Vacation rental businesses make many game plans to attract more travellers into their direct booking funnel. Among all the effective marketing initiatives, vacation rental email marketing is an old buddy. Email marketing plays a decisive part in marketing strategy alongside lead generation, brand awareness, and building guest relationships. HubSpot reports that email marketing revenue is estimated to reach almost 11 billion by the end of 2023. In this article, we are going to delve into best practices to notch up vacation rental email marketing success.
1. Grow Your Email Marketing List
The best way to collect your guests’ email addresses is to automate the process. You can ask for email addresses as a booking requirement to later update them about the info on their stay, but that’s only applicable if they book through your direct booking website; otherwise, it would not be feasible.
However, you can still have benefits of both getting direct bookings and email addresses. Install a guest Wi-Fi network on your property and get your guests’ email addresses once they log in. A booking confirmation process can also help collect real email addresses from guests coming through OTAs.
Another alternative would be to encourage your potential guests via lead magnets. Lead magnets are incentives they receive in return for their email addresses, such as newsletter subscriptions and discount offers. Whether you ask for email addresses or capture them via automation, building your vacation rental email marketing list is gold.
2. Set Up an Email Drip Campaign
In the modern-day marketing world, automation is a powerful tool. Setting up a pre-planned automated chain of messages proves that drip campaigns are a guaranteed timesaver in crafting emails. Your guests usually receive a series of emails at different stages throughout their guest journey.
Pre-arrival and post-arrival vacation rental emails are the most popular drip campaigns. They include a messaging workflow with a welcome message, booking confirmation details, rental management agreement, payment reminder, property arrival information, thank-you email, and review reminder.
You need to maintain your relationship with your guests constantly, so they stick with you when deciding on their next getaway. Modern drip marketing platforms such as MailChimp pave your way to a successful vacation rental email marketing campaign.
3. Drive Bookings with Limited-Time Offers
Offer limited-time deals during the off-season. Launch email campaigns at designated intervals up to the sale’s closing. Encourage your past guests to plan a return trip by updating them about what’s new.
- Keep a record of your guests’ birthdays or anniversaries and offer them a discount on their return visit.
- You can also plan offerings on the anniversary of your own business.
- Treat your loyal subscribers as VIPs; offer subscriber-exclusive discounts, free add-ons, late check-outs, or even a unique amenity upon arrival.
- Share specials with subscribers earlier than the public.
- You can also schedule your offers based on the timing of local events closest to your properties, like festivals and expos.
- Bear in mind that rewarding your engaged subscribers is a win-win.
4. Establish an Effective Email Frequency
Consistency plays a pivotal role in the success of vacation rental email marketing. It would be best to keep your subscribers intrigued to click on every new email they receive from you. That’s why it’s essential to work out the frequency of emails and newsletters.
The frequency that you send emails will depend on your audience. If you are targeting people who are planning their next vacation, you may want to send more frequent emails, such as once a week or once a month. However, if you are targeting people who are already booked, you may want to send less frequent emails, such as once a quarter or once a year.
Here are some tips for establishing effective vacation rental email marketing campaigns:
- Decide on how often you want to send out emails. Select a specific date for sending out deals and discounts and another date for the newsletter.
- Check when the open rate is highest and determine how many emails you would like to send out per month.
- Keep covering interesting facts and trivia in your emails and informing subscribers about available specials.
- Think about your goals. What do you want to achieve with your email marketing? Are you trying to generate leads, increase bookings, or simply keep your brand top-of-mind?
- Test different frequencies. Start with a few different options and see how your subscribers respond.
5. Craft Your Vacation Rental Email Message
What makes your company’s email stand out in an overflowing inbox is your skill in crafting a subject line subscribers can’t pass up. Optinmonster.com claims that among the entire email recipients, only 33% open emails due to intriguing subject lines, and the remaining throw emails in the spam folder without even opening them. Awaken the curiosity of the readership with your subject line and make sure the body is relevant to the subject line and that delivers value.
Here are some tips for writing effective vacation rental email marketing campaigns:
- Keep your emails short and to the point. People are busy and don’t have time to read long emails.
- Use clear and concise language. Avoid jargon and technical terms.
- Personalise your emails as much as possible. Address the recipient by name and use relevant information about their past stay or interests.
- Use a simple and straightforward clear call to action. Tell your subscribers what you want them to do, such as book your rental, leave a review, or follow you on social media.
- Test different email subject lines and content to see what works best for your audience.
- Keep your tone professional and approachable.
6. Make Your Emails Visually Appealing
They say a picture is worth a thousand words; it’s important to keep text at a minimum when running a vacation rental email marketing campaign. Since your business is part of the travel and hospitality industry, images have a better chance of triggering potential guests to make a reservation at your property. Let them visualise their experience. A well-thought-out copy and a well-shot photograph of your short-term rental will spare you much of the talk, according to Canva.
Here are some tips for designing appealing vacation rental email marketing campaigns:
- Set eye-catching templates. There are many free and paid email templates available online. Check out Stripo for more.
- Use high-quality images and graphics. Images and graphics can help to break up text and make your emails more visually appealing.
- Use contrasting colours. Using contrasting colours can help to make your emails easier to read. Use a light background with dark text, or vice versa.
- Use fonts wisely. Don’t use too many different fonts in your email. Stick to two or three fonts that are easy to read.
- Keep your emails scannable. People are busy and don’t have time to read long emails. Use short paragraphs and bullet points to make your emails easier to scan.
- Test different designs. The best way to find out what works is to test different designs. Send out different emails to different segments of your audience and see which ones have the highest open rates and click-through rates.
7. Follow a Mobile-Friendly Email Design
According to Litmus, more than half of all emails are opened on mobile devices. Make sure your email design is optimised to render perfectly on the mobile screen. Adopt a mobile-friendly template on your email marketing software.
You don’t need to be a software expert; platforms such as MailChimp have various tools to help you figure out your vacation rental email marketing style. Create your desired email with just a few clicks. Launching a mobile-responsive email design can also boost unique mobile clicks by 15%.
8. Track Your Vacation Rental Email Marketing Results
It’s important to track the results of your email marketing campaigns so that you can see what’s working and what’s not. You can use email marketing software, suggested by Forbes, to track your open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates to help you determine the best frequency.
Here are some of the most important metrics to track:
This is the percentage of people who open your emails. A high open rate means that your subject lines are effective and that your emails are relevant to your subscribers.
This is the percentage of people who click on a link in your email. A high click-through rate means that your content is interesting and that your links are relevant to your subscribers.
This is the percentage of people who take a desired action after clicking on a link in your email, such as making a reservation. A high conversion rate means that your emails are effective at driving bookings.
This is the percentage of emails that are returned to you because they were undeliverable. A high bounce rate means that your email list is not clean or that your emails are not being sent to the correct addresses.
This is the percentage of people who unsubscribe from your email list. A high unsubscribe rate means that your emails are not relevant to your subscribers or that they are not finding value in them.
Here, we have highlighted top vacation rental email marketing practices, but there are many more to help your business engage guests throughout their journey. Send personalised and automated emails that drive revenue and nurture leads. Turning one-time visitors into lifelong guests through email marketing is more of a marathon than a sprint. By following these tips, you can use email marketing to boost your vacation rental business and generate more bookings.