BooksterThere are tried and tested techniques which you can use to build a trusted connection with your guests which will: Reduce cancellations Improve guest reviews (to attract new guests) Encourage repeat bookings. Bookster already supports your guest relationships as part of our services. However there are techniques you should consider for your business. Promote your property accurately - setting expectations too high only leads to disappointment, it's better to be realistic in photos and descriptions. Add value to your guest experience, eg leaving welcome packs in the property. Extra communication with your guests at key stages of their trip - we'll look at this further below. In this article we look at 4 emails that you can automate and send to your guests - each email will achieve different objectives: Pre arrival welcome email Post arrival email Post departure email (2 options) 1. Pre arrival guest email Objective 1: Reduce pre-arrival cancellations Objective 2: Build guest relationships Objective 3: Increase confidence that your property is right for your guest In the November 2019 event with our channel partner Booking.com, they advised that contacting guests before arrival can significantly reduce cancellation rates. Turn on the charm Creating a polite and warm welcome email can have a positive effect on your guests. You’ll show you’re open, interested and responsive to your guests. Do you already have a logo? Then use it. Branding your email will show that you’re professional and legitimate, which is reassuring, especially where money is involved. Let your personality shine Being personable really helps. The guest knows that you’ll be happy to help them if there is a hiccup - and hopefully in the unlikely event that a problem occurs, the guest will be more forgiving. Stir up excitement Adding a quality photo of your property is a good reminder of your legitimacy and quality of your property and the local area. It is also a great way to generate excitement for their visit. 2. Post arrival guest email Objective 1: Improve quality of reviews Objective 2: Identify any problems to resolve Objective 3: Build relationships Keeping in touch with your guests can work to really help your quality guest reviews, and encouraging those guests to return. This really works in the vacation rentals industry. A short but warm welcome to check the guest is happy can identify and resolve issues early on. Remind the guest to contact you or the property manager if there are problems can iron out any hiccups - leading to a happier stay for the guest, and better reviews at the end. Important: Ensure that you find a way to resolve any guest issues, otherwise this stage doesn’t add any value. Don’t forget to ask for a review at the end of the stay. 3. Post departure guest email (2 options) Once the guest has left there are two options available: Encourage repeat bookings from the guest. Encourage happy guests to leave positive reviews to attract new guests. Don’t try to achieve too much in one email - multiple options leads to inaction. Choose what is most important to you to do first, and then if you want, send a further email a week or so later. Email 1 - Increase repeat and new bookings Soon after departure send an email wishing the guests well, and provide a Promo Code. Use your imagination to create Promos for your Promo Code that are interesting, exciting and don’t eat into your profits. Your knowledge of your local area could create some wonderful experiences for guests. Consider: A fixed or % discount for a specific period to increase revenue in your shoulder seasons. A discount amount or % discount for a longer visit. Providing additional value in the property eg free welcome basket or free airport collection. Offer an incentive that works with a local company eg free breakfast at a local restaurant. Some property managers restrict this Promo Code for the returning guests only, but we’d recommend re-thinking this. Why not encourage your guest to share it with their friends and family? Word of mouth advertising by previous guests is priceless. Email 2: Increase reviews Customers are increasingly turning to reviews for an independent assessment of goods and services. This is especially so in the holiday rentals industry. Some property managers use independent review companies like our partner Feefo to collect those reviews, but you can do it yourself too. Contact your guests after they leave and politely request a review - this could be on your website, or on a channel that you work with. Remember that it’s not the end of the world if you get a review that doesn’t reflect all the hard work that you invest in your property business. Take a deep breath, reply politely and consider how you could avoid that scenario in the future. The way in which you reply can be more relevant to potential guests than the original complaint.

4 Essential Guest Emails

Written by Kelly Odor

Building good relationships with guests starts from the moment they see or hear about your property.

Automated guest emails for holiday rentals - What automated emails should you send to your holiday rental guests?
What automated emails should you send to your holiday rental guests?

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We look at 4 emails you should consider sending to your guests to boost your business results.

Word of mouth advertising by previous guests is priceless.

There are tried and tested techniques which you can use to build a trusted connection with your guests which will:

  • Reduce cancellations
  • Improve guest reviews (to attract new guests)
  • Encourage repeat bookings.

Bookster already supports your guest relationships as part of our services. However there are techniques you should consider for your business.

  • Promote your property accurately - setting expectations too high only leads to disappointment, it's better to be realistic in photos and descriptions.
  • Add value to your guest experience, eg leaving welcome packs in the property.
  • Extra communication with your guests at key stages of their trip - we'll look at this further below.

