An empty email signup sheet :(

Collecting More Emails At Wine Events

We all have heard the refrain “collect more emails” from tasting room visitors, from wine events, from everywhere.

An empty email signup sheet :(

An empty email signup sheet :(

But HOW exactly do we do that … we ask everyone to leave their email?

OK, why are you asking them to leave their email (to give you something)? Is it simply to “receive the winery newsletter?” and does that seem like a good deal to the owner of the email?

From the consumer’s vantage point (always put yourself in their shoes), they only want to be on a newsletter if you really feel close to the winery.

But at an event like a wine fair or tasting event, a winery should want more than just the few consumers who would be willing to “sign up for a newsletter.” Those few are ones who may have 1) tasted the wine & loved it 2) spent some time with us to build some rapport and 3) are in the market for a new winery relationship. That’s too restrictive and too few.

At the recent SF Vintners Market, we chatted with one winery at their table, and the discussion was whether they wanted emails from “just anyone.” No, don’t put your signup paper on telephone poles around town…but if you are in the VIP room at a major wine event in an affluent market, YES! YOU WANT EVERY EMAIL IN THAT ROOM! You want their phone numbers too, if you could.

So, short answer: put yourself in their shoes, and offer MORE than the newsletter:

  • Hey, it’s crowded here today. Leave us your contact info and we’ll have you up to the winery for an after-party next weekend (we understand)
  • Leave your info for a chance to win – win some wine, a VIP tour, dinner with the winemaker, or your choice! (have an experience)
  • Leave your info so we can ask  your opinion on an upcoming bottling or label design (yes, you’re part of the family!)
  • Leave your info for a special after-show discount that we don’t want to put out here on the table (we can give you a better deal if it’s limited)

Get more results. Make up your own table top sign, or use this quick PDF for a “VIP Tour” (you decide what the tour is). That winery we talked to did put out a better sign – ours – and their response was significantly better:

Better Email Signup list for wineries capturing emails at events

Better Email Signup list for wineries capturing emails at events

Yes, Marketing Wine Direct To Consumers Is Hard

Yes, Marketing Wine Direct To Consumers Is Hard..But Not Impossible.*

Consumers are fickle, trendy, unpredictable, moody, and more. That’s why it’s so tempting to unload another pallet at FOB.

That’s why the three-tier system perpetuates itself.

That’s why so many wine entrepreneurs from outside the wine world  (the retail wine world) flail, even when are positive that they can reshape how wine is sold.


  • don’t see all the hard costs involved, and maybe don’t care
  • have a different notion of value than you do
  • are looking at wine globally when you may be looking at the AVA level


We’re trying to sell them “WINE” but consumers want to buy:

  • experiences
  • a story
  • a piece of something bigger
  • memories of that fabulous dinner or party
  • affluence
  • exclusivity
  • bragging rights
  • membership/admittance
  • pleasure
  • Variety
  • Newness / trendiness

Wine “Experience” may be any of these, or combinations

  • wine with a memorable dinner
  • wine with a memorable party/event
  • wine with a memorable trip
  • wine with memorable friends

What’s a winery to do when faced with consumers who need an experience (so you need them in the tasting room, or at the winery), or who need variety & newness (so they don’t churn out of the club), or who need a story or pleasure?

* Sell them whatever you have, but at least sell them a story, and pleasing wine!