5 Tips for Powerful Holiday Email Marketing

Powerful  Holiday Email Marketing

November is well underway which means the holiday season is fast upon us. If you use email marketing and more importantly, sell products, this is a very important time of year for your business. Many businesses depend on holiday sales to boost the bottom line. In 2014 online sales totaled over $300 billion dollars with this year projected to supersede this number.

With the announcement of many large retailers closing their doors for Black Friday, shoppers will be increasingly turning to the internet for deals and offers. In order to get a piece of the pie, you have to dial in your email marketing messaging and be sure to include clear call-to-actions. Here are our 5 tips for driving conversion through your holiday email campaigns:

  1. Incorporate Video: Produce a short video to embed into your email. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy and could even be a recorded replay from Periscope. The video could be a product demonstration or display your products in action throughout the holiday season.
  2. Keep it short and sweet: Plan to send multiple emails as it pertains to your holiday offerings. Breakup your offers and updates into bite-size campaigns as this time of year tends to be busy for everyone and the longer, more robust emails, may not be read completely.

  3. Have a clear CTA: A clear call-to-action (CTA), is critical to making sure your readers know what to do next. Make sure to incorporate a “Buy Now” button which leads directly to the sales page and not your home page. Make it easy for someone to complete a purchase.

  4. Have a Sense of Urgency: Feature offers and limited time availability so readers are encouraged to take action right away vs. saving your email for later reading and potentially not returning to. Try incorporating copy such as: “This Deal Ends at midnight on Saturday.”

  5. Express Thanks: Even though we want everyone to purchase from us right now, it is just as important to express your gratitude for those who do. Be authentic and tell your customers how much they mean to you.

Do you have any additional holiday email marketing tips? We love to hear more about why it was successful, share in the comments below.

Charlotte Chipperfield, Founder & CEO

It's Our Birthday!

Today, The Wine Key LLC. officially celebrates 1 year of being an incorporated business! We are so very grateful to each and every person who has been on this journey with us. From clients, to colleagues, to supporters, and of course, to family and friends. Each one of you has been a part of this amazing journey and we appreciate each and everyone of you. Thank you.

This one year milestone is a proud one. Statistically, most businesses fail within the first year of operation and we're happy to say we are thriving. That's not to say we haven't been without our challenges, but we wouldn't change a thing. Each challenge, and each decision, has lead us to where we are today and we could not be more grateful. 

To celebrate our one year anniversary, we wanted to give you a gift. As of today, we are please to announce the official launch of our online store! The store provides additional marketing resources for getting started or revamping your social media, branding or email marketing. We invite you to take a look and to share with your colleagues and friends.

Thank you again for all your support and business. We look forward to many more fabulous years ahead! 

With much gratitude, 
Charlotte Chipperfield, Founder & CEO



3 Brands Excelling at Social Media

Coming up with innovative and impactful social media strategies month after month can prove to be a creative challenge. When dealing with a creative block, looking to others as an example, can help get the juices flowing again.

Here are three brands we follow who understand the power of a great social media plan:

Jordan Winery

This is a winery who understood the value of social media early on and has been excelling at it ever since. In the competitive wine industry you have to stand out and Jordan has proved they have a clear understanding of their brand voice both inside and out. They use powerful imagery to promote an elegant wine lifestyle while being informative on the latest vineyard and harvest updates.

Jordan Winery is also great at leverage “national days” such as National Coffee Day, National Bathtub Day, etc. They are also a leader in embracing video, having spoofed Star Wars for their “Cab Wars.” They serve the perfect balance of consistently posting both original content and participating in trends.

Facebook: facebook.com/jordanwinery
Twitter: @jordanwinery
Instagram: @jordanwinery

Virgin America

Virgin America is our airline of choice because they get their customers. Virgin America understands that the customer experience isn’t limited to just a flight. They have built an online community which not only features flight deals but demonstrates their involvement with communities around the country.

Their posts are a great balance of contests, flight deals, new partnerships with Netflix and Uber, for example, and they focus on “inside looks” into what it's like to work for them. They often show their staff celebrating at baseball games and the airline’s birthday.

As with Jordan Winery, Virgin America has powerful imagery including shots taken from planes and destination locations such as Hawaii, which is enough to incentivize us to book a ticket! Who doesn’t want to be in Hawaii?!

Facebook: facebook.com/VirginAmerica
Twitter: @VirginAmerica

Instagram: @VirginAmerica

Skinny Cow

The name alone makes us smile. “The Skinny Cow” has their branding down to a tee. They are a brand that knows exactly what their audience experiences each day. They understand their problems and challenges and finds a solution. No matter if you are running late, need an afternoon pick me up, or need a late night snack, they have a guilt free product to serve up.

