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April 25, 2024

How to Revamp Your Email Marketing Strategy

The best brands have highly refined strategies behind well-crafted email blasts. But this shouldn’t make you hesitate out of fear of the competition.

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.

For emerging alcohol brands, mastering the fundamentals of email marketing is critical. 

Naturally, more established brands will have refined strategies behind well-crafted email blasts. But this shouldn’t make you hesitate out of fear of the competition.

Why? Because the most common email marketing mistake made by early-stage alcohol brands beginning to sell product online is doing nothing at all.

As we help brands at Accelpay adopt email best practices, our advice typically echoes the theme of our last piece: market your brand as if you weren’t selling alcohol.

After all, the highest-converting marketing tactics are entirely vertical-agnostic, and have been tested and validated across a range of other industry subsets.

Put simply, there’s no need to overcomplicate things. If an email strategy appears to be performing in other CPG verticals, it’s well worth testing out for your alcohol brand. 

Step I: Clever Content From Top to Bottom

When you’re ready to ship your first email — ideally coinciding with your e-commerce launch — your initial audience should include family, friends, and colleagues who will support your brand and check out your products. Anyone in your close circle is fair game.

It’s a basic first step, but one most folks don’t do. So start rounding up contacts for your first email blast, which should be going out just a few days before your launch date. 

Now that you have an audience locked in, let’s walk through the three components of clear and compelling marketing messaging for your upcoming email campaigns.

Clean Copy

In terms of building out the actual email, again, keep it simple. 

First, start drafting a campaign using a basic email builder (whether it’s a paid service like Mailchimp or Canva or just a classic Gmail template).

And most importantly, keep your copy clean, streamlined, and focused in terms of how you want the customer’s attention to flow. For instance: 

[BRAND NAME] We’ve officially launched! → Check out our website to purchase online. → You’ve supported us throughout our growth. Here’s your exclusive promo code! 

Call to Action

We recommend placing your CTA front and center — i.e. “Shop now!” or “Check out our new redesign!”— accompanied by a promotional discount. Early adopters like friends and family will feel valued  by receiving an exclusive discount code.

Free shipping can be a huge draw given the nature of the product, so we recommend that as a perk for friends and family.. 

Preloaded Carts

Another element to level up your emails is by providing a link pushing directly to a preloaded cart, which can be generated through Accelpay’s built-in software tools. 

For instance, when designing your friends and family blast, highlight a specific product you expect to perform well. In doing so, you’ll save your potential buyer a step and send them a link to a cart already loaded with your featured item or product bundle.

This, paired with the aforementioned free shipping or exclusive discount, makes the consumer funnel experience as smooth as possible resulting in more checkouts. 

Step II: Consistency is Key

When it comes to building your broader email strategy, you can take pointers from how other category-leading e-commerce brands design editorial and publishing schedules. 

Start off by deciding on a basic email cycle: daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. 

For instance, New Balance sends out emails every weekend — a frequency which keeps them at the forefront of customers’ minds without flooding their inboxes. This cadence also teaches customers to expect consistent new updates from your company. 

If customers have already displayed interest in your brand, to the point that they’ve purchased a product, they’ll likely want to receive promos and updates from your distillery semi-regularly. 

Step III: Special Occasions

Next, you’ll want to take a look at the calendar for the year to come after your launch. 

Note any holidays and milestones that are unique to your distillery, such as the anniversary of your opening or relevant cultural holidays, i.e. Bastille Day if you carry French hero products. 

Ideally, you should land on four to five events spaced appropriately throughout the year that you can run and market a promotion for — a more unique layer on top of your standard weekly messaging cycles. And, of course, major holidays and seasonal occasions are perfect for drawing in customers who are already poised to shop and convert on-site.

Aside from common discounts during the holidays, many alcohol brands have seen success in selling unique bundles of products, such as a specialty offer for themed holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving or something spicy and warming like a rum or whiskey for the winter months. 

Whatever the occasion, a good rule of thumb is that the earlier you begin to market, the better.

For Black Friday, try sending ads roughly a week in advance so shoppers know to expect a larger-than-usual deal. And through December, update buyers of critical order deadlines — maybe 1.5 to 2 weeks before Christmas Day — if they want to receive gift bottles in time. 

For further inspiration, look to Mythology Distillery and Deerhammer, two Colorado-based craft brands, that are standouts for their product SKUs, seasonality, and timely holiday campaigns.

No Spam Here

Once you have a handle on these three content elements, you’re ready to begin building out your brand’s email marketing strategy. Many brands may get cold feet about email marketing fearing customers might find their content boring or spammy. 

But your monthly updates aren’t useless. They’re critical to your brand’s revenue health. 

If someone has purchased your product or taken the time to subscribe to your email list, they want to hear from you. So it’s time to take advantage of this fluid channel of communication, reach out, and build a genuine relationship between your brand and potential customers.

An easy way to kick things off is with Accelpay. We provide the infrastructure and easy UI to access emails in your portal. To start selling online and emailing like a pro, get started here.

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Braxton Freeman






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