Can you believe two wineries were upset that consumers requested to buy wine and book tastings from them through Winery Passport? So upset, in fact, that they asked to be removed from Winery Passport. I mean, how dare Winery Passport send them business!
The calls with these wineries haven’t been pleasant, nor have the points on the other end been well made. My belief is that this comes from a lack of understanding and acceptance that the world is going mobile, whether a winery is ready or not. Winery Passport partners with many wineries who do understand the value of mobile; it’s one of the reasons they see 18x the stamped visits over those who don’t parter with us. We also work with many wineries who don’t pay us a dime, but are looking for some help in their mobile strategies.
Let me step back for a second though and explain how Winery Passport works: Users download Winery Passport and register to get access to view details on over 5,000 wineries across the United States and Canada. They can stamp their passport at each tasting, journal about the wines they experienced and share details with friends and family.
In April, Winery Passport released a new feature where our users could request to book a tasting, join a wine club or buy wine directly from the app. It was so important for the wine industry from a technology standpoint that Forbes, Drink Me Magazine and Sirius XM Radio covered the story, and WineIndustryInsight and Wine Business Monthly linked to it.
Let me be clear: We aren’t handling any of the financials between the user and winery, but are simply passing the info along. When a request is made, it’s sent via email to the winery to take it from there. This all happens at no cost to the winery. (At the time of the Forbes article we were charging $5 per lead, but have since made all leads complimentary for a limited time, including during these conversations with wineries.)
The main reason these two wineries were upset is because they want people going through their website to make all requests. They felt like we needed an agreement in place to send qualified consumers to them. (As I said, not very good points.) To those thoughts, here was my response:
1. 60% of all digital time spent is in mobile, 90% is in mobile apps. Winery Passport is one of the only ways consumers will ever learn about your winery. Both requests were made from users who had never visited either of these wineries.
2. If a consumer wanted to go to your website, they would have. But why would they go to non-mobile-optimized websites, where pinch-and-zoom was essential to navigate to a tasting or purchase page with a clunky flow. I tested both of these wineries websites and averaged 2 minutes, 29 seconds from start to ready-to-hit submit.
3. Are you going to reject a call from someone who got your phone number on Google or your email address from Wine-Searcher because they obtained that information on third-party channels? Furthermore, what is the difference with someone sending you a request to book a tasting to your email address or us capturing all of the user’s info (cutting down back-and-forth) and sending it straight to that same email?
4. We list all the website, email, phone and other contact info in every winery’s listing. We’re not restricting anyone to only use our lead forms. Mobile app users; however, don’t want to use these communication channels; they take too much time and are inconvenient.
5. Winery Passport lead forms are completely mobile optimized — large textfields, large submit button, little scrolling, fast loading. They’re also prepopulate with the user’s information each time, making the process even quicker and frictionless: all wine club fields are prepopulated; all buy wine fields are prepopulated except wine type, year and quantity; all tasting fields are prepopulated except for date and number of tasters. From start to finish, it should take no more than 10 seconds to have a user’s info in the hands of a winery.
6. The average LTV of a wine club member is $1,500. The average tasting room purchase by appointment is over $200. Based on what these wineries left on the table, and using that formula and online pricing, it was about close to $2,000.
7. Sometimes all you have to do is ask. Displaying buttons that read “Buy Wine,” “Join Club” and “Book Tasting” in front of a user elicit actions you’re asking them to take. These CTAs will result in more clicks and conversions than “Email Us.”
8. Did I mention we’re promoting your winery to the Winery Passport audience at no charge? Winery Passport does partner with many wineries, which use our mobile marketing technology to improve tasting room traffic and direct-to-consumer revenue. But those are the wineries who value mobile and how impactful it is on revenue. One of the upset wineries kept referencing the person who submitted the request as their customer. Remember, as mentioned before, the user had never visited their winery before. This was our user, who we acquired through marketing and put their brand in front of.
9. A winery might not have a wine club or sell bottles directly, but leads help show there’s interest. You’ll never know unless you ask consumers or make the leap and just do it.
In the end, the wineries who are resistant to this shift to mobile lose out on potential revenue and the users lose out because these are two less wineries they’ll be able to discover. But, on the other hand, we don’t want to disappoint our users by having them submit a request to a winery who will do nothing with it. That is what would upset me.
About Winery Passport
Winery Passport is the wine industry’s top mobile app for wineries. The app helps consumers discover wineries and record and share tasting experiences. For wineries, our marketing technology helps increase tasting room traffic and improve direct-to-consumer revenue. Claim your winery’s free listing today, or ask us how to become a Recommended Winery. Brewery Passport is available on iOS and Android. More information: http://www.WineryPassportApp.com