Master vacation rental email marketing with our expert tips! Learn strategies to boost bookings, engage guests, and maximize your vacation rental's potential.

As a vacation rental owner, you've probably heard the buzz about social media marketing for promoting vacation rentals. And although rumors are true, don't skip vacation rental email marketing, which is a low-budget strategy to attract potential guests.

A well-executed email marketing strategy can nurture your relationship with old guests and attract new visitors to your property listings. With 60% of consumers saying they purchased products due to email marketing campaigns, you can't afford to lose that opportunity.

However, take it from our experience: don't expect to spam users with offers and get overlapping bookings. Success takes time, but we're here to help you get there! That's why we've compiled our best email marketing tips to get you started on the right foot.

What is Email Marketing for a Vacation Rental Company?

Email marketing is about sending newsletters to past guests or potential visitors to stay on top of their minds when they're ready to book. Hosts can share valuable content with their audience through carefully curated emails, such as travel tips, news, announcements, or special offers.

Moreover, email marketing aims to nurture host-guest relationships and create an online community of loyal travelers who keep coming back. Property owners aim to build their reputation, increase sales, and spread positive word of mouth.

Vacation Rental Email Marketing: Tips to Secure More Bookings
Tips for repeat bookings in your vacation rental properties

Why Should I Do Email Marketing for My Vacation Rentals?

Here are the most important perks of investing in a vacation rental email marketing strategy:

  • Personalization. Email marketing is all about speaking to your audience on a personal level. You can adjust your message for specific groups based on preferences and behaviors and boost your booking rates significantly.
  • Cost-effectiveness. This a low-budget organic tactic that doesn't require money to begin with. So, if you're a small business owner who can't afford to invest in paid advertising for vacation rentals, you can create and send emails for free via platforms such as Mailchimp and Moosend.
  • Direct communication. Unlike social media, where posts are lost in the newsfeed, emails land directly in customers' inboxes. This increases visibility and engagement for your short-term rental business without depending on algorithms.
  • Sense of community. Digital marketing creates a loyal community (or fanbase) around your business. And email marketing helps you do that. Customers feel seen, valued, and appreciated, so they're more likely to purchase or return to your rentals for more.
Vacation Rental Email Marketing: Tips to Secure More Bookings
How to promote your vacation rental listing with email marketing

9 Practices for Your Vacation Rental Email Marketing

1. Offer Value, Not Just Promotions

Remember that constant promotions won't get you anywhere when setting your vacation rental email templates. Users nowadays are trained to expect valuable content for free before they purchase. And this is exactly what you should be giving them.

So skip the discounts and offers, or limit them significantly. Instead, focus on:

  • News about your vacation rental businesses
  • Local recommendations or hidden gems in your area
  • Tips and advice for planning their trip
  • Stories and testimonials from previous guests
  • Upcoming local events
  • Inspirational moments from your property
  • Your personal story
Vacation Rental Email Marketing: Tips to Secure More Bookings
Effective vacation rental marketing plan for property managers

2. Make Emails Visually Pleasing

The attention span online is around eight seconds, and nobody is up for reading large chunks of text. Users today buy with visuals, so if you haven't created high-quality photos for your vacation rental yet, make sure you do. Then, add those photos to your emails to help readers visualize the experience.

Some additional tips to make your vacation rental newsletter more appealing:

  • Use clear headings to break up text
  • Pick a readable font and stick to it
  • Add your logo on top of the newsletter for a more professional look
  • Use videos or gifs for an animated look and feel
Vacation Rental Email Marketing: Tips to Secure More Bookings
Build a vacation rental brand online with vacation rental email marketing

3. Inspire Wanderlust

Whether you have a stunning beach house or a small city apartment, you must sell the whole story to stand out in the competitive vacation rental industry. Your goal should be to infuse guests with the travel bag and persuade them to stay with you instead of your neighbor.

If your house is near a beautiful mountain, share pictures showcasing the surroundings. If you're in the hustle and bustle of the city, share activities your guests could do during their stay. Find your unique selling point and make potential guests crave what you offer. This is some stellar vacation rental marketing right there!

Vacation Rental Email Marketing: Tips to Secure More Bookings
Vacation rental newsletter for more bookings

4. Optimize Emails for Mobile

There's no bigger bummer than opening an email from your phone and seeing everything misplaced. In fact, more than 50% of users open newsletters from their mobiles, so before you send out a campaign, make sure your email marketing is mobile-first.

