Vacation Rental Book Direct Webinar
StayFi Founder Arthur Colker and Boostly Founder Mark Simpson team up for this webinar on “Turning Lookers Into Bookers – Direct Marketing Tactics You Can Implement Today.” In this video, Arthur & Mark will discuss how vacation rental managers of any size can implement tactics to increase brand awareness, conversion, loyalty, and ultimately more direct bookings.
Both Arthur & Mark believe that core to building any sustainable short-term rental business is ensuring you are not dependent on any single OTA. Instead, resilient businesses require building their own loyal customer base that books direct no matter what OTAs or the economy does in the future.
In this video, experts in the field, Arthur Colker from StayFi and Mark Simpson from Boostly, go into depth in this informative video on how to increase your vacation rental direct bookings. They discuss:
- Why Email Marketing Still Work
- How & Why To Collect Guest Data
- Branding & Educating Guests On #BookDirect With StayFi
- How To Build a Vacation Rental Website That Converts
Why Email Marketing?
Email marketing is the number one most effective marketing tool with the highest ROI out of any type of marketing tactic. Hubspot found that email marketing generates $42 for every $1 spent, a 4200% ROI. Furthermore, Hubspot found that engagement with marketing emails is increasing over time, not decreasing. This is because it is a direct line of communication with consumers with 99% of people checking their email inbox at least once per day – often first thing in the morning.
For vacation rental managers, an email marketing tool can be especially effective because you can advertise repeat stays, additional services offered, as well as cross-marketing real estate or other businesses you are engaged in.
3 Steps to Getting More Vacation Rental Direct Bookings
As a property management company, you typically don’t even have easy access to the information of the primary guest who booked through on OTA, and definitely not information from the other guests in the home. With StayFi, you can easily obtain the information of every single guest that stays at the property by capturing their data when they log into the WiFi. The first step to a successful marketing strategy is to be able to reach your target audience and with StayFi, you know every email you collect is from guests who have booked and loved staying in your properties.
In addition, ensuring your marketing messages are relevant and timely is key for engagement and conversation. Since StayFi collects data during the stay, you can easily cater the messages during and post-stay to be the most relevant message to your guests. Whether that be pre-stay, during the stay or post-stay, it is important to send a message applicable to that guest. StayFi’s technology has been proven to be successful as those who have used it record that more than half of the additional repeat, direct bookings come from guests who were not the primary guest from the first stay
As previously mentioned, you can obtain information including emails and phone numbers from all guests using StayFi. What then? You should set up a proper marketing plan in order to optimize your return rate of guests – which StayFi has made easier than it sounds. The best way to start is through email automation – a simple way to ensure all guests receive a series of marketing messages after logging in through the WiFi.
Important to this type of automation is to create the correct email type to be sent out depending on how far removed the guest is from their stay. An appropriate message for the day after check out would no longer be appropriate three months later. Tailoring your message to properly communicate with guests is extremely important as it can increase your chances of that guest rebooking. StayFi provides a guide to how to set up email automation, including Mailchimp templates in this article. Another new feature that StayFi has just added is its own text marketing tool, which you can read about here as well.
After you’ve completed the first two steps you are well on your way to increasing your direct bookings! This last step is extremely important. Once a guest gets your automated email and they decide to click on the link to your website, you have to make sure that they want to rebook. This can be accomplished with a professional website that looks dependable enough for a guest to rebook. Here are Mark Simpson’s main points when creating a website:
- A “proper” direct booking website is extremely powerful
- Use WordPress to appear trustworthy to guests
- Make your website aesthetically pleasing
If you want to read more about Mark Simpson’s website service and other direct marketing offerings, check out his company Boostly.
As Arthur and Mark both remarked throughout the entire seminar, these marketing tools can be quite a hassle to set up, but once finished it can improve direct bookings and can dramatically increase traffic to your website.. The commonly used phrase in marketing “set it and forget it” is extremely applicable here because once these tools are put in place they require very little maintenance and the return on investment is well worth the time taken to get it started.