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Email Marketing 101: Best Practice Checklist

Kaitlin Stratisclock 4 min

Mar 10, 2021

When email marketing is done correctly, it should account for nearly 20-30% of wineries revenue. While email marketing is a traditional channel, it outperforms social media and search engines.

Whether you’re just getting started or looking to improve your current strategy - we’re going over the basics that will help wineries supercharge their email efforts.

Segment your audience

Segmenting your contacts based on how they interact with your brand is the best way to customize and send relevant content to your audience. Think of segmentation as organizing your contact database by specific characteristics. 

Within your CRM, you can segment your audience by lifetime value, club members, loyal or churned customers, subscribers who haven’t made an initial purchase, or customers who haven’t purchased recently, and so-on. 

Subject lines

A successful email starts with a compelling but concise subject line that will create a sense of urgency, you want to entice your recipients to open the email in the first place. 

  • Subject lines should be kept short, best practices state under 45 characters to avoid cut off 
  • Personalize your subject lines to the content and/or recipient
  • A/B test the subject lines to see which performs best 

Depending on the type of email you’re sending, peak the readers interest:

  • Abandoned cart: “[name], you forgot something!”
  • Birthday discount:Celebrating you - 15% off your order.”
  • Club member: “Red wines you’ll love”
  • Event:Will we see you at [event name]?”

Design and layout

When it comes to email design, you’ll want to create a layout that will grab the attention of your readers and also make it easy to read. Remember, you don’t want to overwhelm them, ensure your email is singular-focused, keep it simple, and compelling. 

  • Create an email banner that calls attention to the type of content you are sharing
  • Always include your logo at the top of the email
  • Ensure your font is easy to read
  • Use sharp images
  • Always make the links and call to actions stand out 

Offer great content 

What type of content are you offering in your email? Are your emails promotional and sales driven, or is your focus to educate and engage customers - or both? Wineries can use email to get creative and really interact with their audience.

Engaging content examples: 

  • New releases/personalized collections
  • Discounts & special offers
  • Brand/winery videos
  • Event promotion and registration
  • Recipes and fun industry facts

Call to actions (CTAs)

A call to action is the ultimate action you want your recipients to take. Whether it’s to learn more, register for an event, purchase a product - or all of the above, your CTA needs to stand out from the rest of your email. A good CTA increases your chances of attracting and converting potential customers.

A/B test

A/B tests are a great way to test and improve your email marketing efforts. With A/B testing you are able to “split” your receipts into two groups - one that receives the original email, and one that receives the version with distinctive variations.

To start, try testing out two different CTA’s to see which one performs better. The A/B test will automatically select which email is performing better in an allotted time and send the winning version to the remainder of the contact list. If you’re encouraging recipients to register for an event, you could try “Register now” vs. “Join us.”

Test and review 

The best way to feel confident before sending your email is to see it for yourself.  Most email marketing platforms give you the option to send yourself a test email so that you can review it as a recipient. 

  • Check for spelling/grammatical errors
  • Make sure the font and the size of text is readable
  • Check that images load and format correctly 
  • Test your links and CTA’s

Track key metrics 

There are a few key metrics you want to track in order to understand your overall email performance. It’s important to track these metrics to gain insight into your success, set benchmarks, and continuously work to improve averages. 

Key metrics include: 

  • Open rate: the number of people who open your email out of your total contact list. [Wine industry average: 24.66%]
  • Click-through rate: The percentage of recipients who clicked a link in your email out of those who opened it. [Wine industry average: 5.08%]
  • Bounce rate: the percentage of email addresses in your subscriber list that didn't receive your message. [Wine industry average: 1.54%]

When email marketing is done correctly, wineries will sell more wine, drive brand awareness, and keep their audience engaged and informed. Consistent and effective communication is crucial for any brand and plays a vital role in customer acquisition and retention.

Ready to supercharge your DTC marketing efforts? 

At Commerce7, we empower wineries of all sizes with the digital tools needed to create customer-centric shopping experiences. Integrate your email marketing strategy with a reliable, purpose-built DTC platform, designed to help wineries grow sales and create better shopping experiences across all channels.

Learn why over 730 wineries choose Commerce7 as their DtC platform.

Book a demo.


Wine industry averages are pulled from the 2020 Email Benchmarks Report by WineGlass Marketing.

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