San Francisco Wine School

Email Marketing

Find out how we worked with San Francisco Wine Schools, implementing

an email marketing strategy to increase revenue by almost 70%, grow subscribers

by over 30%, boost engagement and improve the overall customer experience!

The Client

San Francisco Wine School is a unique client for Eastside Co, as they are not a typical ecommerce brand. The majority of their sales focus is around learning experiences: they are a wine school that runs in-person and online certification programs, and workshops for everyone from wine enthusiasts to professionals.

Their ‘product offering’ is diverse and price points vary depending on the duration and level of education. Alongside classes, they hold public events and hire out their space for private events, complete with their own resident chef!

San Francisco Wine School Email Example

The Challenge

Eastside Co was approached by San Francisco Wine School when they were looking for a comprehensive digital marketing solution. Alongside email marketing work, investment was required in all key marketing tactics including SEO, organic and paid social media, which made Eastside Co a natural choice as a Shopify Plus Partner that offers a full range of digital commerce solutions.

Lady drinking wine

Our Approach

The first step was to create an in-depth audit and strategy document to gain an understanding of the business, identify gaps and spot opportunities. San Francisco Wine School used MailChimp as their email service provider (ESP) and was seeing no list growth. 

Signup forms were easy to miss on the site and were not being utilised effectively. While there was a level of segmentation in the account, there was opportunity to broaden this beyond contact attributes. This allowed us to target content towards subscribers based on their interest or purchase history.

Growth Potential

Engagement with campaign content had much potential for improvement, with large fluctuations in open rates. In comparison to industry averages, averaged across the whole account they were just in line, with click rates just below. Revenue was significant for the previous year which indicated demand and that general principles in place worked for the brand, and that there was a great deal of potential for growth.

The account had no automation in place, meaning that San Francisco was missing out - on both significant revenue by not targeting those abandoning their bookings, and on building customer relations.

Sales Email


Over the past 9 months, ESC has worked with San Francisco Wine School on a retainer basis. Once the in-depth audit and strategy document was complete, we started out by executing this and replatforming to Klaviyo. Replatforming included integrating the new account with Mailchimp to migrate all subscriber information. Between ESC’s design team, Klaviyo’s great functionality, and our Email Marketing Specialist, we re-built all email templates to create strong visual branding and consistency, plus made sure elements like clear CTAs, dynamic product blocks and styling worked across the suite of email marketing assets.

Emails on iPhones

From there, we built out 8 optimised, automated flows to target subscribers and site visitors, depending on their interactions with the site. This set of flows includes the foundational welcome series, abandoned cart and post-purchase flow, and is extended by an abandoned browse, customer winback, first purchase anniversary, nurturing prospects and VIP flow.

Grow With The Flow

This extensive work means that we are reaching people at key touch points throughout their journey with both the brand and their purchase experience. We are continually working to develop, A/B test and optimise these flows on a month-by-month basis, learning from the past month’s successes, including testing incentives to order through dynamic discount codes. 

Detailed segmentation has been set up, from granular-level specific purchases to target potential attendees, to broader engagement, including differing levels of interest or experience, potential purchasers and VIP customers. Campaign content is sent to these segments, managed between San Francisco Wine School and Eastside Co, produced according to best practice.

Lead Gen

In addition to emails, we’ve focused on a number of strategies to support this work. Integrating the account with Facebook Ads Manager has allowed us to develop strategies around lead generation, and provide custom audiences to serve remarketing Facebook ads to. We are continually working to grow the potential of this. We support event promotion on a case by case basis through the use of pop-ups on site, targeted at particular Klaviyo segments. 

Purchase behaviour trends were also impacted by 2020’s global pandemic. Being a brand that relied almost exclusively on in-person interactions to deliver learning experiences, it was a new challenge for San Francisco Wine School to move towards a digital offering. We have worked together to move to a webinar model, running a number of campaigns across multiple tactics to promote this new era of learning. We revisited our approach across automated flows, and have noted and reacted to a significant shift in buying behaviors.

Email flows


What improvements have there been?

Increase in revenue: We saw a year-on-year revenue increase of 68.7% in 2020 compared to 2019, attributed to email marketing. In addition to this, we’ve experienced the challenges of the global pandemic which has impacted on average order value and brought down price points across the board. We’ve maintained a consistently high owned-revenue, averaging out at 38% of the total company revenue attributed to email marketing alone in 2020.

Growth in subscriber base: Through use of optimised sign-up forms we’ve seen huge growth in the subscriber base - more than 30%. It’s important to note here that we’re holding only active and engaged subscribers and are maintaining the account regularly to ensure this. 

Effort and time saved: The San Francisco Wine School team has the full service support of the specialist ESC team - we make it work despite the time zone difference!

Engagement with flows: Flows have gone from strength to strength for San Francisco Wine School. They performs very strongly in comparison to their peer group here, with an average open rate of 48.5% (well above middle 50th of their peer group), click rate of 11.4% percent which places them in the top 25th percentile and a 2.23% conversion rate, again which is well above middle 50th of their peer group.

Increase in customer experience: through implemented automated flows, our approach is much more personal, with messaging triggered by interactions, using dynamic content and name tags to connect on a personal level.

Our team of email specialists can generate the same kind of results for your business. Why not contact us now to talk about how we can help?

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