The Algorithm that decides which TWS offers you receive

I’ve seen quite a lot of chat lately about the algorithm that decides who receives which TWS mailings/emails. Obviously TWS puts a lot of effort into trying to ensure that people only receive offers that might be of interest to them, but no algorithm is perfect (I studied Arabic at university, so spent lots of time reading about Middle Eastern politics, and for a period of time, half the ads shown to me by Facebook were about moving to Israel or acquiring Israeli citizenship!). So I thought it might be interesting to see which offers everyone received last month (May), and whether you think they reflected your purchasing habits/interests.

I got the following emails:

  • Boizel Champagne (I’ve never bought Champagne from TWS, but do buy it generally);
  • 2017 Bdx en primeur pre-order (I have bought Bdx en primeur from TWS before);
  • Guigal Cotes-du-Rhone (I’ve bought CdR from TWS before);
  • Contino en primeur offer (I’ve never bought en primeur Rioja from TWS, but have bought normal offerings of Rioja from them);
  • Musar 2010 (I’ve never bought Musar from TWS (though have bought it elsewhere) but have bought other Lebanese wines from them);
  • Summer tastings (I have bought a ticket for a tasting before);
  • Trip report from the Loire (I’ve bought Loire wines from TWS);
  • The infamous Chave email (I’ve bought EP Rhone before, but never spent that much on a bottle from TWS);
  • Trip report about Northern Monk brewery (I’ve never bought beer from TWS and don’t really have much interest in it);
  • Wine Champions tasting (see above); and
  • Bdx 2017 latest prices (see above).

And I got post about:

  • Multi-case savings (I never buy wine by the case unless it is in bond);
  • Wine Without Fuss (I’m too particular to let anyone else choose my wine!);
  • Summer Tastings;
  • one or two others than I forget - maybe one about Bdx en primeur.

So I’d say it’s a hit rate of around 7/10. What did you get? And did it reflect you?

  • Boizel Champagne
  • 2017 Bordeaux EP
  • Guigal Cotes-du-Rhone
  • Contino EP
  • Musar 2010
  • Trip report from the Loire
  • The infamous Chave email
  • Trip report about Northern Monk brewery
  • Bdx 2017 latest prices
  • Multi-case savings
  • Wine Without Fuss
  • Summer Tastings
  • others (please mention them below!)

0 voters

as above and…

Tempting savings for English Wine Week (not sure why)
Our 2018 Wine Champs - coming to a tasting (not sure why)
Mount Eden - secure a legendary California cabernet (never bought California cabernet before)
En Rama returns (bought sherry before)

from what is in the poll I have no clue why I got the Loire travel email… other than it is not really an offer and not trying to sell anything directly…

Also I might have received more, just some might have landed in the bin…

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Just wanted to chip in with this, each offer has different criteria for selection, depending on the offer the selection might be quite large or quite small. Each week the emails are to be sent out they are ordered in a priority as we have a strict number of emails sent to each member and never the same sort of email in the same day.

An example of this is that a member could be in the selection for 3 offer emails in 1 week, they would only receive the 2 emails that had the higher priority and not the 3rd email. We are currently reviewing our email rules in terms of number of emails sent in any week and would only want to send relevant emails.

Once all of the various combinations of emails are worked out for each of the days the email send itself is batched up - everyone who has been selected for the email will be sent the email but its random in terms of which batch the email is sent in. The emails as batched to ensure that member services are able to give the best possible service for any member who wishes to ring up and place an order.

Its worth noting that the email selections are discussed at length in terms of which emails get priority over others and how wide the circulation is - its not a case of simply pressing a button and the computer gives the answer.


Thanks for the explanation, that’s really helpful. Out of interest, what’s the limit on how many emails a member can receive per month taking all categories of email into account? And do you know how many different emails are sent out in total?

Great idea this, and something similar has been done in the past under different pretext. I’ve answered as best I can remember, looks like I’ve not had as many offers as some, but in addition to the above I received an offer for English Wine Week.

