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1830 Soscol Ave., Suite C
CA, 94559
United States
Ryan Neergaard

About Us

We are strategists, storytellers, sales drivers: Cultivating communities of engagement by passionately connecting consumers to brands with purpose.

A Napa-based digital marketing agency for the wine-industry, we plan and execute strategic campaigns with quantifiable results.

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Astra Digital is owned and managed by its partners:

  • Ron Scharman - CEO
  • Ryan Neergaard - Director of Business Development and Social Media
  • Nick Billings - Chief Technology Officer

Our Services

There are many ways that we can partner, here are just a handful.

Astra Social
Tag it, tweet it, boost it, tease it.

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Astra Email
All hail: Email is the king of the marketing world for growing your business.

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Astra Content
Success is 5% strategy and 15% magic - and the magic is how we help you tell your story.

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Astra Engagement & Data Capture
Give the people what they want, and they will give you data.

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Astra Google Analytics
Analytics is knowledge, and knowledge is power.

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Astra Strategy
Your time is valuable. Take the time to do it right, not do it over.

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Astra Digital Advertising
Advertising is the lifeblood of your online business.

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Astra Reporting
Move beyond a "gut feeling."

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News Archive

5 Key Ways to Master Black Friday
26 October, 2018

Black Friday is just around the corner and there’s no time like the present to prepare. So take 5 minutes, maybe even 10, and take a look at ourtop 5 ways to set your brand up for success. From planning to executing, here are some points to consider when optimizing your ads this Black Friday.

5 Key Ways to Master Black Friday

Want more great content? Check out our other blog topics here.

Facebook Ads That Work
27 September, 2018

The Importance of Creating an Evergreen Sales Funnel

Run Facebook ads, they said. It will be fun, they said. And most importantly, it will pay off, they said. And yet... It doesn’t seem to be working and it just doesn’t make sense. You think you’re doing all the right things. You’re using your data, targeting relevant interests, selecting age ranges and using geo-targeting to the best of your abilities… Sound familiar?

Well, the truth is even if you have all the pieces of the puzzle in front of you, they have to be in just the right order for it to work to your advantage. And to have ongoing success? Now that’s what dreams are made of.

So, what’s the secret to an evergreen sales funnel that works? Let’s take a look.


Know Your Audience

The Facebook ads funnel will look different based on who you’re talking to. So first things first, are you sending the same message to different audiences? The biggest mistake we see in Facebook advertising is to ask for a purchase from both your high loyalty customers and your new prospects. Each of those groups are in different phases of a relationship with you – different phases of the funnel – so it’s important the content of the ad you’re serving reflects that.

Take a minute to identify who these groups are. The more specific you are, the more engaging your ads will be to the target audience. Keeping in mind that you should capitalize on your data when building custom audiences, some common groups are high lifetime value customers, email lists, tasting room visitors, website visitors, lookalikes of each of these, and targeted interest groups.


Establish Your Steps

Once you’ve mapped out who you’re talking to, it’s time to tailor the right messages to each audience. For example, your longtime wine club members’ evergreen ad funnel may simply look like a reminder of their wine club benefits or ongoing sales.

However, a lookalike of a wine club member who is new to your brand and will require more steps on the path to conversion and consequently a higher cost per acquisition. So lay out what those steps are and the timeline for each, and think about how you like to interact with brands. Maybe the first step is to introduce the consumer to a blog. This leads them to the website where, with the Facebook Pixel, their data is captured and they can then be retargeted with additional content. From there, perhaps website visitors are directed to learn more about the brand, be it team members, winemakers, events, etc.

After a few touchpoints and building brand trust, then the funnel moves to be product-facing – but reality check, this could be a year out from the first touch point. Introduce the consumer to your products with an entry-level purchase offer. Take advantage of Facebook’s Custom Events so you can segment even further and retarget cart abandonment with either a shipping offer or simply a reminder of what they were browsing in your shop.


Review and Pivot

Evergreen Facebook Ad funnels are beneficial for the omnichannel marketing process, but they can’t be left alone forever. “Always be testing” is a marketer’s favorite mantra and it absolutely applies here. Check in on your funnel periodically and pivot accordingly. Using Google Analytics, if you have applied UTMs to your campaigns, you can take a look at time spent on your website, bounce rates, and ultimately conversions. Based on the information you find, make changes to your funnel in terms of art, content, and offers.


Efficient and Effective

Creating ads that run well and are worth your money can be tricky. The best way to maximize your budget is to accept the fact that not every group will be amenable to the final sales pitch at first introduction. Segmenting your audiences as much as possible and serving them each with the appropriate messaging will allow you to build qualified, quality relationships with new customers. Meet your consumers where they want to be met!


