Spend money on ads targeting people who want to see them

Spend money on ads targeting people who want to see them

This article is meant to be a continuation from my previous article about “How much money should you spend on digital marketing in the alcohol market?

Why spend money on targeting a random pool of people when you can tailor fit your marketing based on people that would have a high propensity to actually care about your brand or products?

Purchasing advertising to the masses costs a fortune and you’re competing with some of the largest brands in the world (the likes of Coke, Apple, or Acura). Today’s world of digital marketing is a game changer for niche brands and businesses.

You don’t need massive budgets to increase sales.

A caveat here that there are some very specific regulations in regards to remarketing with Alcohol. The short version of the regulations is that you cannot remarket (in most regions of the world) via Google but you can on Facebook.

Have you ever noticed that if you click on an advertisement on Facebook or Instagram that you all of a sudden start seeing a lot more of those ads? Ding ding! You’ve shown interest and are now a target. This is a basic form of remarketing. Let’s dig into a few other ways you can target your advertising with modern tools.

You’ll want to make sure you have Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel installed on your site. You can’t do anything without that.

Here are five audiences we recommend you leverage as soon as you can.

1. Target: People who are similar to your existing customers

Facebook calls this  “Lookalike audiences” of which they apply their own algorithms to find people that are similar (just as the name implies). This is a great way to start digital advertising on Facebook’s network as it’s the broadest audience but holds far more relevance than blanketing a country or age range.

“We generally recommend a source audience with between 1,000 to 50,000 people. Source quality matters too. For example, if a source audience is made up of your best customers rather than all your customers, that could lead to better results.” – Facebook

You can export your customer list from your CRM or email platform and make a lookalike audience very quickly.

2. Target: Anyone who clicks a Facebook/Instagram Ad

So you started advertising and people are engaging with your ads. Cool. You can now create a new audience based on their specific actions. We’re starting to crest into the magic of remarketing. If your ad reached 10,000 people and say 100 people clicked the ad, you can now send new ads specifically to those 100 people who showed interest. It’s a lot more cost effective to target 100 people that have shown interest than 10,000 who haven’t.

3. Target: Anyone who visits your website

Wait, what? You can do this? Yes, and it’s a bit creepy and partially why Facebook is in hot water these days. Shocker, when you browse the internet you’re being tracked. This is a golden age for marketers or a dystopia for consumers. It’s the world we live in. Politics aside, you can retarget specific advertising to anyone on Facebook and Instagram if they visited your website. Neat.

4. Target: Anyone who starts the checkout process

Now we’re getting fancy. If you have installed Facebook Pixel on your website and have enabled advanced tracking (which can be a somewhat technical task) you can start targeting people that have completed specific actions on your website. And one of best targets to remarket to would be people that started the checkout process but then left the site. They’ve shown a high level of intent and might just need a reminder about how awesome your brand is to come back and complete the sale.

5. Target: Anyone who abandons their shopping cart

…if I had a nickel for the number of times a client of ours says this to me…

Traditionally our clients want to send a customer an email about their abandoned shopping cart (which is cool, and you can do that), but what if you don’t have an email address? What if the customer hasn’t created an account? Who is this person?

Today you can specifically target these anonymous customers on social media without even knowing their email address. Magic. Seriously, do this, do this now.

The true magic of remarketing is that when done right all your marketing works together as a cohesive strategy and you can start to extrapolate a blended cost per acquisition (CPA). So if you are spending money to drive awareness through Google Ads, but then pick up the sale later via Social media you’ll want to calculate your CPA outside of a silo to get a real idea of your true acquisition costs. Keep in mind that this is an ever-changing space dictated by a lot of politics and laws that continue to adjust the game that is digital marketing.

Setting up these audiences can take some time but I can guarantee you’ll see an immediate return and want to make new audience segments year round.

Spend money on ads targeting people who want to see them

How much money should you spend on digital marketing in the alcohol market?

How much money should I spend on digital marketing?

Likely one of the most common questions I get asked. My answer is pretty straight forward, “spend as much money as you can as long as the numbers work”.

Let me explain.

Facebook Ads, Facebook Pixel, Google Ads and Google Analytics, are tools we use every day to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

We’ve seen some amazing results with digital marketing in the alcohol industry.

To play the digital marketing game you need to understand how much money you can afford to acquire a customer, otherwise known as CPA.

Cost per acquisition

Cost per acquisition/action (CPA) is fancy marketing speak for how much it costs you to get a sale. This is a primary metric for several of our clients and is something that is worth spending time to figure out. You don’t need to get too fancy with this, as it can get very complicated if you let it, but knowing how much you can spend to get a sale is incredibly valuable.

Understand your business, make a plan and start experimenting.

Generally speaking if you are trying to sign up a wine club member your CPA could be between $50 to $100.

