Wine Marketing Rule #4–BUILD YOUR MAILING LIST


That talk was summarized in an earlier blog post here at FERMENTATION. This is the third post in a series that expands on that earlier post.

RULE # 4: Build Your Mailing List

Your Mailing List! It
is the most important tool and resource a small and medium sized winery
possesses. Build it. Constantly. Build it on Facebook. Use your website to
build it. Use events to build it. If you have a tasting
room do whatever you have to do to get the name and email address of every
single person who walks in your doors. 
Keep this list clean. But more importantly, turn this mailing list a
database—your most important database—that allows you to segment it by any
and every criteria you can think of. 

The most important aspect of your mailing list is that it is created from individuals who know you and who you know. That is to say, you have been in contact with them in one fashion or another. A mailing list build from people who have come to your website, your facebook page, your tasting room or to you table at an event are people who have begun or have completed creating a bond with you. Those individuals who possess some sort of bond are those most likely to listen to you in the future, read messages you send to them and, ultimately, buy your wine.

It will be critical that as you build this mailing list you do so in such a way that you can categorize and segment its members in as many ways as the technology and information flow allows you. Among the various pieces of information you must strive to capture and include in the database built from your mailing list include:

Name, address, state, zip email, gender, age, Date of Birth, purchasing record, how their name was captured (website, Facebook, tasting room, etc).

While these are the key data points you must capture, the savvy direct marketer is also going to keep detailed notes about each person on the list created primarily from your interaction with them. When they came into your tasting room did you discover they were on one of many trips to yours  and other wine making regions? Did you discover what industry they work in? Did you discover what kind of restaurants they frequent? Did you discover how they first came to know your brand? All this and other pieces of information will be crucial to know if you plan to truly mine your mailing list and data base for future sales.

You should be able to look to your database
of customers to determine which are Syrah buyers who have birthdays coming up
in the next two months and who live within 100 miles of you. Why? Because you
just might want to have a Syrah-themed birthday dinner for the best of these
customers at a local restaurant where you will give them a taste of the current
and past vintages of Syrah and then offer them special pricing on these and futures of your Syrah. Without a detailed mailing list and database, this kind of marketing—the kind that makes small direct marketers profitable—would be impossible.

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5 Responses

  1. @nectarwine - May 3, 2010

    I’m loving this series, Tom! Thanks for sharing the information and knowledge. Some of it seems so straight forward, but having the reminder is critical
    Josh @nectarwine

  2. Tim Little - May 4, 2010

    Did you know that the best list you could ever own is your own. A satisfied list of buying customers that have history, and buys frequently over his lifetime and spends money. The way to wealth is keeping this group of customers coming back and finding ways to ups-sell and cross-sell.
    Tim Little

  3. WG Moore - May 15, 2010

    You make some great points, Tom. But while building your list, you must also be careful not to ask for too much detailed informantion right off. This scares off many of those who might otherwise be willing to opt in to your mailing list.
    At first, just ask for a minimum: name and email address. Then lower in the form (or whatever you are using to gather info), you can have other optional fields to get more detail.
    It is a fine balance between building a relationship and offending a potential long term customer.
    Regards, and thanks again for some great posts.

  4. Wine Butler - June 14, 2010

    The tradition of making wine is thousands of years old. Wine is a delicious drink, enjoyed internationally, by all socioeconomic classes. Wine unifies people at meals and is known to encourage truth. “In Vino Veritas” or “In Wine Truth” goes the Latin saying. But why make it yourself?
    Pinch your pennies. Buying wine at retail is expensive. Sin taxes are large ones. When you make your own wine, it is taxed as a food product, and the savings are passed on to you. Why not make great tasting wine for 1/4 to 1/3 of what you’d pay at retail?
    Fewer Chemicals. Homemade wine contains less than 1/5th the preservatives of commercially produced wines. Many people react to commercially produced wines because it can contain up to 350 parts per million of sulphites. Homemade wines tend to contain less than 75 parts per million.
    Drink Wine – Save the planet! You can reuse your own wine bottles for decades. When you make wine, you sterilize and re-use your bottles over and over. This means less landfill or energy used to recycle your used bottles.
    So easy – anyone can do it! Visit your local winemaking shop. They will get you started. Anyone can do it – honestly! Have your winemaking shop do the processing for you or do it at home.
    Consider the health benefits. Drinking a glass of wine a day (especially red) is good for you. It is suggested that one or two glasses of wine per day could help promote a longer life and a stronger heart. Plus, red wine contains antioxidants and resveritrol – known to arrest the aging process.
    It’s a hoot. Wine making is a great excuse to get together with your friends and family. Host a wine tasting. Share batches with friends and loved ones. People love to try new wines and pairing wine with food is easy – simply Goggle “ how to pair wine with food”
    Mark Whalen operates The Wine Butler, a local store where people save money by Wine Making Toronto style! Come check them out at

  5. Thomas Hansen - July 23, 2010

    Awesome idea…!
    Obviously, as the vendor of an app that basically vacuum cleans your tasting room for any potential emails, I’m probably a bit biased, still I insanely believe in this advice …
    But we’re [obviously] not alone in knowing this, your friend over at; also knows this, which I think is the one who gave you that advice …?
    The question is; how do we explain this to an industry which was around 5000 years before email came along …?

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