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I get emails from a lot of wineries every day. Most of them are sales emails, but the sales tactics that are being used are almost always those that discount the wines, rather than those that make the wines more valuable to customers. I understand that there are times when providing lower prices can be beneficial, however regularly offering lower prices, free shipping and other incentives that focus on discounts is not likely to encourage customers to appreciate why your wine is worth what you usually charge for it.

Certainly, most people like a bargain, although if your customers have been educated as to why your wines are worth the price you normally charge, they should be willing to pay that price most of the time.

The number of wineries in the United States, Canada and in the rest of the world is growing yearly. Unless your customers believe in your winery and the quality of your products, they are likely to choose something else regardless of the price.

I am not saying that there is not a time and place for “specially” prices wines, there is. I am saying that discounting should not be used as your go to sales tool every time you send out an email. Certainly, you can discount your wines when customers wish to make larger purchases, for example if your customer wants to buy one, two or three cases. You can also use them advantageously a couple of times each year (especially at the holidays). Or create some winery-centric reasons to give your best customers a special reason to buy.

Example:

  • It is the anniversary of when you opened the winery.
  • You have been in business for ten years.

You can also use reasons to sell at full price:

  • The wine won a prestigious award.
  • The wine is almost sold out and sales are limited to three bottles per customer. Buyers are incentivized by scarcity.

Of course, we all know that people dislike paying for shipping, so for special customers (those who buy regularly) shipping can be waived.

I know you want to sell the wine, but you also want to build a brand that is important to your customers. Brand building is better done when you let people know that you believe in your wine and what it is worth.

A tip of the glass from me to you.

Elizabeth SlaterE Column
by Elizabeth “E” Slater, In Short Direct Marketing

A recognized expert in the fields of direct marketing and sales in the wine marketplace. Slater has taught more wineries and winery associations how to create and improve the effectiveness of their direct marketing programs and to make the most of each customer’s potential than anyone in the wine industry today.

Follow E on twitter @esavant and facebook.

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