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Susan DeMatei
September 17, 2013 | Analytics | Susan DeMatei


I work with a variety of wineries to collect customer data.

Most understand why this is important, but few have a documented, or even widely understood, a plan for what consumer data should be collected, and why.

It is not uncommon for senior management to be thinking one thing is happening, but IT to be setting up databases and fields for a different set of data, and the tasting room to be working on even their own capture techniques. To make sure everyone is on the same page and everyone is working together, it is important to set up a collection plan. And, so people know why they are doing what they ‘re doing and are more motivated to capture data, it is important to explain why this plan is in place.

Here is my recommendation for a basic capture plan.

Primary Data Capture

Full contact info should be collected whenever possible. These touch points might be on the phone when making a reservation, online when placing an order, or walking in the door as a walk-in visitor. Each touch point channel will have different success rates for capturing data, and different responsibilities, needs and technical limitations.

By full customer information, I mean:
  • First and last name
  • billing address
  • email address
  • phone number

This information is helpful for a number of reasons. First and foremost, you can recontact them again, and have a choice for how to do so. If you only collect email addresses, then you don’t have the option to send out a special event invitation via mail, do you? Or, perform an outbound call campaign? The more data you have the more flexible your marketing strategies can become.

Another reason this information is helpful if you can start to look at database segmentation. Combine this information with your marketing or sales efforts, and you can begin to see if those placements in Miami are bringing up any Florida visitors, or if it is worth getting that shipping license for Pennsylvania.

What do do if you don’t have this data?

One easy thing to do if you have a lot of partial records in your database is a data append. There are several subscription websites, like Spokeo, where you can search for missing phone numbers, addresses or emails. Or, if you have an extensive lists, there are companies right here in Napa that do quick and inexpensive data appends based on the NCOA registry. (The National Change of Address Registry is that little card you fill out with the post office when you move . Often it has phone and email and other information that can be appended for as little as $.30 a record. )

Even if you don’t have a lot of incomplete addresses in your database, it is a good idea to scrub your bounces and underliverables in this way at least annually.


It is always easiest to collect data via the internet, as this data is mandatory when checking out of a shopping cart anyway. It is also quite reasonable to ask these questions on the phone when someone is making a reservation. But, what about when they’re standing at a busy bar? This is where your teams’ tenacity and creativity come into play.

It is imperative to work with them to find ways to insert data collection into the tasting room process. This could involved a sign-in sheet, or sing up pads, filling out order forms or iPad check ins. There are many ways to do this and know that you won’t be 100% successful. But for every address you collect, that is another potential sale from your database in the future.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post on Secondary and Tertiary Data collection strategies…


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