After going live with Rachel of Say When Wine in November,
I cooked her dinner and we chatted some more about the trials and tribulations of owning your own wine brand. She was telling me about how a recent email she sent her list about her newest wine releases wasn't performing as well as previous emails had. I asked her a few questions about this email and then I asked her to tell me about what she considered the most successful email.
She explained that her highest performing email to date was a story about how she named rosé. When I asked her why she thought it was the most successful email, aside from how many clicks and sales it produced, she told me the following,
“Well, I was at this wine event and this guy came up to me and told me how the email had affected him. Then the whole night after that he kept bringing people up to the table being like, ‘You need to meet this winemaker, you need to see her husband’s tattoo.’ And then would go on to tell the story we told in the email: of how I thought my boyfriend had my initials tattooed on his arm but really they were the initials of his grandmother. We sold so much wine because of that email.”
Here is why that email performed so well and why it affected its readers so much:
Humans are drawn to stories naturally. There is actual science behind this: The oxytocin hormone (the one that makes us happy) increases when we hear a story that resonates with us. According to an article entitled The Science of Storytelling, an increase in the oxytocin hormone “boosts our feelings of trust, compassion, and empathy… because of this, stories have the unique ability to build connections.”
By telling a heartwarming (and entertaining) story of how her rosé got its name from her future husband’s grandmother, Rachel tapped into the trust and connection her audience was craving. She turned an email intended to sell into an entire experience for her audience; she invited them into her life and they responded by supporting her with their purchases.
I talk about this all the time, but it bears repeating: people are on social media (and email lists/blogs) for one of three reasons,
- To be entertained
- To be informed/educated
- To create a connection
Storytelling fulfills all three of those things.
When I look back at the blog posts, emails, and social media posts that have performed the best for me, in every single one of them I am telling a story and I can almost guarantee that the same is true for you.
So here is your homework for today:
Tell more stories.
If you are looking to sell a dinner experience at your winery, talk about how you came up with the menu. If you are looking to get more people into your tasting room or pub, tell your audience a funny or touching story about one of your servers. And if you are releasing a new wine or beer, tell your audience the story of how it got its name. Then watch what happens.
Heather Daenitz is the founder and photographer of Craft & Cluster, a wine & beer photography and social media marketing company based in Santa Barbara County, California.
When she isn't photographing and giving unsolicited advice to her wine friends, Heather can be found hanging out with her husband, two dogs, and three chickens in their backyard garden, listening to Harry Potter on audiobook (Jim Dale, you are a gift to the world).