Tips for Building Your Winery’s Email Database

Wine is very social. It’s best enjoyed with friends, food and conversation. Your tasting room is a great way to introduce people to your story, your wines. It’s a place to connect, to learn and to enjoy.

  • Do you create a customer experience that takes your tasting room visitors on a journey?  One that educates, inspires and entices.
  • Does your tasting room team have “that extra spark” when engaging with customers?

During tastings, what’s the number ONE thing that you or your tasting room staff needs to be doing?

Collecting each and every person’s contact information for your database.

Collecting email addresses should be the top priority for your staff when they engage with your customers.  Why? Because building a robust database and creating targeted communications to engage with your customers long after they leave your tasting room is the BEST way to increase DTC sales.

Wineries can generate email campaign opt-ins in a variety of ways.  Think of your email subscriber list as a marketing goldmine… the list of email addresses you’ve been building from your tasting room, website sign up, blog, social media, Wine Club members, events, contests and more.

The Power of Email

With its widespread reach and viral potential, email is a powerful marketing tool that allows you to connect with prospects in ways that no other marketing medium can. Email marketing is the perfect tool to grow your website traffic, boost your online wine shop’s conversion rates and track campaign results.

Try these list-building techniques that can make your emails just as popular as your award-wining wines.

The iPad in the Winery

Jordan Vineyard and Winery

I recently read an interesting blog by Jordan Vineyard and Winery’s  award-winning blogger Lisa Mattson about how they leverage iPad tablet technology in every sphere of Jordan’s operations, from managing soil to driving sales. Jordan is the first winery to be profiled by Apple, Inc. for their use of iPad tablet technology.  For example, Jordan uses video storytelling on iPads to enhance their customers’ wine experiences.

“We can tell our story in a vivid, visual way, and talk about the attention to detail that we know separates us from our competition. This was impossible before — it’s not something you can do with pictures or a brochure.”
John Jordan, Owner/CEO of Jordan Vineyard & Winery

Jordan’s official video profile was published on and Apple’s iTunes iPad in Business channel.

Read more about how Jordan leverages iPad tablet technology in every sphere of the winery’s operations, from managing soil to managing sales 

Liquidity Wines

When I visited at Liquidity Wines, they had an IPad being to collect email signatures on display in the tasting room    After enjoying my tasting, their tasting room staff encouraged me to sign up for their newsletter.


Make it a Priority to Ask!

A proactive approach to collecting email addresses works well:

  • When existing and prospective customers buy something at your tasting room, encourage guests to sign up for your newsletter as part of the check out process.
  • Make it a priority to ask for the email addresses of everyone as they come in to visit your winery.
  • Gather information on your sign up form; send them updates they care about with segmentation.
  • Be sure to give your guests a reason to join your community.  Here’s an example:
  • By signing up, you’ll receive the latest news about special events, delicious recipes, special deals and releases at the winery, as well as our special events.
  • When you invest in collecting email addresses your winery’s return on investment will be high.

Turn engaged and interested tasting room visitors into buyers by providing touch screen email sign up forms straight from an iPad.

Many wineries use sign up sheets close to their register so that browsers can sign up even if they don’t purchase anything.  When their tasting room gets really busy it’s easy to forget to collect email addresses.

Do away with paper sign ups and clumsy binders and collecting emails on an iPad touchscreen!

Increase your brand perception by handing your tasting room visitors an iPad to give them a tool to sign up for winery communications, fill out a comment card, place an order or join your wine club.

You can place icons where you want guests to explore on your home screen.  When a guest picks up the iPad or is handed one by your tasting room staff you can set the default screen with icons that link to pages in your website such as, ‘Home Page’, ‘Mailing List’, ‘Order Wine’, ‘Wine Club’, and ‘Tasting Menu’.  Change the icons and their positioning depending on where you want your guests to focus.

Cast a wide net in your approach to seeking new email subscribers.

Use your iPad to share photo viewings of wine production, vineyards, labels, bottle shots, special events and more.

Wine Orders

If you take orders over the phone, simply ask for the customer’s email address.  If you use a printed order form, include a place for their sign-up information.

Add a Newsletter Sign up Form On Your Website

If you’re really busy and you can’t take email addresses verbally, make sure to direct people to your website. Your sign up form should be on every page  of your website. You never know where site visitors will land!

Your sign up process should be blatantly obvious.  You’ll increase your email sign ups and open rates by creating relevant opt-ins. What is someone signing up for? Make it obvious from the start. What kind of information can they expect from your winery? How many times will they receive your emails?

And be sure to place your form “above the fold”; this means the portion of your site that you see when first entering the site without scrolling down at all. The reason that this is important is that research has shown that the majority of clicks made by a reader of a website are made on that portion which is above the fold.

Link to a Form in Your Signature

How many people do you contact personally via email every day? These contacts might not be on your winery’s email list yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t suggest that they sign up to receive your email newsletter.

Simply include a link to your hosted web form in your email signature, and your prospects can sign up to receive your emails without even closing your email message.

Advertise On Everything You Print

Start taking advantage of the fact that your essential branded collateral makes its way out of your office, tasting room and special events and back to the homes of potential subscribers.

Whether it’s your business card, wine bags or a receipt, a physical reminder of your website could be the push someone needs to visit your site and fill our your web form.

Drive Subscribers to your Email Subscriber List through Social Media

Don’t forget that your personal network is just as important as your work contacts when you’re growing your email list.

Make sure you have a form on your Facebook fan page so that anyone visiting your page on the social networking site can easily subscribe to receive email updates.

Ask Twitter followers to sign up for your newsletter by tweeting a link to your hosted web form.

Don’t forget to collect email addresses on your blog.  Once you get people reading your blog, you’ll want to generate a little action.  Pose a question for the community and encourage people to voice their opinion.

Sign up for an email service like MailChimp to get the code you need to install on your blog to collect email addresses.

Mail Chimp Logo

What Are Your List Building Tactics?

Does your winery have a trick that’s helped you attract new subscribers?

We’d love to hear your ideas.  Please share your experiences below!  And please subscribe to my blog to stay updated on the latest ideas to grow DTC sales.

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Cindy Ferrie

Cindy Ferrie Marketing Strategist