Selling Wine For the Holidays: Maximize Your Q4 Sales

It’s well-known that holiday wines sales are a huge opportunity for wineries – some report up to 60% increases over normal sales volumes.  What are YOU doing to accelerate your winery’s holiday sales?  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to increase your Q4 Sales.

Holiday gifts account for most of fourth-quarter wine sales, with November and December the most important holiday shopping months.  During gift giving holidays, companies and individuals send gifts to friends, family and business colleagues. With wine awareness growing exponentially as the mark of a refined, sophisticated lifestyle, wine has become the “perfect” gift.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGifts: Doubles your exposure

Enabling wine gifting can really propel your sales growth. Gifts are a much-appreciated way to enable your existing wine club members to share their experience with your brand with those to whom they are close.  Wine gifts also maximize your winery’s touchpoints with those people who are your most loyal fans.

Wine is Perfect for every Holiday.  Holidays are synonymous with wine.  One of the best ways for to market any business is to give away gifts to customers, especially during the holidays.  A wine gift is a sophisticated gift that arrives regularly, all year long — a repeated surprise at the recipient’s doorstep.

Start thinking outside of the standard December “gift basket” mentality – a wine club membership is a great alternative, and is the kind of quality touch  that cements relationships between friends.  Yes, an annual gift is lovely, but a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year is something quite special.  Suggesting to your customers that giving a fabulous wine club subscription is a smart corporate marketing decision is sure to stand out, to differentiate your winery.  Wine club gifts are foolproof Christmas gifts, because the recipient is reminded of the thoughtful gift with each delivery.

Capitalize on gift giving opportunities.

NOW is the time to develop and offer compelling, easy-to-buy gift options that will  maximize your year-end sales.

Here are a few ideas to ensure your holiday offers pay off:

Start planning now:  October 1st is when wineries start planning and executing marketing campaigns for holiday selling.

Set sales goals: Setting specific sales goals – that is of volume, net sales in dollars, average order value and margin – this allows you to build a ‘road map.”  Start by executing according to your plan.  And, as the season progresses, adjust dynamically based on insights gained from your sales data.  Through their purchase behavior, customers will tell you what’s working well.

Create holiday packages that can be promoted as gifts – such as special wines not available everywhere.  Make it as easy for consumers to select items from your online store or gift subscriptions.  Start selling holiday packages in October, for distribution during the holiday season and the following year.

Customers want guidance when gift shopping.  Curate and propose various holiday packages and gift ideas for them.


Spread the word.  Talk about your wine gifts on social media — Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.  Let everyone know, and don’t underestimate the power of photography!


It’s never too early to start!

Email marketing is a key tool for wineries to communicate with wine club members, attract new fans, and sell holiday offers.

Know your audience: Who is the target audience for your holiday promotion?  How much information should you give them?  Are they club members that know your brand, or are they people in your general mailing list that you must remind? When segmenting your mailing list, direct the right message to the right prospects.

Gifting Email Campaigns: Throughout the year, send emails reminding customers that wine makes a welcome corporate gift.  During the holiday season, your goals and creativity come into play:

  • Are you doing a wine club shipment in December?

  • Sending out special gift ideas?

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Relevant offers with a sense of urgency and a call to action are a sure bet.

Create emails and offers ahead of time, and schedule to send them to keep promoting your holiday gifts.  When assembling a promotion, it helps to know what has, and hasn’t worked.  What previous offers enjoyed great response rates?  Do set click-through and open-rate goals.

Email Design:  Be creative with your emails; use beautiful design and professional pictures with compelling holiday offers. Keep your main message and “call to action” above the fold. With every email, be sure to express the character of your winery!

Email Timing:  To make your holiday offers stand out, focus on sending your email campaigns during the two weeks after Thanksgiving.  And, because many people shop from their offices, send your emails during the day.

Schedule an email reminder:  As the holiday season approaches, you will want to send follow-up email reminders.

Don’t overlook last-minute gift idea. After your shipping deadline, and right before Christmas, is a great time to send email about giving a wine club subscription as a last-minute gift.

Personalize your gifts: Include winery information in the gift package so the recipient can learn about your winery’s story and your wines; it’s the best way to personalize a gift.  Ship wines with descriptive tasting notes so the recipient can learn on their own.

wine-gift-wrap_editedResearch holiday shipping delivery cut-offs: Make sure your shipping deadlines are very clear and send emails with enough time for customers to react.

Logistics:  Review your holiday logistics practices to avoid customer service issues with holiday shipments.

There’s many ways to increase sales at this time of year. What are you doing to make sure your customers have a happy, stress-free holiday?

If you haven’t yet organized your holiday gift promotions, don’t panic. I’ve started some of my clients’ campaigns in the past few days– there’s still time to make sure your holiday sales are bright!

Now it’s time to share. We’d love to hear about your holiday gifting ideas.


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Cindy Ferrie

Cindy Ferrie Marketing Strategist