Top 3 New Year’s Resolutions for DTC Success in 2017

Cheers to 2017!  A brand new year is ahead of us, and we vow to do all those wonderful, productive things we didn’t get to do in 2016.  As we set our sights on growing our business this year, let’s fill up our calendars and to-do lists with the activities that will really pay off.

Here are the Top 3 Resolutions on our list for 2017.

Make Friends with our Data and Take Action

Now is the time to get out in front of the crush that has kept us busy doing lots of tasks but not addressing the bigger picture.  So let’s create dashboards that measure what is most important and figure out what those numbers are telling us.

Frequently, we think that simple increases in visitor traffic will solve our revenue challenges, but how are we doing with the traffic we already have?  How are our conversions in the Tasting Room?  What percentage of our visitors buy wine, join our wine club, or sign up for our email list?  These are the key metrics to monitor.  Once we know these numbers, we can set goals for our team members to improve the areas that need it.

Are we capturing referral sources so we know who is sending us great guests?  Our best referrers deserve our thanks as well as a special experience for their guests, so we need to find a way to identify them. None of our marketing departments have unlimited budgets, so it’s helpful to guide them to fish where our biggest fish are.

Build our Wine Club beyond Club Shipments

Wine club members are a gift to our business, but whether they are a gift that keeps on giving is up to us.  Are we operating on autopilot and just sending out the shipments?  There’s a lot more we can be doing to increase engagement and sales.

Consider optional club offerings above and beyond the promised shipments.  A white wine offer to Reds-Only club members is welcome in the spring, since some of their friends likely drink Chardonnay.  A magnum offer for summer entertaining adds the WOW factor to any gathering.  Help our members entertain their guests with recipes, food pairings, and entertaining tips, anything to help them look like heroes to their friends.

Are we treating all of our club members the same?  Just like the first wedding anniversary gift is paper and the fiftieth is gold, benefits for our members should improve along with their tenure with us.

Our local club members get benefits not readily available to those who are far away – usually complimentary tastings and tours, and also access to the events and pick up parties.  How well are we taking care of our out-of-town members?  Give them a Party-in-a-Box offer so that they can throw the same bash we are hosting at the winery.  Include the wines, recipes, and costume ideas so they can host their own event.  Invite them to post pictures of their parties on Facebook and increase their engagement.

Segment our Customers

The most popular word in advertising used to be FREE.  Now it’s YOU.  Every customer expects that since we have data, we will cater to their specific preferences.  If we treat everyone the same, we just aren’t paying attention.  If we take the time to zero in on both purchasing behavior and demographics, we can show our customers that they are important to us and that we are paying attention to them.

Who is a local customer and hasn’t visited us for a while?  Can we offer a new tour or tasting experience and get them back to the winery, bringing their friends with them?

Are we sending the same email to everyone?  If I own a dog, buy dog food, and sign up for a pet store email list, I don’t expect to get offers on cat food.  Are we treating our customers any differently?  When we have a new release, are we letting our club members and best customers in on it first?

We all love to have large email lists, but are we kidding ourselves about how many potential customers we have on that list?  Let’s take a hard look and clean up our database.  Who on our list hasn’t purchased in the past 18-24 months?  Send them a final offer and then move the non-responders to an inactive list.  We all need this dose of reality about how big and responsive our list really is.

These are probably things you have thought about, but get beyond thinking about it and put it into action. Let’s start off the New Year with some great, best practices.  Here’s to a great 2017!

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