Skip to content

WineGlass Marketing


Looking Through The Glass


Recent Blog Posts

Blog Categories
Susan DeMatei
August 4, 2012 | Analytics, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing | Susan DeMatei


Whether you work for a small winery or or a large international beverage company, there are certain things that are common among all of us:

  • Direct Sales Are Hard. We all realize the value of direct sales, but are vexed at the piece-meal nature of DTC programs in comparison to the volume we can move through distribution.
  • Making Money is Hard. We all work hard on our wine quality, and Cost of Goods (COG) is constantly reminding us how complicated our product is, and how slim our margins are.
  • We Work Hard. If the 608 iPad and 1738 iPhone wine apps in the Apple App store are any indication, we are all creative and adventurous, and willing to try new things to sell wine, promote our brand, and engage customers.
But how do you know if you efforts are paying off?

In these days when customers have more choices between brands, channel, and prices, it is all the more important to track, benchmark, and evaluate your programs. What may seem like a hassle as you finish one program and move onto the next, taking time for a little analysis will save you a lot of work over time, and keep you on track. Here are some tips to help you.

ROI (Return on Investment) Can Help You Determine If Your Effort Is Worth It

The formula for ROI is:   SALES – COSTS / COSTS

The overall concept is you don’t just take your sales minus your costs, and if you are positive, you’re good.  You look at the net gain, the gain over your effort, and see if your sales were better than doing nothing.

I know this sounds like a lot of math, but the trick is to pay attention equally to costs, and sales.

Pay too much attention to sales, and you may be making some big blunders. Pay too much attention to costs, and you may be making some big blunders.

Estimating Costs

Lets look at a Wine Club event that looks great from the outside.

You looked at your vendors and charged enough for ticket prices to cover your catering cost, and closed the event with $10,000 in sales.

A success, yes?

But what did that event really cost you? What about the wine you poured?  And, the staff you paid overtime?  Did you close the tasting room early?

Also, did you really make $10,000? Net (actual) or gross (before discounts)? What about the winemaking costs that went into each bottle? The discounts you gave to the party attendees? Shipping discounts?

In our fictitious event, our math works out like this:
Catering covered by tickets: $0
Wine poured (20 bottles at $10 a bottle COG):  $200
Staff overtime:  $800
Loss of revenue to close tasting room:  $3,000
Wine sold COG: $2,000
Total $6,000

ROI is therefore $8000-$6000=$2000/$6000=30%

So, you spent $6000 to gain $2000. You covered your costs, but next time leave the tasting room open.

Estimating Returns

You can also pay too close attention to the costs, or ROI on each order, rather than the sales of the program at large.

I recently heard of such a case. A winery launched its first campaign with a popular outbound firm and being advised shipping discounts were being received well at the moment, gave them approval to subsidize shipping when necessary to make a sale.

The winery was furious at the result.

In this case, the winery focused on the costs. They looked at each individual sale and saw they lost $3.99 to $146.13 per order for shipping, for a total loss of $700 in shipping costs. Add that loss on top of the 26% paid to the outbound company, the conclusion was the program wasn’t successful.  You might agree with him, after all $146.13 is a lot to lose on an order.

But the winery made $15,000 in wine sales.

I submit the program was a success, and here is why:

Net sales after club discount $15,000
Cost to outbound company was 26% $3,900
Shipping subsidized $700
Assuming COG (avg. cost per bottle x # of bottles) is $2,250
Total cost is $6,850


I’d spend $6,850 to make $8,150 any day of the week.

In both cases, now you have benchmarks. Now, the opportunity is to decrease the $ spent and increase the $ gained on the next program.  And, math isn’t everything; there are secondary benefits, too. Like in our event example the goodwill generated toward your Club customers.

So, don’t focus on the leaves, look at the forest and you will always be ahead, and always improve.

What if you don’t have these numbers? 

What if you’re not sure what your costs are?  Just remember this:

SWAG is your friend.
Some call it a “Silly Wild-Ass Guess”.
When I presented them, I always thought of it as “I Speak, And you Will All Giggle.”
The point is – estimate it.

Saying you can’t calculate ROI because you can’t get it down to the final pennies is missing the point.  What is important is that you’re aware, directionally, of what your costs and returns are.

For example, if you don’t know your COGs, assume if you sell DTC full-price you’re getting about 85% (average margin for full MSRP versus FOB, or trade, which is 50%).  So, if you’re Wine Club is a 20% discount then your margin is still 65%.  Then don’t worry about each order, just SWAG your formula for a Wine Club event to be:


If you SWAG your costs, and keep track of your net sales after taxes and shipping, you should get a good directional analysis of how the program did.

And, if you have some poor performing programs, good for you!  It means you’re being creative. But at least you’re tracking them and learning from them.

“I never make stupid mistakes. Only very, very clever ones. “
John Peel

p.s If this sounds interesting but tedious, ROI analyses are relatively easy to outsource periodically to a consultant, you know, like me, for quarterly program reviews for you.  Let’s talk.


