Listen to the episode below ‘Making money by keeping in touch. Email marketing for more direct bookings in 2022’
Email Marketing for Vacation Rentals 101.
Hi there, John here from Vacation Rental and Airbnb Mastery. Today I want to talk to you about emails, newsletters, and making money by keeping in touch. This episode’s all about email marketing to get more direct bookings updated for 2022. So the cool thing about email is it doesn’t cost much to send an email to someone. It’s super duper fast. You can get emails out in the matter of seconds, and it’s a great way to keep in touch with people interested in renting your property or past guests who had a great time visiting your property and may want to come back another time. If you’re a complete beginner, you may be wondering, Well, John, how can I even get started doing this in an organized way? I’ve never done email marketing before, but I don’t wanna waste my time or money doing it if it’s not gonna provide me any bookings.
How to get started in email marketing for your short term rental business
So what should I do to get started? My number one recommendation is not to spend money when you start. While it, they have so many email clients like MailChimp and Convert Kit, there’s a lot of different companies that have email tools that one day you’ll leverage to its full potential and get lots of repeat guests when you’re starting, no need to spend any money. You can basically email out in the BCC section, the the blind carbon copy section of an email. Um, that way the emails are not seen by the other people on email chain. It’s all hidden, so you’re not sharing with like 20 people, everyone’s personal email address, but it’s a free way to send a bulk email out without spending money. So you could test this without having to invest any money yet. So what I suggest you do is first create an email that’s gonna go out to all of your past guests and anyone interested in booking with you.
What software or app should you use for email marketing for your vacation rental?
Um, you can create this email list with Excel, Google Sheets, um, you could do it with Google Docs, however you want to keep track of emails, first and last names. It’s, it’s all up to you. Next we wanna write that email that’s gonna go out to all of the people interested in, in renting with you or have rented with you before. We want to get that email started in a way that’s gonna add value. You don’t want to just send people junk mail. People hate junk mail. I hate junk mail. You hate junk mail. People just hate junk mail. So you’re not writing junk mail. You want to provide value. The word is value, value, value, value. The value here is going to be you have to act as a business owner, but you also have to act as a friend, um, that wants to provide helpful recommendations about your home in the area.
Deliver value for your guests with your email communications, do not spam them or send junk mail or you risk ruining your host credibility…
Um, so why are you emailing them anyway? Like why are you gonna interrupt their day so they can open up your email so they can read it? Why, why are they gonna do that? Well, first I want you in the subject line to write something like, Hey, what their name and say, We miss you in central Florida. That’s where I’m from. So I would say, Hey, we miss you here. So they’re gonna click it because they see that subject line, open it, and in the body of the email, this is where you’re going to add value. The first thing you should do is thank the reader for even opening up your email, taking the time out of their busy day to read what
Always thank your guests, readers, and mailing list for reading your messages.
You’ve sent them. Say, Hey, thanks so much for opening up my email. I just wanted to share with you what’s been going on in central Florida. I thought you might be interested. Next, you can talk about many things in your area and my area, Disney’s always doing something new. Um, restaurants are opening up. There’s a lot of development, so there’s tons of stores popping up all over the place and we have tons of musical events, concerts, uh, sporting events, football games, lots of cool stuff. So that’s a section where I let them know what’s going on and uh, big events they can look forward to. Um, and then I can also as a business owner, plug the vacation rental and say, Hey, if you’re visiting, um, just mentioned this newsletter and you can get 10% off of your next day. Um, that way you’re giving them, uh, an offer because they read your letter and they’re, they’re a patron of your newsletter.
Offer booking discounts for subscribers of your newsletter / mail list.
Um, you should offer them some sort of discount for staying with you or some sort of freebie if you don’t want to give a a discount on the nightly rate. The best thing you could do for your local area in this newsletter is to get really, really, really local. What makes your place special? What makes your city special, your town special? If you’re in Yosemite, um, definitely anything going on with Yosemite National Park should be in your newsletter. It can be basically an update of the park. If you’re in the Disney area, people love to hear what’s going on at Walt Disney World. If you’re in New York City, there’s tons of stuff. And if you know the demographic of your customers and why they’re traveling, whether they’re families, couples, et cetera, you can basically take events and recommendations, cater to your audience and put that into newsletter to add value.
Tip: Update your readers on local things to do, updates, major events, and attractions. Act as a ‘Local Guide’
So people love to read news and if you’re giving them value through updates, they love it. And that’s what people travel for. They’re traveling to be having that local experience or they’re traveling to go to an amusement park or the beach. So updating them about those types of things is adding value. You definitely want to give them some sort of offer, um, just not updating them on the news because you need to put your business person hat on too and offer them something for traveling with you, some sort of loyalty, um, program or discount or promo that can entice them to actually place a booking with you from this newsletter to convert them from readers into bookers. Be pretty creative with the tone. You don’t want to be too dry or too salesy because people just junk those emails. They go right in the spam folder.
