A successful vacation rental email marketing formula combines a bit of wit and personality with appreciation and insight.
At BuildUp Bookings, we strive to make a personalized email marketing campaign for each client to achieve the best possible outcome. We work with companies of all sizes, scaling their email marketing strategy to best fit their needs. Whether you are looking to bring in more potential guests, promoting the off-season, or even grab the attention of other property managers, a simple, effective email could change the course of your vacation rental company entirely.
Although newsletters are, by nature, sent to large numbers of past guests and leads, your guests (and future guests) expect (and deserve) a feel that is personal, with genuine gratitude for their choice of destination and an interest in their needs and experiences.
Here are an example collection of email campaigns that are sure to drive interest and bookings to your vacation rentals.
Extend a Warm Welcome: Creating The Welcome Series For New Leads
Welcome new guests with a series of 2-3 brief emails to drive engagement, boost confidence in your service, and help “welcome” them to the trip planning process and policies.
- Confirmation of booking to include policies and receipt – “Thank you for booking your stay with us”
- Helpful suggestions – “Top things to see and do during your stay”
- Know before you go – “Local tips and insight for a smooth visit”
Post-Stay Follow-Up: Five Star Review Generation
Thank your guests for their recent visit, expressing interest in feedback on their stay and encouraging them to secure their return trip. As they are faced with returning to “the real world”, this will be a welcome invitation
- Appreciation – “Thank you for your recent visit! We would love to hear about it”
- Plan your return – “We miss you already! Same time next year?”
- Special offer to revisit – “Your next visit can be even better with XX% off the nightly rate”
Limited-Time Offers: Drive Bookings With Urgency
Promote urgency with genuinely limited-time specials, scheduling reminder emails at designated intervals: offer launch, one week before sale ends, 48 hours before sale ending, and six hours before sale closes.
- First round offer – “Early birds book now for amazing deals”
- One week before – “This is your last week to save XX off your next visit to XX”
- 48 hours prior – “Don’t delay! Just TWO days left in this special offer for your getaway”
- Six hours before end of sale – “Your chance to save big on travel to XX ends TODAY!”
“Rebook” Specials: Give Past Guests Something Special
Target past guests who stayed last calendar year but have not yet booked this year. Encourage a return by sharing what’s new and popular highlights they may wish to revisit.
- “Challenge” – “Your last summer vacation was amazing! Shall we try to top it this year?”
- Reminder – “Looking ahead to the winter, it seems like something is missing – YOU”
- What’s new – “In case you missed it – check out these hot new attractions in XX”
Birthday/Anniversary Offers: Seasonal Reminders Of Past Guest Behavior
Target guests on their birthday or on the anniversary date of their last booking, offering small discounts for return visit. You can even designate offers in celebration of the anniversary of your business.
- Guest birthday – “Happy birthday, XX! Here’s a special offer to celebrate your special day”
- Guest anniversary – “This time last year, you were counting the days to your XX visit. Let’s do it again!”
- Your anniversary – “We’re celebrating XX years, and YOU get the gifts”
Subscriber Exclusives: Early Access
Everyone loves to feel like a VIP. Offer subscriber-only discounts and upgrades or share breaking news and specials a day or two prior to releasing details publicly.
- Subscriber offers – “Just for our VIP guests – take XX% off your next visit”
- Sneak peek news – “We’re announcing our biggest summer special yet – and you have first dibs”
Local Events: Using FOMO To Your Advantage
Encourage bookings by suggesting popular local events to attend, or getting ahead of the competition as the stand-out choice. Designate feature properties closest to the event site.
- Event related savings – “Planning to attend XX this fall? Book your stay today and save”
- Event locations – “Stay close to all the action of XX! Book now for best selection”
Updates & Renovations: Property Specials
Make sure your guests know when improvement projects are planned to your most popular rental properties. Special offers can help to stabilize bookings during renovations, updates or anytime an owner is asking you a few too many questions about why they’re down year-over-year.
- Exclusivity – “Be among the first to stay in our freshly renovated condos! Now accepting summer bookings”
- During renovations – “Will these special offers help you to pardon our dust as we make some improvements?”
Holiday Highlights: Matching With Guest Travel Planning
Create ideal itineraries to enjoy a holiday stay or special celebration for your destination featuring community festivities and seasonal offerings unique to your location.
- Special event – “Top 5 reasons to celebrate a family reunion/honeymoon in XX”
- Holiday – “Your guide to a perfect family Christmas in XX”
- Seasonal highlights – “Chase the colors of autumn from these scenic retreats”
Other Email Marketing Ideas To Integrate
While the below examples may not be full-on email campaigns, they can neatly fit into the campaign ideas above or become a regular part of your standard email marketing template.
Sell Your Destination
Spotlight new businesses opening, changes to favorite local menus, etc. Connect with the businesses you feature to offer special deals to your guests!
- Partner offers – “Book now and receive 20% off your tickets to XX”
- Contests – “Guests who book this month will be entered to win a free meal for two”
- Local favorites – “Craft beer fans unite! XX’s most popular burger joint has added local brews just in time for summer”
Let Your Guests Speak For You
Have you received exceptional praise via Google, Yelp, Facebook, or elsewhere? Share guest feedback that goes above and beyond to make your location irresistible.
- “Teaser” guest review – “John Q. from Hoboken could not believe we did this!”
- “Shameless plug” guest review – “Jane S. from Mesquite says we are the ONLY place to stay in XX! Find out why”
Introduce key employees, owners, staff, or even longtime loyal guests in spotlight features to offer in-depth insight and a personal connection that encourages loyalty.
- Longtime guest spotlight – “Mary T. has been visiting us every summer for 20 years. This year, she brought her granddaughter along for the first time”
- Staff spotlight – “Bob R. goes the extra mile to make your stay a one-of-a-kind experience”
Tools like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Get Response all allow you to test what works best for you. Creating two different email templates with a different subject line and sending half to one email list and the other to the other half is a great way to track what your guests are interested in. This software makes it easy to link to social media, a direct website, or even unsubscribe if that is what the consumer chooses to do.
While it is important to have email software, it may also be beneficial to incorporate some sort of SEO tool. At BuildUp Bookings, we use Clearscope in combination to Mailchimp. These tools help send email newsletters that consumers are interested in and engage with. While Google doesn’t crawl emails sent out looking for keywords, the keywords may catch a client or consumer’s eye.
No matter your needs, BuildUp Bookings strives to bring in more direct bookings with their in-depth marketing plan. Implementing the use of different email templates, software, and other tools can assure to bring in more vacation rental bookings.