How to gather and leverage consumer data during the wine gift-giving season.
—Chris Towt, co-founder and chief executive officer of VineSpring
Club memberships are an exciting gift to give and receive for the holidays. Inviting current members to share the club experience with their friends, families, and colleagues is a great way to leverage the season and grow your membership base. But the real value of these year-end gift memberships is the opportunity to build lasting relationships with new members.
To keep up the momentum and turn gift memberships into long-term fans of your winery, plan a loyalty strategy that will keep new club members interested and engaged long after the holidays. The approach we outline below will help your winery build brand loyalty by leveraging technology and customer data to personalize each interaction with members, making your new club members feel special year-round.
Gather Customer Data
We know that modern wine club customers expect personalization. Collecting data can help wineries learn about customers’ wants and needs so wineries can personalize experiences—making them stand out and encouraging brand advocacy and customer loyalty. Point-of-sale technology like Square and membership-focused commerce platforms like VineSpring capture important transactional data that can drive insights into who your customers are, what their interests might be, and how they prefer to engage with your brand.
Personalize Marketing Messages for Gift Memberships
Once your winery has the tools and tech to gather customer data, following through to put it to good use is critical. Create a segmented list of individuals who received club membership as a gift, and reach out to them with communication that increases the value of their gift.
•Start with an introduction email. When someone receives a luxury gift like a club membership, they will want to learn more about your winery and the wines they will receive. You can use this automated outreach to new and gifted club members to gather more information about them and to introduce your winery’s story. Ongoing fans already know the amazing story behind your brand, so personalizing messaging in this email to new members will let you share your story to those who are most engaged. This initial communication sets the stage for future interactions and helps wineries dive deeper into the needs and wants of each member.
•Ask for feedback. As soon as the first delivery of wines hits their doorstep, new club members will be excited to dig right in and learn more about their gift. Send an automated email immediately following the first delivery to provide an opportunity for new club members to learn more and have an outlet to share their experience. This on-delivery email is an excellent opportunity for your winery to include tasting notes, recommended pairings, and any exciting news that you’d like club members to keep in mind. Include a link for members to ask questions, get more information, and engage with your winery on social media so they remember to share their new membership with their friends.
•Build community. This membership was a thoughtful gift, and the recipient will be excited to talk about their experience with the person that shared it with them. Continue to reach out to your segmented list of gift memberships with personalized emails that encourage them to keep the conversation going with their friends and family. You can share recipes for a dinner that pairs well with their latest wine shipment or include a printable thank you card that gift recipients can print off and send to the person that gave them the membership.
•Remind them to renew. After new club members have enjoyed their gifted wines and learned about your winery, they’ll know the convenience and quality of your club membership and be excited to continue. Schedule an email to be delivered with their final gifted wines and let them know how to extend their membership for another year.
•Incentivize giving. Invite this list of gifted memberships to share their new favorite wine club subscription with another friend by sharing a special offer for gift memberships the following holiday season. Members who loved the experience and received personalized communications throughout the year about your winery will have all the information they need to give a thoughtful and personalized gift.
Chris Towt is the co-founder and president of VineSpring, the leading subscription-focused commerce platform for wineries, breweries, and distilleries. He and his wife Ellie own Durell Vineyard in Sonoma, CA. Chris is obsessed with simplifying the DTC equation for craft alcohol producers and helping them grow meaningful communities.