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Change is Hard — Building a dynamic creative and software agency.

Change is Hard — Building a dynamic creative and software agency.

Starting with the wine industry. It’s like we’re racing go-carts. Slow to get going. Sliding. Bumping. Faster than hell when things are flying by. Then a corner and skrt skrt. Bump into each other...

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Drop Some Fruit in Your Winery’s Email

As a Creative Agency, we were in charge of making an email for a wine brand that traditionally had problems hitting numbers above $500 per deployment.

The core issue was the email strategy was attempting to leave (and in some cases add) every cluster on the vine.

When I do a cleanout on my alter ego email inbox, (highly recommend doing creating a second email to just throw in email lists that may inspire you) the majority of the winery marketing messages look like they have additives from Welch’s Global Ingredient Group. Let me explain with an example simple plain text for exaggeration. Imagine the layout of this puppy…

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Concord Sauvignon
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Not casting shade but I recieved this this morning. This brand comes in at the $30–$130/btl price range.

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I’ll revisit the above email so we can tear down and then build it back up... But for now, just think conceptually about the overall theme and objective of the email. Notice the secondary? What does “Napa Green” and Come Visit us have to do with what we’re trying to get the opener to do? It increases what UX designers call “Cognitive Load” for no reason at all. Let alone there’s no action that is asked around that secondary.

What can we learn here? One message one call to action. One objective per email.

Good winemakers know their vineyards. They know when to prune fruit to yield better results. Or, if they don’t know, they rely on their vineyard manager for when to pull the trigger. They do their jobs. We should be doing ours.

Back to that low results client we were sending an email for…

Let’s say we’re the vineyard managers. Being the problem solvers we are, the team did some exploratory analysis on the brand’s previous emails. Let’s call them soil samples. We squinted our strategic eyeballs at the subscriber behavior as it related to the main objective of each email. (Main Objective being a keyword here. Let me say that again. A single Main Objective).

I had a hunch about why sales were low, even before looking into the data.

Digital Wine Marketing Thot Leaders say they don’t make decisions without data. The new industry podcast Hit The Bottle (It seems like it’s off to a good start but I had to turn it off because it was just “big data this” and “big data that”.) holds the proof of that. They’re not wrong. And feel free to go as quantitative as you need to make yourself feel comfortable. (Quant guys will continue to scratch their heads at winery data until we can get a reliable way to measure tasting room visits without having to hack the SKUs.) But consider this a gentle reminder that you cannot ever prove a hypothesis correct. Damn scientific method and it’s science-y ways.

I know how dirty the data they’re looking at is. And what can be extrapolated. Even if you eliminate outliers and normalize variables. Half of it’s a crock of alligators.

Wine Data Nerd Fact of the day: a key acronym in stats is NOIR. Nominal Ordinal, Interval and Ratio data. The true data-driven thot leaders will make sure to go look up the differences if they don’t already know. It’s the root source to understanding what we’re even looking at.

Qualitative is the answer folks. Qualitative is where you can find (and we can show you with conversion results) the results.

In the wine industry right now, Qual will beat Quant for at least the next five years. The creative is the variable as Gary Vee says in this 2017 video (and many other times). It’s not just math. It’s art, too. Good luck getting your AI machine to create the look and feel of the emails like we do.

Fine, I get the value of reviewing the metrics. But the trend is more valuable than the actual numbers.

(Open rate metrics are about as useful as the poop-filled horns they go bury in the ground in the vineyards. It’s funny. But horns are to biodynamic winemaking as open rates are to email. It’s what people like to focus on and talk about over ‘strategic planning’ conference calls. There’s so much more to it than open rates. There’s so much more to it than poop horns.)

Anyway. After we did our sleuthing, we coordinated with the winery DTC staff to pitch a strategically positioned offer and used our proverbial pruning tactics that capitalized on this wine brand’s unique selling points. Product-based with some seasonal feelings/emotions sprinkled in. Not freaking National Chocolate day.

What was the solution we prescribed? I can tell you that it was a ‘kitted’ offer. I can also tell you that it focused on what the essence of the brand and the bottle on offer was and is.

Let’s just say it made $4k+ on a targeted sub-segment deployment instead of a standard couple of hundred of bucks the (custom) conversion tracking we implement was showing.

Until next time.

Corben Ketelsen

If I had to estimate how much time I save creating emails with Premier Cellar’s Email Editor template, I’d say 1-2 hours per campaign on average. With its drag and drop functionality, I spend less time working in HTML and less money on an outside developer.

Hana Devore
Terlato Wine Group

I love having a dedicated team that knows our brand and knows our history.

Lauren Tamo
Rodney Strong Wine Estate

You guys are the best - thank you so much for your above and beyond customer service!

Nina Depiesse
Long Shadows

My meeting with you was truly the highlight of my day. No, my week. Definitely my week.

Kristine Bono