How To Attract Wine Club Members
Every business reaches the point where they need to look back and see what was successful and what wasn’t, reestablish goals for the year ahead, and map out how they will attain them. For wineries (and some breweries), club sales make up a considerable revenue channel that needs to be considered. How can you create a strategy grow this channel and benefit your business overall?
We’ve covered the benefits of starting a wine club and the considerations you should make; now it’s time to think more deeply about your wine club marketing strategy. DTC continues to be a growing and profitable revenue driver, but members don’t join clubs out of the blue. While we discussed the topic of marketing in our previous post, we only scratched the surface. Here we are going to detail how to market your wine club online to attract members.
You might know this already, but I’ll restate it for emphasis:
People aren’t just buying your wine. They are buying an experience. By becoming a wine club member, customers are raising their hand and saying, “Hey! I believe in what you do. I stand for what you stand for!” But first, you have to tell them what you’re about.
Use Your Brand As a Foundation:
The average wine collector belongs to multiple wine clubs. Create a clear picture of what your winery cares about, its future, and the people behind the business, and you will be successful.
Your brand identity is the visual representation of your winery: the logo, color palette, typography/fonts, and image styles that illustrate who you are. Designers often work closely with clients to develop an identity that reflects who you are and can be used across several mediums and situations such as your website, printed materials, events, packaging, etc.
Your words are a reflection of your brand positioning. “Messaging” is the language and tone of voice your company uses in email, on your social accounts, your website, the experience you create in the tasting room, how your employees interact with your customers, etc. It should support and be consistent with your position and your identity.
As you explore these three areas, there are some key questions to ask yourself and your team.
How are you different than the competitors?
How are you the same as the competitors?
What are some weaknesses of your competitors?
Who are your current customers?
What is your ideal customer relationship?
What is your product/service/experience?
What are three business objectives and strategies that you want to be known for?
If your business could be described in less than ten words, how would you want to be known?
Once you clarify your brand, you’re ready to market! But before we dive into the channels and tactics, I want to share a fundamental reality—80 percent of your customer’s decision to visit your winery, buy your wine, or join your club is made before you ever get to talk to them. That means that what people find through Google, read on review sites, hear from their friends, and see on your website make up the majority of their decision to spend money at your winery.
Make sure that you’re represented clearly and consistently across all of these channels, and you will start to see more people showing up at to your online store and tasting room, ready to buy.
Online Marketing For Your Wine Club
Don’t underestimate the importance of your website. Your company website is the digital version of your tasting room. Make sure that it’s easy to find, fast, simple to navigate, and super clear how to sign up for your wine club and buy your wine.
Many of these elements are ensured by investing a little time in SEO and UX.
Find out how your site scores for discoverability and performance by checking out this website grader.
Learn How to Create an Incredible Online Experience for Your Winery
To drive wine club membership, make sure that it’s easy to find information about your club on the site. There should be an area dedicated to your wine club that shares all of the details of the different varieties of clubs that you offer, the costs, and the ability to sign up. Also, don’t make it hard to find your contact information, signing up for a wine club can be a big commitment and a potential buyer might have a question they need to be answered before they hand over their credit card.
Place a “Contact Us” link in your navigation and your footer, include contact information for your wine club manager on your wine club page, and consider using live chat on your site. A free tool like Drift can be a great and easy way to provide a channel through which people can ask questions while they are checking out your site.
Social media is a great way to increase your direct sales through your website and increase awareness about your winery. There are some legalities to consider that I’m not going to get into right now, we’ll save that for another day. But, if you’re curious right now, check out this resource.
Education about your winery
Contests and giveaways
Customer features drive loyalty and influencer marketing, educating your audience about your winery will connect people to your brand, and contests and giveaways are a low-barrier way to build your lead database.
Focus on these categories of content over trying to drive sales via social media. Leave the job of selling to your website and your tasting room. Social media should simply be a tool for getting people to your site.
An important note: only invest in the social media channels that you’re confident you can keep updated and actively monitor. A stale feed suggests that the business either doesn’t have anything going on or isn’t consistent and unanswered messages through Facebook create a lack of trust in your brand. To begin, start with Facebook and Instagram. They are complementary social channels (Facebook owns Instagram), they’re accessible (you probably already have a Facebook or Instagram account), and Facebook is the leading social media platform.
Google My Business, Yelp, and Trip Advisor are common sites that people use to find businesses to visit. 91 percent of people turn to review sites to determine if they should visit a local business. Claiming your business on these sites and actively monitoring and engaging with users can be the difference of thousands of dollars in new revenue and wine club members. The beautiful part of these review sites is that they are locally-based and the people who are using them have the intent to visit either that day or within a week of searching.
Claiming your business on Google is a great way to improve your search engine performance. Once you claim your business, your listing will appear right when people are searching for your winery or wineries like yours on Google Search and Maps. Google My Business makes it easy to create and update your listing—so you can stand out, and bring customers in. Be sure to confirm your address and website URL, add pictures to the listing, and ask some of your customers to provide reviews. Additionally, if someone leaves a review, thank them. If someone leaves a bad review, address their issues publicly.
Yelp is a common resource for people who are traveling or making last minute plans. It’s strong in restaurant and food/beverage reviews. This site gets upwards of 150 million views / month. That’s a huge opportunity for businesses who are listed on the service and a giant missed opportunity for those who aren’t. According to our friends at Square, there are three primary steps to take to get set up on Yelp—complete your Basic Business Information, fill out the From the Business section, and add photos. You can read more here.
Finally, consider claiming and managing a listing on Trip Advisor. Trip Advisor has more than 60 million members and more than 200 million reviews. The service also offers a wide range of marketing and advertising opportunities. The service curates content for its users, and it’s especially interesting to see the Top 10 lists it has established for wineries by geography.
For any of these services, make sure that you have checked the following boxes and you will be on the right track.
Add more than five photos to your listing.
Make sure your business hours are listed.
List your phone number and address.
Add a unique description for your winery and information about in-person visits.
Select the right categories for your winery.
Email can be used to attract, convert, and nurture prospects and customers. For this post, I’m going to focus on its ability to convert prospects to customers for your winery.
It’s likely that you have a list of non-customers somewhere. These are people who have come to your website from social media, review sites, or Google and filled out a form. By creating an educational email campaign about your winery and the benefits of your wine club you can, over time, make these contacts feel a sense of connection and belonging to your winery which can result in a new wine club member.
Invite these prospects to special events where you can sell them the value of becoming a wine club member, in person or provide them special offers via email such as free shipping, gift with purchase, etc.
There are tons of interesting ways to connect with non-club members to pique their interest in your wine and convert them to a wine club member. Here are some interesting email nurture program ideas from MailChimp.
There you go! There’s your crash course in online marketing and tactics to drive more wine club sign-ups. Do you have other ideas or channels that have worked for your winery? Let us know!
Do you want more information on launching or growing your wine club? Our educational series, “Secrets of Successful Wine Clubs,” will walk you through all of the necessary steps to grow your DTC program.