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"Z Stage Build" by MakerBot Industries on flickr (CC BY 2.0)Always be selling, the old business mantra goes — as true for vacation rental owners as it is for the hardware store up the street.

While you have a finite amount of “product” to sell, not an endless supply of widgets, nothing is stagnant these days — and definitely not the vacation rental industry.

How can you keep your marketing plan evolving so you’re left tweaking, and not scrambling, as things change?

Your network needs care and feeding

I think the number one thing you can do to maintain a healthy marketing strategy is to look after the people who’ve either stayed with you in the past or wanted to.

It’s cheaper and easier to hold onto your existing fans than to attract and keep new ones. But a lot of vacation rental owners sink all their energy into attracting new guests. After all, some trips are once in a lifetime, or at least once in a decade — why would they come back? Continue Reading…

hello notecardFor the twelfth day of MyVR Marketing Tips, start the New Year by getting in touch with people who’ve rented from you in the past.

If you haven’t already been collecting this information, you may need to do a bit of research; focus on your records from the past year or two to help keep the amount of information a bit more manageable.

Once you have your email or mailing list prepared — use the method you think is most preferable to the people you want to reach — you’ll need to craft a message that will have some meaning to them. Try to put yourself in their shoes, and ask: “What’s in it for me?”

For people who’ve stayed with you in the past, relevant information might include:

  • Any improvements you’ve made to the property, especially if you’ve addressed things that were noted by past guests as deficiencies.
  • Letting people know they can connect with you on Pinterest and Facebook, as well as the sort of information you plan to share.
  • A heads up if you’re planning a rate change; let people know they still have time to book at last year’s rates.
  • A special promotion for these loyal customers, or a benefit for any friends they refer to you.

It’s always possible that past guests were in the area for a one-time trip. However, getting in touch reminds them you’re still there if they want to return, lets them know what’s been going on, and encourages word-of-mouth referrals.



This post is part of our 12 Days of Vacation Rental Marketing series. Subscribe to the blog and we’ll send you an email each day with a new post.

photo credit: Jen Collins

Email NewsletterFrom your website to your listings and advertising — not to mention actually attracting someone’s attention and moving them to inquire about availability — it takes a lot of effort to get someone to book your vacation rental property.

You can start from scratch with every potential renter, or you can shorten the cycle by reaching out to your “warm leads”: People who have previously stayed with you, or who inquired about your property but didn’t book.

There’s definitely some legwork involved, but by following these steps you can create a newsletter that will help you stay in touch with both your previous guests and potential renters.

Step 1: Create your contact list

When compiling your contact list, you may want to focus on people who’ve sent inquiries over a set period of time, like the previous year, to keep the volume more manageable. Continue Reading…