You’ve doubtlessly heard of Black Friday before, but have you ever considered using some Black Friday marketing tactics to improve your vacation rental business? Starting on Black Friday all the way through Travel Tuesday, you have an opportunity to jump in with other businesses and promote great deals in order to draw in more guests. Below, find more information about Black Friday and other big shopping days in the United States, as well as eight tips and tricks for your vacation rental’s Black Friday marketing strategy.
What Is Black Friday?
The Friday after Thanksgiving is often referred to as “Black Friday” in the United States. On this day, many stores have huge sales that promise amazing savings. They tend to open very early in the morning or even late on Thanksgiving night. Since 2005, Black Friday has been the busiest shopping day of the year in the US.
What Is Cyber Monday?
The e-commerce term “Cyber Monday” was first used in 2005, and Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving. It’s a day full of online shopping sales and is typically the United States’ second-biggest shopping day of the year (the biggest shopping day being Black Friday).
What Is Travel Tuesday?
Travel Tuesday takes place the day after Cyber Monday. It’s dedicated to all sorts of travel deals, from cheap flights to discounted stays at hotels. It’s also an opportunity for vacation rental property owners to market their businesses and attract new guests!
8 Tips & Tricks for Black Friday Marketing
1. Plan for Friday through Tuesday
Don’t just plan to market Black Friday deals. Instead, plan all the way from Friday through the next Tuesday (aka Travel Tuesday). Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday are all opportunities to market your vacation rental property and draw in new guests. Consider different types of promotions and how they could affect your business. You might offer a discounted rate for stays booked a certain number of months in advance, or you might create a deal where guests get a discount for booking a longer stay. There are tons of options to think about; be sure to consider the pros and cons of each and double-check that you haven’t set your prices so low that you’ll lose money.
2. Offer sneak peeks of your sale in the weeks and months before
Start to generate interest in the different sales and promotions you’re running in the weeks and even months before Black Friday. Show sneak peeks of the amazing deals potential guests can take advantage of. You want to build up some excitement around your vacation rental so that potential guests make the decision to book a stay or buy a vacation package that you’re offering. These sneak peeks could be text, photos, or even videos; just make sure you’re posting intriguing information that will make people want to check out your Black Friday deals.
3. Put together an email campaign ahead of time
An email campaign can be an excellent way to inform past and potential guests about your Black Friday promotions. For the best results, plan out, write and schedule your email campaign before the big day arrives. You could send emails such as a Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Travel Tuesday special offer announcement, followed up with a sneak peek email showing specific dates that guests could book a stay and their discount prices. The next email could be a “24 hours left until the sale ends” reminder, and then a sale extended announcement if you want to continue the deal and possibly get some additional bookings after the big sale days have passed. Most email campaigns are sent out around nine or ten in the morning.
4. Update last year’s landing page (or create a landing page)
A landing page is a web page that is specifically created for a marketing campaign. It’s called a landing page because it’s where visitors land when they click on a link in an email or on ads on Google and social media platforms. Web pages typically encourage visitors to click around and explore, but landing pages have a different function. They’re meant to focus on a single goal, or call to action (often shortened to CTA). In the case of your vacation rental property, the CTA is to book a stay.
If you already have a landing page from last year, take a look at it and adjust it to fit this year. If you don’t have a landing page, consider hiring a professional copywriter to do it. Or, if you’re interested in writing it yourself, be sure to check out our article that goes over some of the basics of copywriting.
5. Include a countdown on your website
A countdown on your website is an effective method of creating urgency and fostering excitement in your visitors. It also ensures anyone who visits your website won’t forget that you will soon have some great sales and promotions going on. Ideally, you should have a timer that counts down to the beginning of your sale, and then another timer that counts down to the end of your sale.
Once your sale has begun and people can see their time to take advantage of the deal literally ticking away, they’re likely to develop a feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out). This feeling can be very effective in convincing potential guests to book a stay at your vacation rental property. Studies have shown that consumers anticipate feeling regret if they don’t take advantage of deals, even when they know that the business deliberately creates the scarcity shown by the timer.
6. Take advantage of social media marketing
Social media marketing is a great way to share information about the promotions you’ll be running for Black Friday. If you don’t already have a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, it’s time to get it started! The key is to post consistently and keep your brand cohesive over all platforms. You can easily maintain a cohesive brand by using the same name and logo for your vacation rental on all platforms. Posting consistently can be difficult and time-consuming without a Property Management System, but if you do use one, you can write all of your social media posts at once and set them to be posted at various times throughout the week.
7. Activate instant booking
It’s a good idea to activate instant booking during your Black Friday promotions. Guests are less likely to book a stay at your vacation rental if they find they have to send a booking request and wait for it to be approved. If there’s another similar vacation rental near yours that accepts instant booking, they might choose to stay there instead simply because of the convenience.
However, even with instant booking, you can still ensure guests stick to various requirements. Just be sure to outline your guest screening practices in your rental agreement, such as a required age for guests and the number of guests allowed to stay at your rental. If guests break any rules or don’t meet your requirements but still book your rental, you can cancel the booking and give them a refund. Since they broke the rules or didn’t fit the requirements you clearly stated in your rental agreement, there won’t be any repercussions for cancelling the reservation.
8. Don’t forget to shop the sales yourself
Black Friday isn’t just a great chance for you to draw in new guests with great deals. It’s also the perfect time for you to shop the sales and purchase things you need for your vacation rental property. Considering there are deals on just about everything, it’s a chance to stock up on various amenities and toiletries, replace old appliances, or buy an outdoor seating setup.
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, and it’s followed up by Cyber Monday (a day of online sales) and Travel Tuesday (a day of travel-related deals). Marketing your vacation rental during this time is a great way to add more bookings to your calendar while offering great deals to your guests. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you with your Black Friday vacation rental marketing strategy:
- Plan for Friday through Tuesday, instead of planning for Black Friday on its own.
- Offer sneak peeks of your sale in the weeks and months before Black Friday to generate interest.
- Put together an email campaign ahead of time to spread the word about your Black Friday deals.
- Update last year’s landing page (or create a landing page if you don’t already have one).
- Include a countdown on your website to give potential guests an incentive to book a stay before the sale ends.
- Take advantage of social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
- Activate instant booking, so it’s easy for guests to book a stay during your sale or promotion.
- Don’t forget to shop the sales yourself and invest in items that you need for your vacation rental property.