“Why are wine club members so important to your winery?” This is a popular question we like to ask at the beginning of our Converting Guests to Wine Club training. (We spend about 3.5 hours talking about it in that training, so we want to make sure our students understand why it’s such a big deal!) Most can easily answer the most obvious reasons:

Wine club members provide consistent revenue for your winery.

Wine club members tell their friends about you- they are your brand advocates!

However, the 3rd reason usually stumps most students. Do you know what it is? Wine club members are crucial to building your database! Let’s take a closer look at the value of wine club members:

Wine Club Members Provide Consistent Revenue for Your Winery

It’s true, your wine club members are the bread and butter of your winery. These folks are signing up for a reoccurring purchase at least 3 times a year, not to mention the incremental purchases they’ll make in between. The average lifespan of a wine club member (when they quit the club) is 18 months, bringing the average club member lifetime value between $1800-$2500.
Wineries are taking their wine club members to the bank- literally! Many wineries are able to use the number of wine club members they have as collateral to borrow money for improvements or expansions.

Wine Club Members Are Loyal Brand Advocates

Your wine club members think of your winery as their winery. They are proud to be members! They proudly pour your wine at dinner parties, share your wine with their family and friends, bring their out of town guests to the winery, invite their friends to your events, sport your winery gear, share you on social media etc, etc. They are your word of mouth advertising! Even if they leave the club, chances are they still love your winery. They are lifetime brand advocates, continuing to share your brand and buy your wine.

Wine Club Members Are Crucial to Building Your Database

When you sign up a wine club member, you are capturing their email, home address, phone number, etc. If a club member leaves they will still receive your marketing and are likely to continue to purchase wine from you. Unfortunately, tasting room teams do a poor job of collecting this important information from other visitors. Let’s talk about the numbers… if 5% of guests join the wine club and another 15% purchase wine (hopefully you are getting their contact information), then approximately 80% of all visitors leave your tasting room haven given no contact information. They left with no trace and no way for you to contact them in the future.

The industry average wine club conversion is 5%. Do you know your conversion rate? Are you in line with the industry average… are you above or below average? If you’re not sure, we can help you!

VingDirect Top 5 Recommendations for Increasing your Wine Club Conversion:

1. Ongoing training

2. Increased staffing on weekends or busy days

3. Seated tastings vs. bar tastings

4. Host should stay with the same group from beginning to end

5. Ensure you have good club structure, including clear club collateral, tiered benefits and frequent club events.

Email lindsay@vingdirect.com or call 512.308.2908 to discuss your specific needs.