Bright Cellars

A couple of years ago, I started to get targeted for ads to take a wine quiz. The hook of the ad was something like:

Two MIT grads created a quiz that matches you with your favorite wines.

That’s my paraphrased version of it.


After seeing the ad a few times, I finally took the bait.

I took the quiz.

It was short, intriguing… and I just HAD to try it.

After taking that quiz, I got matched with a few wines that – according to my taste buds – would be perfect fits for me.

And, well…

I ended up joining their wine club.

Let me tell you something.

I am glad I did.

Because after I saw what Bright Cellars was doing with their email marketing strategy, I was blown away. For me, getting on Bright Cellars email list provided a masterclass in writing irresistible subject lines, pitching offers from new and exciting angles, and… for using what I like to refer to as “The Concierge Model” for Ecommerce Email Marketing.

(For those of you keeping track at home, that now makes TWO distinct models of Ecom Email Strategy. This article will cover The Concierge Model. You can read about the other model, The Insider Model, by clicking here.)

So before I get into this breakdown, make sure you get yourself comfortable.

Pop open a bottle of your favorite vino.

And get ready to take a look at some really damn good email.

This is the 13th installment of my Email of the Week series. (Catch up on previous episodes here.)

And in case you’re new around here, here’s how this all works…

The Rules For Email Of The Week

Each week, I go out into the wild to find a super-effective e-commerce marketing email… and I break down what made it work. My goal is for you to tune in each week, so I can teach you strategies and best practices YOU can use to make your own emails better.

I find these emails in my inbox, but I also accept suggestions from readers who have a remarkable email they’d like to share.

If you recently received an email that was so awesome it made your jaw drop, I wanna see it.

Forward it to me (chris at theemailcopywriter dot com) with a brief message about what you liked about it. If I choose to do a breakdown of the email you sent, I’ll give you a shout out and link to your site.

The only rule is… you can’t pick yourself.

Now then, without further ado, let’s check out the Email of the Week!

The Most Impressive Cart Abandonment Email Sequence You Will EVER See

I was trying to figure out what made Bright Cellar’s email marketing game so effective.

For about six months, I received daily emails from them. Every single email was super personal. Each one came from a PERSON, not from “The Bright Cellars Team.”

But there was something else that really made this stand out…

I thought back to the specific actions I took when I signed up for their list.

I saw an ad for their quiz on Twitter. I took the quiz. I entered my email to see my results. And then I didn’t buy immediately.

THAT was when the emails started coming.

Funny thing is… the sequence got me. I DID end up buying a few weeks later, but I couldn’t miss out on the emails, so I had my wife sign up with her email address so I wouldn’t miss the rest of the sequence.

Over the next few months, I’d continue getting an email every single day – some days from different members of the team – with an offer to go back and sign up.

That’s when I realized… I was in the middle of a SIX MONTH cart abandonment email sequence.

Yes, you heard that correctly…

Six months.

At least 180 emails to get me to go back and finish my process of becoming a customer.

Now, I do not know if this was an automated sequence… or if they had a team member sending these emails manually out every day.

They DID, however, know my birthday (I must have entered that and forgot about it) and the sequence did give me a special birthday offer.

So, I’m not really sure if this was completely automated or these emails were manual broadcasts.

Either way, this was easily the most impressive cart abandonment sequence I’ve ever seen.

Let’s take a look at some of the emails I got from them…


This was NOT the first email I received in the sequence.

I just didn’t feel like scrolling back all the way to the beginning.

Look at the subject line.

NOT title-cased. Check.

Urgency. Check.

FOMO. Check.

Looks personal. Check.

It ticks all the boxes.

Now, take a look at the body copy.

What do you notice about it?

Well, here’s what I notice…

It looks, feels, and tastes like a PERSONAL email.

This doesn’t feel like a broadcast OR an automation at all. It feels like Maria, my wine concierge, shot me an email so I don’t miss out.

I mean, do I even need to add any commentary?

This feels more personal than some of the actual personal emails I receive from people. There is a REAL living breathing person writing to me… who is helping me get what I want.

How refreshing is that?

This “Concierge Model” makes me feel important. It makes me feel like I’m going to be taken care of if I do business with them. It makes me feel special like I’m not just some data point on a software analytics screen.

THIS is how Ecommerce email marketing SHOULD be done.

