How Wine by Lamborghini Uses Postcards to Win at Retention

Beautiful packaging and a distinguished brand will catch customers’ attention. But it won’t necessarily keep them around. 

Wine by Lamborghini was started in the 1960s by ​​Ferruccio Lamborghini, the man behind the coveted sports cars. Needless to say, the brand caters to a luxury customer. 

“It comes in beautiful packaging,” said Leonardo Plebani, founder of DTC Gang, the winery’s ecommerce retention agency. “The bottle is usually gold or has a metal finish. It’s a fancy product to open—the perfect gift.” 

Faced with increasing acquisition costs, Wine by Lamborghini turned to Leonardo for help optimizing its marketing efforts, with a focus on increasing customer retention. He proposed an unexpected channel: direct mail.

In this case study, we’ll dive into how Leonardo is building a retention system of one-off and automated campaigns that resonate with Wine by Lamborghini’s discerning customers. 

The results: As high as 10x ROAS. 

The Problem: Facebook Got Expensive + Email Has Limits 

Wine by Lamborghini has done a superb job of acquiring customers through Facebook. Social media was an especially effective and inexpensive platform during the pandemic, when many customers were looking online for luxuries they could enjoy at home. 

But as Facebook costs rose, it became clear that the brand needed to diversify its marketing portfolio—and invest in keeping customers around. 

The company could use the emails it has collected to create a Facebook audience, Leonardo said. But it would have accuracy problems, because many customers have more than one email address. 

“Plust, you don’t own the audience on Facebook,” he said. “You have no control over the cost. You have no power—you can only hope that it works.” 

Email is a cost-effective alternative, but the brand is only able to reach a fraction of its customers through that channel. Wine by Lamborghini has a relatively high open rate—about 35%—but that still means two-third of recipients aren’t reading the messages. Others aren’t on the list. 

“Once someone unsubscribes from emails, it’s very hard to show them a message,” Leonardo said. “But in a mailbox, you stand out.”

The Solution: High-Touch Physical Mail is Hard to Ignore

Open rates for physical mail are way higher than for email. An estimated 90% of direct mail gets read. 

Direct mail costs are also predictable—they don’t rise and fall depending on the season or demand. 

“You know exactly how much it’s going to cost to print it and send it,” Plebani said. “The cost doesn’t go up just because it’s Q4.”

Luxury consumers especially appreciate the high-touch feel of mail. Leonardo has used postcards to deliver results for other luxury brands, and felt confident they would resonate with Wine by Lamborghini’s customers.

He tested the channel by sending an initial campaign to two groups of customers. One had subscribed to the Wine by Lamborghini email list but hadn’t made a purchase 30 days later. The other segment had unsubscribed from the newsletter list. 

Leonardo used PostPilot’s MailMatch feature to identify physical addresses based only on emails. Both groups were offered a generous 25% off their next Wine by Lamborghini purchase. 

Armed with that success, Leonardo dug deeper with direct mail. 

The Big Win: A Holiday Campaign and a Huge ROAS

Next, Leonardo created a one-off campaign that yielded astounding results. 

Wine by Lamborghini sent Black Friday postcards to two customer segments: people who ordered once and spent over $200 and customers who had ordered more than once. 

Both postcards offered a 20% discount, an offer that wasn’t available elsewhere. The campaign was timed to capture the strong holiday buying intent—and still exceeded Plebani’s expectations. 

The return from customers who had purchased more than once really blew Leonardo away.

“Every year people get more and more emails and less and less direct mail,” he said. “If you send a postcard, you stand out in the mailbox.” 

Leonardo had demonstrated how effective postcards could be for the brand. So he started building a retention infrastructure with direct mail. 

The Payoff: Building a Retention Machine 

Wine by Lamborghini is now using a combination of one-off and automated campaigns to drive retention. 

In February, they sent a Valentine’s Day campaign that was similar to their Black Friday send.  

They’ve also created several campaigns that run off triggers and in some cases are integrated with email flows. They include: 

1. Welcome campaign. PostPilot automatically sends a postcard to Wine by Lamborghini customers who signed up for the email newsletter but didn’t use the included discount code to make a purchase. The postcard offers a higher discount to encourage that first purchase. So far, the campaign has a 13x ROAS. 

2. Unsubscribes. When a customer opts out of the email list, it triggers a postcard to be sent to their address. “It has a lower ROAS, which makes sense because people don’t want to hear from you,” Leonardo said. 

3. Abandoned cart. When customers don’t follow through with a transaction and don’t respond to email prompts, this campaign automatically sends a postcard with a generous discount to seal the deal.

4. VIP thank-yous. High-value customers receive a hand-written note 30 days after their most recent order. The cards leverage PostPilot’s robot handwriting capability, which is nearly indistinguishable from human writing. The personal touch works—this campaign has a 6x ROAS, even without a coupon code.  

“Even if there’s no discount, people come back and buy,” Plebani said. “It’s more personal. It’s like a friend who wrote you something.”

The Postscript: More Automation, More Space 

Plebani credits PostPilot’s MailMatch and Klaviyo integration with making direct mail automations so effective. 

In the past, he had to manually match customer segments across different channels. 

“This integration allows you to synchronize the two platforms,” he said. “It makes life easier.” 

Plebani recommends that brands experiment with standard postcards and handwritten notes, to see which combinations convert best. 

Postcard QR codes and Cardalogs are in line on the testing docket for Wine by Lamborghini. 

“I was very impressed with the numbers with PostPilot and how well it worked,” Leonardo said “Direct mail is something we have to implement for ecommerce because it’s working.”

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