Is Email Marketing Really a Worthwhile Strategy for a Brewery?

Ditch those ill-concieved thoughts about spamming customers, you may regret not starting that email campaign sooner. Find out why America's top breweries find email marketing valuable.

Broc GailitSeptember 16, 2019

In the advent of Instagram influencers and AI-powered chatbots, you'd be surprised to find out that email marketing is still a highly effective strategy for growing your craft brewery business.  In fact, for every $1 spent on email marketing efforts you can expect an average return of $38. Yes, you read that correctly: 3800% ROI.  It's no wonder 59% of marketers say email is the most effective out of any other strategy.

Despite promising numbers, email marketing still remains an underutilized tactic for many craft brands mostly due to the stigma created by our daily bombardment with excessive unsolicited spam. But here's the thing, the first rule of email marketing is do not spam your customers.  Not only is the practice of spamming illegal, you'll severely damage your brewery's reputation by sending unsolicited messages to distributors, retailers, and your valued customers.

Remember that your customers willingly sign up to your email lists because they want to know more about your brewery and stay up to date with your weekly happenings. Nobody intentionally signs up to be spammed.

So whats the trick?  Avoid blasting subscribers with the same emails and send the right messages to the right people at the right times.

Most of the emails you send should be directed toward very specific groups (segments) so its important to break up your email lists into many targeted sub-lists based on subscriber preferences, geolocality, demographics, and psychographics so you can provide meaningful content to the right audences. Your goal is to understand your subscriber's intent.  For example, emails intended for craft beverage consumers are generally not best suited for retailers like taprooms, restaurants, and bottle shops which are very much different than emails directed at regional distributors.   Some common and effective ways of automating email segmentation are subscriber polls and link tracking which are baked right into modern email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, Emma, and Constant Contact.

With proper segmentation in combination with analytics it is possilbe to have a very clear idea of who you are sending to so you can provide high-quality and meaningful content at the most opportune times.  Not only does the subscriber benefit by this type of segmentation, your business gains valuable insight into customers and their buying habits so you can effectively sell your hazy IPAs to the "hazebros" and your oak barrel-aged imperial stout to customers who will appreciate its dark chocolate notes and tannic finish.

Don't worry.  You won't be alone in this highly-effective marketing effort. We scoured the websites of the top 50 brewing companies in the United States and found that 72% of them found email marketing important enough to include in their online presence.

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