You can be certain of one thing in your email marketing subscription list: each individual is interested in wine. As for any other conclusions, you will have to conduct extensive segmentation analysis and A/B testing before you can truly say you understand your subscriber. There are a number of proven ways to capture the interest of the majority of your winery’s email newsletter recipients, and one of the most effective is to feature a specific wine in each email you send.
Create a Fact Sheet for Each Wine
Creating a “fact sheet” about each of your wines could be a great way to fascinate and engage your email audience. You might want to break down your wines into categories. For reds you might choose Fruity & Light; Smooth & Suave; and Spicy & Earthy; while for whites you could go with Crisp & Light; Fruity & Refined; and Rich & Complex. Then make sure to have at least one in-depth paragraph of comments from the winemaker. Provide some background information on the specific varietal and vintage and then discuss both the flavor profile and the suggested pairings for the wine.
Keep the Descriptions Realistic and Grounded
Be aware that it is in these two analyses that many wineries fly off the tracks. It is easy for a consummate wine expert to wax prosaic about a wine’s flavors running the gamut from berries, citrus and loam all the way to metallic, cigar, and even (gasp) “catbox!” Although the professional wine expert might be able to make a convincing case that those flavors are truly there, the vast majority of wine drinkers will never be able to identify the catbox, thus it is best to stick to the prevailing highlight flavor tones rather than provide a shopping list of every fruit and vegetable in existence plus most of the elements on the periodic table.
Discuss the Basics of Pairings, Not the Extremes
In the case of pairings, it is also primarily a subjective matter and one where the most discerning palates can utterly confuse the average wine drinker. Exactly where does complementing flavors end and contrasting flavors begin? Does a spicy meal really go with a Pinot Gris, or is a Riesling a better choice? If so, how dry?
Keep Email Content Light and Accessible
When providing pairing information, keep in mind the type of wine drinker you have on your list. If your subscribers are all expert judges at the International Wine and Spirit Competition or the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, then by all means let them have the esoteric details with both (wine) barrels blazing. However, if your average subscriber is just as average a wine connoisseur, then you’re better off to keep the information light, breezy and most of all accessible.
Wine culture already has a reputation as a retreat for snobby eccentrics, so there is no reason to associate your winery with that particular stereotype. Steer a middle course in your email content and harvest the benefits!