Email Marketing: 4 Tips to Promote Your Airbnb Rental
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When it comes to promoting your Airbnb rental, you can’t afford to ignore email marketing. Despite the rise of digital marketing strategies like paid ads, social media, and SEO, email marketing remains one of the most effective strategies available.
According to Radicati, 3.9 billion users worldwide have email. This is an incredible amount of reach. Especially when your audience might be in far-flung corners of the world. How do you target folks in different time zones who use different social media apps and have different online habits? Email lets you contact those folks directly — right in their email box.
So, how do you use email to build your Airbnb empire? Here’s what you need to know.
1. Choose the Right Email Provider
Don’t send marketing emails from your standard email address. Besides taking a lot more work, it can expose your users’ addresses if you do a bulk send. It can also overwhelm your personal email account.
Instead, choose an email provider like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Drip. Mailchimp is a solid option for most Airbnb hosts because it offers a free plan for up to 2,000 contacts. This plan gives you access to most of their tools.
Along with email marketing these platforms also provide:
- Analysis of who is opening your emails
- Segmentation options
- Automation tools for scheduled emails.
This can take a lot of the work out of email marketing and help you stay connected with your subscribers.
You will also want to make sure the email provider you select plays nicely with your web host.
2. Build Your Airbnb Email List
Once you are set up with an email provider, it is time to begin building your email list. But how do you go about finding people to add to your email list?
Keep in mind — you cannot add people to your email list without their express permission. You cannot pull emails from marketing lists for other businesses you might own, scrape email addresses from the internet, or buy or rent email lists.
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 outlines the rules for sending commercial email. Violating that act can result in fines of up to $43,280 per email, so this is not an area you want to mess around with. Most other countries have similar laws. And sending spam is also against most email platforms’ terms and conditions. So you could get your account shut down.
It’s not worth the risk. Plus, it isn’t effective to email folks who did not sign up for your email list. It’s unlikely they are interested in your rentals, so you are wasting your time.
Here are a few non-spammy methods for building your Airbnb rental email list:
- Ask previous guests for express permission to email them (and let them know what you will send them — such as a newsletter)
- Add a newsletter opt-in form to your website, if you have one outside of Airbnb
- Create targeted Facebook ads to encourage travelers and renters to sign up for your email list
- Host a contest that requires an email address to register. But make sure you give subscribers the option to receive marketing materials.
3. Send out Content Your Subscribers Want to Read
You, like most email users, get hundreds of emails a day. In fact, the average office worker receives 121 emails every day. Do we read all of them? Likely not.
So, how do you make sure your emails get read? By delivering interesting content and information that your subscribers actually want to read — not just sales emails about your rentals.
Here are a few ideas for sending content your subscribers will actually want to read:
- A list of upcoming events in your area
- Travel tips, such as what to pack or how to entertain kids on a plane
- Reviews from past renters, including personal stories about what they did while they stayed at one of your rentals or what their favorite part of your city was (with permission, of course)
- Send check-in or check-out day reminders, with links to other rentals where you host
- Send a thank-you email after their stay, with unobtrusive links to other rentals. These could even be scheduled and include a review request.
- Delight previous customers with candid photos. For example, if you own a farm, you could send a photo of family members playing with baby goats. A holiday photo can convey warmth and spark reconnection.
Just remember — you cannot send marketing messages without permission. And it’s good practice to keep your opt-in lists: one day you may need to be able to prove you have permission.
4. Email Marketing Best Practices
Before you dive into email marketing, here a few best practices to keep in mind:
- Don’t over-send. Plan to send emails every 2-4 weeks, not every day. Over-sending can annoy users and reduce subscribers.
- Make it mobile-friendly. Most people access email on their mobile device, so make sure your message is easy to read on smartphones.
- Use triggers. Most email providers allow you to use triggers that send an email when a specific event occurs, such as a website visit or ebook download.
- Include a clear call to action. What step do you want readers to take after they read your email? Make sure this is clear and links or forms are easy to use (and mobile-friendly).
- Personalize your email greeting. Personalize the email greeting so the message feels personal. This can increase open rates.
Email can be an incredibly effective way to build a successful business on Airbnb. However, there are legal concerns to keep in mind. Above all, play by the rules and don’t spam your list.
Focus on providing value to the reader — even if it’s a simple photo — and you’ll maintain and grow your network of AirBnB guests and prospects.
Join my Airbnb Host Community Email List. I will send you Airbnb hosting best practices and tips to increase your operating margins. Sometimes, I’ll even surprise you with an awesome giveaway!
Danielle Antosz is a Chicago-based content marketer.