In the spirit of the Community, I wonder is there room for a weekly recurring thread a la Weekend Drinking and What’s in your Basket? Offers This Week [29 May] or similar.

That would allow TWS to continue improving their algorithms whilst giving Community members who are thus inclined sight of what all is out there as the offers are released. Just a thought…


I think you have just volunteered to start that thread next week… and we will then see how it goes. :wink:


Crickey have I?? Not sure I can handle the pressure!!

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Not mentioned in checklist above, during May I got -

  • winetasting champs (Manchester)
  • Jones Hairy Leaf Grenache
  • Ann. review & Buyers Reports
  • Musings for May
  • Tio Pepe en Rama
  • Win Trip to Champagne
  • Roses offer
  • Riojas finest
  • Hambledon case offer

I’ve a feeling there was also a mailout around the beginning of the month though alas, my memory can’t recall that one or its contents.

Seriously, I think it is a very good idea, but I think monthly is a better frequency for this… TWS Communications landing in (certain) member’s inboxes [June 2018] … make it a Wiki and then we could collect the offers in the main post and have the conversation below… that way it is easier to oversee…


Ooo a wiki is a good idea …

2 offers that I received which caused me to search for my bargepole

Musar - I get a baked taste which I dislike, the same for the Graillot Moroccan wine. I am a big fan of Graillot, shame the Society does not list his lovely Crozes.

Ridgeview - bought and unimpressed for the money. Bolly for me, especially the R.D.

Boizel 2008 - Which I bought on the strength of the vintage. I do like pinot heavy Champers!

Chave 2015 - Given that I bought a lot of EP Rhone '14, '15 & '16, including a goodly amount of Hermitage and the offers on the Exhibition Hermitage 05, 07 & 10 understandable and very grateful.

And will buy the 2015 Guigal CdR '15. Just finishing the '12 which has been terrific.


I brought that fizz (the 2002) to a work dinner a year ago. One of the guys present confessed that I have totally ruined Champagne for them as since then that is their benchmark.


My 1st R.D. was the 76.

Weight and balance was lovely but the overriding feature was a nose of a spring meadow, the floral component being quite extraordinary. Tried plenty of others including Krug NV.
Sold on Bolly!?!

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Perhaps it would be better if we decide now to record what we get in June? I think I had a couple of mailings and know I had at least one set of tastings for places much farther from where I live than London, but really can’t reliably remember them. But I do not understand why TWS has a per day or per week number of emails per member. I want to receive the emails which interest me, even it it means 3 this week and then none for 2 weeks; isn’t this a reasonable request? It isn’t the number which matters, but the relevance. At the EP time of year, there may be more mailings. Fine.

Particularly for new members, what they have ordered in the past is not a useful guide. (Even for more experienced members, I have found that some wines I have bought in the shop never appear in ‘my wines’, so there is apparently no record that I have bought them.)

Is there any reason why there cannot be a page on the website listing all mailings and all emailings, so that we can check to see what is available, and request it for the future? I would actually be happy to receive once a week (or whatever is convenient) a list of all mailings, with web references, rather than badly targeted mailings.


Can I ask something: are all wines offered to members listed on the website?
If I recall, there may have been an offer (or offers) of wines sent to some members but not me which offered wines not listed on the website - is that right? And the only way to get these is to be on that special list?

Hi @GuidoD, all wines offered are available to all on our website, regardless of whether they get the email or not! I can double-check on Monday but I can’t imagine we’d ever offer a wine that wasn’t transparently listed for all.

I remember reading (I think in an AMA) that certain wines (small amounts of old vintages etc.) are not available online, and are only available at the showroom, so you may be thinking of this.


Yes the fine wine room and bin end area are only in the showroom I think. Always worth a look for bargains.


I’ve just had an email inviting me to join the Community :joy:


I had two of these emails over the past month. Clearly we’re not leaving much of an impression, @danchaq! :wink: