Providing Club Members Additional Benefits Online & Offline

  • Jun 12, 2020
  • By Jonathan Elliman, CTO

Why not eliminate the doldrums of providing the same experience to club members as you do for the general public? Guest management systems have stepped it up to provide your property the features required to promote exclusive access to wine club member-only experiences and/or automated discounts when they book a reservation for their next visit, online.

Wine club programs have been around for decades and each year, there seems to be some new twist, many inspired by other industries taking on the subscription business model- think Dollar Shave Club, Blue Apron and thousands of others that have popped up recently. With the most common club member benefit being free shipping and discounts on wines when purchased online or in the tasting room, the evolution of sophisticated guest management systems have followed suit, allowing club members to book exclusive experiences, schedules and automated discounts based on their affiliation with the property.

Benefits to Promoting Club Members to Book Online
With more guests likely to visit your property more than ever, and more frequently, providing a means, whether exclusive to club members or not, is the best way to remove the barriers to their planning a visit to your property.

We recommend creating an automated discount to allow a club member to include 3 other friends in their party to enjoy your property. This is a great way to have your club member show off their ambassadorship of your brand and share their story with their friends as to why they became a club member. Before you know it, you’ll have a couple more club members that will then become brand ambassadors by inviting more friends to enjoy the property.

What’s great is that with the addition of a small piece of code to your website, you can start accepting reservations through our website in just minutes and for a nominal fee that easily offsets the staff’s time scheduling a visit over the phone.

Automating Club Member Discounts
Based on the guest management platform you choose to power your schedule, some offer full automation of applicable club discounts, some require promo codes to be entered, but some of the most sophisticated ones offer the ability to apply discounts based on their level of club membership or their customer type by connecting to your CRM platform. CellarPass pioneered this capability back in 2010 and makes it really easy when you connect one of their integrated partners into their platform. This allows the reservation booking engine to look up your club members directly in the CRM system used to track each customer’s club status, purchase history and affiliation which could include things like “FOW” (friend of the winery), investor, employee and so forth all in real time, without the need for sharing promo codes.

Club Member Exclusive Experiences
Club members are one of your biggest assets, so why not reward them beyond discounts and access to rare wines? Create a custom schedule or types of experiences that are exclusive to club members. Many properties love to reward their club members online with purchase discounts, but in person, you can book one of the many custom and exclusive experiences only available to club members. This could range from a "winemaker for a day" tasting experience, a private vintner lunch at their estate villa, a wine, cheese and chocolate pairing, to an exclusive estate tour & tasting. But it doesn't stop there, think virtual! Offer a club member-only virtual tasting experience that will allow them to stay in touch with what's going on with their favorite vineyard, getting to know your winemaker and so much more!

Offering Exclusive Access to Club Member-only Venues
With wine clubs getting bigger and more popular, many of the bigger properties have started to create exclusive club member-only venues on the property, which can then have an exclusive tasting offering, which can include access to library wines or wine & food pairings.

Offering Exclusive Access to Custom Schedules
We recommend creating a “sunset cruise” that allows club members to stay later on the property than the general public and earlier times on Sundays, allowing traveling club members to get one last chance to enjoy your property or make purchases before they head home. Get creative, get feedback from your best club members as skies the limit as to what you can offer as a “thank you” for being a loyal club member.

Before you know it, you’ll be seeing your favorite club members booking more frequently and without breaking a sweat.

Don’t know, just ask
If you are not sure if your guest management platform offers the features, it’s best to reach out to them first, explain what you are trying to do and figure out if there’s any type of feature, automated or manual.

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