Case Study -


Empathy Wines "Nora" SMS Concierge is 🀯

Empathy Wines is a DTC winery launched in 2018 by Gary Vee. Empathy focus on building relationships with top growers across Northern California enabling them to eliminate retailer markups while also allowing farmers to earn more.

Empathy Wines have always been referenced in the conversation surrounding innovation within SMS marketing. They've used this strategy to distance themselves from the traditionally slow and boring online wine offerings.

The Empathy SMS strategy is built in 2 parts. Firstly, customers who make a normal purchase on the site gain access to the best offers and events through Empathy's exclusive SMS content.


What we think: We love the personalisation to customer name in these texts. This immediately builds a closer relationship and increases consumer trust that the experience is happening just for them. Alongside traditional offers, Empathy create engaging content like a live-streamed wine-tasting with the founder, Gary Vee. This really encompasses what we mean when we focus on "create value first" with interesting, useful, and unqiue content.

The second part of the Empathy SMS strategy really takes it up a notch. For subscribers to their Platinum Membership, they gain access to Nora - an SMS wine concierge. Much like

Much like Judy, Empathy Wines communicate their SMS concierge via a dedicated section on their "Club" page. Additionally to this, they also showcase a video on their home-page that at the start touches on the benefits of the SMS service.

Nora's purpose is not to sell you more wine from Empathy, but to bring immense value to you in helping you choose the right wine for any occasion. We found this experience from a customer on twitter having chatted with the Empathy Nora concierge.


What we think: We love the fact that this service is only available to premium members. This helps to create a sense of exclusiveness for these customers and FOMO for those who are not yet a part of it. Nora would never send a text message with their latest offer and spam customers. The experience is designed to only give value and offer advice. We also love the fact there is someone real behind those texts dedicated to helping you - no chatbot.

However, despite the exclusiveness, we feel Empathy Wines could do more for customers that can't experience Nora. They could enable flexible subscriptions like Verb, or more educational content on wine and wine making like Judy or the Supergoop! Sun 101 series.

Key Takeaways


  • Lead with value

Empathy lead with a mixture of offers and interesting content (like live wine-tastings) that educate and build trust with consumers

  • Personalisation is key

Empathy are (surprisingly) the only case-study that utilises first-name personalisation in their SMS marketing. This is a great first-step to a hyper relevant and engaging experience.

  • Exclusive SMS concierge service

Nora is the best example of a value-add concierge hotline we've seen. A complete focus on value for end consumer vs increasing revenue is a refreshing take.


SMS marketing for Shopify stores.

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