The great thing about returning guests is that they're already pre-qualified: you've likely screened them over the phone, and more importantly, they've already stayed in your home and left it in good shape, so you know you can trust them.
Even if your past guests loved your home, they may have lost your contact information or forgotten your property number since their stay. A newsletter is a great way to make your property top of mind once again.
What can you include in your newsletter?Your newsletter is your chance to remind past guests about what's special about your home and vacation market, and it's also the perfect opportunity to boast about your additions and updates. You might consider including:
- Photos of your home taken during the upcoming season (For example, as winter approaches, consider adding photos of your property under a fresh blanket of snow.)
- Details about anything new you've added to your home (e.g ice cream maker, Egyptian cotton sheets in the master bedroom, new plush bath towels)
- Last-minute openings (Your e-mail might just be the catalyst they need to take that weekend getaway they've been talking about!)
- Discounts or special offers you are running for off-season times (For example, you could encourage your past guests to book far-in-advance by offering this year's rates for next year.)
- A list of upcoming events or festivals in your area
- Current airfare prices to your destination from major metro markets
- Personal touches like holiday greetings, recipes, etc.
- Responses to any complaints that you've read about in your guestbook (For example: “We read some of you were without a blender during your stay. We're so sorry. We just bought a new one!”)
While it may be tempting to send your newsletter or updates to your past guests through your regular e-mail program, you may be breaking e-mail laws according to CAN-SPAM.
That's why it's in your best interest to send any mass e-mail communication through an e-mail marketing program like Constant Contact or iContact.
Online e-mail programs make the process of managing e-mail addresses easier than ever, and you can send the newsletter at the interval that you find the most convenient (monthly, seasonally, or annually). Some even have their own sample templates that you can use.
There are many online options to choose from and they typically range in cost from $10 to $50 per month, depending on how many e-mails you plan to send.
Who can I send a newsletter to?
Legally you can only send a newsletter to a customer (someone who has paid for a stay in your vacation rental) or someone who specifically opts in. That means you cannot include people who have only inquired about your property, even if you have had several emails back and forth with them. Because of the legal particulars, we highly recommend that you use one of the email marketing programs available online.
Creating an email newsletter is a simple and cost-effective way to remind past renters of your vacation home. Even if you are not the most web-savvy homeowner, you can still create a newsletter that does the job. Interested but still not convinced you can do it on your own? Download our sample newsletter now!