Wine Enthusiast Looks At Data To Shift Ad Spending, Reaps Return with Convertro


By implementing Convertro, Wine Enthusiast was able to:

  • Increase holiday revenue by 16% (Black Friday to Christmas) from the previous year’s results, just by optimizing the affiliate channel
  • Gain granular insights on Commission Junction’s converting and non-converting affiliates, which enabled Wine Enthusiast to cut actual costs paid to affiliates by 33% while increasing overall ROI by 49%

Wine Enthusiast is the world’s No. 1 source for wine accessories, storage, information, education, events and travel. Since its founding in 1979, the company has expanded from its initial direct mail business into catalogs, multiple websites, a magazine and products.The company’s mission is to enhance the wine lifestyle and serve both wine lovers and those who wish to find gifts for wine lovers. It markets products across media using catalogs, online advertising and a small showroom connected to its company headquarters in New York.

Wine Enthusiast was eager to find out which marketing activities drove the most revenue and which channels to further invest in, especially during the peak holiday season from Black Friday to Christmas. Its last-click-attribution methods at the time couldn’t answer these questions, and several of the company’s vendors and affiliate networks were trying to take credit for the same purchases. To gain visibility into its marketing efforts, Wine Enthusiast collected a tremendous amount of last-click data and conducted hours of manual calculations, but the results were still showing subpar insights.

In 2011, Wine Enthusiast implemented Convertro and quickly realized it was investing in redeemable coupon affiliate networks that were not delivering value. While Wine Enthusiast’s previous analysis gave the company the impression that these coupon affiliates were converting scores of customers, Convertro showed that customers were in fact visiting the wine accessory site first, leaving the website to get the coupon, then returning to the site to complete their purchases.

An asset that seemed to be driving new customers was actually just adding another step to sales that could (and would) be completed on the company’s own website. That one finding alone paid for the company’s annual subscription to Convertro. Since then, Wine Enthusiast has used Convertro to shift dollars to affiliate networks that actually impact consumer behavior and cut its spend to affiliate networks that were taking unearned credit for organically converting consumers.

The retailer also uses Convertro to measure the effectiveness of other paid media channels, including paid search, email and display. Additionally, it relies on Convertro’s reports and spend recommendations in order to improve its marketing spend to increase holiday season profits year over year.

“Before Convertro, we tracked our ad data using Excel spread- sheets. We had lots of data, but we didn’t know if it was the right data, and we needed help analyzing it so we could use it to make better marketing decisions. Convertro helps us collect information and leverage it, and the insights we’ve learned have drastically changed the way we spend our advertising budget.”
Glenn Edelman, Vice President of Digital Marketing, Wine Enthusiast