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How to Use Mailchimp For Vacation Rental Email Marketing

StayFi Email Integrations

Vacation Rental Email Marketing

Email marketing is far from a new concept and actually builds on the time tested practice of direct mail advertising. A successful email marketing campaign is made up of three very important factors: data collection, a great product or deal, and eye-catching, informative creative. In the vacation rental industry, every communication with your guest is an opportunity to sell add-ons, offer new and exciting services, and most importantly – to get more vacation rental bookings. Vacation rental email marketing is the cornerstone of any successful vacation rental direct booking strategy.

From the very first email you send when your guest books, to emails that you send yearly on the anniversary of their last booking, the opportunity to give your guests the very best experience and most up-to-date information is made simple with the use of StayFi and its seamless integration with the popular email tool, Mailchimp. While StayFi’s guest WiFi service collects email addresses, names, and other pertinent information from every guest, not just the booker, Mailchimp is second to none in helping you create impressive and engaging emails to send out to the guest database you are building.

StayFi: Building Your Vacation Rental Email Marketing List

Collect Emails From Every Guest, Not Just The Booker

StayFi offers your vacation rental guests a safe and secure way to use the internet, but it is really so much more than just a simple Wi-Fi hotspot. With StayFi, you can customize your guests’ WiFi experience as well as collect important data that can be used for customer service, security, and marketing purposes. The experience is the same that guests are used to using at airports, hotels, and coffee stores. Guests have to log in through a custom-branded splash page in order to start using the WiFi.

StayFi Splash Page Builder

StayFi allows you to collect more than just one guest’s email address. The system allows for collection of every guest’s email, name, and other pertinent data that you can use while developing your marketing plan. Seamless integration with email newsletter services such as Mailchimp makes the process of sending out regular emails to your future, current, and past guests as simple as a few clicks of the mouse.

StayFi Email Integrations

Mailchimp: Vacation Rental Email Marketing Made Simple

Introduction to Mailchimp

So what exactly is Mailchimp, and why do you want to use it? Mailchimp is an online service that allows you to organize your mailing lists, design customizable templates, and send professional correspondence. Mailchimp makes the entire process of email marketing simple, efficient, and effective. By combining Mailchimp with your StayFi service, you will be sure all your guests are included in your newsletters, email blasts, special offers, and more. 

Integration is easy! StayFi connects to Mailchimp through a simple API connection. API stands for “Application Programing Interface”, and it is a process that allows web apps and websites to communicate directly with any given service – in this case, StayFi. That means that as soon as a guest logs into your vacation rental’s custom splash page, their information is collected and ready to send over to Mailchimp for use in your next vacation rental email marketing campaign. 

 

Getting Started With Mailchimp

Signing up for and setting up MailChimp is quick and painless. Follow these simple steps to get your first vacation rental email marketing campaign up and running.

Step 1: Sign up for a Mailchimp account.

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with your Mailchimp set-up guide. Mailchimp will guide you through setting up your first email campaign.

Mailchimp Sign Up

Step 3: Create your first email using one of Mailchimp’s pre-built drag and drop templates.

Mailchimp Email Templates

Step 4: Import any existing email contacts to Mailchimp

Step 5: Add an email sign up form to your website. Mailchimp makes it easy to add a sign up form to your website – even with many templated PMS direct booking sites – as long as you can insert code into the <head> of your website. 

Step 6: Integrate your Mailchimp account with StayFi. Follow instructions to create a Mailchimp API Key and find your Audience ID and paste these into the StayFi integration portal.

Sending Your First Vacation Rental Email Campaign

Step 1: Create Your Mailchimp Email Campaign

Go to the MailChimp Dashboard and select “Create” from the top menu. Then select the “Email” button. It is best to start off with a “Regular” campaign while you fine-tune your skills and learn your way around. Give your campaign a unique name. For a monthly newsletter, a good practice would be to include the month and year in the name, like “October 2020 Newsletter.” Subscribers don’t have access to this name so it really doesn’t matter what you choose so long as it makes sense to you.

Step 2: Assign Audience & Create Subject Line

On the next screen, you will be asked to select an audience to receive your email. Select your vacation rental guest list from the pulldown menu, then proceed to enter your email address in the “From” field before moving on to your “Subject”. Create an original, enticing email subject. This is something your subscribers will see, so make it something interesting that will get them to open the email. Then, click “Design Email” to let the creativity begin!

Mailchimp email creation
Step 3: Select Your Template

This is where the fun starts. You will be given a wide range of choices for designing your template. You can choose from one of the pre-designed templates or even create your own using the simple to use drag and drop block style editor.

Mailchimp Template Creator
Step 4: Compose Your Newsletter

Mailchimp’s editor couldn’t be easier to use. Choose a section you want to edit and double click it in order to gain access to that particular block and begin adding your own content. Keep in mind the content of your newsletter is going to make the difference between a successful campaign and one that falls flat. Include the unique appeal and pitch-points about your destination and your properties. Keep it relevant to what is happening now and in the near future. For instance, if there is a festival or event coming up in two months, be sure to mention that.

Mailchimp Email Template Creator
Step 5: Send Your Newsletter To Your Vacation Rental Email List

Once your newsletter is complete, you have the choice to send your email right away, or schedule to send it at a future date and time. Mailchimp also offers the option of time optimization, where they will suggest the best time for you to send your email. That’s it, you’re done. To monitor how well your newsletter is doing, navigate to the Reports section

Mailchimp email scheduler

The Possibilities Are Endless For Vacation Rental Email Marketing

Now that you have set up your first campaign it’s time to start thinking about how you want to set up your vacation rental email marketing strategy for the future. Mailchimp offers many features worth exploring, such as:

 – The ability to set up triggered automated emails and email drip series. 

 – Triggers can include new bookings, specific website activity, departure, and more.

 – A/B testing with automated selection of the best campaigns to use.

 – The ability to break your contact lists up into logical segments in order to make targeting of specific customers easy.

It is highly recommended to use the automation feature in order to ensure that emails get sent out in a timely and consistent manner. This feature is perfect for fresh bookings and allows you to send an automated and scheduled series of emails welcoming your guest, providing important information about their stay. This series can even follow them throughout their stay and into the future. With an email series like this, the marketing possibilities are endless.

StayFi makes data collection a completely automated process, and its quick and simple integration with Mailchimp offers the ability to send out professional newsletters to your guests. With Mailchimp, designing an eye-catching, high-quality newsletter is easy. Combine these processes, and you’re sure to be unstoppable!

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Conrad o'Connell

Conrad o'Connell

Conrad is the CEO & Founder of BuildUp Bookings. A digital marketing team that aims to create winning marketing campaigns for hospitality clients (vacation rental managers, B&B owners, resorts & boutique hotels).

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