Just been on the chatline with Wine Society as I am a bit fed up with all the postal mailings and worrying about trees. There is no option on the website for mailing preferences. I find the website and emails more than enough to keep up to date and the mailings repetitive and often after I have placed an order eg recent Rhone en premier. I left the Sunday Wine Club for similar reasons as I though too much was being spent on glossy brochures and wonder if the WS going a similar way? In the days of data and mail preferences seems odd we cannot choose how we wish to keep up to date with the wine society. For me the website, email and community ticks all boxes. Mailings tend to go to recycling.
A number of similar complaints on here, but no sense it’s a priority for TWS which is a shame. They seem to prefer an all or nothing approach, which us infuriating.
I think this has come up a few times before. I agree I get all this glossy literature through the post that goes straight in the recycling. It can’t be cheap either for TWS.
I wholeheartedly agree. I’d welcome fewer hard-copy communications. Digital is mostly sufficient. Occasionally nice to thumb through the catalogue, but could live without it if push came to shove.
Fortunately it is possible to opt out of postal mailings. I’ve done this myself some time ago, and all I had to do was contact the society either by phone or email with my request.
You’re correct though in that there is no pre-existing option to do this. I too was annoyed at the amount of mail I was sent and think there should indeed be a visible means of opting out, as is the case with many other online companies.
Unfortunately though, the opting out on snail mail is an all-or-nothing option. At least that is what I was told some time ago. So FOMO took over, and I still get mailings
I think that’s the key differentiating point right there: people want to selectively receive the material they’ve predetermined to be of interest to them, rather than being indiscriminately carpet-bombed with every piece of marketing tat that TWS produces.
Also, I’m not sure which of the mailings are also covered by email. Would be happy to stop all snail mail if I could get everything electronically, or at least knew for sure what I would miss out on.
Yes would be useful to opt in or out for specific mailing groups, use of email, telephone and text. I’m sure this would save £££ and result in lower prices. Daft if many people simply putting mailings in the recycling without reading. I also worry about mail with my name and address on so shred it before putting in the recycling.
there was a discussion some time ago about email preferences…could perhaps be that postal preferences are included
@Laura …any update ?
Thanks, @JamesF! Yes, it’s still ongoing.
I’m afraid it’s quite a big piece of work with a huge amount of practicalities to consider, so I’m not sure I’ll have an answer in the immediate future, but mailing preferences are certainly being looked at in a lot of detail and I’m continuing to make sure all of this feedback is heard. Your input is really valuable so thanks so much for making your feelings known!
Thanks for the feedback!
Having been involved (from commercial side) on a much smaller scale project I can understand this isn’t a simple “mail chimp” style tick box exercise!
Is there a timeline that you are working to?
Not to be funny, but since we’re all technically shareholders in this wonderful co-op, are we able to ask how much mailing literature costs on an annual basis?
I don’t have exact numbers, but I will say that we do obviously monitor sales made via paper literature and they are very healthy indeed, so they’re a very positive contribution to the business. Veering off from mailing preferences for a second, it’s important to remember we have a huge range of members with varying needs. Our surveys and stats show there’s still a huge appetite for paper mailings so we’re remaining a multi-channel business as long as our members want it. The issue of mailing preferences is a different one, though, so I do get why there’s strong feeling on what you personally receive.
It’s not my area of the business but I know it’s a huge piece of work so it will take time to get it right, if we’re going to make sure whatever we decide on is for the benefit of our members. Hope you can understand why we can’t be more specific - but rest assured we’re trying to complete this as quickly as possible.
I appreciate the difficulties of rationalising all your communications, and allowing fine-scale preferences to be set.
But would it be a relatively simple first step to optionally offer all hard-copy mailings in electronic format? By which, I mean that each hard-copy mailing is replaced by one email that contains the text of the letter, and attaches pdf copies (or links to pdfs on your website) of all the brochures, lists and newsletters contained in the envelope. It would of course still be some extra work, but at least the tasks involved are well defined.
Just a thought.
Thanks for the update Laura. Am sure many folk here would be willing guinea pigs, or to help as part of a user group for requirements gathering and/or testing purposes.
I for one have spent most of my career involved in online product development - and no doubt others bring similar experience(s) to the table.
All TWS needs to do is ask…
But from what Laura has said, it seems clear that there is a very significant group who still want to use paper ordering, or maybe phone ordering based on paper copies.
I know that whilst I do order online or sometimes by phone, I do like the hard copy in some cases…I scribble all over the EP offers for example. The hard copy quarterly list is probably less useful as it can date quite quickly. However, I like the hard copy of the fine wine list too…so maybe it isn’t a simple exercise and not sure that this online community is necessarily going to give a representative user group for the membership as a whole…
I am not sure if that is directed at me but, just to be clear, I was suggesting that the electronic format should be OPTIONALLY offered.
Personal preferences aside, I agree with everything you say, Mark, particularly your point about the online community not being representative.
Yes, doubtless it’s neither a simple nor trivia exercise; there are many variables, permutations, and combinations of preference(s) to factor for if they opt to go beyond the current binary approach of “all or nothing”. And the choice clearly has to accomodate both digital and anologue user cases.
There is still a surprisingly large cross-section of “digitally divided” folk in the UK, particularly the more autumnal generation… although I daresay with the TWS demographic it’s more likely to be through conscious - and very deliberate -choice rather than social or digital exclusion.