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  • Writer's pictureBenton

Wine in the Next Generation

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

Let’s start with email. In the last decade, the number of ways to interact with an audience has expanded exponentially. About the only thing you can’t do is think something and have it show up in someone else’s head without some intermediary. Yet.

In that time, the most constant mode of direct communication has been to send an email. This remains the most direct way to communicate with a group of people around a like thing; and an effective one at that.

As a winery you have so many responsibilities between the soil and the sip that building innovative connections to buyers can be difficult. There are known effective ways to build an integrated strategy that drives traffic to your highest sales points, including a focus on email, digital, events, and compelling messaging. As we transition into a new generation of buyer, it is critical to ensure you are still offering the connections that maintain your existing case sales, while employing strategies, particularly in the digital space, that connect with new customers.

Bring Your Story to the World

Wineries have many ways of communicating with both existing and potential customers, each targeting different audiences. Those connections can and should be made across multiple platforms working in concert with each other to create a seamless communications stream. That is why Alder & Yesler focuses on the synergy of your outreach activities, including:

  1. Building a robust email marketing and outreach program.

  2. Optimizing your website and other online properties for email collection, sales, and event promotion.

  3. Coordinating your digital properties with the branding and activities of your physical space.


For any business or organization focused on growing a loyal following, email is the main avenue for direct communication with current and potential supporters. It offers an easy entry point for new customers, a direct access point to returning and club members alike, and a data set to help identify new opportunities for connections or sales. The use of this data can help inform tasting room events and planning, follow-up contacts using segments of the email list, and other more personalized connections. Our goal is to send the most relevant and timely content that helps build a lasting relationship.

Work on your email program will include:

  1. Assessing how and where you collect email addresses to ensure you are capturing every opportunity to do so.

  2. Helping plan each series of emails based on your needs, including introducing new subscribers to your winery; outreach aimed at moving subscribers to club members; a purchase follow-up set; and your ongoing outreach around events, releases, and the general calendar.

  3. Reviewing the data you collect from all sources, including the point of sale system, club memberships, social media, and email connections, to inform segmented, message-specific content aimed at increasing sales.

  4. Coordination with other areas of the company, to ensure like messaging across channels.

Online Marketing Program

Each winery has multiple avenues to build sales and introduce their brand. Some focus exclusively on tasting rooms, but can be far away from new customers by not having space in Western Washington, for example. Others move aggressively toward distribution, but with little brand loyalty. We want to help optimize your online presence to drive traffic to all your spaces, digital and physical, and ultimately increase sales.

First, we want each access point to drive toward email collection. Actions without followup rarely lead to repeat purchases or brand loyalty. Email is our best way of offering consistent, targeted, relevant communications to prospective buyers.

From there, we will assess and offer a strategic plan for your social media channels aimed at achieving several goals:

  1. Promoting the winery through visuals, video, and other content that connects people with your brand and creates engagement.

  2. Driving traffic to the tasting room either on a day-to-day basis or for events.

  3. Connecting with the broader wine community through partnerships, wine industry events and activities, and other ways of improving the overall brand of the region.

  4. Creating direct sales or increasing sales at distribution points.

Key to this work is building a robust content bank for your online properties, including winery photos and videos, background on the winery story and staff, and an other creative that helps connect with consumers. We will help build and store this bank, including generating a plan to develop it for immediate and long-term uses.

Digital and Physical space coordination

Wineries often completely separate their physical spaces from their online presence. A successful strategy will go beyond promoting major events such as winemaker dinners, and focus on the regular beat of your tasting rooms and public events. Additionally, promoting the restaurants and stores where your wine is available will help with demand. If your digital program is consistent and relevant, it will be the go-to place for information about everything you are doing, and lead to increased traffic in physical spaces.

This goes beyond content. We will help your team coordinate the digital and physical space calendars, including releases, events, partner activities, and any other opportunities to promote places in which your brand will be present. This is akin to your externally facing strategic planning.

Let's Meet the Challenge and Tell Your Story

Every day is a new challenge. No day is stagnant, no action without impact. Though this has always been the case, we certainly live in a world where classic catchphrases such as “breaking through the noise,” and “rising above the chatter,” have taken on new meaning. We, however, want to help you build a lasting brand.

What drives people to keep coming back to you and builds lasting trust? You are relentless about telling your compelling story that is relatable and makes existing and potential customers feel connected. And you look at every day as a new challenge, a new opportunity to grow and reach more people who are ready to meet you.

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