One to Watch: Hall Wines
If there is one recession-proof item in the hard-hit merchandise sector, that some folks even like to "invest in," it's alcohol. Wine clubs, for instance, remain popular and with many states getting rid of their old blue-state laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol from outside of the state, the marketing of these clubs though direct mail has been on the increase in the last year while most overall direct volume is significantly down.
Hall Wines was accordingly selected as this month's One to Watch from our Who's Mailing What! Archive because it's not only part of this trend, but also earned the spot with a stellar effort. Using heavy card stock for its 5-1/4" x 7-1/4" invitation-style envelope, the front shows an opened bottle of wine next to a half-filled wine glass and some scattered chocolates, with the simple copy "share a taste of Napa Valley" floating above. The back of the outer shows a wine box next to the copy, "We invite you to explore our holiday collection of esteemed wines and signature gifts, hand-crafted in our Napa Valley Cellar and shipped directly to your door" (Archive code #363-717389-0812).
Inside are only two, but highly effective, elements: a card-size letter with brown ink on vellum material and a booklet-sized wine guide. The letter is addressed to "Wine Lover," and the first paragraph doesn't waste any time—it discusses its "boutique Napa Valley wines and wine gifts" for the holiday season and mentions that its "family-owned winery" employs "organic estate farming, small-vine viticulture, native yeast fermentations, and new French oak barrel-aging."
The second paragraph introduces the letter's writer, "your personal wine gift concierge," and gives both her phone number and e-mail address. The third paragraph offers a $5 FedEx Express shipping on the prospect's first order.
The booklet opens with a note from the Hall family vintners and then proceeds to show many pictures of wine collections and gift sets that include chocolates, books and coffee table books as well as a Napa Valley getaway package. The second-to-last page is headed "how to order" and lists all the states that allow direct shipping, and it gives a handy box with "deliver-by" holiday dates, such as Hanukkah or Christmas Eve, and the related "order-by" date. The last page lists five mini-rave reviews of some of Hall's select wines.