Grape Expectations: 5 SMS Marketing Tips Designed to Juice Your Winery’s Sales

Lindy McDaniel
April 14, 2016

‘Nearly two-thirds of Americans are now smartphone owners, and for many these devices are a key entry point to the online world.’ This statement from the Pew Research Center comes with implications for wineries. In particular, mobile marketing plans are now a necessity for a diversified marketing strategy. We reached out to Sophorn Chhay, an inbound marketing specialist, to get some best practices for wineries to consider when exploring mobile marketing. Let us know if you have questions! 

Once upon a time, winery marketing was centered upon simple – or simply nonexistent – strategies that emphasized in-person interaction and industry insiders. Basically, you either got the word out through a handful of industry-dominating publications or via your tasting room, otherwise people never really knew you existed.

Now, the United States produce more than 350 million gallons of wine every year, which means more people are buying wine than ever before. Combine those numbers with the statistic estimating that global mobile spending will top $100 billion by 2016 and it’s pretty clear that the path to dominance in the wine world is through mobile marketing, or SMS marketing. Here are five ways your business can harness the power of SMS marketing to make your sales soar:

  1. Know Your Limits

In many ways, digital marketing can be the great equalizer, but when your business is alcohol-based you have to consider issues that simply don’t apply to less regulated industries. Being able to focus certain SMS campaigns on narrow demographics defined by location, taste, regional (be it county, state, or country-specific) laws is important. Create separate SMS marketing lists – just as you would separate online address for an email campaign – and consider your audience when planning your newest batch of marketing texts.

  1. Help Consumers Save with Mobile Deals

What can possibly be more convenient than having promotions delivered straight to your phone? In 2014 alone, some 54 million smartphone users acted on coupons they received via their mobile devices – perhaps not surprising, considering that an overwhelming amount of tablet users (63 percent, to be exact) have used their device to make a purchase. Clearly consumers are taking their buying power on the road, and your strategy needs to both acknowledge and capitalize on that. Send out texts with your promotions to allow new buyers to sample several different varietals, consider flash sales that help you sell out past vintages when your new releases are on the horizon, or give the gift of included shipping.

  1. The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Unsubscribe Request

You’ll never, ever annoy someone into buying your product. Remember that 75 percent of mobile users have confessed to bringing their phone into the bathroom with them, so when a consumer gives you their phone number in order to receive SMS messages, they’re essentially giving you intimate access to the most private moments of their lives.

Use that power wisely. Sending messages in the middle of the night or deluging your SMS list with constant texts is a recipe for disaster, no matter how valuable you think your offers are. On the flip side, you don’t want to underuse your access and waste the opportunity you’ve been given.

  1. Short is Sweet

SMS messaging was designed for short bursts of texts, not 5-page long odes to your business goals. Keep your content short and sweet and leave readers wanting more – which they can get via the embedded link you’ll subsequently provide. Curiosity is a powerful motivator – hence the irritating but highly effective link-bait writing style that has swept the Internet as of late – and you can capitalize on that by keeping the initial message short and explaining more “after the jump.” Consider a text like, “We’re cleaning out the warehouse with a member-only sale! Prices are as great as the quality! Click here for more!” What wine lover wouldn’t want to see what’s on the other side of that link?

  1. Don’t Text in a Vacuum

You most likely have many channels incorporated into your mobile marketing strategy including email, social media, and SMS, to name a few. All those channels should be connected. Use SMS messaging to confirm purchases made via your website, or alert people to mobile app sales with a well-timed text. This comprehensive approach will make all your pieces part of a much stronger whole.

Sophorn Chhay

Sophorn Chhay is an inbound marketer specializing in attracting targeted visitors and generating sales qualified leads. Through Trumpia’s SMS marketing automation solution he helps businesses and organizations communicate effectively with their customers or members. Watch Trumpia’s 5-Minute Demo on how to execute an effective mobile marketing strategy.