Looking for more great content? Check out our other blog topics here.

Everything You Need to Know About the GDPR
15 August, 2018

General Data Protection Regulation

Customer relationships are at the core of the wine industry, and in the digital age, a new customer relationship can start anywhere. The new data protection regulation launched on May 25, 2018, reinforces EU individual’s rights, and it should have raised more than one eyebrow in the wine industry, especially for businesses that have a web presence and/or ship products purchased online. Have you hosted international visitors in your tasting room? Do you have “clear” consent to use their data? Here’s what you need to know to safely continue communicating with your EU customers.


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new set of rules to protect the personal data of European citizens. Moving forward, all business with European customers must ask permission before collecting personal data from them. Replacing the old 1995 Data Protection Directive, GDPR specifies what type of data a business may collect, how it should be stored and used. The goal? Strengthen data protection policies for residents of EU member nations. Data is defined as “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person” such as name, email or location, for example, of a wine club member.


The GDPR impacts any business, EU-based or not, that has EU users or customers. If you offer your goods or services to any EU resident, then your business must comply with GDPR. Even if a company does not have a European presence, it’s all about the data you process. With these new regulations, the geographical scope is borderless. Napa law firm Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty illustrates how the wine industry may be impacted (1): “for example, a winery that had a single sale to an E.U. person in its wine club database might appear to meet the requirements to comply with the GDPR.”

Sunlit Napa Valley Vineyards


A heavy fine. The GDPR could bring costly penalties for noncompliance. If you are not storing data properly or failing to report a data breach, you may be fined up to $24 million or 4% of your worldwide turnover of the previous financial year, whichever is greater. The numbers are scary. The exact fines will depend on several factors such as the importance of the personal data breach or how noncompliant your business is. “Based on 2017 figures, penalties could top $1.6 billion for Facebook” stated Don’t forget that this data regulation does not apply to data about a company or any other legal entities. Just a short time after the launch of the regulation, it’s still too early to know how effective the 11 chapters of the law will be but it’s better to be safe than sorry.


Become GDPR-compliant. The purpose of this regulation is to protect data of EU individuals more efficiently. The first step for businesses is to be sure to have clear consent before collecting any data from EU citizens. No more passive acceptation, opt-out or pre-ticked boxes. You want to send email to your European customers to invite him to a Mediterranean wine cruise? You need to clearly specify how you will use their information at the moment they give it to you. Not sure if you are GDPR-compliant? Play it safe and start your GDPR journey with an audit of all your data. Update your privacy policies and start a conversation with your customers to inform them you care about the information they share with you. The keyword in all of this? Transparency.

Ready to become GDPR-compliant? Get started with these 5 easy steps here.

Customized Winery Marketing: Astra Digital Marketing Services
20 July, 2018

Just a two-year-old in the wine industry, Astra Digital Marketing Services is redefining direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing and pushing wineries of all sizes to think outside the bottle. Much like their clients’ wine, Astra’s process is hand-crafted. They know that no winery is the same, and neither is the team at Astra. Taking on a client means starting from scratch, forging a genuine relationship, and absorbing that brand’s product, heritage, personality and goals. Their buffet of services include strategy, content creation, social media marketing, digital advertising, blog writing, email marketing, website design & SEO, analytics & reporting and data capture.

“Our mission is tailored content marketing,” says Ron Scharman, CEO. “We hire people from all over with amazing skill sets, which allows us to present a diversity of experience to those clients who can’t or don’t want to hire a full-time marketing position.”

Ron Scharman, CEO

While many wineries have an in-house marketer, oftentimes it is not their only focus – tasting room host, DTC manager, wine club manager are just a few of the titles that might also be responsible for marketing. But as the only marketer in-house, it’s easy to get stuck in an unevolved limbo of marketing wine.

When you go in with Astra, not only do you get a dedicated account manager, but you get the whole team – a team with collectively more than 40 years in the wine industry that lives and breathes in the digital world – a talented patchwork of strategists, designers, analysts, writers, and even interns from Bordeaux, France. They’re constantly collaborating, experimenting and learning with the newest tools, developing new skill sets. Astra keeps a foot in the vineyard, but their minds are always on the brink of innovation, making them a weapon for the wine industry with a razor sharp competitive edge.

Astra’s small but mighty operation is in the heart of Napa, but they don’t stop there. Once the contract ink is dry, Astra hits the ground running with their clients, visiting the properties and winery owners in what they call an immersion meeting. Getting their hands dirty allows Astra’s business owners and account managers to create ideas and produce content that’s one-of-a-kind.

