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Wine Email Marketing Metrics That Matter

How to use your wine email marketing metrics to gain valuable insights

Anyone who manages email marketing for wineries knows about metrics like email open rate and click-through rate.

But most stop there, missing out on the real value of email marketing metrics. These are sometimes referred to as vanity metrics — being the email marketing equivalent of likes on social media.

Email open rates and click-through rates do matter. However, knowing how to combine and interpret them correctly is what is needed to open the door to actionable insights for your small winery.

Winery email marketing metrics can sometimes make complete sense (comic).

“When you put it like that, it makes complete sense.”

The problem with email marketing metrics

In marketing school, we are taught that you can’t improve what you can’t measure, and this principle has survived to guide marketing professionals around the globe every decade since the 1950s.

But when it comes to tracking your winery’s email marketing, high-level metrics such as opens, clicks, and bounces offer very little insight without well-informed interpretation.

For those seeking to gauge their email marketing efforts, it’s easy to find plenty of sources on the web that will tell you which metrics they think you should be tracking:

  1. Email Open Rate
  2. Email Click-through Rate
  3. Conversion Rate
  4. Unsubscribe Rate
  5. Forward Rate
  6. Email Bounce Rate
  7. Overall ROI
  8. List Growth Rate

These high-level metrics are easy to access in all email service providers, and they’re useful for allowing us to quickly check the pulse of our winery’s email marketing. For the busy winemaker/owner/marketing DIYer, checking these email analytics might be the very extent their time allows.

But they don’t inform us what to do.

While it’s still important to track these high-level metrics, optimizing for them often doesn’t translate into deeper engagement. Indeed, sometimes maximizing those metrics leads marketers to adopt clickbait-y headlines and other tactics that erode customer trust.



This article is about how to interpret your wine email marketing metrics, and most importantly, how to see the relationships that will then inform intelligent actions to create positive change.

Let me give you an example.

Suppose you’re looking at your email Open Rates, that is, the number of your emails that are opened divided by the number of emails you sent (multiplied by 100 to convert it into a percentage) and you discover that 10% of your marketing emails are being opened by their recipients. Is this a high, or low number? And in either case, what does this number tell us about how to move forward?

You decide to look back through your email marketing metrics from previous campaigns. Looking at emails that performed better than others, you don’t notice anything that would explain poor email open rates.

By the way, do you know which factors can influence email open rates?


Digging Deeper:

Factors Influencing Email Open Rate

Which elements in your winery's email marketing can influence your open rates?

Your Email Open Rate depends on factors such as the sender name, the subject line, the preview text, day and time, personalization, segmentation and also your email content over time, your email frequency, and the tenure of your subscribers.

For example, should your sender name be an individual — because that's more personal — or should it be something more recognizable like the name of your winery? Only you can determine this one, as it very much depends on your brand and your relationship with your subscribers. Certainly, it is something that warrants testing.


Subject lines are another strong factor influencing email open rates. They perform like headlines, persuading your subscribers they want to read more.Subject lines can be strengthened with personalization, posing a question, or suggesting urgency. Emojis, however, have the effect of increasing negative sentiment toward the sender and do not increase the likelihood of an email being opened. (Neilson Research)On the topic of content, if your email campaigns have traditionally been heavily weighted towards sales promotions with offers that haven't seemed relevant to your subscribers (maybe they weren't segmented for your subscribers' interests, for example), your subscribers might be suffering some fatigue. Read this article to find ways to re-engage email subscribers >

So you start to ask questions: Is the subject line boring? Should I include an emoji? Does it seem spammy? Am I emailing too often? Should I send more offers?

Wine email marketing content strategy

Get help defining an email content marketing strategy for your winery, with audience segmentation, custom landing pages, and ongoing reporting.

Testing specific email marketing dimensions

Asking questions like these can help us generate ideas about how we could test a particular dimension, say, for example, email frequency. If we’re sending an email every week and getting a 10% open rate, what might we discover if we divided our audience into three groups and emailed one group weekly, another group bi-weekly, and a third group monthly?

Let’s say that this experiment reveals that our control group, Group 1 (weekly emails) continued to have an open rate of 10%, Group 2 (bi-weekly emails) had an open rate of 15%, and Group 3 (monthly emails) had a whopping 20% open rate. Naturally, you declare that from this day forth, emails shall only be sent monthly, since a monthly frequency is the obvious “sweet spot”.

But wait, what if we notice that the click-through rate (the number of recipients that click on a link within your email, which takes them to your website) remains at a steady 3% for all groups?

Winery email marketing open rates can be tricky! Are you sure you're interpreting them correctly?
If the Open rate goes up with a lower frequency, but the click-through rate stays the same … which frequency is best?

Ok, let’s put some numbers in here so we can see what’s going on: If your winery’s email list has 1,000 subscribers, at the weekly rate you get 100 emails opened, which leads to 3 clicks to your website.

At the monthly frequency, you get 200 emails opened, which leads to 6 clicks to your website. It still seems that a monthly frequency produces results that are twice as good as weekly, except when you consider your totals each month.

At the weekly rate, you’re getting 3 clicks per week, roughly 12 clicks per month, while the monthly frequency still only provides 6 clicks per month. So where’s your sweet spot now?




Want to make it even more interesting? Ok, let’s bring conversions into the mix. A conversion can be anything from RSVPing for an event or reserving a tasting, to buying some wine. To keep things simple, we’ll say that we’re only interested in selling wine, and you’ve made the call-to-action in your email so clear and compelling that your readers know exactly what they’re clicking on, so you have a 10% conversion rate (10% of the people who click the link, end up buying some wine).

Over a 3 month period, you’ve made three wine sales from your weekly audience (who only had the 10% open rate) and only one wine sale from your monthly audience (with the 20% open rate).

Of course, we haven’t looked at what happens at email frequencies of every three or six months, or even every three days. We also haven’t discussed whether email frequency has an impact on the average value of each sale, or how it affects Return on Investment (ROI), because, as you know, it actually costs money to pay someone to write, design, and manage your winery’s email marketing.

Email marketing metrics are just the beginning

Disappointing email numbers are an indication that something needs attention.

Low email click-through rates? It could be your formatting (giant blocks of text), or it could be that you send too many sales emails, or perhaps you don’t have enough clickable elements.

Lucky for you, you now know how to pinpoint the cause: test, test, test!


Bradley Squires


Bradley Squires, the founder of Wine Chemistry Creative, helps wineries become memorable. He thinks of this as Creating Chemistry with your customers and future customers. Bradley has provided marketing services for some of the largest (and smallest) brands in the U.S.. Notable brands include Vintrace, UCSF, Ericcson, Grgich Hills, The Nature Conservancy, and Napa Valley Vintners. He holds degrees in Oenology, Viticulture, and Wine Marketing. He doesn’t have a dog.

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