Vacation Rental Email Marketing Strategy


Email marketing strategy for mobile

The Hidden Tool to Boost Bookings

Email might not feel as special as it did a few decades ago, but that doesn’t mean it has faded as a marketing tool. In fact, every $1 spent on email marketing yields $44 in ROI on average. Now, that is special. 

How can vacation rental managers (VRMs) get in on this tried and true marketing channel and actually make it work for them? It’s not as difficult as you might think. 

In this post, we cover everything VRMs need to know about using vacation rental email marketing to boost bookings. To learn more, read on. And to get a custom email marketing strategy that really works, reach out to Magnetic Strategy.

Why Email Marketing Matters for Vacation Rental Managers

First, we need to understand why email marketing matters in the vacation rental industry. You’re (hopefully) already doing vacation rental SEO, paid ads and social media marketing, so why should you make room for email in your marketing strategy?

It’s simple: email puts your vacation rental business and listings directly in front of potential customers in their inboxes. That means you get a direct line to those on your email list.

Contrast that with using SEO and paid ads to get traffic from people who have no idea who you are or using social media to coax a few clicks out of people who just want to browse Facebook in peace.

Also, as the world opens back up after the COVID-19 pandemic, the already-competitive vacation rental industry is going to become a veritable cage match. In other words, your SEO and paid ads aren’t going to get you as far when every other VRM is investing serious time and money into these strategies. 

Guess where you don’t have to compete: in people’s email inboxes. You don’t have to worry about keywords, optimization or anything like that. You just have to craft an effective message and build a long-term email marketing strategy.

Building Your Email List

Of course, your vacation rental email marketing efforts won’t mean much if you don’t have any email addresses to send your emails to. That’s why you have to build your email subscriber list.

In general, the bigger the list, the better. But you also want to make sure you’re sending emails to people who actually want to get them and might one day book with you. To do that, consider these three strategies:

  • Add an email subscription form to the header, footer and sidebar of your vacation rental website.
  • In your blog posts and other content, encourage readers to subscribe to get updates and offers.
  • Use email in your booking, reservation and check-in process to capture the email addresses of those who book with you. That way, your former customers can stay engaged with you via email and hopefully become repeat customers.

How to Use Email in Your Vacation Rental Marketing Strategy

By now, you’re probably at least curious about using email in your vacation rental marketing strategy. But how, exactly, do you do that? By employing the email types we describe below:

Vacation Rental Email Newsletter

A quarterly, monthly or weekly email newsletter is a great way to keep your subscribers engaged with your brand and informed about new offers, listings, promotions and more.

Booking Abandonment Emails

If someone began the online booking process but stopped, you can send a booking abandonment email to remind them that they haven’t completed the process. This gentle reminder can push them to complete their booking.

Add-On and Experience Emails to Boost Booking Value

Do you offer any booking add-ons or local experiences? Let people who have booked with you know about them through email. This can enhance the experience for your guests and boost your booking value.

Getting More Reviews Through Email

Your property management system may automatically send these emails, but if you don’t have this feature, you may want to consider sending review emails. The concept is simple: email people who have booked with you to ask them for a review. More positive reviews means more bookings.

Booking Anniversary Emails

Let your customers know you’re still thinking about them by scheduling a booking anniversary email to go out a year after they last booked with you. This helps you catch them at the right time of year for a vacation. Sweeten the pot by offering an exclusive booking anniversary discount or similar offer.

Emails About New and Discounted Listings

Got a new property? Running a temporary discount on a popular property? Let your email subscribers know. This is exactly the kind of stuff they signed up for when they subscribed to your email list.

Promote New Content and Drive Traffic to Your Vacation Rental Site

When you publish a new blog post, local guide or any other kind of vacation rental content, you’ve got a great reason to reach out to your email subscribers and send them the new link. That way, you drive relevant traffic to your new content and keep your subscribers engaged with content about a place they have stayed before or would like to travel to.

Grow Your Email List Using Your Wi-Fi Network

Successful email marketing requires collecting email addresses and relevant information from your guests. However, gathering this information often proves itself a challenge.

StayFi offers the perfect solution.

With StayFi, you can create a custom, branded Wi-Fi splash page that your guests will use to access the Wi-Fi at your vacation rental. This Wi-Fi network gives you the option to collect your guests’ (not just the guest that booked the property) email addresses—all while providing them with speedy internet access and a positive user experience.

*Disclosure: StayFi is a partner of Magnetic Strategy but that doesn’t mean we don’t love the idea.

The Importance of Vacation Rental Email Subject Lines

Crafting email subject lines that get clicks is an art unto itself, so we won’t spend too much time on the subject in this post. But it’s worth your time to consider the following vacation rental email subject line tips:

  • Personalize your subject lines as much as you can. Consider using merge tags to get the recipient’s name into the subject line.
  • Keep your subject line short. Especially on mobile, people have neither the patience nor the bandwidth to read a novel-length subject line. 
  • If there’s a deadline for the promotion or offer you are emailing about, include that in your subject line. Nothing motivates action like a firm deadline.
  • Use teasers. Think about the most enticing parts of your listings and use those to tease them in the subject line.
  • Provide value or solve a problem with your subject line. For example, “Looking for the perfect anniversary gift?” could be a great subject line because it could tease any romantic getaway listing you have and solve the gift-shopping problem your recipient may have.

How to Measure Email Marketing Success

When you invest time and money in an email marketing campaign for your vacation rental company, you need to be able to see the results. Below, we discuss several key email marketing metrics to pay attention to. 

  • Open rate. This is simply the number of people who open the emails you send compared to the total number of people who received the emails.
  • Click-through rate (CTR). CTR is expressed as a percentage. It measures how often people click on the links inside your emails. In most cases, these links should point back to your main website.
  • Click to open rate (CTOR). While CTR measures how many people click on links in your emails as a percentage of the entire number of people who received your emails, CTOR measures clicks on links in your emails compared to the number of people who opened your emails. This gives a better picture of how effective the content and design of your emails were.
  • UTM codes. UTM codes allow you to measure the number of link clicks from your email campaigns inside tools like Google Analytics. These are simply codes you add to the ends of URLs you insert in your emails. Then, you can see how many people arrived at a certain page on your website via your email by looking for the UTM code you used in your analytics tool of choice.

Get a Custom Vacation Rental Email Marketing Campaign

At Magnetic Strategy, we help VRMs get more bookings. One of the key ways we do that is through thoroughly customized and perfectly optimized email campaigns that engage, inform and entertain your subscribers as they move down the sales funnel. 

To get your custom vacation rental email marketing strategy, contact us. Call (623) 226-8518 or contact us online.

Mike Archer
Mike Archer

Mike has over 17 years of experience in the digital marketing field, beginning his career in-house at one of the nation’s top sporting goods manufacturers, followed by succe...

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