While acquiring a new guest is always exciting, the value of repeat bookings cannot be overstated. Generally, repeat bookings require less expenditure of time, effort, and money from your marketing budget. An excellent, inexpensive tool at your disposal for getting guests to come back is email automation.
How can you best integrate email automation into your vacation rental marketing?
Email Automation in the Vacation Rental Business
First, it is essential to realize that email communication for your vacation rental management company must be more than just a generic "Thank you", "Welcome", or "Here's your receipt" message. Rather, the point of your email campaigns must be to nurture a relationship with those on your email list.
Karen Spencer, a vacation rental marketing expert, notes in her article, "What's a Mailing List and Do I Need One?" that an email list is "about staying top of mind so when people on your list are ready to book a holiday, you will spring to mind!"
An email list is an inexpensive and direct form of marketing. It is a way for you to provide front of mind, relevant content to everyone on your list.
Who Should Be On Your List?
Your email list should include those who have inquired about your property in the past, former guests, and other contacts you have made. Basically, anyone who has given you permission to correspond with them via email can be on your list.
Getting permission is important, as there are a variety of laws in place to prevent spam. The only way to avoid having your emails labeled as spam is to be sure that all your email recipients have opted in to receiving emails from you, and to provide relevant content to ensure that none of your emails will be flagged as spam by a dissatisfied recipient.
Another thing to help you avoid a dreaded "spam" designation is to make it easy to unsubscribe from your email list. Though you have hopes that your recipients will not want to use that option, providing a way for a recipient to opt out displays courtesy and respect for your audience.
Keeping in mind that the purpose of your emails is to nurture your relationship with the recipient, you must put some thought into what needs to happen to make your relationship grow.
In his "Email Marketing Course Cliffnotes", Matt Landau offers this suggestion. "Write each email with a friend in mind." In other words, the tone of your email should be the same as if you were sharing information with a valued friend. This makes sense, as your aim is to turn former guests into repeat guests, forging a bond of lifelong friendship with them.
How many emails do you receive a day? How many do you open? How many do you remember after you read them? Thinking about these questions can help you design an email message that sticks with your readers.
Ensure reader engagement by offering something of value in each email. For instance, share information about upcoming events in your area to entice guests to return. Let former guests know about upgrades you have made to your property. Share pictures to pique interest.
At times, it may be appropriate to send a special offer to your former guests to encourage repeat bookings. Segmenting your target audience according to things like hobbies and interests will help you do this more effectively.
For example, if you have former guests who are interested in sailing, you can offer a special discount for booking a trip that includes a day sailing trip with a partnering business. Or, if you know former guests who enjoy a fall trip to take in the changing colors of foliage in your area, offer a special promotion to entice them to come again this year in autumn.
Simplicity and Shareability
Email correspondence is best when the message is short and sweet. Keep the content of your emails simple. Provide a clear all to action to help your guests know the next step to take in your ongoing relationship.
Remember that many of your email recipients will be accessing your message via mobile devices. Be sure your email will display well regardless of the device your audience uses. Kigo's high-performing websites are not only responsive, they fully integrate with the vacation rental booking and management software.
Make it easy to share your content by adding appropriate social media buttons. The more your content is shared, the larger your opt-in recipient list will grow, and the greater your chance of repeat and new bookings will become.
Measure Your Email Automation Marketing Success
As with all marketing efforts for your vacation rental management company, it is wise to measure the ROI of your email campaigns. In this way, you can discover what works, and what needs to be tweaked to increase your booking opportunities.
Kigo Vacation Rental Software Can Help
Kigo's vacation rental management software solution can help you automate your email process from initial inquiry through the lifetime relationships you build with repeat bookings. With Kigo's email templates, you can instantly respond to inquiries. As your relationship with your guests grows, Kigo's customer database and integrated email can help you automate your email campaigns to best effect.
Email automation correspondence is a direct, inexpensive way to communicate real value to your guests and encourage them to come back to your properties again and again. It is a vital part of your overall vacation rental marketing strategy.
For more help creating a marketing strategy that keeps guests coming back for more, download the ebook: Creative Marketing Tips for Vacation Rental Owners today.