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May 29, 2006

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Mary Baker

Thank you for the mention, Mike! I can't believe I hadn't thought of this before, as it accomplishes two goals.

I send out a quasi-monthly email and when the hottest releases come out I always get a barrage of calls like, "I'm coming to Paso in July, will you still have X wine then?" The blog is a place to post the ever-chaning answer, and by directing people to the blog it accomplishes my second goal: building blog subscriptions.

I'm learning that I need to offer a range of post topics to interest readers. Some love the stories, others are only interested in the harvest/vintage reports, still others only want updates on releases, background on the wines and vineyards, and other pertinent product information.

I've been mulling over your advice about emails. I thought the prevailing wisdom was to keep it short and sweet, and offer small bites of pertinent "buy me" information. But for our tiny winery, it makes a lot more sense to exercise my voice and tell a story--or part of a story. I'm going to experiment with that and I'll let you know how it goes. I have an email list of over 2,000 names, and only 200+ blog subscribers. Let's see how many I can convert.

On another subject, I know you have talked before about doing surveys, and I have just performed my first. Intellicontact, my email service, now offers surveys and they are nicely done and easy to use. I also found on this month's email that I got a higher percentage of 'opens' by offering an activity. My first short survey was on wine clubs and special offer mailing lists. From this, I can see (if the results are representative) the % of people on my list that belong to other clubs, email lists, and receive special offers. From this I have learned that I should use my monthly emails to make a much more compelling argument for joining the Dover Canyon wine club and s.o. mailings. . .

Future surveys will alternate between silly and serious, but even the silly ones will have some demographic mining purpose, and will be fuel for my blog, and I hope, interesting for my readers.

Mike Duffy

What a terrific comment, Mary - thank you for sharing your experience!

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