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Five Things Wineries Should Stop Doing

February 4, 2019

For most wineries, the goal is to increase profits and often the answer comes improving DtC wine sales. But how do you do that and if you didn't grow your sales last year, why would 2019 be any different?

The reality is, most wineries run the same way year on year and it’s time to look at that. If you don’t do something differently, chances are you’ll get the same result. So, if you’re willing to take on a new challenge, here are five things you should stop doing now.

Spending all your time looking for new customers

When you want to boost your sales, it seems to makes sense to find new customers. 

But the reality is, the best customers are the ones you already have. In fact, 65% of a company’s business comes from its existing customers so when you want to grow your sales, these are the people you should turn to.

Instead of spending your marketing budget on new customers, consider how you can better sell to your existing ones. Whether it is targeted emails, social media advertising or making improvements to your wine club, develop a strategy that encourages repeat sales to really see your profits grow. 

Doing things that are just okay

Every business has existing tools and procedures in place, but very few take the time to evaluate whether they’re still working. Whether it’s your POS system, email marketing software or your accounting program, there’s a good chance that at least something you do could use an upgrade.

Be guided by your frustrations or the things you want to do that you currently can’t. This will reveal the areas of your business that you should work on. There’s no need to make the change immediately, but it is worth exploring alternatives (and we might be biased, but can we recommend considering a winery POS as part of this plan?)

Thinking social media is a waste of time

Social media is an essential part of marketing and is a powerful tool to grow customer engagement as well as sales. But many wineries don’t treat it like that. They cross post to all their platforms, create repetitive and un-engaging content or simply don’t update it for week on end and are then surprised when it doesn’t help their sales.

Take the time to think about what works on your social media and create a plan. Make sure you allocate time to find and create content and don’t be afraid to give up on an account that you simply don’t have time for. It is better to have a single active account that your customers engage with than all of the accounts in the world with no interaction.

As part of your plan, make sure you allocate some budget for promotions and advertising. The days of creating a successful social media account without paying are long gone.

Hoping customers will buy your wine

In order to sell your wine, you need to have a strategy and you need to measure your results. Your strategy will vary depending on your personal situation, but foremost you need to think about your customers.

Who are they? What do they want from you? Why are they buying your wine? To create a strategy that works, you need the answers to these questions so take the time to find them out.

Another thing to consider is what is actually selling your wine. Many wineries rely on awards or point ratings to appeal to customers or focus on attractive labels to stand out. Of course, these can all help, but it is far more likely that customers in your cellar door will buy because they’re having a good time. Come up with ways to focus on that this year.

Sending untargeted and irrelevant emails

Marketing emails are one of the easiest ways to convert customers, but this is only the case when the content is relevant to the reader. At the most basic level, promoting your white wine to a customer who has only ever bought red wine is unlikely to be successful.  

Explore ways to make your emails more relevant to those who are reading them. Find practical segments in your database and create emails that are just for them. For example, consider sending a discount to customers who have never purchased online before. This doesn’t need to be complicated - often changing only a line or two of copy can make an email far more relevant and you will quickly see the results.

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