In this article we look at 4 emails that you can automate and send to your guests - each email will achieve different objectives:

  1. Pre arrival welcome email 

  2. Post arrival email

  3. Post departure email (2 options)


1. Pre arrival guest email

Objective 1: Reduce pre-arrival cancellations
Objective 2: Build guest relationships
Objective 3: Increase confidence that your property is right for your guest

In the November 2019 event with our channel partner Booking.com, they advised that contacting guests before arrival can significantly reduce cancellation rates.

Turn on the charm

Creating a polite and warm welcome email can have a positive effect on your guests. You’ll show you’re open, interested and responsive to your guests.

Do you already have a logo? Then use it.

Branding your email will show that you’re professional and legitimate, which is reassuring, especially where money is involved.

Let your personality shine

Being personable really helps.

The guest knows that you’ll be happy to help them if there is a hiccup - and hopefully in the unlikely event that a problem occurs, the guest will be more forgiving.

Stir up excitement

Adding a quality photo of your property is a good reminder of your legitimacy and quality of your property and the local area. It is also a great way to generate excitement for their visit.

2. Post arrival guest email

Objective 1: Improve quality of reviews
Objective 2: Identify any problems to resolve
Objective 3: Build relationships

Keeping in touch with your guests can work to really help your quality guest reviews, and encouraging those guests to return.

This really works in the vacation rentals industry.

A short but warm welcome to check the guest is happy can identify and resolve issues early on.

Remind the guest to contact you or the property manager if there are problems can iron out any hiccups - leading to a happier stay for the guest, and better reviews at the end.

Important: Ensure that you find a way to resolve any guest issues, otherwise this stage doesn’t add any value.

Don’t forget to ask for a review at the end of the stay.

3. Post departure guest email (2 options)

Once the guest has left there are two options available:

  • Encourage repeat bookings from the guest.
  • Encourage happy guests to leave positive reviews to attract new guests.

Don’t try to achieve too much in one email - multiple options leads to inaction.

Choose what is most important to you to do first, and then if you want, send a further email a week or so later.

Email 1 - Increase repeat and new bookings

Soon after departure send an email wishing the guests well, and provide a Promo Code.

Use your imagination to create Promos for your Promo Code that are interesting, exciting and don’t eat into your profits.

Your knowledge of your local area could create some wonderful experiences for guests.

Consider:

  • A fixed or % discount for a specific period to increase revenue in your shoulder seasons.
  • A discount amount or % discount for a longer visit.
  • Providing additional value in the property eg free welcome basket or free airport collection.
  • Offer an incentive that works with a local company eg free breakfast at a local restaurant.

Some property managers restrict this Promo Code for the returning guests only, but we’d recommend re-thinking this.

Why not encourage your guest to share it with their friends and family? Word of mouth advertising by previous guests is priceless.

Email 2: Increase reviews

Customers are increasingly turning to reviews for an independent assessment of goods and services.

This is especially so in the holiday rentals industry. Some property managers use independent review companies like our partner Feefo to collect those reviews, but you can do it yourself too.

Contact your guests after they leave and politely request a review - this could be on your website, or on a channel that you work with.

Remember that it’s not the end of the world if you get a review that doesn’t reflect all the hard work that you invest in your property business.

Take a deep breath, reply politely and consider how you could avoid that scenario in the future.

The way in which you reply can be more relevant to potential guests than the original complaint.

Everything you need to grow your holiday rental business.

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Make mobile friendly emails

We've all heard that mobile is growing in importance, and this is especially so in the vacation rental industry. 

It's highly likely that your guests will see your emails in their mobile device, so it's important to make it in a format that they can read.

Here's some tips:  

  1. Make your email title short and attractive.
  2. Break up your sentences so the text is less intense.
  3. Use an image of your property, and name it. 
  4. Once you’ve finished it - send yourself a test email and look at it on your mobile AND your desktop to see how the title and content look.

How Bookster supports guest communications

Bookster is committed to supporting our clients. Therefore we offer:

Additionally, you can create your own emails to automatically send to your guests using our Marketing Email tool.

How to create Automated emails with Bookster

  1. Open the Bookster Marketing Email tool
  2. Create an Automated Journey email
  3. Add triggers to your Automation Journey based on the property id, booking date, arrival / departure date, and time.
  4. Personalise your emails with the guest name and include information specific to their booking, such as the property name and local information.

If you need a hand setting up your automated Marketing emails, please don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll be happy to help.