How I'd grow The Wine List

July 15, 2020

The Wine List is a wine education subscription. Every month, it sends you 2 wines that aren’t widely available.

It also shares lessons to help you learn how to choose better wine in the future, why your wine tastes the way it does, things about grapes, regions & more.

Unlike other wine subscriptions that just send wine, The Wine List has unique positioning focused on learning. It’s a great differentiator!

I’d rework their USP to focus on that. Their customers aren’t experts, but newbies, so they’re not looking for rare bottles.

For a product like this one, with multiple elements, a homepage video would make sense.

I’d do an explainer video, unboxing one shipment that showcases what customers are going to receive, explain how to use the courses, cards, etc.

The Wine List is not an impulse buy. Visitors don’t sign up on their first visit.

That's why it’s important for The Wine List to create a more solid funnel.

Right now, many visitors probably see the site, think it’s cool, leave, and forget about it.

Keeping their buyer personas in mind, they could create a free email course that teaches leads some wine basics.

A lead magnet like this would move a visitor from cold (“Who are these guys?”) to warm (“Wow, they know their stuff!”), and improve the chance of a conversion.

I think it’d be good to offer one-off purchases in addition to subscriptions. It’d decrease friction!

Putting myself in a potential customer's shoes, I see the site and I’m on the fence. It seems cool, but I’m not sure I’d commit. But trying one month? I’d give it a go!

Collecting email addresses: when they get at least 1000, they can use them as a source for Facebook Lookalike Audiences.

This gives better results than the standard interest-based targeting. FB can use 1000s of data points to find people really interested in your product.

Pro tip: once you get customers, use FB lookalike audiences based on their info (emails or pixel data) to find people ready to buy.

In time, you can create a value-based lookalike audience. This uses LTV, and FB finds people similar to your biggest spenders.

I like TWL’s current ads! They hit different angles, grab attention in the first 3 secs, and clearly explain what TWL is.

They also use Dynamic Creative, a neat feature. Advertisers provide different assets (image, copy, etc.) and FB boosts the best-performing combo.

They could improve their organic game. IG is the channel where I’d go all in, increasing posting frequency to 1 post/day.

I’d also add more content variety, and improve the photo quality. The content isn’t bad, but if they want to scale, they need to go the extra mile.

Right now, their biggest opportunity is SEO. Their site has no pages with the potential to rank except for the homepage and a few blog posts.

There’s plenty of wine knowledge they could share, and a lot of people search for it!

A big win would be creating a database of wines that generates multiple pages based on different combinations.

Each page could target a different keyword - e.g. white wine for fish, light and cheap red wine. It’d cast a wide net to intercept many visitors.

If your niche is this competitive, a good way to rank would be trying to appear in the SERP not only with text, but also with video.

SEOs always focus on text, but YouTube is the 2nd biggest search engine, and educational content about wine would work great.

Once they have subscribers who’ve been with them for a year, completed the course, and improved their wine games, it’s time to move to the next phase.

It’d be interesting to create an advanced, premium subscription. Otherwise, they risk losing customers who could churn.

They could create an exclusive membership unlocked after subscribers spend a year with them. The goal: becoming their only wine supplier.

If the customer is still there after a year, they trust TWL. The membership up-sell would be successful, and it’d increase their LTV.

Learn marketing from case studies

Every two weeks I pick a website and write a short case study explaining exactly how I’d grow it