The Wine Industry Needs More Email


There is no denying that in today’s wine marketing landscape social media presence is a box that needs to be checked. While social media is the face you present to the world, it’s not a dedicated revenue generating activity. In fact you most likely will generate very little revenue from it, comparatively speaking. To generate revenue you need a captive audience. The potential customer needs to be solely focused on your message for an extended period of time. A study funded by the Microsoft Corporation showed that the average attention span dropped from twelve seconds in 2000 to eight seconds in 2015. The lesson here is that we must maximize every second we can get in an environment filled with constantly scrolling shiny objects. Social media puts you on stage with many different competing characters, but when it comes to email, you are the star soloist. It is true that email has become an incredibly competitive space over the past decade. It’s hard to remember a time before spam filters and the “Promotions”  tab. Regardless, email can provide more bang for your buck – and more bucks for your bang.
Here are five tips on how to use an email list to your advantage.

1. Grow that list.

Yes, it’s a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people forget to grow their email lists. It’s a rather tedious task that gets pushed off in favor of more immediate projects. But it is so important and requires constant attention and maintenance. Take every opportunity to capture an email address whenever and wherever you can. Make sure the email address is recorded correctly. Capture the email addresses of those who visit you, wherever you are – from the web to a winery. Offer incentives for shared email addresses. For example, if you’ve got a tasting room, give a bonus pour of something extra special in exchange for an active email address. These days, that email address is far more powerful than a phone number.

2. Establish a regular pattern of contact.

I once had a colleague who wore suspenders every Thursday.  It was a curious quirk appreciated by everyone in the office. According to him, he wore suspenders every Thursday without fail to “make people know that I’m dependable.” This story applies to email too: Timed communications that arrive at specific intervals build trust between you and your audience. The audience will know what to expect from you and when they can expect it. As a result, the audience is more likely to believe in what you have to say.

3. Provide them with value.

While you should be writing to your audience at regular intervals, make sure you have something meaningful to say that will enrich the lives of your readers. Think about what kind of content you are going to provide. Maybe it’s a recipe, a pairing, a thoughtful quote or a fun fact. Don’t communicate for the sake of communicating. Make it count. If the content lacks utility, is boring or irrelevant, the audience will stop reading your messages altogether. And while you won’t please everyone with your content, you sure can try.

4. Give them an out.

Don’t hold your audience hostage. Make sure there's a quick and simple way to unsubscribe from your list. Drawing out the process or making it difficult will leave the person with a bad taste for your brand. And don’t take it personally – most of us have gone on unsubscribe sprees at some point in the past. The most popular time to unsubscribe from a list is January, so think extra hard about the content you provide (or don’t provide) around this time.

5. Know your Call-to-Action (CTA)

What do you want your audience to do? How do you want them to interact with your brand? Say it loud and proud. If you don’t ask, you’ll never receive. Perhaps you want the audience to click through to your site. Maybe you want them to stay right where they are and enjoy your branded images and content. Of course you may also want them to buy something. No matter what it is, make sure your CTA is something on which one can easily act.

Have more questions about building your email list? Snooth can help. Our co-registration program has helped build large email lists for a number of wine brands and regions. Click here to request information.

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  • The article correctly states the untapped, missed opportunity of social media. In the most recent Merrill Research Wine Monitor Report I was fortune to be the principal author for (outline here:, less than 10% find social media helpful in deciding what wine to buy despite high social media engagement, especially among Millennials and GenXer's. Engagement with wine, however, is high nearly 1/3, among Facebook and Instagram users. Also defined are wine Brand Advocates which could be helpful input in enhancing a wine producer's email list.

    It's just messaging helping wine consumers decide what wine to buy, or create an incentive for purchase, appears to be sorely lacking. Regarding email, beyond effective targeting, the subject line content is critically important of course. What will stimulate the recipient to open up the email.

    Mar 14, 2017 at 8:44 PM

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