An average email user receives 416 commercial emails per month. The fact that our inboxes are flooded with a pile of daily offers, newsletters, and sales deals every day, depicts that email marketing is still doing well. Why is email marketing still in full force while there are many more engaging tools like social media, websites, Google search, in-game, video and TV ads out there? Here are the reasons why email is a powerful marketing tool, and you should launch your vacation rental email marketing campaigns.
Email marketing enables you to make direct one-on-one communication with your customers. It can promote your brand, build trust and customer loyalty and guarantees repeat business through personalised and tailor-made messages.
On social media, you post something to your audience as a whole while you can land into a user’s inbox via email messages and contact them directly.
As email is an open platform, no other third party can access, control, limit, make changes or affect your correspondence with your audience.
Extremely Quick Transmission
An email can travel superfast and land in an inbox in seconds. With the help of email marketing solutions, you can send countless automated emails to masses of customers in no time.
Email doesn’t cost you much. You don’t need to be an online marketing expert to run a successful email marketing campaign. All you need to do is conduct research, find out what makes an engaging email marketing campaign, study the best practices and examples in your business, and write your messages based on your takeaways.
Thanks to various email marketing solutions and platforms, you can access the insights provided by consumer response to email marketing to find out and make use of your guests’ preferences and behavior.
Popular and Easily Accessible
In 2019, there were 3.9 billion email users worldwide, and the number is ever-growing. Email users can easily check their inboxes on the go using their tablets and smartphones.
Sending and receiving an email is as easy as ABC with the availability of various email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook and iCloud. Besides, email marketing tools such as Hubspot, Sendinblue, Omnisend, SendPulse, Benchmark Email and Mailchimp can help you reach out to your customers with no hassle.
Persistent Marketing Medium
Social media are numerous and change over time while email is an old and lasting marketing and communications medium. Today, social media is taking over everything, but there are many examples of trendy social media examples evaporating over a night.
People love to travel and get away from their everyday life. Travel-related emails are eye-catching if they are targeted and crafted well. Motivate your guests to take a vacation and boost your occupancy in quieter seasons. Build a good relationship with your potential and repeat customers and increase website traffic and direct bookings by running an engrossing vacation rental email marketing campaign. Keep reading to learn the steps to run an email marketing campaign for your vacation rental business.
0. Create Your Direct Booking Website
You need a direct booking website to build an email list and require an email list to drive more traffic to your direct booking website. So having a direct booking website is more than necessary and can be the very basis of your email marketing campaign.
Create your own website and make sure it is equipped with whatever a vacation rental website needs like a powerful booking engine for receiving bookings.
Drive more traffic to your website and collect as many email addresses as possible by adding a blog to your website and share your blog posts on social media to reach great online visibility. Also, make sure that you have a system in place for creating vouchers and promotions, You will definitely need at different points to offer discounted rates, and what’s better than a personalised, unique voucher code sent through an email to a loyal guest or a lead?
1. Collect Email Addresses
The key ingredient to start your vacation rental email marketing campaign is a subscribed email list.
Building your own email address list is not as easy as it might seem because OTAs mask guests email addresses and share as little data as possible with you. They won’t easily lose their customers to direct bookings.
So, you have to stand on your own feet and ask your guests for their email addresses in person or in a message. To achieve this goal, you can either have a guestbook at your property or assign your reception staff to ask the guests for a valid email address during check in/outs. You might also ask the guests via a message to their temporary OTA alias email addresses or design some email sign-up forms and ask your users to subscribe to your newsletter or offer a discount for direct bookings through your website.
A booking confirmation process can also help you capture real email addresses from guests coming through an OTA such as Booking.com, Airbnb, Expedia, or HomeAway.
2. Segment Your Email Database
Your email database is one of your invaluable assets in case you know how to utilise it. Segment your email list to make your messaging more targeted and relevant, and lift up your open rate, click-through rate and conversions. Differentiate your customers from one another based on their sales funnel level and their interactions with your vacation rental.
Bear in mind that your main subcategories are:
1. Leads (who should become guests)
These are the potential guests who have not stayed at your property yet, but have had some interactions with your website and showed some interest in receiving emails with marketing purposes from you.
2. Past Guests (who should turn to repeat guests)
This group of guests have the experience of staying at your property before. They are already familiar with your vacation rental, and you just need to incentivise them to return or stay at the other vacation rentals or serviced apartments that you manage.
3. Set Your Email Marketing Goals
Build your vacation rental email marketing campaign based on the specific objectives of your short-term rental business. Generating more and more direct bookings is your ultimate goal; however, you must also build loyalty, trust, brand awareness as well as
increase past guest return rates,
drive traffic to your website,
keep in touch with your potential and past guests,
motivate past guests to come back,
promote your brand and marketing strategy,
Set particular goals for each email segment you have made and fulfil them through meticulously crafted email messages.
4. Decide on Your Frequency and Timing
Decide on the number of emails you want them to receive from you each month, and when you want them to receive and open your message. Don’t bombard your audience’s inboxes with emails, but be frequent enough not to get forgotten.
5. Choose Email Types
Each email segment should receive their custom-tailored email messages highlighting a particular part of your service. Balance the content of your emails to be more informational rather than promotional.
You might decide to send follow-up emails, newsletters, announcements, lead-nurturing emails, and special offers to each group.
6. Create Your Vacation Rental Email Marketing Campaign Message
1. Subject line
The chances are narrow that your email gets read among the numerous advertisement emails which land in a guest’s inbox every day without a short, compelling, personalised subject line. Emails with subject lines that include the recipient’s name are more likely to be opened. Pick a cool subject line that can arouse your recipient’s natural curiosity.
Write a well-crafted message with engaging content. Try to deliver some value and don’t be too pushy and salesy. Speak clear, straightforward and to the point. Just focus on one topic in each email. You can send your guests your most recent blog articles, updates and upcoming events, news, reviews and testimonials, your rental properties’ unique features, your availability calendar or promotional content like your special deals and discounts.
3. Call to action
End your email with a clear, easy-to-notice call to action. You can provide them with some links to learn more about your vacation rental, read your blog posts, make a booking and visit your website. With a proper call to action, your communications with your guests are not one-way, and you keep them engaged and receive a response from them.
Make your email visually eye-catching. Looking at a myriad of black letters rallying on a white background can’t make your email stand out. Make your emails more attractive by using captivating email templates, pictures, icons and demographics. Double check that your email template is designed for all devices.
8. Monitor Your Campaign’s Success
Luckily, many email marketing tools and platforms let you check the analytics and evaluate your vacation rental email marketing campaign’s success. Your emails’ open rates and click-throughs can tell you a lot about your readers and your email marketing campaign’s functioning. For instance, a low open rate means that many of your subscribers are uninterested.
Pay attention to the email analytics to find out what you are doing wrong, but don’t get discouraged by the results. Instead, plan to improve.
Final Tips for the Vacation Rental Managers for Their Vacation Rental Marketing Campaign
Whatever approach you take, send regular emails and don’t let your relationship with your guests die. Deliver what you promise. If you have decided to send them your newsletter each month, make sure they receive one every month.
The first email in each series of emails is of high importance. Specify the number of each email in a sequence. You can write the number of email on top of it like a fraction, for example, 1/5 or show it with graphic design.
Always have a touch of personal tone in your emails and don’t miss out the unique feature of email. People know that your emails that you are sending in you vacation rental email marketing campaign are automatically sent to them, but still like to feel like a real person is writing to them.
Be particularly attentive to get permission from your audience to send them promotional emails. Never send a marketing message to someone without their firm consent and take care of spam laws and GDPR compliance. Don’t forget to include an unsubscribe button.