Wine Club Tips to Heat Up Sales this Summer

It’s true that DTC wine shipping slows down when the weather heats up. The VineSpring 2018 Winery Benchmark report shows May, June, and July tends to be the slowest months of the year. Business picks back up in the fall and around the holidays but that doesn’t mean that we recommend that wineries sit around and wait for busier times.

We’ve worked with hundreds of wineries and have learned a thing or two about how to attract wine club members and use the summer months for year-round success. Read below for our top tips on how to make the most of the summer months.

Re-evaluate Your Clubs

We recommend that you always keep a close eye on your club sales but summer is the perfect time to do a deep dive and evaluate what’s working and what isn’t. Audit which clubs are the most popular and which clubs have the best retention rates. How much are your club members spending on average per shipment and what is the lifetime average value of your wine club members? All of these metrics will give you a better picture of your program, what it’s worth, and what’s working and what is falling flat.

We recommend that wineries keep their club structure as simple as possible. There’s no need to overcomplicate things for both you and your customer. With clear options, it’s also easier to see what’s most popular. If your three-bottle club only gets 10 percent interest while your six-bottle and 12-bottle clubs get the rest, maybe it’s time to shut down the three-bottle club.

Recognize Your Loyal Club Members

It’s common knowledge that it takes much more time, energy, and money to get new customers than it does to retain your current ones. Make your current customers feel appreciated this summer and let them know that their business matters to you.

A good way to do this is to send them a non-wine item—a signed card, or a personal invitation to an upcoming event. We like to stay away from discounts as we want to keep the value of your brand high but you can offer loyal customers access to purchase special wines if you have the inventory or access to free shipping.

You can also go “old school” as VineSpring Support Guru, Britney Yunker, recommends and give them a call. Check in to say hi, give a quick update, and express your gratitude for their business. This small act strengthens your connection and can create brand evangelists for life.

Keep Your Website Up to Date

Your website is your virtual tasting room so it pays to keep it updated, especially for potential club members and loyal fans. Regularly update your club pages and make them easy to find.

What questions do you hear in the tasting room that you could answer on your website? Have you made any changes or additions to your program? What’s going on at your winery that club members would be interested to know?

There should be obvious links in the main navigation and throughout the site. Your blog and social media posts should also regularly link back to club information. Not only does this help people find the information they are looking for, but increased links to your site can also improve your search engine optimization (SEO.)

For more tips on how to create an incredible online experience for your winery, download our free UX Guide.

Level Up Your Tasting Room

Summer may be slow on DTC sales but it’s hot on tasting room visits. It’s reported that 90 percent of wine club members sign up in the tasting room! That number is difficult to ignore. You can be sure that if someone isn’t impressed by their tasting room experience they won’t join your wine club. Make your guest’s time at your winery a memory they will want to relive. This is the best way to grow your wine club.

Another suggestion is to make it mandatory that your staff explain your club offerings to every visitor. You can even set up an incentive structure for your staff to help encourage them and track the number of members they sign up. You should have plenty of information available around your tasting room that shares the details of the wine club. Print up brochures or branded information that guests can take with them and make sure they know how to find you online.

Get Out and About in Your Community

Summer is packed full of events. Attend a local festival, market, or event. It’s a great way to showcase your winery. Ask around to see how you can get involved in both traditional and non-traditional ways. Your winery could take part in a food pairing, speak on a panel, host tastings in a new setting, sponsor a local cause, etc.

Invite the people you meet to sign up for your wine club or buy wine directly from your eCommerce site. See how you can use VineSpring to sell wine online while you’re on the go.

If you haven’t already, enroll in our Secrets of Successful Wine Clubs Educational series for more guidance on how to launch a wine club and attract members. If you’d like to connect directly with the VineSpring team, feel free to contact us with any questions about wine clubs or how VineSpring could work for your specific winery.

Andrea Steffes-Tuttle