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From Tasting Room to Inbox: How to Collect More Customer Email Addresses

Karen Urquhartclock 4 min

Feb 21, 2024

Building lasting relationships with your customers begins with one powerful tool: their email addresses. We all know the importance of building a robust email list, but it's important to remember that quality is just as important as quantity. The task of collecting high-value email addresses in the tasting room presents a unique challenge, considering people's understandable reservations about sharing their contact information. So, let's explore how to no only overcome these hesitations, but also how to build your email list with genuine, valuable connections.

The ‘Why’ Behind Collecting Emails

Before we dive into the 'how,' let's take a moment to understand the significance of the 'why.' It's not just about gathering data; it's about establishing a direct line of communication with those who appreciate your wines; Not to mention building a connection beyond the tasting room experience, which can significantly boost sales – and we've got the data to prove it.

Every year, we closely examine our winery clients (currently around 1700 on our platform) by ranking them based on their email capture rates. For every hundred orders processed in their tasting rooms, we track how many include associated email addresses.

The data reveals a notable difference between the lower-performing and top-performing wineries in our system. The bottom 10% of wineries, with the lowest email capture rates, only collect emails 11% of the time. Conversely, the top 10% of wineries consistently capture email information 88% of the time. That's a substantial gap between the lower and upper tiers.

Taking it a step further, we analyzed the online sales performance of these groups for every dollar they sold in the tasting room, and the results were eye-opening. The top 10% of wineries, capturing the most emails, were selling double what the bottom 10% of wineries were selling online for every dollar sold in their tasting rooms. The trend is simple: wineries excelling at capturing more emails in the tasting room also excel in their online sales.

The best way for wineries to see a similar result is by communicating to their teams why collecting emails matters. Understanding the 'why' will help staff realize that the task of collecting emails isn’t just a transactional process, but an integral part of building relationships with your customers and, most importantly, that it drives tangible impact for your business.

The Key: Creating a Meaningful Invitation 

Now, let's talk about the 'how.' Imagine this scenario: a customer walks into your tasting room, ready to taste your wines, and the staff says, "Want 10% off? Just give us your email." While this might seem like a quick win, does it truly motivate the customer to give you their real contact information, or give them a reason to stay subscribed to your emails?  Probably not. Here's a different idea – use a genuine approach to create a meaningful invitation.

Rather than resorting to a discount-driven request, or other quick-win methods, encourage your team to initiate authentic conversations. Pose meaningful questions that allow you to understand your customers better, and figure out what really matters to them. The focus should be on crafting a compelling invitation that highlights the value your customers will receive in your emails if they share their contact information with you.  

Let's take a look at a couple of real-world examples:

Customer: "I loved the Pinot I tried today!"

Staff: That’s great to hear that you enjoyed the Pinot - what did you like about it?” 

Customer: "The smooth and fruity taste was just perfect for my palate."

Staff: "Fantastic! We're about to release a similar wine, and I think you’ll love it if you’re a fan of the Pinot! We'd love for you to be the first to know. Could I grab your email to keep you in the loop?"


Customer: "I had an amazing time at your event!"

Staff: “That's awesome, what was your favourite part?”

Customer: "I loved the live music and the atmosphere!"

Staff: "That's wonderful to hear! We've got another event with a great local band coming to play in a few months, and our events tend to sell out fast. Mind sharing your email so we can ensure you're among the first to know when tickets go on sale?"

By engaging in these kinds of personalized conversations, it allows you to gain insights into what matters most to the customer, whether it be a perfectly balanced Pinot, or a fun and inviting atmosphere. This personalized approach not only enhances the customer experience but also enables you to find the opportune moment to ask for their email address in a way that resonates with them.

So, go beyond the generic, dive into what matters most to your customers, and weave that understanding into your invitation. Remember, this isn't just about asking for email addresses; it's about building a meaningful and mutually beneficial connection with your customers.

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