ShipCompliant Note: While this post does contain some excellent advice for maximizing one’s presence in the new mobile market, wineries must also be aware of the regulatory restrictions surrounding the advertisement and marketing of alcoholic beverages. Federal rules prohibit industry members from directly or indirectly disseminating, or even causing to disseminate, any advertising that fails to conform with regulatory requirements. The TTB has interpreted “advertising” very broadly to include any printed or graphic material, which would include SMS marketing. Wineries should reference this advisory circular from the TTB on social media marketing, noting that there are many mandatory and prohibited steps industry members must comply with when advertising. While it may not speak directly on SMS marketing, its advisements are analogous.

Beyond federal regulations, each state has its own set of regulations surrounding marketing alcoholic beverages. These include restrictions on promotions, solicitations for sales, and all important tied-house rules. Before engaging in an SMS marketing campaign, wineries should be aware of the local rules and ensure that they are in compliance.


Sign up for Email Updates

Stay up to date with the latest tax and compliance updates that may impact your business.


Lindy McDaniel

Lindy McDaniel is an account executive focused on mid- to large-scale organizations throughout the United States, including Florida, North Carolina, and California. Her focus centers on innovative products for clients’ statutory financial reporting, tax-compliance, and unclaimed property services. Lindy’s expertise is in increasing an organization’s effectiveness through automation and increased productivity. Lindy has more than 16 years of business management experience ranging from finance to sales. Her training includes a Bachelor of Science with a specialization in Accounting from the University of Northern Iowa. You can reach her at or on LinkedIn.
Share This Post

LATAM VAT & Fiscal Reporting
May 20, 2020
Sovos Acquires Taxweb, Extends Tax Determination Capabilities in World’s Most Challenging Compliance Landscape

Earlier this month Sovos announced its second acquisition of 2020, completing our solution for Brazil with an unparalleled offering that solves tax compliance in the place where it is most challenging to do so.  Too many companies doing business in Brazil have been burdened by managing multiple point solutions for continuous transaction controls (CTCs), tax […]

E-Invoicing Compliance EMEA Turkey VAT & Fiscal Reporting
July 15, 2020
Cancellation and Refund Policies for E-Invoice and E-Arşiv Invoice

Taxpayers with annual gross sales of TRY 5 million and above are obliged to use e-invoice or e-arşiv invoice from 1 July 2020. Although the e-invoice has the same qualities as a paper invoice, there are occasions where it should be treated differently such as for cancellations and refunds. What is a refund invoice? A […]

July 15, 2020
Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance – How Do You Tax That?

Car insurance premiums are always making headlines. With the cost of insurance for younger drivers continuing to rise, a new generation of drivers are questioning the need to own a car. Many drivers who live in the city or commute often only use their cars on weekends, but the cost to insure a car that […]

July 14, 2020
Kentucky DtC Shipping Laws Delayed

Earlier this year, Kentucky passed a bill enabling direct-to-consumer (DtC) shipping of wine, beer, and spirits by licensed suppliers. When the bill was originally passed, it was expected it would take effect by July 15, 2020. However, as our partners at Wine Institute recently confirmed, the state is instituting a delay on the implementation of […]

Asia Pacific E-Invoicing Compliance VAT & Fiscal Reporting
July 14, 2020
Asia: E-invoicing Developments Across the Region

The world has witnessed how several Latin American countries have successfully adopted e-invoices to replace paper versions and close VAT gaps – the difference between the revenue governments are entitled to receive and what they de facto manage to collect.    The positive effects of mandatory e-invoicing regimes, such as achieving simplification of the invoicing […]

July 13, 2020
How Importers Can Ship DtC

The beverage alcohol industry has many complicated rules and regulations that vary by state. Even though importers are similar to other members of the “supplier” tier (like wineries and breweries), they are often treated differently in federal and state regulations. This is particularly true when it comes to direct-to-consumer (DtC) wine shipping.  Currently, 46 states […]