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How to Grow the Lifetime Value of Every Customer

November 18, 2019

For many wineries, the majority of their DtC wine sales are one off. Happening in cellar doors across the country, these customers make a purchase during their tasting and then leave, often without the winery collecting any information about them at all.

There's a distinct problem with this. Wineries enter a cycle of constantly looking for new customers, while letting customers who could be worth a lot more to them walk out the door. In contrast, if wineries switch their focus to growing lifetime value, the search for new customers becomes far less important and they can instead sell to people who are more likely to buy and have larger order sizes

So how do you increase the lifetime value of your customers? There are two ways:

  1. Increase the value of each order
  2. Increase the frequency of sales

Need help getting started? Read on for our five step guide!

1. Communication

In the ideal world, customers will always come and shop with you just because they feel like it. In reality, most purchases are triggered by the company, particularly through email campaigns or social media posts and wineries need to take the time to stay in touch with their customers.

Email marketing is easy and relatively inexpensive to use, while offering many opportunities for segmentation and flexibility. If you aren’t currently using email marketing or only using it to announce promotions, take the time to develop a monthly newsletter that informs people what’s been happening in your winery. This touchpoint can help create a connection with your brand and keep you front of mind.

You can also use social media to stay in touch with people. Unlike email marketing which should be more structured, the best way to use social media is to give your customers a peek behind the scenes of your winery. Share things that they otherwise wouldn’t get to see and create a sense of community around this.

There is one thing you should avoid though! Don’t include offers and promotions in all of your emails and posts. Focus on sharing information and useful content with your audiences instead so they don’t always expect to get a discount.

2. Personalisation

Segmentation and personalisation are absolutely vital to growing lifetime value. Wineries need to personalise the information they’re sending to customers and create communications that fit both the sort of customer they are, but also the relationship stage they’re at. 

Imagine if it is the first email that you are going to send a customer who has visited your cellar door and made a small purchase. Sending them an email offering a 20% discount on a dozen wines or an invite to join your wine club is unlikely to get results. Instead, sending them an email thanking them for visiting you and giving them more information about how to stay in touch with you is likely to be more suitable. 

The good news is that the longer people stay customers with you, the easier it will get because you’ll have more information about them! 

3. Exclusivity

Wineries naturally do this for their wine club members. With special events, discounts and unique offers, your club members receive this kind of exclusivity, but what about the rest of your customers?

One of the key ways to build the lifetime value of each customer is to make them feel as though they are part of a group and receiving exclusive content and information. This doesn’t need to be difficult or hard though. For example, when you’re about to release your new vintages or rare back vintages, consider making them available only to your subscribers for 48 hours. You could also consider offering gifts with purchase. Even if these customers don’t buy, they will feel as though they are getting unique benefits. 

4. Make it easy

No matter how much your customer connects with your brand, you still need to make it easy for them to purchase. Take the time to evaluate your e-Commerce site to make sure that customers can easily navigate it and find what they are looking for. Pay particular attention to your check out process as well. Every additional step will cause potential purchasers to drop off, so do what you can to streamline this.

Another thing to consider on your e-Commerce site is shipping. By setting a minimum spend for free shipping, you may be able to grow your average order size.

When it comes to your email marketing, also take time to make sure your emails look good across different browsers and phone types. You should also evaluate your design and ensure that your CTAs are clear.

5. Re-engagement

Even your most loyal customers will sometimes drop off and stop engaging with you. You should come to expect that, but smart wineries will also focus on a way of bringing those customers back to them.

Take the time to think about how you can re-engage with them. One of the easiest ways to do this is again email marketing, where you can segment your customer list into people who haven’t made a purchase for a certain amount of time or even look at the people who are no longer opening your emails. Sending a simple “We Miss You” email can be remarkably effective in winning customers back.

But remember, if this re-engagement doesn’t work, that’s okay too! You may be better off removing this person and focusing on customers who are engaged with you.

Want to grow your customer relationships?

It's time to look at things a little differently. Explore the customer journey through emotional selling and discover the best way to create long term customer relationships.

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