What did we do?
- Development of lead generation strategies both online and offline
- Facebook Advertising
- Socia media management
- Set up of Mailchimp email automations
- Tone of voice guidelines
- Data analysis
- Affiliation program set up
Who is Luretta?
One of the most dynamic projects we’ve had the chance to work on at Mowgli over the past year has been the development of Luretta’s new e-commerce store. Luretta is an award-winning winery located in the Colli Piacentini region in Northern Italy. They reached out to us in late 2019 asking for strategic support, helping with the expansion of their B2B sales network. However, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit in early 2020 our trajectory with Luretta was forced to change.
Our previous case study discussed how the initial part of the project developed, explaining how we changed the company’s communication strategy to adapt to the new circumstances within a limited time frame. In the months following March 2020, restaurants and shops closed down due to government regulations to fight the pandemic. During this time, Luretta decided to start selling directly to the final consumer – a business model shift that had not been tested before. We built a new e-commerce store using WordPress and WooCommerce and developed a social media and newsletter campaign aimed at raising awareness toward the new service offered by the winery.
The process involved an initial re-branding operation, the development of an editorial calendar, and a series of Facebook ads designed to expand Luretta’s geographical reach, but that was only the beginning. Over the course of the past year, we have implemented a series of email funnels to optimise the conversions of Luretta’s webshop and gain new leads through a series of advertising campaigns. In this case study, we will explore in detail the steps taken to boost wine sales with a low ad spend, focusing specifically on email marketing.
Reaching new customers in a competitive market
Unlike many products sold online, wine is not always bought to fulfill an identifiable need. Sure, people may be thirsty, but there are thousands of different labels out there and there is no shortage of occasions in which one may raise a glass to celebrate. In this sense, Luretta is a special kind of client, selling a niche product to a loyal customer base but mostly unknown to the average drinker outside its region, despite the many international prizes and mentions in wine guides.
The wine market is very competitive and getting people to try the product is an essential step to building a solid customer base. Luretta had a list of nearly 4,000 email contacts collected over the years, and while those contacts were eager to order wine during lockdown, reaching new potential customers was not so simple. The reason for this is that specialized marketplaces and physical supermarkets had hundreds of labels available, often sold at discounted rates that were not possible to match by a small, family-run business.
While in the initial part of the project our communication efforts were directed towards active customers to let them know that Luretta was now selling online, during the second stage of the project we set up a series of strategies to connect with new potential customers and engage with those who had stopped buying from Luretta.
Lead generation strategies: 4 effective ways to collect qualified leads
Various strategies were used to collect new contacts, which were later used to promote Luretta’s wines. The four main channels for lead generation were Facebook ads, organic social media traffic, offline email collection and an affiliation program. Based on the origin of the lead we segmented our email list to provide tailored communication designed to optimise conversions and minimize the unsubscription rate.
1.Lead magnets promoted via Facebook ads
The most effective way to generate leads was through lead magnets advertised on Facebook. The process is relatively simple, but it required some testing to find the right message. Our ads targeted audiences living outside of Luretta’s typical markets and offered three different lead magnets:
- Free shipping on all orders: although Luretta already offered free shipping on orders above 80€, we included shipping on all orders to allow people who wanted to try even just one single bottle of wine to receive it without additional cost.
- Discount code: a second ad replaced the free shipping with a 10% discount code that the user would receive via email when subscribing to Luretta’s email list. The discount was available only for first-time buyers, however, if an existing customer tried to register they received an email with a smaller discount to nudge them into ordering anyway.
- Free bottle of wine: a third ad offered a free bottle of Luretta’s most popular sparkling wine – Principessa – with every case of wine ordered. The value of the bottle was similar to that of the discount code, but by framing the offer as a “gift” available for a limited time, it was perceived as more valuable than a 10% discount.
After testing the three ads with a small budget we realized that free shipping was not as attractive as the other two lead magnets. Online shoppers are getting accustomed to free shipping services like Amazon Prime, and are less likely to see free shipping as valuable. Discount codes and the free bottle proved to be effective solutions even with a low ad spend, allowing us to gather many qualified leads.