Figuring out how much a customer is worth to you can be tricky if you don’t have a lot of historical sales information. Dig into your sales data and see if you can extrapolate some statistics.

How long does a customer buy from you (one time only, or over several months or years), and how much do they spend in their lifetime (LTV – lifetime value)?

If a customer spends $1000 with you does $100 CPA make sense? Depends on your margins, but I’m guessing it does.

Here’s a fancy visual from Wordstream showcasing CPAs across different industries for comparison:

Return on Ad Spend

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is another important metric to be comfortable with in order to optimize your spend and accounts properly. Simply put, ROAS is the money you make from your ads; for every $1 you spend on advertising, you make $x back in sales.

A good starting place for this is a 5:1 return-on-ad spend. There might be product mixes where less is still ok, but for us, 500% return on ad spend is a healthy starting place (spend $1000 get $5000 in sales). We’ve had clients get this as high as 2000% with campaigns we’ve run (spent $1000 get $20,000 in sales). Do these numbers work for your business?  

How do you start taking advantage of this?

A traditional sales funnel consists of different phases a prospective customer will travel through. These phases consist of awareness, consideration and finally purchase.  

Ultimately every business is unique, but with the tools available today you can fine tune your efforts over the course of a few weeks using digital marketing. Digital marketing is a completely different ball-game compared to traditional advertising; there isn’t a pay and pray attitude. When you pay for digital marketing ads, you can start to see the results immediately.

Facebook helps with brand awareness. Google helps people find what they are looking for. Instagram is weird and expensive. However, when you put all these together you can calculate a blended CPA and figure out how to make your ad-spend work.

Make the basics work.

We’re currently living in a world where you can target specific advertisements to specific people at specific times depending on their interactions with your brand. Remarketing, retargeting and geolocation/geofencing are at the cutting edge of what you can do once you have the basics in motion.

You should be spending as much as possible on your digital marketing efforts, as long as the numbers work.

Spend money on ads targeting people who want to see them

Create content that resonates

Whoa! You opened this email or clicked a link to read something I wrote. Fascinating. Why? What are you expecting now? Education, entertainment, sarcasm? Wait, you’re still reading? Wow. Thank you, let’s see if I can keep your attention.

Still reading? Cool.

My point here is that it is incredibly difficult to garner someone’s attention. Walk down any street and you’ll notice the masses of people buried in their phones, ignoring the world around them. What are they doing? What are they reading? Something important I’m sure because I just watched someone almost walk directly into traffic.

Create content that resonates.

How would you feel if you received an email with an “introductory special offer” when you have been a loyal customer for years? That’s not a great customer experience.

Send me an offer that actually means something to me.

If I’m a loyal customer you need to continue to provide reassurances that I should continue to do business with you. Missing the mark and sending me an email that isn’t relevant is an effective way to remind me that I spend money with you and maybe I shouldn’t.

How many people unsubscribe from your emails or services after you send out a campaign?

Segmenting your messaging to specific audiences is what it’s all about. You can do this with email and digital marketing, with a small caveat that you’ll need to be using some relatively modern tools.

Let’s dive into email. Broadly speaking you should have a few segments today:

1. Generic email list

A random collection of emails you’ve collected from your website, promos, or in person. Most of these people have not purchased from you online.

2. Active customers list

This list is your bread and butter. You need be careful when emailing/targeting this list and we recommend segmenting within this list whenever possible.

3. VIPs

Normally not a huge list, but these people are your brand ambassadors or high spenders (high LTVs). White glove treatment required. No spammy.


Whenever you decide to email a list your content needs to be easy to understand, impactful and relevant. Think about how many emails you get and try and pay attention to the ones that you actually engage with. Learn from the emails that you love to engage with, dig into why: is it the layout, the content, the pretty pictures, the coupons?

Lets dig into an example.

We send out an email to our customers every month when their package is ready to be shipped. We include their tracking number in this email. We know that our customers value this email and the majority of people click on the tracking number. In the email we add a couple secondary and tertiary calls to action such as promotions or general information. Engagement is always high. Here’s a recent example directly from our Mailchimp report:

We’ve tuned this email campaign over time and on average get over a 50% open rate and over 15% click rate. As a quick industry comparison the average open rate is 23.12% and average click rate is 2.69%. If you are letting your shipping courier send out emails on your behalf you’re missing an easy opportunity to engage with your customers.

It’s worth the effort.

The thing I’m always harping on to our team and our clients is that you need to dig into the analytics. Always be checking your analytics on every platform you use. Most email platforms provide a wealth of information and tools, including the ability to tune the timing of delivery, a/b testing and many other features. You don’t have to get crazy and play with tonnes of features, because ultimately you need to be consistent with your messaging, stay relevant and provide value. Keep testing until you find the formula that suits your audience, figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Create content that people care enough to digest. If they interact with it, bonus.

