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How Far Niente Grew E-commerce Revenue for Their Luxury Wine with Trovant Media

Introduction

Launching ecommerce division

Far Niente is a luxury Napa Valley wine estate established in 1885. With a storied history that includes the production and rediscovery of California’s oldest bottle of wine ever, the winery today boasts an award-winning collection of wines, a successful wine club, four sister wineries, and of course tours, tastings, and private events.

In the spring of 2018, Far Niente launched their e-commerce division, and while the company had previously sold wine online, they had never worked strategically to ramp up sales. “We have been fortunate that we have a solid standing in the marketplace including placements in restaurants, resorts, and wine 

shops,” says Rachelle Newbold, Ecommerce Manager for Far Niente. “And we’ve gained a fair amount of traffic in the tasting rooms through word-of-mouth.”

However, when the company chose to place a more strategic effort behind their e-commerce sales channel, they began to wonder whether paid advertising could work for their luxury wines, which range from seventy to upwards of three hundred dollars per bottle.

“We wanted to grow beyond all of our current channels. We wanted to touch new people that weren’t in our customer base.”

– Rachelle Newbold,

Ecommerce Manager at Far Niente

Problem

Concerned about negative brand impact

“The percentage of growth was impressive, both in terms of growing our email list and our revenue. This started out as an ecommerce boost, but what we discovered was that it really benefited the wine club.”

– Rachelle Newbold,

E-commerce Manager at Far Niente

Having never run paid social ads in the past, there was plenty of uncertainty, not only about the potential efficacy of digital marketing but also about the brand impact. At the time, the Cambridge Analytica scandal had broken out, and the company was concerned about their brand perception using Facebook ads. They worried that not only would they not see positive return with new customers, but that existing customers would perceive the brand in a negative light.

But the company’s goals helped them push past that uncertainty. “We wanted to grow beyond all of our current channels. We wanted to touch new people that weren’t in our customer base,” says Newbold. She discovered Jonathan Wallace of Trovant Media through a referral from a digital strategist after being encouraged to test the success of paid ads. “Jonathan helped us reframe paid social ads from a psychological point of view. He made our management feel more comfortable advertising a luxury brand on social media and essentially said, ‘Hey let’s try it. If it succeeds, the proof is in the ROI.’”

Solution

Strategic Facebook ads that are fresh and on-brand

Over the past two years, Trovant Media has run a variety of paid campaigns for Far Niente on Facebook. For the most part, the campaigns followed a two pronged approach: lead generation which familiarized potential new customers with the brand, and retargeting which moved people from interested to Far Niente purchasers.

The lead generation ads have brought in a steady stream of new email subscribers, who could receive further communication not only via email but also through the retargeting ads. Brand integrity quickly became a non-issue, as the internal team led creative control over the brand and Trovant Media led optimization efforts. “Jonathan was wonderful about working with us and making sure that anything we put out there maintained the standards that we wanted,” says Newbold.

“Our retargeting ads aligned with our ecommerce calendar,” says Brooke Gadke, Digital Marketing Manager at Far Niente. “We would retarget our email subscribers for product launches. If it was a very specific ad, we’d hit a subset of our customer list. For example, if it was a wine club-focused ad, it might only hit our active wine club members. If it was just for

“Jonathan was very successful at helping us launch our new customer acquisition program.”

– Rachelle Newbold,

E-commerce Manager at Far Niente

cabernet lovers, it would hit our cabernet buyers. But for the most part, we would retarget to our whole subscriber list.” Trovant Media also set up retargeting ads to website visitors and people who had engaged with previous ads.

With continued retargeting, audience fatigue can be a real problem. Trovant Media had a plan in place to keep the ads fresh. “Jonathan mitigated what we call the negative ROI,” explains Gadke. “It’s hard to track the issue of people being followed around by the same ads and getting frustrated and turned off by your brand. Jonathan was great at making sure we were constantly refreshing imagery so that nothing ever felt stale. He helped us retarget our audience with our five different winery brands, so we were never pushing one brand on a customer for too long. That gave us a nice piece of mind that we weren’t negatively impacting our bottom line in some way we couldn’t see.”

Results By Campaign Type

How Far Niente grew their subscribers and customers

Lead Generation

Attracting new email subscribers

• Generated 15k leads

• 8X ROI

Retargeting

Retargeting to email list subscribersfor new product launches. Also retargeting ads for website visitors.

• 5.6X ROI 

Results

8x return on ad spend

“We were initially concerned about brand image, but the paid social ads worked so well,” says Newbold. “The percentage of growth was impressive, both in terms of growing our email list and our revenue. This started out as an ecommerce boost, but what we discovered was that it really benefited the wine club too.” Newbold notes that Trovant Media uses a useful dashboard to track ROI, incoming revenue, transactions, and ad spend. In combination with their own internal tracking, it was possible to calculate the success of individual campaigns and the impact of paid social media on the entire company, not just ecommerce.

“Jonathan was great at making sure we were constantly refreshing imagery so that nothing ever felt stale.”

– Brooke Gadke,

Digital Marketing Manager at Far Niente

The average time to purchase for new leads was fifty-five days, and the lead generation campaigns saw an 8X return on ad spend. Meanwhile, the retargeting ads to email subscribers and website visitors produces a 5.6X return on ad spend. These retargeting ads helped Far Niente utilize a multichannel approach for everynew launch.

“Jonathan was very successful at helping us launch our new customer acquisition program,” says Newbold. “In terms of communicating with our existing subscribers and people who had organically come to us and were already interested in us, he was masterful at that as well.”

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