Customer retention. Customer focus. CRM. Social CRM. The buzz-words that surround any business’ relationship with its customers are an endless and ever-growing list, but where to start? One of the easiest ways to interact with your customers is through a regular email newsletter. By contacting your email database to keep them informed of interesting tip-bits of information, deals and promotions and new product offerings, you are channeling relevant info to relevant people, these people are either already customers, or have opted-in to be contacted by your company, so it is imperative that you keep them up to date, without swamping them with too much contact (nothing will rid you of your database faster.) So why is an email newsletter such a good idea?
Communicate messages directly
Through an email address, you have a direct link to a clients’ inbox, they have opted-in, they want to hear from you, and you have a direct portal to their online space, which is likely to be checked on a regular, if not daily, basis. This is a really effective way of reaching someone directly but non-invasive and communicating your message to them.
A cost-effective way to stay in touch
Email is a really cost-effective way of communicating to your customers. You have already spent out to get them to either purchase or sign up to your newsletter, thus the actual cost of emailing your database are very low. Great platforms are available to manage your database and keep the costs down too, MailChimp is a fantastic example. They are free for your first 12,000 emails a month and their templates, editing and analytics are really user-friendly. So for a very small amount (or nothing, in this case) you can present attractive newsletters to your database.
A good channel for conversion
As mentioned earlier, the people in your database know your company. They like your company and are already potentially customers of yours, and for this reason, email tents to convert rather well. If you go out outlining a sales promotion or event in one of your locations to your database, it is likely that you will get bookings form this, after all, these people are interested enough to request more info and keep informed of developments with your company. So chances are, they may well be looking to book too.
Managing your stock and pushing discounts
Email is a really good channel for pushing your available units in periods of high availability or when you want to publicize a discount. By firing out an email offering, for example 10% off bookings for certain periods, you are offering a good discount to a limited market without having to make large-scale marketing campaigns and changes to your website. You can offer a limited discount to a select few, in the process moving surplus availability and adding value for your subscribers.
So there are just a few reasons why email newsletters are a good idea for your vacation rental business, but how to go about putting them together?
Work on a good email newsletter template
If you use a email solution like MailChimp, there are plenty of good templates to choose from, chose something relevant and uncluttered, and get a layout that highlights the properties with strong imagery and attention-grabbing text formats. Start signing up to those of your rivals and other agencies to start to see what they send and how they look, and how you can improve upon them.
Get the mix right
A good email from a company should, so industry experts say, be 80% relevant content and 20% sales focused. So just going out to outline a new property or discount isn’t enough. You need to think of reasons that customers might want to visit your location, like a festival or event or simply outlining an area of interest for them. To finish, you should then outline what properties and discounts are available in this area or near this event. Preventing your emails from being too sales-focused will really help with database retention and reader engagement, and the more people that stay and read your email, the more sales they are likely to come as a result of these.
Be careful not to send too many emails. It can vary from business to business, but generally, once every two weeks to once a month will be enough. You need to keep people interested but not over-faced through too much contact. There are notable exceptions to this rule, for example Expedia send out a number of emails yet always seem to have a healthy stream of subscribers, but generally less is more. It’s a balance you will have to strike, and every database is different.
So there is a brief run-through of how and why to start harnessing the power of email marketing and using email newsletters to market to your database. It’s a fairly cheap, targeted way of sending a specific message to people who want to hear from you, and a vital part of the ecosystem of vacation rental marketing.
Looking for a new vacation rental website that you can send you email click-through’s to? Kigo offer fully customizable vacation rental software solutions and the best channel manager on the market to day. Why not contact us today at [email protected] or on the phone (Spain) +34 512 702 105 ‧ (France) +33 1 84 17 04 18 ‧ (USA) +1 (786) 292-0030