and analyze banners or pop-ups with unique tracking codes to see what is making your customers click-through to purchase! Also, don’t forget to keep your social icons on every page and prioritize them on your contact page. You might not know which platform a customer relies on. For the Outshinery team, Instagram is a huge driver of traffic. For your winery, it might be Tripadvisor, Google, Facebook, Foursquare, Google, Instagram or Twitter. Make sure ALL your information is up-to-date! We recommend turning on notifications to allow prompt responses and comments.
In the tasting room: Chances are your visitors are having a great time, so why let the fun fade once they leave? Make the most of their experience by encouraging them to become a member right there, in the tasting room. Whether it’s a prompt by your staff, a bathroom poster or an iPad at the bar, you can leverage your imagery and a POS system to maximize sign ups on the spot.
Stand out and make people curious… or at least give them something to laugh about! Take note from Hard Row to Hoe Winery and their epic story of whimsy and hard work. Judy and Don, the owners, embraced their story and got creative in naming their Wine Club offerings Oar House and the Double Dip Program. (We also love the three-tiered Wine Club memberships offered by Bonny Doon!)
Segment. Analyze. Think ahead!
Give your club members special treatment! Don’t send the same email blast to your wine club members, casual buyers, or subscribers who have yet to purchase from you.
On your website and social media: Aim to get everything ready a month ahead of time. Capitalize on seasonality and quarterly shipping dates. You can even place your product into realistic scenes with Outshinery’s lifestyle images for example. These ready-to-use images are a game-changer for the industry. Discover how Macari Wines announced their Summer ready Rosé.
In the tasting room: Since 90% of club sign ups happen in the tasting room 3, you can immediately collect the information that will help you create relevant and personalized content. Train your staff to take notes in your CRM (Customer relationship management software).
The secrets to growing your Wine Club aren’t by the actions you take once a year. It’s by what you do everyday, or at least what you set up! Stay top of mind by including your Wine Club in all your communications. Be present on all platforms and engage with online conversations. Entice potential club members with your imagery and seal the deal with your story.
The good news is, if you’re having fun and believe in what you do, people notice. Now, show us just how great it is to be in your club!