So NOT true for the tasting room! We know now that you must take the steps and make an effort to drive qualified tasters to your winery. Gone are the days of sticking up a sign and having balloons out, waiting for people to walk in your tasting room. There are so many different channels that wineries can utilize to increase traffic, so here are a few to consider. Keep in mind that outreach should fit with your winery’s unique brand…if it doesn’t fit, don’t do it!

The Social Media rule is: If someone tags, mentions, or comments about you, RESPOND. Not responding is like someone calling your winery, leaving a message that they want to buy wine, and you never call them back.

Digital: It’s our world now, so you better be utilizing it!

  • Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter (only in ABC order…I prefer Instagram)
    • Look at the accounts of people who are mentioning you. They could have a large following that would allow you to promote your brand & encourage their followers to visit your winery.
    • Partner with influencers who fit with your brand. Reach out to several, not just one, via DM.
    • Find your wine club members and follow them (do the same for your guests…have to get that data in the TR though!)
      • Mention them & invite them back for a special experience…trust me this will make them feel SO special
      • Create a private FB Page for them (it’s FREE) where you can post events, experiences, etc. to get them back (hopefully with their friends tagging along who you will convert to club members)
    • Use paid promotions & set locations to drive tasters who are in your area on “slow days”
    • Content, content, content! Create it and use hashtags along with it. Correcting the hashtag confusion is another blog.

  • LinkedIN (largest B2B platform)
    • Use it to invite business professionals out to a “social hour” at your winery
      • Must fit with your brand
    • Post articles about your winery and let the audience know why they should visit
    • Post a calendar of events and tag your most qualified guests
    • Your wine club members are probably on this platform too, so see above!
    • Industry Nights!

  • Email (to utilize this, you have to be collecting email addresses from your guests. This is also another blog post!)
    • Segment campaigns
      • Invite your top purchasers back for a special experience
      • Invite your wine club members back for a new event or experience
      • First time guests… email to thank them and invite them back out
    • Include images of your winery so they are taken back to the day they were there
    • Not too much wording…they shouldn’t have to scroll more than once (or at all) to read the email

  • Website (not necessarily the best for driving traffic to the tasting room, but once they’re looking, you should be promoting)
    • Have your hours and location listed on all pages and/or a visible tab!
    • Include a chat box if possible. DRIFT is free and you can download an app so that it’s manageable from anywhere. If I can manage it for our business with two kids, a husband and dog, then you can too!
    • Include your upcoming events and all experiences
    • Include a booking service

Back to the Basics

  • Outreach Program (your tasting room manager should be responsible for this)
    • Visit potential partners (businesses that fit with your brand) in your area at least once/month
    • Create collateral that reflects your brand
    • Invite the owners and employees at those businesses to have a tasting…remember you need their buy in so that they can promote you in a meaningful way to their guests
    • Track all results so you can see which partnerships are giving the most return
      • Reward those

  • Phone
    • Use it to invite purchasers and wine club members back
    • Text messaging (they must opt in) for special tasting room discounts

  • Mail
    • Same as above…include a special “voucher” for guests to redeem when they visit

Practice makes perfect, so make sure you are trying different methods and channels to drive qualified traffic, and track and evaluate that data. Keep in mind that you can’t be everything to everyone, so showcase your brand in order to attract guests who fit with you. It’s more beneficial to have five qualified tasters who purchase wine or turn into wine club members than it is to have 20 guests in your tasting room that are just going to sit and have a glass of wine! Once you get guests to your tasting room…yep that’s another blog!