Email marketing is one of the best ways to get more direct bookings for your vacation rentals. Email marketing not only to previous guests but also to prospective guests – your future guests. But the best way to do that is not by sending a generic “book your getaway” email. You need to be sending valuable content in the form of a regular newsletter, encouraging your subscribers to have conversations and reminding them to book.
The three steps to get started with email marketing:
- Create A Lead Magnet (an offer on your website that you give them in exchange for their email address.)
- Sign up for Mailchimp or Convertkit or another email marketing platform.
- Set up automation in your email marketing platform that gives your subscribers the lead magnet you promised and welcomes them to learn more about you and your business and begins to build trust in you and your business.
If you're wondering how to get started marketing your vacation rental, and you're struggling with understanding the first steps. I want to encourage you to start with email marketing. I am asked all the time. Does anybody really even read emails or do they take action from emails? They say I've tried email marketing and it doesn't work. In today's episode, I'm going to share strategies to help you get started email marketing the right way. I'm going to help you understand the basics of the process, how it works. And I'm going to give you some top tips on what to do. And action items on how you can get started. With email marketing. Not just marketing to your previous guests, but also your future guests. So stick around, stay tuned. To this episode of the savvy host podcast I am one of those people that has, three different email addresses. Most of those. I have my business email and I have a personal email address. And then I have an email address that's just for online shopping. And so I have, you know, about a thousand of those save 15% when you sign up for email list, et cetera. And then I have the the good ones that I really enjoy. Including the travel newsletters. I have those sent to my personal email address and that is on my phone. I love reading the content. I love being inspired by travel. My husband and I travel all the time. We take a lot of little weekend getaways. We go on a pretty good size, one week to 10 day vacation every year. And we spend. More time planning it probably over the year. Then we actually spend on vacation because we both love travel so much. We watch a ton of travel shows and like I said, I, I subscribe to different travel newsletters, travel and leisure magazine. Southern living magazine, Texas monthly magazine I sign up for these newsletters and this content. And so do other people. I'm not the only one in the world that signs up for this content. And that is one way that you, as a, as a host and you, as a business owner can get in front of people is by giving them valuable readable content in newsletter form. Because when they've signed up for your newsletter, they want to read your content, they sign up because you gave them great content and they want more of it. Then this is your opportunity to be memorable to them. This is your opportunity to share. Things with them. They only, you know, and only you can share your hospitality. Helping them plan a vacation to your destination. That in a nutshell is how to use email marketing more effectively I'm going to be sharing in other episodes ways to write and create better content. But the gist of it is you have to have great content for people to even open up your newsletter. I want you to close your eyes. I'm going to read to you. Well, don't close your eyes if you're driving, but if you're not driving close your eyes and listen to these. This list of subject lines. These are all subject lines that I received in my email inbox in the last month. I want you to guess which ones are from vacation rental companies. The best Alfresco dining in Austin. 10 of the best small towns on the east coast. Live out your dream vacation in our favorite luxury homes. Here's what you need to plan a fishing trip this spring. Earth day. How we created a sustainable vacation rental. Book your summer rental today. Big savings on winter bookings. Looking for a quiet weekend getaway book today. Okay. I know you guessed one because it actually said vacation rental in the subject line. So, which of the other ones are from vacation rental companies. All of them. Except for one, the one that's not is 10 of the best small towns on the east coast that came from travel and leisure magazine. Every single one of these are emails from a company. Hospitality company and accommodations company just like yours. With content, live out your dream vacation in our favorite luxury homes, that's from a property management company. And they just listed five of their favorite luxury homes and their portfolio of homes. Here's what you need to plan a fishing trip this spring. This is from a guy with three fishing cabins. What a great idea for a newsletter content. I love this one about earth day, how we created a sustainable vacation rental, what I love about this one is it brings in their values, have in a previous episode about values. This is a great example of how to market your values. Big savings on winter bookings. Blah. The only, only reason you would open that as if you were already looking for a winter booking and now you get to save money on it. I think I've probably been on my little soap box here long enough for you to understand what I'm trying to say. When you're marketing content, when you're marketing it using email marketing, you have to make it something that they want to read. Something they want to digest something that's going to help them. I think that Airbnb and BRBO and other listing sites. Have given hosts, the impression that people look for a vacation rental and book, a vacation rental immediately but the listing sites have been marketing forever. They're already a trusted source. They've already. Proven themselves in the world. They've created millions and billions of dollars worth of Superbowl ads to convince people that they can trust them in some way. And you haven't done that. So the people who are going to be booking from you who encountered your website somewhere, or your social media somewhere, they still need, what's called a touch point, they need. Information from you before they can really make a buying decision yes, there are people who are going to see your property on Google. They're going to do a Google search or they're gonna see it in a Facebook ad. There are definitely people they're going to see a Google ad and your website's gonna come up and they are going to book. However. Every online marketing company will tell you that that is not the way it normally happens, especially for a large purchase, like a vacation rental. They need to trust the people that they're going to buy from. They want to do research. Maybe they come to your website. They're not ready to book. How do you give them? A way to stay in contact with you. Do you give them anything maybe at the bottom of your, website has a little thing that says, sign up for our newsletter. I see that so often what does that tell them, sign up for what. The first step in the email marketing process is to actually get them to sign up for your email newsletter. How do you do that? That is called a lead magnet. You're trying to get a lead. So you're using a lead