The Details of Good Unboxing--Tools to Retain your Club Members

Are you looking to improve your wine club retention?


How do you build a relationship and build customer loyalty?


Your direct-to-consumer shipments should be like a gift—like when you receive a wrapped gift where the wrapping is better than what’s inside, when you have that moment when you don’t want to rip open and ruin the package? You know there was care and attention given to that gift, and, by extension, to you.


This is how we need to imagine e-commerce shipments. You did the very hard work of gaining a customer; you can make sure you keep them by sending them a package which triggers those feelings of care, attention, opportunity and, yes, even obligation.


With Sandbox, we’ve given you a platform to create and print the items you need to make your shipment a standout. Anything can be added to the site for you to access over and over again, to make content updates and order for fulfillment, all in one quick portal.


We’re experts at printing, so that part is easy. The hard part is deciding what tools to use for your communicating with your customers. Your brand may have an established voice and style which makes your decision easy. If you’re not sure, here are some ideas:



NEWSLETTERS: How do you share the experience of your winery with customers who can’t physically visit? How can you inspire them to remember the good time they had when they signed up for your club on a visit? Any kind of printed piece to share info can help—people want to support small businesses so it’s a good idea to remind them there are people behind your great wine. Share an update about the growing season you’re in. Show off photos of your beautiful vineyards—highlighting the behind the scenes helps customers connect to you on a personal level, and makes them feel special by being “in the know.”


RECIPE CARDS: Food pairings designed to show off your wines are a natural. We’ve seen some virtual events that include a cooking demonstration, so sending the menu and recipe with the wine ahead of time will be expected. Recipe cards are tangible—and something that cooks will hold on to, along with the beautiful photo of your wine and your logo, front and center. Good memory, good reminder. Include a url or QR code to direct them to your website for additional recipes. And more wine.


TASTING NOTES—even if you’ve gone digital with your tasting notes, give your members a card in the box to explain how to find the notes. Directing them to your website, or a QR code linked to tasting notes or a review is vital if that is where the information lives. We can, of course, provide printed tasting notes to slip in the box or create a wine journal for your club members which provides an overview of your wines and space for them to track as they taste through your collection.

VIRTUAL TASTINGS—if you’re offering at home, virtual tastings, you will want a tasting mat and tasting notes to help guide the event. We offer a box topper which sits on top of the wine in your box, and creates a great first impression as the box is opened.


SPECIAL OFFERS, social media challenges, invitations. Club members expect an invitation to your special events, whether virtual or live. Including it in their monthly shipment makes sense. Want to drive club members to join you on your social channels? Push them there with a selfie challenge by providing props or a contest in the club shipment. 


PRINTED BOXES: There are a number of box styles and approaches for shippers. Some companies prefer a plain brown box to discourage porch pirates, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a delightful moment when the box is opened by printing on the interior of the box. If you have a box style in mind we can provide a cut sample for testing—even our boxes are digital, including the cutting; no tooling is required.


STICKERS/TAPE/TISSUE PAPER: going with a plain brown box but want to dress it up a bit? Slap a branded sticker on the box or use branded packing tape to seal the box. Create a giftable moment by wrapping the bottles in tissue paper. These are the small touches that can elevate your customer’s experience to something they will embrace.


MERCHANDISE: While Sandbox doesn’t resell merchandise, we all know an occasional gift (branded, of course) can go a long way in building customer loyalty. We can help you develop an insert to hold the merch, and we can refer you to some great partners for merchandise.


THANK YOU CARDS: A simple card signed by a winemaker tells the customer two things: you appreciate their business and there is a real person behind the wine. It is an easy way to help them feel like more than a number. Some wineries include Referral Cards—a beautifully printed card for the customer to send to a friend and share their “find” of your great wine.


WHAT’S NEXT—as a club member or a subscriber, include a card telling them when to expect their next shipment and a teaser about what will be in the box. This encourages them to stay in the program to ensure they receive the next enticing offer. Because we print everything digitally, we can print customer specific information on each piece—even swap out bottle images for a personalized experience.


This device can also be positioned for your company’s sustainability efforts, as in, how do I best dispose of the packaging material for recycling. Give them a reason to click on a QR code to get to your sustainability manifesto.


Or use the What’s Next device to offer a discount to reorder more of the wine they received in the current shipment—what’s a better outcome than that?


You know where else you can print a “What’s Next” device? On the inside of your shipper.


There are a lot of levers to pull to communicate with your wine club members—digital, social, phone calls—and PRINT. Only you can decide which printed device will work best for your brand and your customers; the goal is to stay in conversation with them so they became an ambassador for your wine, and a customer with great lifetime value.