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May 15, 2024

4 Automated Emails to Sell More Bottles and Delight Your Customers

You’ve set up your email marketing platform — now what? Here’s how to make it work for you.

As the holidays approach, expect an influx of gift purchases across the next few months — an annual event that’ll only be heightened by the post-COVID e-commerce shopping boom.

Even more so, broader delays in global supply chains are trickling down to affect availability and shipping for e-commerce brands across all segments. Our recommendation? Beat this year’s slowdown by getting a head start on your seasonal campaigns, promotions, and more. 

We’ve laid out four steps below that every alcohol brand should take to beat the annual gift rush, while also maximizing the profitability and potential of this concentrated shopping period. 

Step One: Time Blocking

First, you can start building out a major messaging campaign by looking ahead on your calendar and selecting key dates to lay out a time frame from early November up until Christmas.

Specifically, we recommend blocking out three primary phases for your campaign delivery.

Pre-Black Friday

By pushing messaging campaigns out as early as mid-November, you’re gearing folks up for the holiday season around the corner, as well as letting potential buyers know to keep an eye out for a promotion in the works. 

More importantly, you’re setting your brand up to start the season on a strong note — and to not get caught unprepared by the sudden arrival of Thanksgiving crunchtime. 

Thanksgiving & Late November

From Thanksgiving onward, particularly that first weekend including Black Friday, you’ll want to host and advertise some kind of actionable event, i.e. a special release or promotional discount, to jumpstart customers into their seasonal shopping cycles. 

Cutoffs for Christmas

Finally, you’ll want to round out the season by selecting a cutoff date for placing new orders. 

Seven to 10 days before December 25th is a safe bet for buyers to receive a bottle at their door by Christmas Day, and reminders should be sent out in the days leading up to this cutoff. 

In terms of the broader time crunch that’s anticipated due to global supply chain slowdowns, you should emphasize the convenience of purchasing from a domestic brand paired with the reliability that you offer for a timely, safe delivery of your product.

Step Two: Spice Up Your Specials

Once you’ve laid the initial groundwork, it’s time to elevate your campaign by crafting it into something creative and exciting for the spirit of the season. 

In other words, your buyer’s inbox may be flooded by holiday deals, but you can capture their attention and help them recognize the thoughtfulness through your core brand messaging.

For instance, Far North Spirits is offering a holiday two-pack for drinks that’ll warm you up in the colder months. Imagine a whiskey, rye, or bourbon for your spicy cocktail or mulled wine. 

Ultimately, you’re working with the inventory you have and considering which themed products can play into people’s holiday spirit — even better if it’s in a bundle to boost your AOV. 

On the other hand, this period offers a practical opportunity to look back at the year’s releases and offload any remaining inventory through a unique discount or exclusive holiday promo. 

Step Three: Ramp Up Your Promotion Game

Next, consider the tactical logistics of your promotions. After all, it can be tricky to time promo launches, depending on whether your customer pool skews toward early or late gift grabbers. 

There are two general approaches you can take: 1) offering enticing deals early on to preempt other sales or 2) holding off until late in the buyer’s window to pull the trigger on your promo. 

The former can snag early shoppers, or at least convince late shoppers to try an early purchase, but could also lose its appeal by mid-December when fresher deals are dropping every day. 

The latter can appeal to buyers who play the long game and wait it out for the most optimal deal, but can still ultimately result in you losing out on early or average shoppers. 

Ultimately, there’s no gold-standard method and you’ll need to use your judgement depending on what aligns with your brand’s target demographic, metric goalposts, and even inventory

For instance, returning to your campaign calendar, you can skew discounts away from marking down products and toward offering cheaper, faster shipping as Christmas creeps closer. 

Step Four: Email Marketing On Deck

As we pointed out in our advice for email marketing, setting up your email flow so your comms can run seamlessly is a simple yet essential step of the process that’s easily overlooked. 

We recommend starting with a quick info sweep: pull last year’s seasonal purchase data and make sure that customer cohort is consistently re-engaged early on. 

In turn, your team won’t be stressed out and frantically attempt to piece together the perfect layout in MailChimp just a few days before Thanksgiving — which circles back to our larger point: the holidays are a time of year with promise of high ROI for your alcohol brand. 

You can utilize this opportunity to the max by planning thoroughly and creatively, not stressfully executing a last minute, makeshift campaign. 

If your brand has these moving parts staged within the first weeks of November, you should be ready to hook the earliest seasonal shoppers and take full advantage of the holiday rush.

Sit Back and Enjoy the Holidays! 

Once you’ve got these steps locked in — a killer campaign calendar, creative promos, and ready-to-launch email marketing — you’ll be the one leading the holiday rush, not falling behind. 

Whether your user base is composed of individuals shopping for friends and family or corporate customers with high-volume needs, Accelpay is the platform of choice for your alcohol brand. 