Ryan Neergaard, Director of Business Development and Social Media

“Each client has their own unique needs,” says Ryan Neergaard, Director of Business Development and Social Media. “We work to understand all aspects of their brand, from the tasting room staff to the winery dog. Their story needs to be personal and authentic.”

Perhaps the most methodical and crucial part of Astra’s tailoring process is their Starter Package. They pull out a fine-tooth comb and audit a client’s social media channels, email marketing, third-party profiles, Google Analytics, website performance and design, and SEO, measuring and analyzing the bones of the business to come up with a tactical marketing plan based on data and best practices. The Starter Package is the rock-solid foundation for Astra’s sales objectives and strategies, as it allows clients to, “… move beyond a ‘gut-feeling’ approach for measuring success to a tangible system that defines what success looks like based on specific metrics,” says Scharman. “Don’t guess what is working for your company.”

Out of the starter package, one of the paramount findings for wineries is the health of their Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Oftentimes, Astra sees wineries that have poorly implemented SEO, sort of like a puzzle that still needs pieces, or no SEO at all.

Nick Billings, CTO

“We have had wineries, big and small, come to us with stunning, brand new websites, but there’s not a single trace of SEO built into them, and they had no idea,” says Nick Billings, CTO.

SEO is easily brushed aside because it isn’t pretty or visible to consumers, and it can be intimidating. But Astra tinkers with these wineries’ crude or nonexistent SEO puzzle pieces and fastens them into a compelling mosaic – a masterkey to wineries’ online traffic and sales in the digital realm. Astra’s work is proof that when you properly build and consistently track your SEO, it acts as the backbone of both marketing strategy and a winery’s success.

It’s clear that Astra does what many firms and agencies fail to do for the wine industry – radiate a culture of wine knowledge, individualism, passion, and loyalty. The marketers at Astra are in this niche industry not only because they love what they do (and love wine), but also because they want to make a difference in the lives of their clients, their client’s consumers, and the wine country community. They believe wholeheartedly in the power of digital marketing and the promise it brings to the evolution of the wine industry.

Ashley Cummins, Senior Account Manager

“We’re telling [a winery’s] authentic story, which gives winery brands more stickiness in the market and stronger selling power online and on the shelves,” says Scharman. “We’re always striving to provide that unique, personal 3D tasting room experience in the 2D world.”

Using modern, data-driven strategy to connect with a profession as ancient as winemaking is no simple business deal – in fact, it’s bridging two, polar-opposite worlds. And for Astra, it’s working.

Learn about Astra’s services and see how they can transform your winery in the DTC marketing field by visiting

22 May, 2018


BottleRock Crowd

Now in its sixth year, BottleRock Napa Valley is the wine-iest music festival around—and thousands of fans are expected to attend in 2018 alone. With one-day passes selling out in mere minutes, and three-day passes selling out in less than an hour, the demand is clear. The hype is for good reason, too — from featuring exquisite food and wine vendors at the festival to bringing dozens of top performing artists, this three-day experience showcases Napa culture and presents a real opportunity to neighboring businesses to engage with the demographics who attend the festival.

To make the most of the influx of visitors, we put together a few best practices.


Start by discussing your offer with your team. What unique experiences might your winery offer to visitors? Try an exclusive tour or wine pairing for those with BottleRock tickets. Or maybe you want to boost tasting room traffic. Either way, you’ll want to make sure there are measurable key performance indicators in place so that you can determine what results stem directly from your marketing efforts. Embed your reservations widget directly on your website so that the traffic from your advertisements land on your site.

Napa Valley Sign


Let’s start with the basics. Using geo-targeting within Facebook’s ad manager allows you to engage with relevant and potential customers. Leading up to the event, start with a wider radius and target cities around the Bay area with interests relating to BottleRock. Optimize your campaign during Memorial Day Weekend by narrowing the geo-targeted area to Napa Valley. Focus on local traffic during the weekend.

Wine bottle pouring


Supercharge your ad delivery within Facebook by using the custom audience feature. Upload your email list to a custom audience. Then, expand on that rich data by selected lookalikes, which helps find people like your best customers based on the data you provided.

Next up is the interest feature. You can select interests such as “BottleRock Napa Valley,” “music festivals,” or “Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival.” Use these selections and the data above to build your ad with your desired expected reach. Audience still too large? Consider narrowing your audience further with specific wine interests relating to your brand.


Lastly, let your optimization work its magic. This festival continues to grow and grow, so your strategy should be improved upon year-to-year. Having an event with such prestige and popularity in the summer allows you to showcase to visitors all of the fabulous reasons to visit Napa Valley. So, in the musical spirit, let’s put on one heckuva show.

Looking for tickets to the sold out BottleRock Napa Valley festival? Enter our ticket giveaway for a chance to win 3-day passes to see all your favorite musical acts!