RandCib's Gravatar
@ Jun 1, 2019 at 3:23 AM
Viagra Plus Fort Be Tab Prednisone 5 Mg Acheter Du Xenical En Ligne viagra Viagra Internet Forum

RandCib's Gravatar
@ Jun 26, 2019 at 10:50 PM
Acheter Finasteride Biogaran Priligy 60 Mg Posologia Is Keflex Sulfur Drug cialis no prescription Intranasal Amoxicillin Capsule In Lavage Acquisto Cialis One Day Cialis Se Puede Comprar En Farmacias

RandCib's Gravatar
@ Jul 9, 2019 at 4:08 PM
Chlamydia And Zithromax Commande Cytotec achat pillule viagra Medicament Cialis 10 Viagra E Glande Prevacid Online Pharmacy priligy

StevButt's Gravatar
@ Oct 11, 2019 at 10:37 AM
Propecia Sustancias Dopantes Buy Cheap Viagra Online Usa Doryx Website Discount On Line Clomid Plus Fostimon Caverta Online Review

KelimmokS's Gravatar
@ Jan 17, 2020 at 4:53 PM
buy accutane 20mg Achat Kamagra Oral Jelly Cialis Online Koln Cialis Zithromax Capsules Propecia Cancer De Prostata Celexa For Sale Online

StevButt's Gravatar
@ Jan 24, 2020 at 6:31 AM
Cialis Cancer De Prostata - generic 5mg cialis best price What Is Amoxicillin 875 Mg cialis 5mg best price Aurochem Pharmaceuticals

Matbito's Gravatar
@ Jan 26, 2020 at 4:11 PM
Precio Cialis Generico 20 Mg - online pharmacy Propecia Pris I Sverige Buy Cialis Propecia Finasteride Benefits

StevButt's Gravatar
@ Jan 29, 2020 at 9:21 AM
Viagra Cialis Sante Canada - Buy Cialis Ou Acheter Du Cialis Generique Buy Cialis Tadalafil C100 For Sale

Stepcrype's Gravatar
@ Mar 13, 2020 at 11:40 PM
Ciprofloxacin Online Without A Prescia Buy Cialis Ward Color Buy Cialis Viagra Ipertensione Arteriosa

Jancoal's Gravatar
@ Apr 24, 2020 at 4:16 AM
Cephalexin Synonym Cialis Is Amoxicillin The Same As Penicilin Cialis Clobetasol Lichen Planus

Joxkzr y's Gravatar
Joxkzr y
@ May 2, 2020 at 8:09 PM
Pnfyyy imzqyr erectile dysfunction treatments

Canadian healthcare viagra sales's Gravatar
Canadian healthcare viagra sales
@ May 4, 2020 at 1:46 PM
Hqcmch ltnvtq buy generic silandifil Viagra mail order usa

Canada meds viagra's Gravatar
Canada meds viagra
@ May 5, 2020 at 11:00 AM
Tchcfs dadtev online viagra prescription Approved viagra

Viagra mail order's Gravatar
Viagra mail order
@ May 6, 2020 at 3:36 AM
Kkbgqx zkxthx Order viagra online Order viagra us

Order viagra usa's Gravatar
Order viagra usa
@ May 8, 2020 at 12:05 AM
Ksrbvu vtqoci Usa pharmacy viagra Buy viagra brand

Discount viagra online's Gravatar
Discount viagra online
@ May 8, 2020 at 4:43 PM
Hzlwvn huelfl Buy viagra in us Buy viagra no prescription

Overnight canadian viagra's Gravatar
Overnight canadian viagra
@ May 9, 2020 at 1:34 PM
Dyymdf eredpg US viagra sales Buy viagra canada

Buy cheap viagra online's Gravatar
Buy cheap viagra online
@ May 11, 2020 at 8:28 AM
Akpjkr kzvutg Sale viagra Buy cheap viagra online us

Us viagra's Gravatar
Us viagra
@ May 12, 2020 at 8:45 AM
Hwuruq piiqyx buy viagra us pharmacy Free viagra sample

EstherPaumb's Gravatar
@ May 14, 2020 at 8:16 AM
Optsic fmiyfi Price viagra US viagra sales

male ed pills's Gravatar
male ed pills
@ May 21, 2020 at 8:00 AM
Aneutn zxdeev cheap ed pills ed pills that really work

medicine for erectile's Gravatar
medicine for erectile
@ May 23, 2020 at 2:27 AM
Bgzdwj dqtauj buy ed pills erection pills online

medicine erectile dysfunction's Gravatar
medicine erectile dysfunction
@ May 24, 2020 at 11:50 PM
Dyjchs tyczid ed medication mens erection pills

top ed pills's Gravatar
top ed pills
@ May 26, 2020 at 8:33 PM
Ibnlay drzlir erectile dysfunction pills best ed pills at gnc

EstherPaumb's Gravatar
@ May 30, 2020 at 11:39 PM
Vnktpv jhgedt generic viagra online Viagra original pfizer order

Commenting has been turned off.

Sign Up For Insider Info

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new blog posts.

Blog Sign Up

Leave this field blank: