Traffic Got You Down?

The reports are in, and traffic is down year on year (to date) in many regions. While all are hopeful it will return to at least 2019 levels, several WISE wineries are focusing on driving revenue beyond the tasting room.

Here are three ways to drive revenue even when traffic is slow.

1. Old School – Calling Our Customers.
It is time for old fashioned dialing for dollars. What a perfect time to call fans (Members, Alumni Members, First Time Buyers) with an offer before it gets too warm for summer shipping. If tasting room labor is too high for the lack of traffic, staff can either have hours cut or be given the opportunity to reach out to their favorite guests via phone.

    • What to consider:
      • Team members. Some are hesitant to call, it is a different skill set after all and they may be feeling a bit rusty, but many have come to enjoy this revenue generating project. Find team members who are goal-driven, have good listening skills, demonstrate passion, don’t take ‘no’ personally, AND aren’t afraid to talk on the phone – they can bridge the different skills needed. It is all about matching the right list with the right offer, and of course, with the right team member. Get those three things dialed in and give it a go! What have we got to lose? Not much, considering we may not have guests coming in anyway.
      • Not Telesales. This isn’t cold calling, but rather one more avenue for engaging our fans. Our customers want to hear from us and if we’re not hard selling (sales is an extension of great hospitality), they appreciate that we’ve reached out to them. Find ‘reasons’ to call our fans. (See bonus tips below.) Just checking in with them to see if they need any wine is an extension of good service and leads to plenty of sales without it seeming like a cold call or telesales.
      • Fans. Start with club members to get comfortable – they already love you. Then you can create strategic lists to set your campaigns up for success.

2. New School – Text Our Customers.
Texting is here to stay! Many WISE wineries are having great success texting specific offers to highly segmented lists. While it involves an investment in texting technology, the payoff can be enough to offset the decline in tasting room traffic. Texting can be used for inbound inquiries, as well as outreach to fans of the winery. This newer channel takes a while to get to know, but the results are impressive.

    • What to consider:
      • RedChirp. If you’re not already using RedChirp or another platform, consider implementing one soon to help you manage lists, compliance, and more.
      • Special Project. Consider making this a special project for a top performer in the tasting room who is looking to take on more responsibility. Have them research partners, design a program, and implement it.
      • Like Email Marketing. Consider text like email marketing – have a target audience, an offer, a schedule of campaigns planned out for the year, metrics to measure success. Etc.

3. Re-School. In-Market Events.
If traffic to your area is slowing down, consider taking the winery on the road. Why not meet our members and fans where they are? Where are there pockets of these fans that match where key winery personnel may be traveling? This is an opportunity to bring the winery to your fans. It is not unheard of for Members or big buyers to host and cater a meal if the winery shows up with the wine. A clear value proposition (with wine sales commitment) can help the winery reach its goals and ensure Members are on board.

    • What to consider:
      • Reasons to go on the road:
        • What’s already planned for market visits (do key winery personnel like owners or winemakers, sales/distributor visits have travel coming up) – can you add other events for club members around these visits?
        • Is there an on-brand event or cause that makes sense to support?
        • Is the local travel association doing a road show?
        • Can multiple wineries cross promote and share a roadshow/dinner in a nearby area
      • How to measure success. What is a measurement of success? Breaking even on travel costs or increasing revenue and club signups?
      • How to market & plan the event. Consider what you’ll need for marketing, champion engagement, location selection, event planning, staffing, and customer engagement and sales success tips. (Shameless plug – WISE has a course specifically about this! WISE #222 Roadshow Events)

Bonus Tips!

Creative Audiences:

  • Alumni Members – just because they are not actively receiving club shipments, don’t count them out!
  • Active Members – those who purchase outside club shipments may be looking for new ways to engage with the brand.
  • Passive Members – those who just take club shipments may not realize there are benefits to purchasing in other channels too.
  • Purchasers who did not join the club – take it beyond a “hope they decide to purchase again” and GIVE them a reason to purchase again.
  • Big Buyers – leverage them for their friends, who are most likely just like them. Ask for referrals or to entertain their friends who also appreciate fine wines.

Creative Wine Offers:

  • End of vintage/get it before it is gone (create sense of urgency!)
  • New releases perfect for warmer weather – stock up before it gets too hot to ship.
  • BBQ wines
  • Poolside sippers
  • Wines that pair well with sunsets and warm evenings
  • Large formats for wedding/college graduation gifts
  • Library wines with special vintages for wedding gifts
  • Mystery six pack or case specials
  • Pay Ground, get upgraded to Two Day Air shipping specials
  • “Private Sale” to select groups
  • Anyone who purchased in the tasting room or online but did not join, with a specific wine based on their prior purchase

We can either wait and hope traffic returns, or we can expand other revenue channels. Feeling stuck? Give us a call or drop us a line, we are happy to brainstorm some ideas with you!