No, you don't have to be a developer to create mobile-optimized newsletters. If you join a free email marketing platform like Mailchimp, you can adjust your text and images for mobile with just a few clicks. So, there's really no excuse!

Vacation Rental Email Marketing: Tips to Secure More Bookings
Online marketing for vacation rental hosts

5. Set a Schedule

Don't send a campaign once and forget to talk to guests again. Vacation rental marketing takes consistency if you want to see results. Decide on an email marketing schedule and stick to it! Even if you're busy, create newsletters at the beginning of each month and schedule them to send automatically.

But how often should you send newsletters? It depends on your goals and strategy, but we'd recommend at least two newsletters monthly, which tend to get higher open rates. Always keep them concise and valuable, and don't spam users. Remember that guests entrusted you with their emails to receive local news and updates, so give them that.

Vacation Rental Email Marketing: Tips to Secure More Bookings
Market your vacation rental with email newsletters

6. Use Captivating Subject Lines

A subject line can make or break the success of your vacation rental marketing strategy. That's why they should be eye-catching, scroll-stopping, and authentic. Avoid click-bait subject lines that don't reflect your email's context. Because as soon as guests lose trust in your business, they'll quickly unsubscribe or downright ignore your emails.

Our tip is to create curiosity. For example, instead of a boring "December news & updates", go with "5 upcoming events you don't want to miss in December". Make them believe they could miss out on something exclusive if they don't open your newsletters. Keep subject lines between 30-50 characters.

Vacation Rental Email Marketing: Tips to Secure More Bookings
Vacation rental marketers should invest in email marketing

7. Use Calls-to-action

Calls-to-action guide guests where you want them to and encourage action. It's a vital flipping point that turns passive readers into active bookers. So always add links to your direct booking website or any new blog posts you might publish. Every link back to your site is an opportunity for a new sale.

In terms of mobile-friendliness, opt to have the CTA at the beginning, as users might not scroll all the way down to the end. As for the call-to-action, write engaging copy that'll have readers clicking for more. For instance, instead of "Learn more", try "Come relax with us!" with a link to your vacation rental property.

Vacation Rental Email Marketing: Tips to Secure More Bookings
Marketing vacation rentals with professional photos

8. Track Results

No email marketing efforts are concrete without tracking the results of your campaigns. Thankfully, most email marketing software provides performance-tracking indicators. Here are the most important metrics you should be checking:

  • Open rate. How many subscribers opened your emails? You should be aiming for at least 20%. Subject lines mainly affect open rates, so try to create a fear of missing out. The higher your open rates, the greater your domain authority for search engine optimization.
  • Click-through rate. How many readers clicked on a newsletter link? This comes down to how visually appealing and exciting your context is.
  • Conversion rate. How many people actually purchased from your vacation rental business? That's your ultimate goal and the reason you're sending a newsletter in the first place.
Vacation Rental Email Marketing: Tips to Secure More Bookings
Vacation rental marketing strategy for your own property

9. A/B Test

Your vacation rental marketing journey is all about trial and error. Try experimenting with new subject lines, different messaging, fresh visuals, and audience segmentations to see what's working and what's not. A/B testing is essentially the process of creating identical emails and changing assets on them.

At the end of the experiment, you get the final results of which newsletter had the biggest success, so you know what worked with your guests. Most email platforms offer A/B testing without additional charges. So try to improve your performance for a successful vacation rental business.

Vacation Rental Email Marketing: Tips to Secure More Bookings
Vacation rental marketers use email marketing platforms

Build a Sustainable Email Marketing Strategy

Vacation rental owners know first-hand that keeping a successful business is more than listing their property and welcoming guests. A vacation rental marketing plan is vital for every brand that wants to stay relevant. Social media alone won't do the trick.

With these tips, you now have the tools to stand out in a competitive rental market. However, it all starts with having your own website for direct bookings. Otherwise, you'll have no solid brand and no identity.

At Houfy, we help you create your own vacation rental website and secure your first direct bookings. No extra fees or secrets. Just a community of more than 50,000 guests and 15,000 hosts ready to support you. Create your listings online today!

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