An Experience Consistently Delivered: Can Email Marketing Boost Your Brand?
This week, just like every other week, I got an email from Tinto, a small wine shop and tasting bar in my neighborhood.
But this week it really struck me how consistently I actually open and read their emails. And it’s not just because I love wine and, more frequently than I would like to admit, hand over lots of my money to them in exchange for it.
Tinto is not a client of mine and I can’t take any credit for this, but they are such a great example of a small business doing email marketing right that it’s worth calling out. Some people might think a weekly newsletter is too much - both as a sender and receiver. But they’ve got a pattern down that likely makes their lives easier while also setting the reader up for consistent, reliable and useful information.
Each week their email includes upcoming events for that weekend at each of their locations. There is a handy-dandy link below this to make a reservation for any of the events (also known as a “call to action” or CTA). Below that they highlight events that are a bit farther out, then they may list new wines they have in stock that week, and then perhaps a promo for their next “Tinto Tours” which are European traveling wine tours they host a few times a year.
If you’re a consistent customer or a member of their wine program like me, this is information you want to know every week - it’s concise, consistent and helpful. The pattern they have laid out for their weekly newsletter also likely makes their lives a lot easier - allowing them to “plug and chug” that week’s information into an existing template. Doing this weekly also probably puts them into the habitual pattern of simply thinking through all of this information - taking that and putting it into their weekly newsletter is then second nature. And no doubt, keeping their customers abreast of every new tasting, wine and event they have coming up is helping their brick and mortar business. Just seeing their email in my inbox each week prompts me to think “Oh, maybe we should swing by Tinto for a tasting or a bottle this weekend.” Without the email, I might think to go by there, but it wouldn’t be top of mind.
They are also a great example of a business thinking outside the box about their services and products. They offer annual memberships at different levels for different perks. They sell wines no one else in the area has, often buying limited stock from really small-scale, high-quality European makers. The store is organized by price point, rather than varietal, which makes sense because many of their wines are things you’ve likely never heard of, so varietals aren’t necessarily helpful. They use a Coravin system, which allows them to offer small tastes of basically any wine on the shelf so you can try it before you buy it - something that is critical when you’re selling wine most people have never experienced.
Despite all these differentiators, they are always looking for additional ways to stand out. In this week's newsletter they highlight a Thanksgiving wine pairing service where you call them and tell them the dishes you want to pair wines with as well as your budget then they pick the wines for you, take payment over the phone and then when you get there, they bring the wine right out to your car. This is service, people.
At the Burn Both Ends workshops I co-lead several times a year, we talk a lot about building a brand and what exactly that means. The definition we come back to over and over is that a brand is “a promise made, an experience consistently delivered and an emotional connection that is hard to break.” Something as simple as a weekly email can be that consistent experience that sets your brand apart. Of course, it has to be backed up by consistently good in-person experiences and products as well, but plenty of good products and services go unsold simply because the business hasn’t made that consistent connection with their customer.
What can you do today to make your business stand out? Even if you sell or do the same thing as a million other stores or people, what is that one thing that no one else is doing? How can you level up? Maybe the question is what can I do better than anyone else to help me stand out? No matter what you do, there is a way to set yourself apart. Find that thing and then do it - consistently.