Creating Touchpoints: Email Marketing Essentials – Vacation Rental Marketing Foundations

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Jodi Bourne:

/hey there. When I started online marketing the first marketing tactic I started working on was email marketing. Constant contact was what we used. I worked for a food bank. And we send out newsletters to the people who were giving us money. And that was my first entrance into email marketing. I think it's such a great way to connect with your audience, share information, all the things. And I still think that it's the best way for businesses of any type to build a rapport build sales grow their business.


In today's episode, I am going to share all about email marketing. Even if you don't think you're ready to start email marketing, even if you don't have a list. Listen to this episode, so you can get started the right way and hopefully it will encourage you to get started AAS. S a p

Jodi Bourne:

hey there. Welcome back to the savvy hosts podcast. Hopefully welcome back is the right word to say. Because I hope that you've been listening so far, but if not, that's cool too. Today's episode is the first of a series of episodes I'm going to be doing over the next few weeks called foundations vacation, rental marketing foundations. And today we're going to be talking about email marketing. My goal with these episodes is not only to teach a strategy at the beginning of each week. But also at the end of each week, I'm going to be doing another episode. I should be shorter. I hope. To answer questions and give concrete examples. So if you are listening to this and you want to ask a question or share some of your content that I can give feedback on, then that would be great. So stay tuned to the end, to learn more about that. I feel like in order to really understand marketing. It's important for you to understand how each layer builds upon layer. Foundation. Being the base layer. Of a marketing strategy. And so we're going to start out with the foundations, which is really an overview. And then later you learn more details. You learn the nitty gritty, dive in and make it work for you. And that of course is what I teach in my courses and programs, how to get into the nitty gritty, how to make it work for you, how to measure it, how to speak to people, how to use the language of your potential guests. So all of that comes into play, but again, you want to start with a basic understanding of marketing. So if you go back to my episode last week, and I'm also going to be bringing up other episodes that I've done, if you go back to my episode last week about content marketing, that is another great foundational lesson for vacation rental marketing the reason I want to start this week, concentrating on email marketing is because it is a strategy. That you can employ no matter where you are. In your vacation rental business. In fact. You don't even have to have your vacation rental built yet. You don't have to have it. Out in the world yet you can start email marketing. And getting people excited about booking with you. If there's any way for you to generate a list, email marketing should go hand in hand with your social media strategy, which I'll talk more about in a future episode. If you've already started booking guests and you have guests that have stayed with you via Airbnb or BRBO. Or even if you have guests from your own website, then you can start today marketing to those guests via email marketing. Hopefully. You have. Already saved email addresses. Because the most important part of email marketing to your previous guests. Is making sure that you have their contact information and their permission to market to them, which you can get in the very first email that you send the very first guest. Email that you send. So how does email marketing work? To begin with, what is it? Why does it work so well? Email marketing is the best way for you to build relationships and stay in touch with people. Who have raised their hand. And they have said, Hey, I want to hear more from you. I'm interested in what you have to say. Interested in your business. I'm interested in your offer. And I'm interested in your expertise. Right now, there are several different kinds of email marketing tactics out there in the general world of business today. One of those is e-commerce email marketing. E-commerce is more of a very, it's a very focused. I have a product or products. I have a store. Bye. Adding you to my email list, usually with some type of benefit, like a discount or free shipping or a coupon code or a free. Extra gift with w by signing up. I know you've signed up for these before I about a lot of makeup that way back up and skincare. And also little stupid things that I really don't need, but love. And so the first thing I do is sign up for an e-newsletter list. Usually find something on Instagram, go to their website. Sign up for their 15% off coupon. Now I'm on their email list. Typically I would either buy a product, put it in my shopping cart and. Then they follow up with me. If it's a bigger business and they've been doing it for a while, they know how to follow up with me. They know what's in my cart. They can remind me that I have the thing in my cart and maybe it's about to sell out or maybe it's going on sale, or maybe they're offering something on top of that. Or. I've bought the thing and they are going to try to sell me the next thing. And it's all about e-commerce sales. Sometimes these e-commerce based newsletters. We'll give you a little bit of content. Maybe it's a tutorial that they want to send you to, to show you how to use the thing that you just bought. Maybe it's a little quiz. The focus of that email is to sell you. A thing. Another type of email newsletter is the content based email newsletter. And I also subscribe to a lot of these. So this is the newsletter that you would get from me or from another business like mine, I'm a B2B, I sell services and products and coaching and websites So it's not really smart for me to just send out an email once a week about a new product. What I want to do is I want to encourage people to trust me as the expert to trust me as the website designer to trust me. As the person that knows about marketing that can teach them even more. So when I send out content and I will say, I'm not the best at it because my content. Marketing of choice right now is podcast and I've done blogging in the past. But I want to get better at sharing content via a newsletter. And that's the kind of content that you as a vacation rental owner should be sharing. Is this very. Content driven. Newsletter content. You're going to share. Ideas and trip itineraries and links to other area, other destination type content. And I'll talk more about that in a few minutes. Another type of email newsletter is actually a paid newsletter. This content is a little bit more elevated. This content is usually a little bit more in depth. and I do subscribe to some paid newsletter, so I get their free version and then I've upgraded