The most effective strategy was the pairing of a lead magnet with a special event. For instance, when we decided to offer a free bottle of wine with all orders placed within 48 hours to celebrate the first anniversary of Luretta’s webshop, we gained 22 new qualified leads and 60 orders within 24 hours.
2. Organic social media
While Facebook was the primary tool for paid advertising, most of the organic action happened on Instagram, where we promoted Luretta’s new brand image through new photography and storytelling. Instagram became a space for wine drinkers to share their purchases and tasting experiences. By sharing Instagram stories about Luretta, posted by its customers, we pushed other customers to engage with us more and spread the word through images.
In less than a year Luretta’s follower count doubled and the organic reach of the post surpassed 134,000 users. Many of the new followers became email subscribers.
3. Offline customers
Another effective way to collect qualified leads was by asking people who visited the winery to leave their email to receive news about future initiatives, special events, and discounts. Luretta is located under the famed Momeliano Castle and many people visit the winery throughout the week to experience the Colli Piacentini region and participate in one of the winery’s tasting sessions. Luretta’s staff collects the emails of visitors and adds them into MailChimp, tagging them as “offline users.” While this type of work cannot be fully automated, it provides us with leads that are highly likely to open, read, and click on our emails, making the conversion step much shorter than in an online interaction.
Last but not least, we worked on our affiliation program. As Luretta’s email list continued to grow, we decided to launch an affiliation program to reward the winery’s most loyal customers. No marketing strategy is as effective as word of mouth. Personal advice is likely to be positive when someone has purchased multiple times from the same brand. Following this logic, we activated an affiliate program for all those customers who had made at least three purchases from Luretta’s webshop. The affiliate program allowed registered users to gift their friends with a 10% discount on all orders, usable through a personalized link. Everytime a purchase was made through the link the affiliate earned a 5€ credit to use on the shop.
Email sequences for new and existing customers
Collecting leads is only the first part of an email marketing strategy. By using MailChimp to manage our contacts, we developed a series of email funnels and sequences to nurture our leads, get them to know the company better, increase conversions, and grow the lifetime value of each customer.
We identified five phases of our customer journey and designed our email communication plan accordingly. The five phases are awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy. Each email is meant to speak to the user at one specific stage, guiding them towards the next.
Here are the main sequences that we used:
1. Welcome Sequence
Every time a new user subscribes to Luretta’s list they enter our welcome sequence, which is meant to introduce the company and its philosophy, explain what type of products can be found in the shop, and ultimately get the reader to either order a case of wine or visit the winery for a tasting session.
The welcome sequence involves four emails that every new subscriber receives on a weekly basis, raising awareness toward the products and initiatives that the company is involved in. It is structured as such:
- Introduction to Luretta and its philosophy: the first email new subscribers receive tells the story of Luretta and its founder, explaining how the Colli Piacentini region differs in terms of terroir from other regions and what one can expect from tasting Luretta’s wines. This email is meant to familiarize the reader with a little-known wine region and create some curiosity toward the products, without pushing for an immediate sale.
- Awards: In the second email we explain what makes Luretta stand out in comparison to other Italian and international wines. We presented the wine that has received the most international acclaim and told the story behind Luretta’s most successful product.
- Terroir: in the third email we presented two wines typical of the Colli Piacentini region to showcase what type of flavor profile a person can expect when ordering a red or white wine produced following the local tradition.
- The castle: in the final email, we told the story of the Momeliano Castle, where the winery is located, inviting people to visit Luretta for a tasting.
Through our Welcome Sequence we provided new leads with four reasons to try Luretta’s wines, introducing the company’s unique selling points in an attempt to make new subscribers curious about the wine collection. A clear call to action was presented in the last email to avoid sounding spammy right from the first email. In the final email, we asked readers to either book a tasting session in the winery or place an order through the website.
