Email Marketing – How To Build A List
Prospective guests will come and go to and from your listing every day. Perhaps you captured their interest with your stunning photos, or your magical hypnotic text, but for whatever reason, they left without enquiring. Or maybe they did enquire but you didn’t have availability or the timing just didn’t work out.
This happens over and over again, and you could lose the chance of hundreds of interested people not being able to find you again.
Those prospects are hot. They liked what they saw and would definitely come back in the future if they could just remember where you are. So, your task is to capture them while they are so warm and give them the resources to find your listing or site again.
Capturing their email address
Creating a list of people who have shown interest in your property is a primary marketing task. This list means you can send newsletters or email ‘broadcasts’ announcing special offers, late availability and last minute cancellations.
However there are caveats to this. We all know that receiving unsolicited mail is annoying and generally unacceptable, so it is important to use a strategy called ‘permission marketing’ before you start promoting your place. This is particularly important when marketing to Canadians as the new anti-spam law has some specific restrictions related to the ways you are able to promote by email.
This means only marketing to people who have asked to hear about your place either because they have made an enquiry, have become a guest, or specifically requested to receive information from you.
You’ll be fine if you follow these tips:
Don't be mistaken for a spammer. Maintain the trust and confidence of your customers or clients by following these tips :
- Don't send a message without your client’s consent.
- Provide an opportunity for them to say no.
- Clearly identify yourself – your website or listing
- Be truthful in advertising. "Taxes included"
Where your list comes from…..
1. Past customers Your past guests are the first that should go on your list. These are the ones you already have a great relationship with; they have stayed at your place and hopefully have had a great time. They are most likely to want to hear more about the area such as new attractions, and local events.
2. Enquirers Your attractively presented listing, great photos and enticing text will encourage people to contact you, and technically this makes it OK to add them to your list since they have ‘implicitly’ requested more information. However there is a time limit on the length of time you can use those details.
3. Lookers These are the guys you never know about if you simply have a listing. While that may be enough to bring your high season traffic, you need a website in order to draw the lookers to check out additional information on your place and perhaps to ask you for more.
I have a list….now what?
You can collect your email list manually and store the data on an Excel spreadsheet, then use mail merge to send promotional emails, but that is unnecessary with so many inexpensive and free programs to do this for you.
These allow you to add the email addresses and create newsletters and email broadcasts, then will send them automatically at the date and time you set up. Features allow for the people on your list to ‘opt-in’ to receive more information from you, and to ‘unsubscribe’ from your list if they no longer want your emails.
Create a Lead Magnet
To encourage the lookers to sign up for your list you will need a ‘lead magnet’. This is a valuable piece of information that is enticing enough to get them to part with their email address. This could be a simple one-page resource sheet, a list of the best hikes in the area, or a comprehensive packing list.
How to keep them interested
If you deliver really interesting information on your area, people will not only want to remain on your list, they will also share with their friends. Remember that self-promotion is not the idea here. Don’t inundate your list with mail about your property, instead provide restaurant reviews, videos showing attractions in the area, lists of places to see, day-trip itineraries etc.
You will find that as the list builds over time, you create a group of people who love to visit your area and look forward to the information you send. They become your ambassadors and will share with their social networks creating a third-party volunteer marketing service. If you want to grow your off-season traffic, this is the way to do it.