to paid. If your newsletter gets to be good enough, big enough. An exciting enough. Then you can actually even add that little bonus as an upgrade and another income stream. But of course, first we have to get back to the basics of email marketing. What is it? The benefits of it. And how do you get people on your email list? So I'm going to start with the benefits. You can start with email marketing before you have a website. All you have to do is have a landing page. Which all of these email marketing platforms have that you can set up with their email marketing with their platform. So MailChimp, for example, or convert kit. There's tons of other ones. Flow desk is another good one. You can have it set up where people can click on a link, go to the page and sign up for the email. Another benefit is you own all the names and email addresses on your email list, and nobody can take them away from you. Yes, they're in the MailChimp platform. You should also have those in a. CSV file, an Excel spreadsheet, a Google sheet, they're your names. Instagram Facebook, they can shut down on you any time they can tell you no more marketing through their channel. And you still have an email list. You still have those people who have signed up. Another great benefit of having an email newsletter is you can practice writing content. You can practice and you can see how your subscribers. Are interacting with the content. If you write about beach activities for kids. And nobody clicks on it, then either a, the content of what you wrote about was not great. The greatest content, it didn't entice them. Or you've learned that your market isn't interested in beach activities with kids. The next newsletter, or even in that same newsletter, maybe you have a blurb about great restaurants in the area with an excellent craft, cocktail menu, and more people click on that. What does that tell you? So email marketing can really help you. Not only practice your long form content practice, writing to your audience, but also. Making sure that your target audience, that your guests avatar. Is who you think it is that you're really creating content that works for them that encourages them. To interact with you more. This is called segmenting by the way. So if you find out that half of your audience loves tips with kids and half of your audience wants more tips about nighttime events and craft cocktails. Then you said you can segment your list. That is an advanced strategy that I would talk about in my courses Another great benefit is the relationship that you are making with your subscribers. You can ask them questions and ask them to follow up with you. You can let them know all about The service that you provide for free of helping them plan their trip or connecting them with the kayak rental places or the different activities in the area. You can also. Ask them what is it that you're looking for? What can I help you with? And that is a great. Way to get that conversation going in. The first email that I send out in my welcome email, I ask people what is it that you're struggling with most with your marketing? And I would say. About one out of every five people who subscribed to my newsletter. Who subscribed to one of my lead magnets. They answer that question in an email and it gives me a way to connect with them on a deeper level. Another benefit of email marketing is it creates an excuse for you to have a touch point with your audience. Your audience wants these touch points with you to build this relationship that makes them want to book from you, makes them want to buy from you. Touch points are crucial to branding. You want your brand name to come across their email, even if they're following you on Facebook or Instagram, Tik TOK, you still want to remind them of who you are. Your business name. Your property names, your personal name, so right there. Just understanding these amajor benefits of having an email marketing strategy. You should realize it's something that you should jump on board with ASAP. And that's going to be one of my action items for the end of today's episode. Another thing that you can do even though you're not an e-commerce newsletter reminders of the product that you sell. Which is your vacation rentals. If you have multiple rentals, you want to feature a rental, maybe two rentals. If your property management company, you need to be careful that you are featuring. A select group often so that your owners don't get upset with you. If you own your own properties and you're featuring them. Feature them for different reasons. Maybe one is great for this. For pet-friendly one is great for groups. One is open for the Christmas season. And so that's the one you promote in September because it's perfect for families to spend their holidays together. You share reviews. Reviews are a great way to build social proof and you can actually type out the review, send it that way. But I find that a screenshot everywhere review. Maybe it's an Airbnb review. Maybe it's a website review. Maybe it's just an email exchange with your guests where they tell you how much they appreciated that. The stay. Then that's another way you can screenshot that and add it as an image. And then that's another way of adding content to your newsletter, art images, those destination focused property focused. Wow. Shots that I talked about in my previous. A podcast episode about giving them those wow shots. So when email newsletter, you have the opportunity to share all the different kinds of content, the engagement content. The attraction content. The trust content, and the call to action content. All the different kinds of content that you should be sharing with your future potential guests and leads. So how you get people on your newsletter list. First of all, as I mentioned, you have previous guests, you should get every guest email if they book on an OTA, you can say, Hey, I send information out via email. I need your email address as well. And of course, some of them are just going to say no, unless you're using a PMs or a channel manager. Then it's really hard sometimes but even after the stay, when they have already booked with you, they've already stayed with you. They already trust you and know you have a great experience. You can still at that point, ask them and say, Hey, I have a marketing newsletter. I'd love to add you to my marketing newsletter list. If you'd like to subscribe. And a lot of people will say, yes, You can also get the email addresses of the guests, of your guests. So the people that come with you, your main guest, I have clients that just require their guests of guests to sign a similar lease agreement that just says that they're going to follow the rules and policies, With stay file or any of those services. Now you have the guests of guests, email addresses. And then another way to get email addresses is to create what's called a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a free resource or free guide or free tips, free information that you give to people. In exchange for their email