Email marketing is a highly effective way to turn potential guests into official guests with a booking on your calendar. It can also convince past guests to come back for another stay at your amazing vacation rental property. As a marketing tactic, email campaigns provide a great return on investment. According to a study done by DBS Data, you can earn $38 for every $1 you put into email marketing! As you can see, it’s worth it to put some effort into creating an effective email campaign for your vacation rental business. Check out 12 of our best tips below.
- 1 1. Welcome new subscribers
- 2 2. Reward your most loyal subscribers
- 3 3. Create special offers
- 4 4. Build multiple email lists
- 5 5. Send out limited-time deals to fill your calendar
- 6 6. Create visual emails and optimize them for mobile
- 7 7. Participate in Black Friday/Travel Tuesday marketing
- 8 8. Send an email after each stay ends
- 9 9. Reach out to past guests
- 10 10. Send out social proof
- 11 11. Inform your subscribers of local events
- 12 12. Publicize your renovations and new or improved amenities
- 13 Main Takeaways
1. Welcome new subscribers
Whenever you have a new subscriber, you have an opportunity to turn them into a guest (if they haven’t booked a stay at your rental property already). Treat your new subscribers like they are guests by welcoming them to your subscriber list with a nice email that has a personalized subject line and greeting.
For new leads, you can send a brief series of emails to promote engagement, boost their confidence in your vacation rental business, and introduce them to the process of planning a trip and booking a stay at your rental property.
For guests that have just booked a stay and have been added to your email list that way, start off with a “Thanks for booking your stay with us,” email, complete with their receipt and your rental policies. You can follow that up with another email a couple of days later focused on the top things to see and do in the area during their stay. You can even send a final email a week or two before their stay that includes lots of local tips and additional insight on how to make their trip go as smoothly as possible.
2. Reward your most loyal subscribers
Subscriber-only upgrades and discounts are a great way to make your loyal subscribers feel like VIPs. You could also share your specials or any news with your subscribers a day or two early, before you post anything on social media or your website. This feeling of exclusivity makes it rewarding for your subscribers to remain subscribed. Think of emails with subject lines like “For our VIP list only: Take X% off your next stay at (your vacation rental’s name)!”
3. Create special offers
Special offers are an excellent method of promoting repeat visits from previous guests. For example, you could send out an email on a previous guest’s birthday or on the anniversary of their last stay at your vacation rental. In these emails, you could offer a small discount for your guests’ next stay. This can potentially keep your guests coming back to your vacation rental property for years to come.
4. Build multiple email lists
Rather than just having one giant email list with all past and potential guests, build multiple lists. You can segment your contacts based on their age range, whether they’re repeat guests, where they’re from, and where the lead was generated. Or perhaps you want to separate guests into couples, families, remote workers, and other groups that you can appeal to in slightly different ways. Then, you can write up specific emails that target each of the groups.
5. Send out limited-time deals to fill your calendar
This tip is especially helpful during the off-season when you want to pick up some more bookings. Limited-time deals come with a sense of urgency that can convince potential guests to book a stay now instead of a few months down the road. Send out reminder emails when launching the deal, one week before the deal ends, and 24 hours before the deal is over. Sending these reminders can keep the idea of booking a stay at your rental fresh in potential guests’ minds and increase their sense of urgency as the deal comes to a close.
6. Create visual emails and optimize them for mobile
Rather than filling your emails with text, focus on creating visual emails. Include high-quality pictures of your vacation rental, as well as aesthetically pleasing photos of your interior design, amenities, and the view. This can truly inspire your email subscribers to travel and book a stay at your vacation rental, and it enables them to picture themselves at your rental more than they could with text alone. Of course, remember to optimize all of your emails for mobile so that photos display correctly. Since most people check their email from their phone, this is an important step in creating an effective email campaign.
7. Participate in Black Friday/Travel Tuesday marketing
Black Friday is a huge day of sales that takes place right after Thanksgiving. The following Tuesday is known as Travel Tuesday, and it’s a day focused on incredible travel deals, from cheap flights to savings on hotels and vacation rentals. Jump on this seasonal marketing trend and secure extra bookings while offering guests a great deal! Check out our article that covers Black Friday marketing for more information on how to run effective promotions during this time.
8. Send an email after each stay ends
After each stay ends, you have an opportunity to reach out and further improve the guest experience. Start by genuinely thanking your guests for their visit and letting them know that you’d love some feedback from them. You can then encourage your guests to stay with you again should they ever travel to the same area in the future. A small discount can definitely be enticing, especially because your guests will receive this email as they’re traveling back home and getting back to their everyday life. An offer to return to your relaxing vacation rental is likely to be a welcome one!
9. Reach out to past guests
Create an email list of guests who stayed at your vacation rental property within the last calendar year, but haven’t yet booked a stay for this year. You can encourage them to return to your vacation rental by sharing popular highlights from the area or talking about what’s new at your vacation rental that they won’t want to miss. Inform them of any exciting events taking place and let them know they’re always welcome at your vacation rental property.
You’ve likely received at least a few glowing reviews through your vacation rental website or any of the listing sites your rental is posted on. Share those great reviews with your email lists to show them that it’s not just you that thinks your vacation rental is awesome–people who have stayed there before love it too. You can use fun email subject lines like “Jen S. from New York couldn’t believe we had this amenity!” or “Stan C. from Topeka says (name of your vacation rental) is the only place he’ll stay when in (your city)! Find out why!”
11. Inform your subscribers of local events
Another great way to make your email campaign more effective is to share information about what’s going on in the community around your vacation rental property. Your property doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and local events can draw guests to the area, where they’ll conveniently already know of a great place to stay while they’re in attendance–your vacation rental. Talking about local events can even induce a feeling of FOMO, or a fear of missing out, that convinces your potential guests to finally schedule a stay at your property.
You can suggest popular local events that potential guests may want to attend, or you could even promote yourself as the standout choice when compared to your competition. For event-related emails, you could use subject lines like, “Planning to attend (local event) this summer? Book your stay today!” or “Stay X minutes away from the action of (local event) by booking a trip to (your vacation rental’s name)!”
12. Publicize your renovations and new or improved amenities
As a vacation rental owner, you’re constantly making tweaks and adding new amenities to your property. Capitalize on these renovations and new additions to your vacation rental by sharing them with your guests! High-quality photos of your luxurious new mattress and bedding for the master bedroom, a new tile backsplash in the kitchen, or an impressive inground pool can all convince potential guests to book a stay. You can also create special offers to stabilize bookings during times of renovation. For example, when you’re putting in a pool, you might offer a certain percentage off a guest’s next stay so that they’ll be more willing to pardon the work going on at the property.
Want to make your vacation rental email campaign as effective as possible? Stick to the following tips:
- Welcome new subscribers.
- Reward your most loyal subscribers.
- Create special offers.
- Build multiple email lists.
- Send out limited-time deals to fill your calendar.
- Create visual emails and optimize them for mobile.
- Participate in Black Friday/Travel Tuesday marketing.
- Send an email after each stay ends.
- Reach out to past guests.
- Send out social proof.
- Inform your subscribers of local events.
- Publicize your renovations and new or improved amenities.