Total Wine Success Story

Client Overview

Total Wine & More is the country’s largest independent retailer of fine wines. Based out of Bethesda, Maryland, Total Wine was founded in 1991 when they opened a small store in Delaware. Today, they operate 153 superstores across 20 states and continue to grow and open new stores.

Discover How


Total Wine & More was interested in building a strong customer database that represented their best customers who purchased high end wines and purchased often. These were the customers that they wanted to communicate to on an on-going basis through direct mail. Another goal was to convert new customers into repeat buyers.

Activate Customer Base


We tested many different demographic selects over the years including household income, net worth, discretionary spend estimate, etc. On each coupon, we included a unique barcode that could be matched back to the mailing database to build their response customer file, which was a manual function at the time. The strategy evolved into a more technology driven approach. Total Wine & More can now extract transactional data from their point of sale system, and the system can also scan barcodes at the point of sale. Their CRM system continues to grow and be analyzed and coded.


Mail Pieces evolved to full color variable postcards, printed on the Kodak Prosper press, enabling 1-to-1 personalized communication to top customers based on behavioral and transactional data. A matrix (decision tree) is set up between the data and the press to pull the correct offers, photos, store locations, PLU’s, etc for each postcard. A unique barcode is used to collect response information through the POS. "Since we began using variable data with customized offers by customer cohort, we’ve doubled ROI from current customers," Mark Serrill, Director Marketing Services

"I’ve worked with the Tribune Direct team for 10 years on increasingly more complex and more personalized direct mail. The team I work with has a high attention to detail. They’ve helped me solve problems that arose with the USPS, finding the most economical solution and always getting my pieces into the mail stream....Tribune Direct is a pleasure to work with and I would recommend them to anyone looking to personalize mailing."

Mark Serrill, Director Marketing Services

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