As with the previous two examples, they use powerful imagery that clearly communicates their messaging but is also relatable. They post consistently and create appropriate hashtags such as #SkinnyCowCoffeeNap which have accompanying GIFs. This is a very well thought out campaign especially with the arrival of fall as many of us are reaching for Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

Facebook: facebook.com/TheSkinnyCowUS
Twitter: @theskinnycow

Instagram: @theskinnycow

Key Takeaways:

All the brands highlighted above have a few things in common which you can also implement into your social media strategy:

Clear adaptation of brand voice

  • Consistent posting
  • Appropriate use of hashtags
  • Right mix of content
  • Powerful imagery
  • Correct links leading to landing pages or specific deals and not just to homepages.

The above brands not only understand social media but they know exactly how to connect with their respective audiences.

Charlotte Chipperfield, Founder & CEO

P.S. Manage your social media plans with our free content calendar. Just subscribe to our mailing list and receive a free content calendar today!

Quick Glance Analytics for Social Media

Social Media Analytivs

It’s no secret that social media moves at the speed of light. Within 30 seconds of signing in to Twitter, for example, there are at least 120 new updates. With this pace, tirelessly trying to keep up with posting, creating content, or engaging with others can quickly cause overwhelm to set in.

With no strategy centered around a brand’s social media presence posting and engagement will quickly become sporadic and stagnant. Perspective clients and customers often look to social media to see how active and relevant a company is before contacting or making a purchase. A strong social media presence with timely community management can lead to more sales calls and clients over time. Social media allows a company to “walk the talk,” if you will, and give customers a more dynamic impression of the company that isn’t limited solely to descriptions on the website. Social media allows a company to be personified and show how they effectively support their customers and followers no matter where they stand in the purchase cycle.

Even if you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to social media it’s vital to stop once in a while to take a pulse reading to understand what’s working and what’s not working. This will in the long run be a time saver allowing you to focus on producing content of the most value to your audience.

Here are a few key performance indicators we recommend reviewing:

Twitter at a Glance:

  • Engagement: Favorites, Retweets, Responses

  • Demographics

  • Average follower gain per day

  • Audience top interests

  • Top Tweets

  • Link Clicks

Facebook at a Glance:

  • Engagement: Likes, Shares, Comments

  • Reach

  • Top Posts

  • Post Clicks

  • Demographics: Who is your audience and are you speaking to them correctly

Taking the time to measure results is critical to understand success in social media. Your audience will not only thank you but so will your bottom line.

Charlotte Chipperfield, Founder & CEO

P.S. If you need additional ways to plan, be sure to join our mailing list and receive a free content calendar when you do!


Periscope: A Quick Guide for Getting Started

The latest social media platform making a lot noise, is Periscope, the video streaming app from Twitter. Video is a medium everyone is learning to tackle as it gains more and more traction as an impactful tool for engagement and interacting with customers, clients and followers.

So what is Periscope? Periscope allows users to broadcast live to anyone anywhere right from their smartphones. This is a powerful tool especially for business. We recently started broadcasting, (or “scoping” as it’s called), on marketing and have put together tips for getting started with Periscope:

How to use Periscope:

Getting Started:

  • Start by downloading the Periscope app to your phone. You can then set-up your account by logging through your Twitter account. This will pull your profile information and image.

  • From this point forward, when you launch the app you will be brought to the broadcast screen displayed by the “TV” icon on the bottom menu.

  • The “TV” screen displays the broadcasts of the people you follow. Just below the live broadcasts are a list of replays from other recent broadcasts from the people you follow. Each broadcast only lives for 24 hours. Just select any to watch.

  • The “Globe” icon at the bottom on the screen allows you to browse through all live broadcasts around the world.

  • The third icon on the bottom menu is a “Camera Lens”. This is where you set-up and start your live broadcasts.

Tips for Hosting a “Scope”:

  • Develop a killer headline. The headline is what tells followers what your scope is all about. It should be attention grabbing but also inform viewers what they are going to learn. Emojis are can also be used throughout the headline.

  • Turn your location settings on or off using the arrow icon. This is a great feature if you are at an event or venue you want people to know about. However, be aware of filming from home or a location you don’t want people to know about. The location setting can be very accurate.

  • The lock icon allows you to host a private scope with a select few followers

  • The person in the speech bubble icon allows you to monitor who can chat throughout the scope. It can be set to either everyone on Periscope or a select group of followers.

  • The Twitter icon allows you to send a Tweet to your account saying you are live with a link for your followers to join in.

  • Before starting your broadcast make sure your phone is either in airplane mode and/or “do not disturb” mode so you don’t receive any calls or notifications during your broadcast. Just make sure you are connected to WiFi.

  • When you “start a broadcast” know that the camera will start be facing out so it is a good idea to have the camera on your website or image you want people to see first.

  • To turn the camera around, just double tap the screen.

  • Once you hit the “start broadcast” button, you are live so start talking.

During the Broadcasting:

  • Conversation bubbles will appear in the bottom left hand corner informing you of viewers and their comments. Be sure to welcome people as they join.

  • Ask questions throughout to engage viewers by typing their answers in the dialogue box.

  • You’ll see hearts streaming along the right hand side. These are the equivalent of applause. Each viewer has about 500 hearts to give per broadcast. These hearts help with your visibility across the platform. A viewer can leave the broadcast and return allowing for the heart count to start over again.

  • Invite viewers to swipe right to share the broadcast

  • Keep it simple

  • Keep it clean

  • Keep the length to a couple of minutes

  • Remember the broadcast is live and goof ups happen. Just keep going and know practice does make perfect.

  • Swipe down to end your broadcast

  • You can autosave the broadcast to your phone or use the Katch.me app to record and save your broadcast. As your scope will only last for 24 hours, you can then download save your scope to YouTube or Vimeo.

  • After the broadcast you can then see who participated and send them a quick “Thank you” on Twitter.

  • You will also be able to see who viewed the replay

Tips for finding Followers:

  • The great thing is that Periscope is linked to your Twitter account so finding your Twitter fans is as easy and selecting the three person icon in the bottom right hand corner of the app.

  • This is also how you access your profile. First select the three person icon then select the one person icon on the next screen at the top right hand corner to display your profile information and to manage your settings and to see past broadcasts.

What to Scope:

  • Product Demonstrations

  • Remote focus groups using the private broadcast feature

  • Q&A with customers or clients

  • Direct conversation with customers and clients

Periscope is fantastic for reaching a new audience and for bringing a new perspective to your brand or products, literally. Additionally, using tools to for saving your videos and distributing them to other websites such as YouTube and Vimeo companies don’t have to spend huge production budgets to directly communicate with customers.

Have you started using Periscope yet? If not, don’t forget that early adoption is key reaching more people quickly and growing a following when using a new application.

You can find The Wine Key on Periscope @thewinekey. We hope to see you on a scope soon!

Charlotte Chipperfield, Founder & CEO

Catch the Periscope about Periscope: 

Instagram is all About Timing: 4 Tips for Managing Scheduled Posts using Hootsuite

Schedule Instagram Posts

If you aren’t using Instagram for your business, now is the time. With over 300 million users primarily between the ages of 18 and 35, your customers and clients can most likely be found on Instagram. If you haven’t used Hootsuite before, now might also be the time.

Hootsuite is a fantastic social media management tool that has many levels of services based on your needs. The free service connects three social media platforms and allows for customization of your dashboard to easily manage mentions, followers and hashtags. It was recently announced that Instagram feeds can now be managed within the social media management platform of Hootsuite. The most exciting feature of this recent update, is the ability to schedule posts to Instagram.

Until now, there has not been a way to manage your Instagram outside of the app itself. If you are a busy company like us, the more dynamic the management tools, the better the social media.

Based on this new feature, we have put together a couple of recommendations for managing your Instagram account using Hootsuite:

  1. Post Times: Think about when you have had success in the past with posts. Is it in the evening, midday, or morning? Try to keep your schedule consistent so followers can continue to expect your posts. Alternatively, use the scheduling tool to test out new times of day that might drive more engagement and build your audience.

  2. Be in the Moment: Regardless of when you decide the best time to post will be, remember Instagram is all about being in the moment to showcase powerful images that drive action or build brand awareness. A scheduled post should still look timely. For example, if it’s dark outside and you post a photo being outside in the sunshine with a caption that reads, “out and about enjoying the sun,” followers are going to question the authenticity of this post.

  3. Schedule from the Hootsuite App: We recommend downloading the Hootsuite app to your phone which is free. This allows for the use of emojis from your smart phone’s keyboard. Otherwise, the online dashboard when used on your computer doesn’t allow for using emojis.

  4. Schedule Notification: Once you have scheduled your post, Hootsuite will send you a notification that it is time to post. At this time, you will be prompted to open your draft in the Instagram app. This still allows you to use the great photo filters within Instagram.

The only drawback is that the app doesn't seem to allow you to schedule a post directly and forget leave it to post. We've also experiences issues with copying the caption over from Hootsuite to Instagram, in that it doesn't allow us to. We still recommend this feature as it is a great way to draft and remind yourself to post to Instagram. Hootsuite is a fundamental tool for many business’ social media management. For assistance in deciding what might work best for your brand or business, reach out for a strategy session to get you up and running.

Charlotte Chipperfield, Founder & CEO

Email Marketing is Not Dead

Email Marketing is Not Dead

Most of us have an inbox inundated with both personal and subscription based emails. The number each morning can be overwhelming leading to mass deletion. However, as a Business Owner or Email Marketing Manager, this doesn't mean that email marketing is dead. What this does mean is that your messaging has to stand out more than ever and, more importantly, be of great value to your audience. 

Here are three tips for effective email marketing:

1. Give Value before the first Email: In order to acquire a new email subscriber it is often a good idea to give something in return for their email address. Deliver a piece of content to your new subscriber before they even receive their first email. This can be anything from a promotional code, free ebook, a checklist or whitepaper. Overdeliver on this product giving additional tips or discounts so the subscriber feels comfortable with your offerings before you even sell or further communicate. 

2. Tell your Audience the Frequency of your Communications: One of the big unknowns when subscribing to a list is the fear of getting an email every day or more than once a day. We've all been on one of those lists where companies like to hit you over the head with their sale offers more than once a day. What a headache! To alleviate this fear with potential subscribers, tell them during the sign-up process the frequency of your communications be it weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc. 

3. Personalize: When companies listen to their customers and treat them as individuals, they win. The same principles can be applied to email marketing. Many email service providers (ESPs) include a merge tag which allows you to address each subscriber by their name, (providing you require this at sign-up). Addressing a customer by name both in the email and often in the subject line, can be attention grabbing. Additionally, customer profiles can be build to learn which customers have stronger interest in certain products or services allowing you to really target the right people with the right content. 

Remember that you own your list. Unlike a social media platform which could disappear tomorrow, and with it your followers, you own your email list and having strong and personalized communication with added value will ensure your email marketing is as effective as can be to help grow your business. 

Lastly, we work with a number of clients on an ongoing basis with their email marketing and one of the ways we ensure we follow rules and regulations in accordance with the law is to frequently visit the official CANSPAM website which is a great tool for ensuring your emails aren't breaking the law. 

Email marketing is only dead should you choose not to use this valuable tool correctly. 

Charlotte Chipperfield, Founder & CEO 


Website Design - 4 Tips to Consider Before Getting Started

Regardless of if you are planning to start a business or if you have been in business for a number of years, setting up a website or maintaining an effective website can quickly become a full time gig. That's why, here at The Wine Key, we decided to put together 4 tips we use when tackling a website design project:

  1. Be Clear on the Purpose: It is very easy to get caught up in pretty pictures, blocks of text, font styles and colors. Becoming clear on the purpose of your website is the first step to staying on track during the design phase. For example, if the website's main functionality is eCommerce, then the purchasing process should be as efficient and effective for customers to move through the sale funnel and complete their transaction. 
  2. Think of your User: Building on point #1, it is important to design your website for your user and not for yourself. The user should easily find the information they are seeking or complete a transaction without hassle and frustration. 
  3. Keep it Simple: Don't over complicate your website. With your purpose in mind, keep all text as short and sweet as possible. Transaction pages should again, be as detailed but easy to use. Colors, backgrounds and images should also be appropriate and in line with branding. 
  4. Include Clear Call-to-Actions: Answer the question: What do you want a user to do when they arrive at your website? Ask the same question for each page on your website. Make sure to funnel your traffic to where you want them to go and direct them towards an email sign-up, a sale or to contact the business. 

As a bonus tip, have multiple people test your website before it goes live. Ask them questions to make sure what your as communicating is getting through to your audience. Need help designing your website? Reach out to us to explain your project. 

SEO, What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Photo Credit goes to Death to the Stock Photo.

SEO what, huh? These three capitalized letters stand for "Search Engine Optimization." Simply put, this is directly impacting how often your website shows up in search results. 

SEO is a marketing strategy which takes into account how search engines work, how users search and what terms they are using to search. By doing research into industry specific terms used by a target audience, marketers can then edit website content to include these terms as well as increasing the number of inbound links by incorporating social media marketing, email marketing and referral marketing. 

Incorporating SEO efforts into a marketing strategy is vital. It is also a good idea to check in every few months to see if efforts are driving more traffic to the website. It is also important to update key terms as industries and search engines are changing all the time. 

We've put together a simple SEO check list to help you better under SEO and creating next steps as a starter tool for you to reference for better SEO to your website. Download your free SEO Check List.

