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Susan DeMatei
September 1, 2015 | Analytics | Susan DeMatei


The wine industry is one of adventure, mystery, romance and awe.

No, seriously.

Our guests want to escape the hustle and bustle of their daily lives in Ohio, or Iowa, into this wonderful wine country world that we have created…that is why they come in by the busload to experience it.

It is important for your tasting room staff to create this romance in their daily communications. To have a long-term, loyal customer, you need your guests to keep mentally traveling back to their harvest experience months down the road when they are back at home in the cold snow of winter.

To make that happen, here are three things to keep in mind :

  • Make it Obvious:
    Don’t make it too difficult for them to sign up on your mailing list. This seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how often this is overlooked. If at all possible, have a “sign up now” on every tasting menu on your bar and on your website homepage. Actually ask them to sign up.  Building your database is imperative to growing your business, so why make it difficult for them?
  • Get your Team on Board:
    It is important that your front line (your tasting room staff) are aware of your goals when it comes to signing up people for your mailing list. Help them incorporate “inviting” people to join the list into their conversation. Remind your guests that you are offering something unique, and if you provide value in your communications, why wouldn’t they want to hear from you?
    Wine bar senior couple barman pour glass
  • Make it Accessible:
    Make sure your website and social media reflect your winery’s information. Nothing is more agonizing for a guest than to search through the various platforms to find your contact information. Make sure which ever platform they prefer is updated with the most current information, and the information given is consistent. When updating your social media, remember to stay engaged. Your guests are expecting real-time answers, so make sure you are monitoring your social media daily.

Make it Real:

Wine is meant to be enjoyed. When guests visit you, whether you know if or not, YOU are the entertainment. During the time they spend with you, they aren’t thinking about work, or responsibilities. There is no reason you can’t continue this in your email communications. When your guests hear from you, it takes them back to that vacation. They WANT to hear from you! So, give them a slice of what they remember.  Recipes, pairing suggestions, what is happening in the vineyards or cellars, interviews with employees or tasting room staff…all of these articles bring them back to why they signed up in the first place and make them want to buy your wine again.

So look at the value you’re providing your guests.  Are you inviting them to join your list and providing them valuable snippets of what the wine country life is like to entertain them?  Or are you pouring wine, taking your tasting fee and sending out sales emails every quarter?  The former is what your customers want.  The latter is lazy and likely to get unsubscribes.  Harvest is a great time to build your database and carry on the good feelings throughout the winter ahead.


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