Do you have a winery blog?
This showed up in the mail this morning:
You are a finalist in the category of "Best Business/Industry Wine Blog" in the American Wine Blog Awards.
I will be sending you a badge you can use in any way you see fit.
The voting begins tonight at www.fermentation.typepad.com and will end at 11:59 on March 4.
(I'm grateful just to be nominated. But if, after you look at the other nominees in this category, you feel that it's warranted, I'd appreciate your vote!)
What is it?
Bounce rate is insightful because from the perspective of a website visitor, it measures this phenomenon: "I came; I puked; I left." (OK, technically it also means the number of sessions with just one pageview.) (read the rest of Stop bouncing: tips for website success at The Official Google Blog) The beauty is that Google Analytics (free, remember?) offers this statistic right on its dashboard for your winery Web site. You are using Google Analytics (or some other stats package), right? Here's how to use this statistic to improve your Web site:
Bounce rate is insightful because from the perspective of a website visitor, it measures this phenomenon: "I came; I puked; I left." (OK, technically it also means the number of sessions with just one pageview.)
(read the rest of Stop bouncing: tips for website success at The Official Google Blog)
The beauty is that Google Analytics (free, remember?) offers this statistic right on its dashboard for your winery Web site. You are using Google Analytics (or some other stats package), right?
Here's how to use this statistic to improve your Web site:
If you're considering using Facebook and/or Twitter to help drive interest in your winery and wines, check out this useful post over at the Startup Nation blog, entitled Social Media Marketing Tips
Well, maybe not everything.
This post from Selene Wines on bottling their 2008 Sauvignon Blanc has lots of great pictures and explanation. It gives readers the experience of being there. Only one question: how does the wine get loaded into the system?
Then you absolutely need to read this first: Redesigning Your Website: Who's Taking Care of the Content?
Users visit websites for content — to read, to learn, to assess, to compare, to buy. And they'll return, time and again, if the content is useful, relevant, interesting, entertaining, up-to-date. We all know it’s true: Content drives readership on informational, promotional, and e-commerce sites.
And my favorite line:
“Hey Ed! Go get that content from the storeroom. We’re ready to load it into the site.”
Dell Computer makes exclusive offers to people following them on Twitter, makes $1 million.
OK, I've probably worn out my welcome with four posts in a single day, but it *was* my birthday after all.
Since it's my birthday, I was wondering if you make a special offer to members of your wine club on their birthday? It's another way to "touch" your best customers in a personal way.
Continuing with my offer of free Twitter winery Web site reviews, here's my 140-character review of C. Donatiello Winery:
Clean design, but a little sterile:what do I do next? Flash-based.Must log in to order. No links for trade or media. Text hard on old eyes.
What wine goes with a financial meltdown? Bailout Wine, of course. Buy this Napa Cabernet at $39 a bottle, and you get $2 back for every 100 points the down drops from that point until bottling on August 14, 2009. If the Dow drops 1500 points, you'll get a $30 refund.
LovelyCharts is something I posted about over at Northbay biz (I write a monthly business-and-technology column for them called Tech Talk), but since wineries sometimes need to make flow charts and organization charts, I thought this might be of interest to my readers here.
Here's a post about how long it took some wineries to respond to an e-mail query about whether a particular bottle was ready to drink. The wineries involved were Tobin James Cellars, Grgich Hills Estate, and Frank Family Vineyards. Response time varied from 90 minutes to over four days. Not a scientific test, but surely an interesting result.
(as a side note, Grgich prominently mentions their Facebook group on their home page)
Since you're reading this blog, I'd really appreciate if you would take my survey.
which you should just be able to cut and paste into your blog post. Thanks! (and if you'd like, please leave a comment)
With Valentine's Day next Saturday (men: don't forget!), I feel obligated to bring you this story about chocolate-covered wine bottles.
Another example of creative packaging is dipping a bottle in eight ounces of chocolate. "I was reaching out to my local Napa chocolatier for our typical 'wine and chocolate truffles' gifts, when we thought, 'how cool would it be to dip the entire bottle in chocolate?'"
Quite a few new winery blogs this month (34!!!), perhaps as the result of New Year's Resolutions.
Dunham & Froese Estate Winery (The Back Label)
Duplin Winery (Behind the Vine)
Flora Springs Winery & Vineyards
Forty-Five North Vineyards & Winery
Fotinos Brothers Winery (Amuse Bouche)
Gherardi Wines (Margaret River Blog)
Hollywood Hills Vineyard
J. Maki Winery
Lionheart Wines (The Grapevine)
Little Hills Winery
Olypmic Cellars Winery
Parallel 44 Vineyard & Winery
St. Josef's Winery
Seven Stones Winery
Sodaro Estate Winery (Scion Says)
Summerwood Winery & Inn (The Winemaker, The Chef and The Blog)
Zucca Mountain Winery
The List now contains 171 entries. If yours isn't on it, please let me know!
One of the four types of visitors to your winery Web site is the media (you should be so lucky!).
Have you checked out your winery on Yelp?
My friend Edward asked me if I knew anything about Call for Wine. They specialize in "high-quality professional outbound telesales, exclusively for the wine industry." I hadn't heard of them, but I found their "how we got started" story interesting:
Founder Mark Parton was lying on his couch in Chicago a few months after a Sonoma vacation, when the phone rang. Armida Winery was calling. Mark had joined their wine club during his visit and was happy to get the call.
I thought it was really nice that they called me. It sort of made me feel like I was part of the winery. Parton said during a recent interview. I also bought wine they were offering on special.
Parton, who has run telemarketing call centers for consumer direct sales of technology items, began wondering why the five other wine clubs he'd joined didn't call. Sensing an opportunity, Parton and his wife were soon packing up their car and moving to California wine country. Call for Wine, five years old this year, now has a customer list that has grown to 15 wineries. His operation has moved from the kitchen table to offices with space for 30 telesales reps.
If every critic ala Ebert, in his way would disclose the yardstick by which he generates the stars, thumbs, or Little Man of his reviews, it would go a long way toward educating readers;