Keeping up with today’s vacation rental marketing strategies is not an easy task. Not only are the tools, platforms and strategies ever changing, but how we use them is changing as well. Let’s take a look at email marketing.
Email marketing is an effective tool when used correctly. Follow these steps to make an affordable tool create a great ROI (return on investment).
Use list segmentation.
Not all guests are created equal. We love them all and want to have them come back, but be sure your list knows why the email is in there in the first place. Example: Your guest celebrated their 25th year anniversary at your property. So, we don’t want to send them an eblast that is catered to those that are having a wedding. This will cause you to lose credibility with this guest.
Determine your goal.
Most marketers love to talk about how big their lists are and they throw around acronyms like 'CTR' (click through rate) and terms like 'open rate.' None of that matters if your goal is not met. Most of us want that goal to be - make a reservation. Make sure your message is clear and what action you want them to take is clear. But is every eblast reservation related? It shouldn’t be.
Build a relationship.
What has worked best with our clients is balancing our emails with both content and promotion - not always in the same eblast. Sometimes our clients' eblasts are a simple message of what is going on in the area, or a simple 'Happy Thanksgiving' from the gang. As you build that relationship, be sure to not be spammy. Emailing your guests often is not necessarily a good thing. In fact, it can guarantee a high opt-out rate.
Respect their time.
No one really wants to read a long email. After all, 55% of emails are opened on smart phones. Can you imagine how long a long email looks on mobile? Not really the best marketing strategy for your vacation rental. Keep it short and to the point.
Use of Images.
The latest survey from Constant Contact revealed that B2C emails were most successful by the use of images. Yes some of those emails don’t get a chance to download your thought-provoking image, but the ones that do, truly love it. So be sure to show off your property or activity in your next email.
As you prepare next year’s marketing plan, be sure to include email marketing as part of your vacation rental marketing strategies. Use these best practices and see how your reservations increase.