address and then you send it to them and then there own your marketing list. Of course, if you have this lead magnet, you need to be promoting that lead magnet, you promoted on your website, you promoted on your social media. You should think of it. As your second most important call to action. With your social media and on your website, if people aren't ready to book with you, which most of the time after one interaction, they are not ready to book with you. If they're not ready to book with you, what action can they take to stay in contact? Email newsletter, sign up to receive my tips for a romantic getaway. Sign up to find out my ideas for perfect winter travel as I saw the other day somebody who is giving out. I can't remember who that was, but somebody I follow on social media, another whole host was doing a Spotify playlist of music that they could listen to as they drove to the destination. So there's lots of ideas for lead magnets. What are some mistakes that you can make? I'm going to go through these really quickly people who start an email marketing campaign. They quit too soon. They say it doesn't work and they quit. They get busy and then quit. It's really important. Remember I talked about touch points. It's really important to create regular touch points with your future guests, with your potential guests. So these touch points come in the form of a newsletter. You want to make sure that they're getting it regularly, not just when you have availability coming up, not just when you have time to send it. You need to make sure that it is a regular focus and so you have to spend time it's harder at the beginning, it gets easier and easier. Other mistakes is, You treat it like an e-commerce newsletter, you treat it where. People are supposed to. Open it up and immediately Go to your website and book. And that is not what this newsletter type is for. Yes. You're going to encourage bookings. Yes, you're going to tell people about your properties. But your newsletter is supposed to get them excited about an upcoming trip tell them about why you are the best option for their stay. And then encourage them through content through building this trust. They're building this relationship. So that when they're ready to book, they remember your name because of the touch points and they remember your properties because you've sent them photos. And they also remember that you're the person that knows all about the destination that can help them plan a better trip or who has already helped them plan their trip. They have Goodwill toward you. Another mistake that I see all the time is you do have some sort of an lead magnet, or you do get people on your email newsletter list, but you don't send them an immediate welcome. An immediate welcome. Builds that Goodwill right from the start. It says, oh, Hey. Thanks so much for signing up for my newsletter. Here's what you're going to get in the future. Here is the thing you signed up for and oh, by the way, I have vacation rentals and I love what I do. And here's why I do this. And that's part of knowing your brand story and knowing how to communicate with your guest avatar. That's It's part of that deep dive into vacation rental marketing is knowing how to speak to these people. And then another mistake that I see very often is not marketing your newsletter. Just because you have a newsletter, just because you have a lead magnet, you can't just put a little block in the bottom of your website that says sign up. You can't not talk about it on social media. You can't not tell your current guests about it or the people that inquire about it. You have to proactively market your newsletter list in multiple ways. I suggest having a link in all your social channels. I suggest talking about it often pinning a post to the top of your social channels that talk about your newsletter. Lots of ways to make sure that you are letting your audience know about all the things. If you go to my Instagram, for example, and I have a landing page, you can go there and you can see. Several of the lead magnet offers that I have that encourage people to get on my newsletter list. So for this episode this week, I talked about a lot of different things and I have a couple of action items. If you don't have a new email newsletter list currently. I want you to look at MailChimp convert kit flow desk. I want you to look at those. I'll put links in my show notes, I want you to look at those and make a decision and sign up for a free trial. Sign up for one free trial this week. Play with a little bit, sign up for another free trial in a couple of weeks. Reach out to me and ask me, I'll go over some of the benefits of each one in Friday's episode. Another thing you can do is if you have a newsletter list already. I want you to write a welcome email if you don't have that. So one welcome email. To anybody that subscribes and remember. You need to include your previous guests in that welcome email. You want to let them know? Hey. I'm adding you to my marketing list. You can unsubscribe. If you're not interested. But this is more about me. And some reasons why I would like for you to get my email newsletter. Here's some things that I'm going to be sharing with you and then finally, I want to hear about your lead magnet, I want to hear your lead magnet ideas. So this is what I'm going to be going over in Friday's episode. If you have a lead magnet, if you have a welcome email series. If you have ideas for these things, and you want me to look at them, go over them, talk about it in Friday's episode, please DM me. My Instagram is, Hey, Jody. Born. You can send me an email. Jody had Joni born. Of course, all these will be in the show notes. And you can ask a question. You can follow up with me. You can send me what you have now. And I will definitely provide some feedback now, depending on how much feedback I get, I may not be able to help everybody, but I would love to get your, so I will go in order. If you can get it to me by noon on Thursday, I plan on recording Friday's episode on Thursday evening. So that'll give me some time to go over, whatever it is you send and answer your questions. And if you're listening to this in the future, stay tuned for the next one the answer is some of those questions from other hosts. And before I go, I just want to mention that I have. A couple of lead magnets that you can look at. Have a perfect guest avatar workbook. I have marketing action plan, Instagram action plan. And I also have a wait list for my upcoming group coaching program that starts in, October. I'm really excited about that. It's the fifth time I've offered it. Over the last several years and it gets bigger and better. And that also will be in the show notes. But the link to that is Jodi backslash waitlist. I'll be sending more information about that out over the coming. A few weeks. Hope you have a great week and I'll see y'all later. Bye

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Jodi Bourne

Vacation Rental Coach

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