Besides the tone of feel of the copy, I love how they remind me of the offer: 50% off and a fifth bottle for free.

Very well done.

Let’s take a look at another.


order pending

What an incredible subject line.

How do you not open that one?

Did I place an order?

What’s going on here?

You HAVE to read that email.

Look at the personal touch of the first paragraph. The invite to reach out. Beautiful.

And them, the second paragraph: I’ll include a discount and a bonus bottle if you buy within the next 24 hours.

It’s the same offer.

You might have forgotten… because you’re probably just as distracted as everyone else. No worries, they remind you.

They keep beating that drum.

And eventually, decide to take it because it’s such an absolute steal.

Here’s another:


Hey look, it’s my friend Maria again!

My wine concierge, reaching out to make sure I am stocked up.

She’s so nice!

And… she’s even going to throw in a corkscrew as a bonus.

What’s so impressive about Bright Cellars is that they found over a hundred ways to communicate the same offer… but still make it feel personal and different every single time.

Here’s another example:


Wait… who’s Taylor?

IDK, maybe Maria’s sick today?

No worries… Taylor’s got my back and tending to my needs. And… she’s buying me 3 bottles!


Pay close attention to how Taylor describes the SAME offer in a DIFFERENT way.

And also pay attention to how she handles common objections at the end of the email.

So awesome.

Let’s keep going…


Hold up…

Who’s this?


Who’s Katie?

And why did she give me a $30 wine credit? Did a friend send this? What gives?

Guess I’ll need to open up this email and see.

Holy shit!

Look at that, I got a new friend over at Bright Cellars. And, she likes me so much she just gave me a $30 wine credit.

See the trend here?

It’s the same offer, but different.

And it always feels genuine.

Here’s another SUPER subtle persuasion thing I bet you didn’t notice…

Take a look at all of the links in these emails.

What do you notice about them?

Do you see how they didn’t hyperlink text?

Hyperlink text feels like a broadcast.

A long, ugly, uncircumcised link looks like a REAL person copied and pasted it into their email typepad and hit send.

That might be one of the most brilliant things I’ve ever seen with a Concierge Style email like this.

Ok, let’s look at one final email…

Now, I don’t LOVE when people use Re: in their subject line.

But ya know what?

Given their style of email… how EVERY single email you get from Bright Cellars looks and feels this personal, I’ll allow it.

I actually like that technique here.

And look what else…

This email is coming from Brooke.

Now, I’d say at least 80% of my emails came from Maria… my bottom b-word over at Bright Cellars.

But obviously Maria doesn’t work 7 days a week.

Bright Cellars was smart enough to rotate ’employees’ so that all of these emails look and feel like the most genuine, personal emails you’ve ever seen.

God damn, this is a great email.

I mean… need I say more?

Incredible job Bright Cellars.

You know what you’re doing.

Big Takeaways From Bright Cellars Epic Cart Abandonment Email Campaign

  1. Make your emails look and feel like they’re coming from a friend (or an EFAB as Laura Belgray calls em)
  2. Ugly, untrimmed links look more authentic
  3. Present your offer differently every single day.
  4. NEVER be afraid to keep following up.
  5. Your cart abandonment doesn’t have to end at 3 emails.
  6. Always make your email come from a person. People buy from people, not from companies.
  7. Invite people to start a dialogue. It doesn’t matter how big your list is. When people feel valued and heard, they will become customers for life.
  8. Make your subject lines look like something you’d send to a friend.
  9. Put a picture in your signature… people will build a stronger bond when they can see your face.
  10. If you’ve think you sent enough emails… send another. You can’t change peoples’ lives until they buy from you.

Sneak Peek for Next Week

I have a number of different emails I’m considering for next week’s Email of the Week.

The cool thing is…

If you DON’T end up buying from Bright Cellars after about six months, they actually push you to a different newsletter with a totally different strategy.

This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen a company do.

I might wait a few weeks before I do part 2 of Bright Cellars email strategy, but when I do… it’s going to give you some awesome idea for your own email list.

I promise you that.

What To Do Now

  1. Subscribe to my email list so you can get ALL of the Emails of the Week delivered straight to your inbox, automatically.
  2. Leave a comment for me below and let me know what you liked about this email.
  3. Send this breakdown to someone you know who has a physical product business. This might help them recover more abandoned carts.
  4. Take Bright Cellar’s wine quiz. And study every single email you ever get from them.

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