E-mail Strategies and Tactics Exposed: Wine.com
E-mail can be a powerful tool to drive return visitation, time spent, pages viewed, ads clicked, products purchased and more. Therefore it should come as no surprise that e-mail users are and often can become a brand’s most powerful evangelists. Why then do we all too often take them for granted?
One brand that hasn’t is Wine.com. While I’ve been impressed with Wine.com’s communications for some time now, it took a trip to Napa, Calif. and my local liquor store to once again realize how outstanding and dedicated this company is at building an engaged and active customer base.
Why is Wine.com such a standout? Easy — this is one customer-centric company interested in building a community of loyal and engaged influencers.
When you look at Wine.com’s program, it's really not all that complicated — in fact, it is relatively straightforward. First, like Amazon.com, the communications program leverages past purchase behavior to create truly relevant offers, recommendations and incentives to acquire and convert customers. Next, like ProFlowers.com, Wine.com has implemented a series of communications focused on retaining and growing existing customers by creating a sense of community and rewarding best customers with unique offers.
As an example, post-purchase communications encourage users to rate selections because “Wine Spectator ratings are nice and all,” but what the community (now 12,000 strong) thinks is just as important. The program is highly effective and a key reason why Wine.com is the No. 1 online wine store and the 207th largest online retailer overall in 2008 according to Internet Retailer.
Building and rewarding the community
For this month’s column, I wanted to highlight a great example of how Wine.com builds and rewards its most loyal users — e-mail subscribers. Wine.com’s exclusive preview offer is a winner on a number of fronts but mainly because of the following: