Choosing an Email Provider for DTC Success

At VineSpring, we’ve paired with other best-in-class vendors to create a hub-and-spoke model that allows our customers to use a suite of the best software solutions for their email, point of sale, compliance, and bookkeeping needs.

Going Beyond the Tasting Room

The customer connection is vital to wineries. Building a relationship with your customers differentiates your brand, builds loyalty, and fosters brand advocates. It’s easy to create a connection when someone is sitting right in front of you, tasting the fruits of your labor, and walking through your vineyards. But how do you nurture that connection beyond the tasting room? We believe that every communication is an opportunity to build a relationship and email is an essential tool.

Is Email Marketing Worth It?

Although it’s not a complete replacement for face-to-face interactions, email marketing is a leading method of communication that allows you to connect directly with your customers.

According to SalesForce, 64 percent of companies see email as the most effective marketing channel. That’s not surprising considering that email marketing provides an average ROI of 3,800 percent. Those numbers are hard to ignore and support that email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your customers and drive sales. And with a higher conversion rate than social media and search marketing combined, you’re leaving money on the table if you aren’t using email.

Since email is standing firm as a vital communication channel, we knew that VineSpring had to work seamlessly with an excellent solution that met our high standards. With plenty of options available, we dug in to make sure we chose an email provider that possessed the qualities that would continue to fulfill our customers’ wants and needs for years to come. After extensive research, VineSpring decided to integrate with MailChimp as our email provider. Why? We’d be happy to explain.

So Simple, a Monkey Could Do It.

Well, almost. But in truth, simplicity is one of our core competencies. You’re a wine expert, looking to connect with your customers, share your story, and sell your product. You and your team don’t have the time or energy to learn complicated software, but you still need professional looking emails to deliver your brand message and nurture your customers. We knew we had to find an email provider that didn’t require you to be a designer or a software engineer. We’ve put a lot of thought into making VineSpring intuitive and easy to use, and we wanted an email vendor that also valued those principles.

MailChimp delivered on our requirements. There are plenty of pre-built templates, automation tools, personalization features, and easy-to-follow instructions. With 61 percent of emails being read on mobile phones, it’s also important to ensure that emails are mobile optimized. MailChimp’s emails are.

Commitment to Learning and Improving

We knew that we wanted an email platform that was continually rolling out new features to make our customers look better and capture their audience’s attention. That’s one of the best things about best-in-class solutions; you are getting a dedicated team that is constantly evolving their technology and are listening to customers. At VineSpring, we are dreaming up and working towards solutions every day to make your eCommerce, allocations, and wine club management even better. Our integrated email vendor should be doing the same.

Since MailChimp’s sole focus is email marketing and automation, they work hard daily to deliver the most innovative email marketing solutions possible. In 2017, Fast Company even named MailChimp as one of the most innovative companies of the year. Just like the best winemakers,

they are observing their surrounding environment, the latest industry trends, and customer feedback to craft the best experience possible.

Painless Set-Up and Seamless Integrations

Another thing we look for when we are evaluating VineSpring integrations is flexibility. We want the set up to be quick and straightforward so you can concentrate on your business and trust that your technologies are talking to each other. You shouldn’t need to hire any additional help to kick things off and price shouldn’t be a barrier to entry.

Your email provider needs to be an open platform, with an easy integration. MailChimp connects to VineSpring quickly. Plus, it’s painless to set up an account and, wait for it, it’s free, up to a certain number of contacts.

Widely Trusted

Email is a valuable communication tool and you need to be able to trust that your provider will perform and support you if you need help. You wouldn’t hire people you don’t trust to connect with your customers in the tasting room so don’t use an email provider that you can’t trust to communicate with potentially thousands of customers at the same time.  

Like checking your staffs’ references, you’ll want an email provider that has a good reputation for past performance. It should be nimble enough for the mom-and-pop shops but sturdy enough for huge corporations. And many well-known brands do use MailChimp; from national eCommerce brands like Warby Parker to the rock band Wilco. Because their platform is so trusted, MailChimp has a high deliverability rate. You can read more about deliverability here.

You Can Have it All

So, why do we integrate with a world-class email provider? Cause we want the best for our customers! Leave the eCommerce and club management to us, you concentrate on the wine, and let the email experts work their magic.

When we search for solutions to partner with, we look for those who satisfy our four principles— easy to use, flexible, accessible, and trusted platforms. It turned out that MailChimp met those expectations. However, know that we are always evaluating existing and new technologies for those that align with our principles and we encourage that you do the same.  

Want to know more about why we believe that combining best-in-class solutions is the right approach for wineries? Check out our post on VineSpring’s Approach to DTC Systems or enroll in the VineSpring Education Series: Guide to Choosing Your DTC Vendors.