How has SEO helped to increase your web presence? We would love to hear your comments below.

Charlotte Chipperfield, Founder & CEO


4 Reasons Your Wine Brand Should be Using Instagram

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Photo Credit goes to Death to the Stock Photo.

Instagram officially has more users than Twitter. What does that mean for your brand?

Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, or in this case, it could mean a thousand dollars. Instagram provides a simplistic way of reaching more customers. It's been proven that one of the most effective ways to connect with fans online is showing behind the scenes glimpses into your operations which humanizes and personifies your brand or service. From the wine industry perspective, Instagram is one of the most powerful tools you should be using and here's why:

Wine is a Lifestyle

We all know that when a customer is able to taste a wine they are more likely to buy it compared to shopping online without having tasted it before. However, Instagram could be the tool that helps to bridge this gap. Displaying your wine in situations a buyer could potentially be enjoying your wine makes it more desired. For example, take images of your wine at a picnic, at a restaurant, on a boat. Make it look exciting but relatable. 

digital wine journal

People do judge a book by it's cover and many people choose to purchase a wine based on the label. Often times consumers will remember a label but can't remember if they liked it or not. With the popularity of recent wine apps allowing users to share and document the wines they are drinking, Instagram works in a similar way allowing those to document which wines they liked (and hopefully, never hated). It's also a great way for wineries to see customers enjoying their product and to gain more insight into their target market - If you are on Instagram of course. 

Everyone loves Happy Hour

Even if you don't have a lot of time to dedicate to social media, you know you are indulging in a glass of wine here and there. Wine postings increase at the end of the day for that reason, people like wine. A picture of a glass of wine or your wine's label is valuable content. There are endless memes of happy hours and prayers for Friday celebrations - Let your wine brand be a part of that conversation. 

vineyards grow

Another great way for wineries to use Instagram is to document the progression of the vineyards throughout the growing season. Wine education is a growing industry as consumers love to absorb wine knowledge as quickly as they are drinking. All wine starts in the vineyard which gives a great opportunity to tell the unique story of your vineyards, soil types, weather patterns and priceless views. 

You don't need to stress about creating content, you already have all you need!

Check out The Wine Key's Instagram for inspiration. 

Charlotte Chipperfield, Founder & CEO


Does Love Play a Role in your Social Media?

Gone are the days when social media was synonymous with college kids planning keggers. Social media has become an integral part in both our personal and professional lives. Social media is just that, it's social. Be inspired to engage with your audience as Valentine's Day approaches. Love is in the air which makes this a great time to incorporate love into your social media plans and posts.

We're not talking about designing a bright pink "Happy Valentine's Day" post, although, those are great.  What we mean is, plan to incorporate love into your strategy for 2015 in these three ways: 

Courtesy of SocialNewsDaily.com

Courtesy of SocialNewsDaily.com

  1. Love for your business. Just because there is a computer screen between you and your customers, doesn't mean they won't pick up on appathy. Love your business first and it will shine through.
  2. Love for your product. If you don't have a true love for your product or service, how do you expect others to? Show the love.
  3. Love for your clients and customers. Never forget who is purchasing your products and services. Your clients and customers are the reason you exist. Show appreciation and let them know they are valued. 

Take the time to look at your social media plan and be sure to show the love this February.

Does your social media need a check-up? Do you need assistance putting love into your 2015 social media strategies, get in touch to learn to see how we can help:

Charlotte Chipperfield, Founder & CEO

It's a Fresh New Year - Start Planning Your Content

We've all heard it over and over again, one of the most effective ways of connecting with potential customers online is through valuable content. 

But how do we create this content and how do we define valuable? 

It starts with defining your goals. Common goals may include:

Plan for a success 2015 with The Wine Key's free content calendar 

Plan for a success 2015 with The Wine Key's free content calendar 

  • Reaching new audiences
  • Engaging your current audience
  • Acquiring new customers and clients
  • Brand Awareness

However, these goals can't be accomplished without creating actionable steps to achieve them. 

As the new year is in full swing, it is an excellent time to sit down and create a plan. Start small, plan for three months at a time if a year feels overwhelming. Over the next few months, monitor what works and what doesn't, then keep doing what works. 

To help you plan out your upcoming content, The Wine Key LLC. has created a free template to help you keep track and document your 2015 content ideas and put them into action. Click here to get your free content calendar. 

No matter the size or industry your business is in, January is the time to start planning for a success year.

Still feeling overwhelmed? See how The Wine Key can help plan and execute your content ideas for you. 

Charlotte Chipperfield, Founder & CEO