Be yourself. Let your personality shine in your email marketing, do not sound overly corporate.
Be yourself. Let your tone come through, let your language come through. Don’t be too corporate. Um, and communicate with your audience. Communicate just like you’re talking to them. Be really personable. Once you’ve done this a couple of times and and you’re seeing responses, then you may want to move to something like MailChimp because you can personalize the two field. You can track who opened it. You can see how many people opened the newsletter when they opened it, uh, what links they clicked on. A lot of really relevant data. It’s all there and it’s super cool. It even tells you how many times people have actually clicked on your email. So lots of great stuff when
No need to spend money on apps when you first start marketing your vacation rental with email marketing…
You, you sign up for an email client, but when you’re just getting started, it’s not completely necessary for your first few emails. Um, but you definitely want to migrate to that eventually so you can have the power behind those tools. You may be wondering, how often should I send a newsletter out? Like I don’t wanna be too annoying, but I want to add value. I want to keep in touch. John, what’s the right frequency to send an email like this? Well, I’d say it depends on how much value you can provide. If you can find relevant updates and really good content to bring to your audience, every month is fine. But if you don’t really have a lot going on, every three months is probably a better frequency. And use opportunities like the holidays, like Christmas time or summer time, um, summer vacation, spring break, those times are great times to communicate to your guests a little bonus if you have the birthdays of your guests sending a happy birthday email is so powerful because it really shows that you care and that that puts you just a notch above the rest that you actually remembered.
Remembering birthdays and special anniversaries adds a huge personal touch to your email marketing and builds rapport and trust with your readers.
A birthday companies that remember my birthday, I love them because it just shows that they care about their customers and their guests as individuals and it’s not just another dollar to them, but that they actually care. So if you can get birthdays even better, when I do my email marketing, I like to think of myself as a local guide. I know everything about the area that I’m in, so I want to help others who are traveling to my area have the best vacation ever. And it comes through in how you write your email and the types of recommendations you make. So don’t just do the email just to get it out there as a, as a business kind of thing, because when people can read it, they can feel your tone. It could feel if you even wanted the right email. So what I suggest is act like you’re talking to a brother, a sister, a family member or a friend and they’re saying, Hey, I’m thinking about coming to Orlando or whatever city you’re in.
Email marketing return on investment for a vacation rental business
Um, what do you suggest? Where should I go eat? What should I do? Where should I stay? Those are the questions you want to answer through your newsletters because even if they don’t decide to travel with you right away, you’re adding so much value that when they do decide to go to your area, they’re going to have you at the top of their mind. So let’s talk about numbers, bookings, direct bookings. How many can you even expect by doing email marketing? Well, that answer depends on how big your list is. When I first started, I didn’t have a bunch of a list. So your list, if you’re just starting may just be 10 to 20 emails. But over time, as you engage with more people in your social life, as you talk to more people through family and friends, as you publish your rental more on social media, as more people go onto your direct booking website and as you have more guests check out, you have tons of emails. So you want to constantly be adding to your email list. Once you have an email list of about 300 to 500 emails and you send this
How to measure the success of your email marketing campaign for your short term rental.
Out quarterly four times a year, imagine getting a hundred to 200 opens. Imagine getting 4% of those to convert and you have four to eight direct bookings. How would that make your calendar Look, you’re not paying service fees on those because they’re going directly to you. You have more control over the bookings. And then think of the network effect. Those people that stay with you will share how awesome of an experience they had with you and they’ll share it with their friends, which will give you more emails, which will allow you to communicate to more people. And this effect goes on and on and on exponentially. So the more you do it, the more consistent you are with it, the better results you’re going to see. In my own business, I’ve gotten hundreds of clients through email marketing. Email marketing only costs the time it takes for you to sit down and write a great communication and maybe the subscription to the mail service.
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But once you get it right, it’s a really affordable and effective method of marketing and it’s one of the first ones you should start when you’re going into vacation rentals. So with that being said, now that you have a little more information on email marketing, go be a great local guide to your audience. Trust me, they’re going to love the value you create and hopefully it wins you several direct bookings. Thank you so much for supporting Vacation Rental and Airbnb Mastery. I love doing this daily podcast. I love teaching. Um, please leave me a review and let me know how I’m doing. If there’s topics you want to hear, please leave it in the review. I would really love to see your review so I know what to talk about. You can even leave me a WhatsApp message on WhatsApp. My number is 4 0 7 7 5 0 2 4 3 4. Leave me a voice note.
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