Spend money on ads targeting people who want to see them

Customer experience (CX) in the world of wine

If you have ever checked into a high-end hotel, you’ll have noticed that the customer experience is what really sets them apart from your run-of-the-mill hotel. Next time, pay close attention to all aspects of your check-in experience, from the second you drive up to the moment you leave.

From the minute you pull up in your car you have people attending to your every need: bags, valet, friendly banter, you name it. The check-in process immediately provides a fast lane for VIPs versus first-time patrons, but either way, you are treated with white gloves from the moment you arrive. Throughout the entirety of your stay, attendants are there to assist you around the clock. Need a late night snack? Call. Need a reservation to a fancy restaurant? Talk to the concierge. If hotels set the bar for customer experience how does your brand stack up and how does it translate to the digital experience?

Here’s a quick audit list for your face to face experience:

  1. What is your parking situation? Do you have a wine club/members area?
  2. What sort of signs do you have on the walk from the parking lot?
  3. Do people know where to go, and what to do when they arrive at your winery?
  4. Do you have a members only area at your tasting bar? Should you?
  5. How do you greet customers, what questions do you ask?
  6. What does your cellar door offer that separates you from your neighbours?

One of the key elements of this audit list is identifying returning customers/wine club members. By providing a different/augmented experience to these customers, you are seeding the benefits of becoming a wine club member to those that don’t know about or haven’t joined your club yet. Being able to introduce the idea of your wine club without having anyone sell it is incredibly powerful. If you can fine tune your customer experience to have your visitors ask you about your wine club you are going to have a far easier time selling to them.
These are not questions that you should be asking at the point of sale, they need to be communicated earlier in the sales process.

Now let’s do the same for your digital experience:

  1. How do I get to your website? Search, social media, email? How do people find your brand online?
  2. How hard is it to find basic information (location, hours of operations, phone number)?
  3. When I open a bottle of your wine at home can I find information easily and quickly to help me with food pairings or drinking windows? Think about wines that you no longer sell but that your best customers may have put away to age.
  4. How complicated is it for your customers to update their information such as credit cards, or addresses with you? If you are getting a lot of people calling you to do this, that’s a key indicator that you might be able to fine tune things.
  5. What are the top hit pages on your website, what are people doing on your website and are they finding the answers they need?
  6. Can I talk to you online (via chat) and how are you managing that experience? What happens after-hours?

Take a close look at both of the experiences you offer and see how they match up and how they criss-cross between one another. Where do your customers start and where do they end? If you are trying to grow cellar door visitation, make sure to measure and keep track of your progress. The analog world (face to face) is far more laborious to track, however, if you do, you’ll be able to keep track of your performance immediately.

The digital experience is far easier to manage and track. Make sure to check your Google Analytics to see where your customers are coming from, where they engage, how long they stay and exactly what they do. And if you want to get really nerdy, try installing FullStory, where you can record and reproduce real user experiences on your website which can help you support customers, boost conversions and debug faster. We’d also suggest using a customer support tool such as Intercom or Zendesk. Ultimately there is no shortage of tools in the digital space but that only matters if you use them, measure results and continue to make incremental changes to improve month after month.

Customer experience is at the forefront of the current generation, where first class service is the new norm. In essence, this is the latest in holistic attribution, where the online experience matches the physical, ensuring that your client touch points exude your brand and are what makes you unique.

Drive more cellar door visitors, get more customers.

Drive more cellar door visitors, get more customers.

How do you plan for a vacation? How do you research a new city, or find that next restaurant to experience? Social media plays a part but Google still rules. You go to Google to SEARCH for something that is relevant to your immediate needs.

It’s shocking to see how few wine brands advertise their winery on Google.

Do me a favour and try a search where you type in your wine region such as: “McLaren Vale Wineries”. Where do you rank, what advertisements do you see? Is your brand anywhere to be found?

Here is that exact example:

Let’s break this down:

1. Advertising / Google Ad
2. Google My Business – Map Information (this powers Waze as well)
3. Organic Search Results (10 results, 2 are wine brands)

Notice the trend in the results? Tourism.

Tourism is one of the most significant sources of search traffic, yet almost no wine brands are taking advantage. Nearly everyone under the age of 40 (millennials) is defaulting to using the internet as their primary way to plan and find information.

Take out a Google Ad and drive more people to your cellar door. You need to give customers a reason to visit you. Your website might be enough, however, building out a landing page specifically around your advertisement can take things to the next level.

“Receive a free bottle of wine when you mention our ad”.

At the end of the day the formula is pretty simple, drive more traffic to your cellar door, drive more direct to consumer sales.

You can get started for as little as $100 a month. Please get in touch if you’d like to learn more.