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Invite: AMA with new CEO Steve Finlan, Head of Buying Pierre Mansour & Head of Member Experience Liz Cerroti (23rd May, 1-2pm)



A multi-question about a hot topic on here, mailings and subscriptions!

I have two main interests: formats and content.

For formats, it’s currently not possible (I’ve tried) to choose certain mailings to arrive by email and other by post. Do you have plans to change that? (e.g. ‘send x, y, z by post, send a, b, c by email’ etc.)

For content, do you think we’ll get ato a point where members can opt-in to a degree on what they wolud like to be informed about? Potential examples range from ‘please send me all offers about Spain’ to ‘please notify me when x wine is back in stock/has a new vintage’.

Many members would love to have more control over what information they receive from TWS, and how.

Pre-AGM Ask Me Anything with three of our Executive Team, 1-2pm
Pre-AGM Ask Me Anything with three of our Executive Team, 1-2pm

this is the link to the first time I mentioned preferences wrt member contact / preferences…


"I don’t mean to jump the gun on the ama but just on this point, there’s a url trick you can use to find old wine listings. Inthe address where is says productdetail just add historic before product and hey presto:

Top tip, Tom! Thanks for sharing.


I have quite a pedantic question about the online ordering process. Not to complain, however, it would be extremely advantageous if there was an option to “purchase for reserves” as opposed to having to dump my basket back into my wish list if I just want to throw a case of something directly into reserves.
I’m assuming others do what I do and gradually build their basket up again after a delivery so a separate purchase for reserves option would be really a really worthwhile tool to have within the online ordering process. Is this something you think could be added quite easily??
Also, with regards to campaigns which incentivise, such as “recommend a new member” and win a trip to Champagne/Rhone etc… I personally feel these campaigns are not recognising the die hard TWS fans who have probably already bought every member of their family a membership etc… Should you not be looking at different inclusion criteria rather than using the same “purchase a membership” year on year.
My issue with this is: That membership may never be used and has brought you nothing in terms of revenue apart from a £40 joining fee, but has cost you a members trip to France.
Recognising the members who are purchasing month on month, EP after EP and including them in a criteria would be far more A) Moralistic and B) attractive to the current membership.

Can you imagine if an active member of the community won one of these trips how that would have a clear and immediate impact on the sales of that particular region. They would relay back to the community the breakdown of their trip and the wines they consumed. From a marketing perspective and ROI its a no brainer. Something to think about moving forward with your campaigns perhaps?

Pre-AGM Ask Me Anything with three of our Executive Team, 1-2pm
Pre-AGM Ask Me Anything with three of our Executive Team, 1-2pm

My main problem with the recommend a member campaigns is that there is no incentive for the new member to put you down as the recomendee. A friend recently joined after I told them about TWS, but they didn’t tell me so I couldn’t tell them to add my as the reference in the hope of winning this prize - I believe it used to be that you had to have someone recommend you to join in the past, so he would have had to do this, but that’s been scrapped so no real reason for him to add me, he doesn’t gain from it.

As for the £40 @Leah - I guess it depends how many people do actually join on the back of these campaigns, because if they gain 100 new members and 30 of them become regular customers, then it’s probably worth the trip cost?


Very true :+1:. However like you’ve said There are flaws to this campaign, one being you’ve already recommended the world and their mother and have no one left to recommend and two it doesn’t actually work unless they know your membership number .
What might be a good thing to know is in terms of recommended new members last year on the back of the Champagne campaign how much revenue was generated in orders from those new members in the following 10 months??Surely this figure should be available when looking at ROI and the direct correlation between the reward and subsequent revenue.?


This is interesting, and I partly agree. However, if there’s a way to get the boxes back to the wine society that might be solved. I tend to use the Wine society vans and I actually tend to keep the wine boxes I’ve had deliveries in ready for collection for re-use. I realise there are some major service design issues if one isn’t using vans, but if one is, it could be pushed as part of the system - reuse if at all possible. Maybe even a small ‘deposit’ as we used to do with bottles.


I’ve proposed and paid for three new memberships since I joined the Society as gifts as was mine. I do think there is a certain degree of ‘thank heavens for Sainsbury’s, they keep the riff-raff out of Waitrose’ about the WS’s status. I do think there has been a notional pathway to joining the WS in the past ie Supermarket > Oddbins/Majestic > Wine Society etc.

Time will tell whether short-circuiting the previously typical journey is good or bad.


Anyone else remember when The Sunday Times Wine Club was a serious concern?


Wow, reading the comments, there are a lot of frustrated people here.

The WS seems to still be making a profit. My question is whether the profits are sustainable enough given wine price inflation, salary/pension increases, property costs etc etc to ensure the WS continues to succeed? Does a subscription model with trading credits for example need to implemented (examples being online stock broking accounts) to encourage people to buy through the WS? How much annual revenue is generated from membership sign ups at £40?


Pre-AGM Ask Me Anything with three of our Executive Team, 1-2pm

How many bottles of wine, per year, does TWS send out to the wine press, wine critics, wine influencers etc?

Pre-AGM Ask Me Anything with three of our Executive Team, 1-2pm

Does it really matter ???:roll_eyes:


I have a question for each of you: imagine it’s wednesday and on your way out of the office you decide to stop by the showroom to pick up your perfect midweek wine. What do you go for? (red or white, or one of each if you like!)

Pre-AGM Ask Me Anything with three of our Executive Team, 1-2pm

This sounds more like a ‘freedom of information’ sort of query. Are you suspecting some sort of conspiracy?


A portion, perhaps.


Not at all. I just thought some context would be useful for the discussion on another thread.


If you are looking at ROI based on tastings / samples etc when you have worked it out you will be the richest man in the world !

To determine ROI from singular activities in a mixed marketing campaign is the elixir of marketing depts!

In my past life (1735 - to 1801…joke) we used multiple marketing techniques in territories and as long as our growth was greater than our spend we were happy (the board wasn’t but I was paid or that beating!). Unless you ask every customer why they purchased your product you will never understand the impact individual parts of a marketing campaign had - was it a newspaper review, pic on instagram, blog from a critic…

You can of course take snapshots and I used to do this for certain areas…but you get people answering questions in the way they think you want to hear :frowning:


I’m not. Merely curious in the context of comments about influencers on another thread.


Quick question for @PierreM as I um and ah on an order - will the Contino 935 make it onto the website at all (and if so when?) or is it all sold out from the EP campaign? :grinning:

Pre-AGM Ask Me Anything with three of our Executive Team, 1-2pm
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