I’m a sucker for online wine retailers and I subscribe to most of their email newsletters to get a sense of what they’re about. Some are too salesy, others not salesy enough – others hit that sweetspot and one in particular is Naked Wines, a relative newcomer to the world of wine, but according to this report (PDF), receives around 2.9 million pageviews per month. Underlying their success is undoubtedly their unique business model, but I want to focus on one just one thing – the quality of their emails. Let’s break it down a bit.

Naked gets to the point, fast. For those poor time poor folk who can’t focus on anything during the day (they’ve another meeting to go to), then they know exactly what the offer is, “The best undiscovered wine in Spain” and what they need do – “act fast“.

Throw in a bit of scarcity – there are only 500 cases left,  and the carrot, “save 40%” and you can see that before they go any further, the recipient would need a pretty good reason not to click the “Buy Now!” button.

Let’s move on. Just in case the impressive opening salvo wasn’t enough to convince you, there’s some more seduction to get you to click through from their email.

The first thing is that it’s not anonymous, it’s personal. Quite simple or obvious, but many bigger companies get this piece very wrong with the  something like {customer-firstname} or worse, getting your name wrong.

Then, it’s all about repetition, repetition and repetition.

  • Scarcity: “The first 500 clicks get it”
  • The offer: “Save 40%..” – repeated twice.
  • The value proposition: “The best wine of 5o tasted”
  • A good story: good storytelling starts to unfold with the challenge of how hard it is to find the best unknown wine. Note the struggle of finding the “best unknown wine” and the hint of the underdog as the “best undiscovered wine”.
Staying with the themes above, what else have we got?

There’s repetition again, albeit in a different way, with just £7.83 a bottle – the offer. Then there’s the classic David versus Goliath storytelling, “tried to sell his wines” followed by the singular call to action, “saving of 40%”.

Add to that the social proof of “award-winning“.

Then, we’ve some nice exclusivity, or getting in on the ground floor with “unsung grapes” in an “unsung wine region” and repetition of the low price message. Gosh, if that isn’t enough, what next?

We’ve got more urgency, “You must hurry”, “can only release 500 cases”, the “one-off special price” and the “you’ll never see it at this exclusive price ever again”.

More details of the offer – that singular focus is really admirable – then on to the assurance of the signature by Rowan and the slightly smaller print of “if you don’t like the wines, we’ll always give you your money back, no questions asked”.

Hopefully, with this example, how Naked is changing the wine world, whether they like it or not.

Key takeaways

Key take away #1: regardless of how much detail you go into, get to the point really, really fast and combine details of the offer with scarcity and urgency.

Key take away #2: don’t just sell, weave in some good storytelling.

Key take away #3: repeat your singularly focused message throughout.

Key take away #4: Make it personal – firstname and sign off as a real person, not a company or department.

Key take away #5: Remove all instances of doubt or obstacles – the assurance of knowing I can get my money back.