Email marketing is one of the best, low-budget strategies to promote your vacation rental business. According to the 2021 Hubspot report, email generates $42 for every $1 spent, which is a staggering 4,200% ROI – making it one of the most effective marketing initiatives.
However, getting started is always the hardest part. Don’t worry, though – we’ve got you covered! In this post, we’ll walk you through ten different ways of implementing a successful vacation rental email marketing strategy and driving bookings to your vacation rental. Let’s get to it!
First things first: Whether you’re starting in the vacation rental business, or you’ve been at it for quite some time, having a large database is essential. The easiest way to grow your email contacts list is by keeping your guests’ emails after they book your property.
Unfortunately, that option will only be available if they book their stay directly through your vacation rental website. If the reservation is made through an OTA platform, like Airbnb or Vrbo, you won’t be able to collect their email information.
But wait, not all hope is lost!
You can still collect their emails by installing a guest WiFi network on your property. How does it work? Well, it’s fairly simple: once your guests arrive at your property and connect to your WiFi, they will be forwarded to a homepage where they must enter their names and email in order to access the Internet.
By installing a guest WiFi network on your vacation rental, not only you will be getting the email of the person making the reservation, but also from all the other guests!
2. Define clear goals for your vacation rental emails
You should have a purpose when you begin to write your vacation rental newsletter. Any piece of writing without a distinct purpose risks turning off readers. So, ask yourself, why are you writing your emails?
Come up with some short-term and long-term goals and let them be your guide as you produce content. Do you want to educate your guests about your area before they arrive? Is your goal to build trust, or perhaps promote a special offer at your rental? The better defined your goal, the more targeted and effective your newsletter will be.
3. Make your emails about content, not just announcements
Writing a newsletter is easy, but writing a newsletter that your potential guests will actually enjoy reading can be a challenge. Your vacation rental emails should be about more than just announcements and promotions.
Focus on creating some interesting and valuable content. Give your subscribers some good reasons to open your emails when they see them in their inbox. Keep your vacation rental emails interesting and relevant by including information that adds value to your guests and potential guests’ lives.
4. Inspire your potential guests to travel
From mountain lodges to lavish resort hotels, there are countless places for guests to stay anywhere in the world. With all these options, it can sometimes be difficult for people to choose.
You can help potential guests make that decision; show them why your property is the best choice for their vacation through awe-inspiring vacation rental email marketing campaigns.
Don’t hesitate to include beautiful images of your property and its amenities. If your property is near a beach, mountain, or hillside, feel free to share images of the surrounding scenery. If there are activities that guests can experience, include images of previous guests participating in these activities.
By sharing these images and experiences, you can quickly capture people’s imagination. It will be easier for potential guests to imagine the fun and relaxation that they’ll be enjoying at your property.
5. Work out the frequency
Decide how often you would like to send out your emails and then focus on consistency. Will you send your vacation rental newsletter monthly, quarterly, or yearly? The right answer is what works for your goals, and what you can commit to creating at a high level.
Newsletters can take some time to put together, so don’t get ahead of yourself. Think of a realistic plan for sending your newsletter, and set a reminder so that you’re always able to fit your newsletter writing into your busy vacation rental owner schedule.
6. Craft some eye-catching subject lines
One of the most difficult tasks which any newsletter writer faces is simply getting recipients to open the email in the first place. Travelers who are looking for accommodation receive a ton of messages every day, and if you have a boring subject line, many people will not bother to open your email and you could miss out on converting them into guests.
When it comes to your subject line remember these four “U” words: unique, urgent, ultra-specific and useful. Make your audience think they could miss out on something really exclusive if they don’t open your email and stand out from all the other senders with your striking subjects!
7. Create visual emails
When it comes to email design for the travel and hospitality industry, it’s best to keep text to a minimum. As important as words are, they often can’t accurately convey what prospective guests can experience when they stay at your property.
When prospective guests see these images in your emails, it will be much easier for them to visualize the experience. This will, in turn, increase the likelihood of them booking with you.
Finding an appealing-looking template will also help your consistency. If graphic design is not your strong suit there’s nothing to worry about: free email sites such as Mailchimp can help you with this.
Here are some additional tips to help you create a beautiful and engaging newsletter:
Place your logo at the very top to help readers associate your rental with the newsletter and its quality.
Use headings to break up the text, as you would if you were writing an article for your vacation rental blog.
Find some quality images that suit the content you’re discussing.
Make sure you keep elements like font style and size consistent throughout each issue of your newsletter for a more professional feel.
Include a Call-to-Action with a link back to your website, where potential guests can book your property.
So, roll out the red carpet for your new subscribers and treat them like they’re already honored guests. Send them a welcome email with a personalized subject line and a greeting.
Encourage them to book your vacation rental by including high-quality pictures of your property and a shortlist of activities they can enjoy while staying at your rental.
9. Offer limited-time deals during the off-season
Seasonality is a reality for the vacation rental industry – whether your property is a beachfront house or a ski lodge. While you certainly have peak seasons, you also experience off-peak seasons where few or a limited amount of guests stay at your property.
You shouldn’t let the low turnout discourage you. The off-season presents the perfect opportunity for you to think of unique email marketing strategies. Off-season marketing allows you to build momentum for your next peak season by keeping your business top of mind with your subscribers.
To generate excitement, offer prospective guests a limited-time discount to stay at your vacation rental during the next peak season. For example, you can offer prospective guests a hefty 40% off their total rate if they book within the next 48 hours.
When you set such a tight deadline, you tap into consumers’ fear of missing out (or FOMO). Prospective guests will worry about missing out on such a great deal – so much so that they’ll likely book within the 48-hour time limit.
Like the example above, you can even add a countdown to your email to reinforce the idea of urgency and that time is running out. This will further encourage prospective guests to act fast!
10. Adopt a “mobile-first” email design strategy
Approximately 50% of all email opens happen on mobile, which means that there’s a good chance that your prospective guests are opening your emails on their smartphones. On top of this, according to an extensive Mailchimp report, launching a mobile-responsive email design can increase unique mobile clicks by 15%.
This is why you need to make sure that your emails render perfectly on mobile.
Don’t worry, though – it’s not as complicated as it seems.
You don’t need to be an email development expert to design mobile-friendly emails. All you need are mobile-responsive email templates. Free email marketing tools, like Mailchimp, offer optimized templates to render across a variety of devices, which means you can create stunning, mobile-friendly emails in just a few clicks.
To wrap up
There you have it, ten ways you can effectively maximize email marketing for your vacation rental property! The vacation rental industry is a crowded landscape, so you’ll always face a ton of competition. By correctly applying these tips to your email marketing strategy, not only will you stand out from the pack, but you’ll also see an influx of guests at your vacation rental.
Ash Salleh is the Director of SEO at CampaignMonitor, where he works closely with content, copy, and analytics teams to improve site-wide optimization. Prior to his time at CampaignMonitor, he also provided SEO and digital marketing expertise at Zappos and Axiata Digital.
Grace Carter is an Editor and Manager at Essay Writing Service educational website. There she teaches academic writing, proofreads submissions and curates HR processes.
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