2. First order sequence
Once a user completes their first order they are automatically tagged in MailChimp and enter a new sequence composed of three emails, which is designed to guide the customer toward the second order, extending their lifetime value. We have estimated that Luretta’s customers take about one month to drink one case of wine (which is what the majority of orders consists of), therefore the three emails are sent over the course of 30 days after the day of the first order. The first order sequence is composed of:
- Thank you email: sent shortly after the order is completed, we welcome the new customer into the Luretta family. This email communicates that the wine will be delivered shortly and every aspect of the order is under control.
- Feedback request: a week after the order, once the wine has been delivered, we ask the customer to provide us with written feedback about the delivery service. Feedback helps Luretta improve their delivery service and check whether there are recurring complaints to address.
- Similar products: three weeks after the first order, we send out an automatic email that describes three products that the customer may not have tried yet, but which could be aligned with their taste. This email should arrive once the wine has been consumed, to help the customer continue their exploration of Luretta’s wines.
- Discount on the second order: at the end of the 30 day period we offer a 10% discount code valid for the second order in Luretta’s webshop to nudge the customer into proceeding with a new purchase.
3. Second order sequence
If a second order is completed we know that the customer is happy with both the service and the product. Once a second order is done, the user is tagged accordingly in MailChimp, entering a list meant to solidify our relationship even further. The second order sequence is composed of three emails:
- A thank you note where we communicate how grateful we are to see the customer’s trust renewed a second time.
- A review request: given that the customer is happy with the product, we ask them to leave a review on our Facebook page. The likelihood of the review being positive is very high in this situation, therefore this call to action helps the online branding of the company.
- An introduction to our affiliate program: to lead the customer toward a third order, we send an email after approximately 30 days, explaining that after the third order the customer will gain access to the affiliate program, which allows them to earn store credit when introducing new customers to the shop.
4. Third order sequence
Once a third order is completed, the user enters a new list of “best customers”, automatically entering the affiliate program, which allows them to gift friends and family with a 10% on any first order and earn credit every time an order is completed through their personalized link. This sequence is composed of only two emails: the first one is a thank you note for reaching this milestone, while the second one is a detailed explanation of how the affiliate program works.
Other email automations to increase conversions
Not all email automations are designed to guide the user toward the next step in their customer journey. Some emails can simply improve the user’s experience on the website or reward those who are demonstrating to be highly interested in the products. Here are some examples of effective email automations meant to increase conversions.
Abandoned cart email
A simple email is sent once to the logged user if a product is added to the cart but the order is left incomplete, reminding the customer that the products are still there and offering assistance in case of need.
When we send our welcome sequence, we analyze how readers are behaving. If users are clicking on the links contained in the emails – leading to product pages on Luretta’s website – it means that they are interested in knowing more about the company. These contacts are tagged as “highly-engaged” and are offered a special discount once the welcome sequence is completed. Highly-engaged users are often very close to ordering and a small discount is often enough to turn an email reader into a customer.
Many contacts in Luretta’s email list come from physical events such as public wine tasting, winery visits, or wine fairs. These contacts are entered manually into our CRM and tagged as “offline customers.” Often, these are people who have already tried the product and are perhaps more used to purchasing directly from the winery or in a wine shop than on our website.
We have created a special sequence for this category of customers, which offers an incentive for them to try the online shop. Three emails are sent over the course of a month, explaining the benefits of ordering online and offering a discount that is valid for only 30 days. Turning an offline customer into an online customer creates more opportunities for both the winery and the customer to access Luretta’s products.
We have been busy setting up this series of automations over the past years and the results have proven positive. The main benefit of working with email automations is that they are automated.. Once the emails and the triggers are implemented the system will run on its own, allowing us to focus on other areas of Luretta’s marketing.
Using lead magnets and low-budget Facebook ads we grew Luretta’s contact list by approximately 20% over the course of six months, expanding their geographical reach from the Emilia Romagna region to most of Northern Italy thanks to targeted ads.
The performance of the campaigns varied slightly depending on the time of the year. During peak time we reached a return on investment of 300%, with up to 360 bottles ordered in one single day.
As we move forward with Luretta we continue to perfect our sequences, creating purchasing experiences for old and new wine drinkers tailored on their customer journey.
Do you need any help with your email marketing campaigns? Get in touch with Mowgli today, we are here to help!