The Little Annoying Wine Club

WSJclub As some of my readers may know, I founded the American Wine Blog Awards. For three years I administered the awards program that attempted to identify the best blogs in a variety of categories and honor them for their contributions and efforts. After the third year, I gifted the Awards to the OpenWine Consortium.

Well, I'm starting a new awards program: THE MOST ANNOYING INTERNET WINE PROMOTION AWARDS. Or…the MAIWPA.

There can be no question as to what Internet Wine Promotion gets the inaugural award: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL WINE CLUB PROMOTION!

I've counted. In the past two weeks alone, I've received 65 emails, all exactly the same, each asking me to buy "A Dozen Magnificent Reds For only $69.99—SAVE $120" and to join the WSJ wine club.

Sixty-Five Emails! Keep in mind that twice I've asked that my name be taken off their mailing list. And twice I've been told that I've been removed, but that more emails may arrive because they are already cued up. 

In a word, this is extremely A N N O Y I N G !!!!

For some reason I expect the Wall Street Journal to not allow their marketing folks or surrogates to engage in spam email marketing. What was I thinking?  Don't get me wrong, I think it's just great that the venerable WSJ, with its impressive demographics, would get into the wine club business. But for the Love of Conservatism Editorial Policy and al that is otherwise holy, can they please act respectably?

I have to believe that their repeated and numerous emails to me are some sort of a mistake. Could they really believe that somewhere around the 61st or 76th email, I'd finally bite? Maybe there is some marketing lore out there that says, "Get the message in front of the prospect 60some-odd-times and the chances of them biting goes up 40%. I don't know. All I know is that I'm a little annoyed at the Wall Street Journal.


IMPORTANT UPDATE: The original post was uploaded at 5:07pm. The next email from the WSJ came at 5:10pm.


12 Responses

  1. Bob Avo - November 28, 2009

    Blame Lionstone Sonoma.
    Their email is just as bad as most wineries and wine clubs. All hype, little value and mostly annoying with the frequency.
    When will wine retailers learn a thing or two from the online retailers and send segmented emails to customers and prospects?

  2. Chicago Pinot - November 28, 2009

    I am curious if John and Dottie have any involvement with this. My guess is no; they would find themselves in ethical quicksand if their fingerprints are on this at all.
    What is Rupert Murdoch thinking? Does he really think spam and cookie cutter wines fits the brand of the Journal?

  3. Axel - November 28, 2009

    I think those are not really from the WSJ. They are coming from bizarre domains like,,, and
    It seems a spammer is faking those emails to verify your email address. I watched one link redirect *four* times before hitting the real WSJ page.
    You may want to check with the WSJ before saying any more about it.

  4. Russ Kane aka Texas WineSlinger - November 28, 2009

    Either I am not on their radar screen or my spam blocker (in Kaspersky Internet Security) is better than yours. Maybe WSJ just thinks that nobody in Texas knows anything about wine so why bother wasting their spam on me when they are bug the hell out of Tom Wark.
    Give ‘um hell Tom!

  5. Samantha - November 28, 2009

    Dude…I’d be livid and be making some serious phone calls like after each email, “Me again”.

  6. Gretchen - November 28, 2009

    I am loving stupid wine club concepts… The NRA wine club. The Zagat wine club that seemingly has NO connection with what Zagat stands for…. btw. My father joined the WSJ wine club…. That just gets him on more lists… but then it is more fodder for my blog.

  7. Brad - November 28, 2009

    What about the Zagat Wine Club
    This is an affiliate link that I picked up. They pay me decent money for each new person that signs up for their wine club but i only want to promote real legit stuff. Your thoughts on this one?

  8. El Jefe - November 29, 2009

    They can’t take you off the list for emails queued up? That’s total BS. Also, I find it curious as a WSJ subscriber that I am not getting any of these emails. Not a one. I have to wonder if what you are receiving is a scam that has nothing to do with WSJ.

  9. RS - November 30, 2009

    Yup, affiliate spam. WSJ is not to blame, but this complaint should be sent to the affiliate clearing house.
    When you hover over the promotional links in the email, what is the URL / web address?

  10. wine club - December 1, 2009

    I think most of those marketing efforts are coming from WSJ affiliates. For me, as an owner of a 3rd party wine club it’s a scary thing because you really do need a good affiliate program to grow your business, but you can’t control how those same affiliates are marketing your brand.

  11. wine club curious - December 3, 2009

    I’ve always wondered how WSJ can markets its own wine club. Even if it’s an affiliate, doesn’t it need to have a retailers license and actually take ownership of the wine in order to receive fees? Legally, they can’t just take a cut of sales (thinking here of the 3rd party marketing advisory from the CA ABC). Or, at least, they’re walking a very thin line. Am I wrong here?

  12. me - December 4, 2014

    I never signed up for any marketing.. they got my email through a 3rd party paypal transaction. I don’t even drink alcohol. To me it’s not just annoying, it’s harassment. I just opted out my second time today. What does it take to get these cyber terrorists to stop. I’d like to smash a wine bottle over their heads!

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