Perfecting The Art Of The Presale With Pontoon Brewing

Want to know the secret formula to crushing beer release presales on CraftCellr?  We do too!  So we went directly to one of our experts: Sean O'Keefe of Pontoon Brewing.  We'll sit and listen, while Sean spreads the knowledge...

Tell A Story

With every beer we create for our Serious Series, we try to do two things: tell a story and make it fun. Before you can successfully launch a presale, you need to make sure all the components of your release are complete.  The goal is to have all the components work together to tell the consumer a fun and compelling story about why they can't live without this beer.

Create A Timeline

At Pontoon, we shoot to launch our presales 10-14 days prior to the release date. We have created a repeatable process that keeps us on target and gives us enough time to maximize our sales:

  1. Teaser: The week leading up to our presale launch, we will tease our upcoming release on social. Post a picture of the ingredients, a sneak peek of the label art, or create a funny meme. Make sure to let consumers know what day and time pre-sales will go live.

  2. Launch: 10-14 days prior to release day, we launch our presales. Make sure to hit up all your marketing channels: social, email, Reddit, and any beer communities you belong to. Don't forget to post the URL! You will miss out on sales if you don't.

  3. Remind: About 5-7 days into the presale, we use our social channels to remind our consumers about the release. Many social channels, like Facebook, limit your exposure to followers, so don't expect to sell out off one round of posts.

  4. Last Chance/Sold Out: The day prior to the release, we send out one more post to our social channels. If there are a few 4-packs left, we send out last chance messaging. If the release is sold out, we let our consumers know there will be a limited supply for walk-in taproom sales the next day.

Allocate Your Inventory

We typically start with a 50/50 split. 50% on CraftCellr and 50% reserved for taproom sales. Then we adjust up or down based on beer style, previous sales, and demand. At this point, we have a good understanding of when we should place more on CraftCellr to maximize our sales.

Pro Tip: Keep your CraftCellr inventory and taproom inventory separate and clearly marked.  Always keep a small reserve of beer in case something gets damaged or beer mysteriously walks away on you.

Prepare Your Taproom

CraftCellr makes the process of verifying consumer purchases and pick up very simple with its mobile platform. I would recommend you do the following to ensure your staff is trained and the consumer knows what to do:

  1. Train your taproom staff about the CraftCellr mobile flow and print out and laminate instructions for behind the bar on how to verify a consumers purchase.

  2. Make sure your staff marks each offer as claimed on the consumer's phone, so you will have an accurate accounting of who has picked up their beer.

  3. Place signage near the pick up location reminding consumers of the URL and steps necessary for claiming their beer with their phone.

  4. Create additional signage promoting sign ups for CraftCellr. It's a great way to capture consumer information and create a return visit.

If you made it this far, thanks for the read!  Cheers,

Sean O'Keefe - Pontoon Brewing