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.
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..
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.