magnet and a lead magnet is a piece of content, or you can have several pieces of content. They are pieces of content that you can share. And you provide it to people who visit your website. And you provide it to them in exchange for their email address. You want your content to resonate so much That they're really excited to sign up for your email newsletter. Your lead magnet should be great. Not just something you grabbed off of chat GPT it needs to be really good content. Now that sounds complicated. But if you take it step by step, it doesn't have to be that big of a deal. The next step is to sign up for an email marketing tool. There's MailChimp there's convert kit. There's. Infusion softer. I forgot what infusion soft is called now. Uh, but there's HubSpot. There's so many of these. If you're just starting out stick with the least expensive. I think MailChimp now for pro version is probably about 25, $30 a month. It's definitely an investment that you need to make When you're email marketing, you have to pay for it. You have to pay for a good quality program. Sign up for that. Start learning the tools start learning how to automate what automate means is when somebody signs up for this newsletter. They sign up on a landing page. They sign up on a page of a website. If you don't have a website. You can create this in MailChimp. They give you templates to do that. Even if you do have a website, but you are not comfortable creating a page on your website, you can do this so simple and so easy. Create this page, this landing page. On MailChimp. There's tons of videos out there, so you set it up where they're going to get your content, that you promise them you're going to give them. And then the next step is you're going to send them other emails. You're going to send them a welcome email that tells. What they can expect from you, what kind of content you're going to be sharing? It tells them about your properties and where you are and why you love hosting. That welcome email is the first thing they're going to get from you. You're going to share a little bit of your message. And this is a short and sweet email. I'm not talking about pages and pages and paragraphs. You can also share if you already have a blog, if you have an existing blog share that. Here's some of here's my two favorite blog articles. On our website right now. Or if you don't have a blog yet, then maybe you say, follow us on Instagram or join our Facebook group and let us know how we can help you another great. Thing to do in your email and your first email Is to get them to respond to your email and say, I would really love it. If you would reach out and let us know when you're planning your trip or how we can help you, when you can get them involved in a conversation that makes booking with you even easier for them. Because now they've spoken to you via email, via text, via phone, they've communicated with you. They know you're a real person because you just told them about this amazing thing that they can experience. While they're on vacation. And now you've had an email conversation with them. After you have your lead magnet in your welcome email. Now is when you want to start generating these monthly every six weeks, something like that, these monthly newsletters and yeah, it is, it is kind of hard to stay consistent with this. It's something that you have to do and you have to do it every month, every six weeks, whatever you set your schedule too. You want them to remember your name? You don't want them to suddenly just randomly get an email and wonder who you are. Because they're not going to open it or they may not open it. They probably won't open it unless your subject line is killer. So for your action steps, you're going to first think of your lead magnet, brainstorm some ideas. Think about your guest, avatar, your perfect guest, avatar, what they want to know from you. What are the secrets that you can tell them about? How can you help them plan a great trip? I'm not talking about your 10 favorite restaurants. I'm talking about plan a seven night romantic. Mantic getaway one of the ones I saw recently was great idea. It was, how to plan your beach photo shoot while you're in, wherever it was. And so it's a beach photo shoot. Every family wants to do a beach photo shoot, all the mom's and this was a guide to doing that. I mean, that's a great idea of something original and fun that your, your target market would be excited about. If you were hosting families at a beach location. The second step is you're going to set up your MailChimp or your convert kit account for me, if you're just starting out, use mail, Chimp. I use convert kit. I recommend convert kit, if you're a little bit more advanced, but if, if technology is a struggle for you just use MailChimp, they have great, great, great videos. It's fairly easy to set up. They have lots of templates third step is sit down and write your welcome. Email Tell them who you are, tell them why you rent properties. Tell them. About your properties, be sure. And do that. Be sure. And link them back to your website so they can book be sure to ask them a question so that they can, they may follow up with you. Can't how can we help you? When are you planning your trip? Are you looking for something special to do here? Anything that can get a conversation started? You don't even have to be booking direct to do this, You can set up a MailChimp account and you can direct people from your social media sources to sign up from that, for that you can ask your current guests. There's so many ways to get email addresses on your newsletter in your newsletter database, you can add a QR code in your property or in your print guest guide. You can put it on ads. You can put it on a postcard. You want to put a link to it on your Instagram and Facebook. You want to mention it when you're marketing on social media, that you have this amazing guy that people can download and find out more about you. You want to do as much as possible to get people on your email newsletter list so that you can get in front of them and they can remember you when they're ready to book. That's how it works. And if you already have email addresses from previous guests Then you can move those email addresses to your database and start marketing to them as well with your newsletter. i'll be talking about that in another episode but it's definitely how you want to stay in front of previous guests as well as your potential guests I know it works. I've done it myself and I've helped people do it. In a future episode, I'm going to talk more about email marketing and I'm going to share more information about the actual newsletter, how to write a great newsletter, how to create content, how to keep generating content ideas, how to write those headlines that make people want to open it up. But for now, I want you to concentrate on these first three action steps. Check my show notes because I'm going to have some resources. Is there for you as well. I hope you found this episode helpful. And I really, really hope that you get started with email marketing. It can be a game changer if you do it right. Feel free to reach out to me on Instagram at, Hey, Jody, born, let me know how it's going. And, um, tell me your newsletter. I would love to see your landing page and I will definitely sign up for it. I promise because as I said in the beginning, I love reading about travel. Have a great day.