To get access to our instant storefront setup and stress-free bulk ordering, get started here.

Email Marketing

Effective Automated Emails for Spirits Brands

You’ve set up your email marketing platform — now what? Here’s how to make it work for you.

Why Bother With Email?

If you’re not focusing a significant portion of your marketing efforts on building out your subscriber list and putting together strategic email campaigns, you’re missing one of the biggest opportunities to grow your e-commerce sales. 

Email can impact sales directly by sending offers to users who abandoned shopping carts or haven’t purchased in a while. Or they can be used in a more indirect way to remind people that you exist and to build a relationship with subscribers by sending on-brand cocktail recipes, serving suggestions, and info about new or limited releases.. 

And are you ready for the best part? Email marketing is inexpensive compared to other digital marketing tools and can be more precisely targeted, which makes it easy to experience an impressive return on investment.

Put Your Email Marketing on Autopilot

There are many Email Service Providers (ESPs) on the market that work well for DTC sales and beverage alcohol brands in particular. Some of the most popular tools are Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Klaivyo, and Active Campaign. But almost every solution out there has a feature that you’ll most definitely want to take advantage of — email automation.

Email automation involves the use of predefined rules to trigger email messages. Based on specific actions customers take—or don’t take, you can set up your ESP to intelligently send a specific message to that particular recipient. Some examples include a welcome email sent when a customer joins your list, recommendations for similar products after a user makes a purchase, or a quick reminder to a potential customer that abandons their shopping cart. 

Email automation is great because it frees up your time for other valuable tasks, such as responding to customer questions. But it is even better because it reacts immediately to the triggers you select, so you’re confidently hitting the right person with the right message at the right time. It’s a profitable recipe when done right.

So what are some of the most useful email automations that you can set up? Here are some of our favorite ideas.

The Welcome Discount

For the reasons we mentioned above, it’s a good idea to concentrate on growing your email list. You could do that in a whole host of creative ways like giveaways, gated content offers, mini games, and more., But at the very least you should at least start by having an email subscribe form prominently featured on your home page.

To get more subscribers, offer a sweet discount (20% or more usually moves the needle) to anyone that completes the form. Then use email automation to immediately send them a message that includes a code to redeem the savings. Promotional discount codes can be easily set up within the Accelpay portal and virtually all ESPs make it super quick to set up a welcome email in just a few minutes. This is a no-brainer to bring new customers into your database and entice them to try your beverages with an attractive markdown.

Abandon Cart

This is a tried-and-true email automation tactic for a reason. People lead busy lives and are often juggling hundreds of browser tabs at a time. It’s no surprise that a good portion of them will add bottles to their cart, but navigate away from your site before completing the checkout process. Thankfully, abandoned cart automations are a great way to recapture those distracted would-be buyers and bring them back to their cart.

Usually your ESP of choice will give you some instructions for installing code snippets on your online store or integrating with your e-commerce platform. After that gets set up, you’ll be able to trigger emails to people who drop off the checkout flow.

If that sounds like a bit too much of a lift, Accelpay’s first-party data and simple preloaded cart links make it super simple to set up customized abandon cart emails that convert. Go and grab that unrealized revenue!

Restock Reminders

Make sure your customers aren’t just one-and-done with your brand. Set up an automation campaign that triggers 30 days after purchase. Ask the customer how they enjoyed their order and invite them to come back and restock. You can even use a preloaded cart link powered by Accelpay so that they can quickly reorder the exact same thing as last time, increasing conversion rates by speeding up the checkout process.

You can customize these campaigns even further by mixing and matching order quantities with the trigger delay. For example, small orders consisting of just a six-pack of cans could trigger a restock email in 10 days instead of 30. Whereas after bulk orders of multiple 750ml bottles, it might make sense to hold off for 60 or 90 days instead.

Recipe Recommendations

Ensure your customers are fully enjoying their order and coming back to restock even sooner by pairing their selections with delicious cocktail recipes or food pairing ideas. For each SKU that you offer, you can have an automated email ready to go that gives the customer some suggestions on how to best enjoy their bottle when it arrives.

This creates happy customers, brand loyalists, and repeat customers, all by investing a few hours into programming some set-it-and-forget-it email campaigns.

Closing Time

As you’ve seen from this article, email marketing has a ton of capabilities with a relatively low cost and few barriers to entry. Even if your email list is just a handful of friends and family at this point, laying the foundation now to build out these programs means that as you start to scale up, you’ll get to that sought-after exponential growth even sooner!

We hope you find these suggestions helpful, but by all means get creative! Play around with the different triggers and automation templates offered by your ESP and find a combination that works for you. And if you’ve found a campaign we didn’t mention that is working great for your brand, let us know on Twitter.

Remember: Email automation needs good data in order to trigger emails accurately. Schedule a demo with Accelpay to see how we arm you with reliable first-party data that you can use to power your email strategy successfully.

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Braxton Freeman






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