So now you understand that email must be an integral part of any beer marketing plan. But what can you do with email?
In case you’re still wondering, Alex Standiford and I brainstormed 51 different ways that you can use email for your brewery. Keep reading the entire list below, then check out the next post to learn how to build a healthy email list for your brewery.
Alex Standiford is a web designer and a WordPress developer. He loves craft beer and wants to contribute to the community in a way that will make an impact. One way he does that is through his Brewio WordPress Theme for breweries and his Easy Beer Lister WordPress plugin, which can easily load your entire beer menu onto your website. The plugin is completely customizable to pick which beers are on tap today, and it can display your beer menu on a TV screen in your taproom. Both Brewio WordPress theme and the Easy Beer Lister WordPress plugin are free.
51 things your brewery can do with email
The goal of marketing is to get someone to think of you first when they want a product. Email campaigns are a great way to achieve that.
The best email campaigns build relationships and educate your customers. Event promotion is important for your fill-your-taproom strategy, but unless you build a good relationship with your customers in the first place, nobody is going to care about the events that you email them about.
The best brewery email strategies focus on 1 of 3 different types of emails.
- An email that builds relationships with customers
- An email that educates customers about your story and your product
- An email that invites customers to visit you in person
If your emails focus on a healthy balance of all 3 of these types of emails, your list will stay healthy and your taproom will stay full! Here’s 51 different emails that you can send to your customers, organized by each of the 3 different email types listed above.
Related: If you’re looking for some information on how to build your email list, I have written a 20-Point Guide to Building Your Brewery Email List that is packed with information on how to do just that.
Use email to build relationships with your customers
Winning awards for your beer helps gain notoriety and reputation, but there are more impactful ways to sell more beer. Simply put, if your customers like you, they will choose your beer first. These emails are designed to do just that.
- Share food recipes for pairing with your beer. Especially your customer’s own recipes (with permission and a kind link to her Twitter or Untappd account).
- Share recipes of your beer scaled for homebrew.
- Offer a friendly homebrew competition on one of your beers with your shared recipes.
- Link to a special recent post on your social media.
- Share photos from a recent event.
- Share funny/crazy stories, and behind the scenes happenings at the brewery. Lagunitas Brewing is especially good at this, and their colorful stories on their labels has a profound impact on their branding.
- If you play music at your brewery, share your playlist with everyone via Spotify. Introduce the playlist with a primer about the feel you want the playlist to bring.
- Ask your customers to help you name your next upcoming brew.
- Give your creative customers a chance to create a label. Rich Weber from Sierra Blanca Brewing Company shared some great points about this on MicroBrewr Podcast 019.
- Use SurveyMonkey to send a free survey and gain valuable demographics and consumer insight.
- Ask what their favorite beer is.
- Ask what beer they want you to brew in the coming season.
- Ask for ideas about the taproom.
- Ask, ask, ask. Learn about your customers so you can provide a product they want and serve their desires. Who knows, maybe your customers want a nice quiet place to do some work and have a beer or two. You’ll never know until you ask.
- Well wishes for national holidays.
- Well wishes for beer days like National Beer Day and International Stout Day.
- Well wishes for other weird “holidays.” You can find a ton of these at com.
- April Fools Day is a great opportunity to send a faux beer release. Visit http://www.strangebrew.ca/beername.php, and use it to help come up with a wacky beer name. (e.g., Farty Cinco de Mayo Yellow Extra Special Bitter)
Use email to educate your customers
These emails are great to teach customers about your beer. You will also be able to gauge how interested or knowledgeable they are in different aspects of beer, which will help you figure out what events you should host.
- Talk about common beer traits, and what pairs well (or not so well) with them. (e.g., If you’re sensitive to spice, avoid drinking an IPA with your buffalo wings.)
- Profile new releases, in emails to your customers.
- Profile a staff member.
- Explain common brewery terms, such as IBU, ABV, and OG.
- Tell the story of your name.
- Share why you started the brewery.
- Talk about your logo.
- Describe your brewing process.
- Talk about how temperature impacts beer flavor.
- Talk about different drinks that can be made with your beer. (e.g., a stout float)
- Talk about when it makes sense to choose a lower ABV.
- Talk about where you source your ingredients.
- Weekly hours of operation or changes to schedule.
- Explain the story behind what inspired you to create the beer you made. Dogfish Head’s Ancient Ales series is a great example of this.
- How to savor a beer.
- How to pair beer with food.
- How to identify “off flavors” in beer.
- How to age beer. Especially if you have a barrel-aged program or if you offer beers that would age well.
- Talk about glass shapes, and why they exist. This could be a great chance to sell branded glassware, if you have it!
Use email to fill your taproom
Be sure to look beyond a single email. A lot of the emails in this post could be used in combination for hosting an event at your brewery. For example, you could write something that talks about how temperature impacts beer flavor, and then host an event where people purchase a growler, and then drink it over the course of a few hours, noting the difference in flavor with each glass.
- Invitations to tastings. Offer VIP early entry for your email subscribers.
- Coupon for a free tasting flight for a friend when you buy one tasting flight or pint for yourself.
- Set an exclusive time to pick up pre-orders.
- Offer a free branded product, such as a glass or a T-shirt to customers who buy something, such as a tasting flight, or growler, on a specific date. Only notify your email subscribers about your freebie.
- Host creative events, such as jam sessions and open mic. If you’re reserving slots for the event, allow your email list to reserve well before everyone else.
- Host a league or competition for Cornhole or another fun game. Keep all members updated via email on the status of the league.
- Invite people to a themed event like Oktoberfest. Serve beer specific to the theme. Offer early access to email subscribers.
- Send a series of “beer school” emails, educating customers on the basics of beer, then invite them to a beer event hosted by the brewmaster, or a Certified Cicerone®.
- Host a cheese and beer pairing event. Have a certified cheese expert come in to talk about the different cheeses.
- Host guests such as beer writers, local chefs, or collaboration brewers.
- Host a listening party of your favorite new CD, or a viewing party of the season finale or your favorite TV series.
- Special events just for email subscribers.
- Announce food such as new menu items, menu changes, or food truck schedule.
- Announce upcoming releases with VIP, early tasting and Q&A with the brewer just for email subscribers.
Strategy is key. Think through the emails you send out. Don’t just haphazardly send invites to events, prime your customers with informative emails first. Think about your campaign from start to finish, and consider all of the information that could be sent before the event date.
Pay attention to and track interactions with your customers to learn about their needs, and figure out what interests them most. This will empower you to make informed decisions about what events to host, and when to host them. Soon you won’t have any difficulty keeping your taproom full.
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