Email is a very important part of today's life. This article is written for vacation rental owners to help them utilize email at its best. I think it will be useful for anyone who does marketing on-line.
Part 1. Using Auto-responder.
What is the auto-responder or auto-reply? It is a function of your email program which automatically emails a prewritten message to any incoming email.
Why do you need it? You know how all portal sites work - inquiry is created right on your listing and submitted through portal's email system to your email address. Up to this point, your potential guest does not know about your vacation home, other then what he reads on the listing.
Auto-responder will email your potential guest information you want them to see if they would come to your site. Let's now think what we want to include in the auto-responder email. This is your chance to market your property and you don't want to miss it!
Studies show that if your email visually has not more then 20 sentences, it will be read. People usually want to see photos of your property, they are interested in prices and only then they are looking for availability. So your email should be concentrated on these points. If you have a web-site, then you want to place links to appropriate pages.
Small note. There is a big discussion on strategy for disclosing the price to your potential clients. Depending on how you feel about it, are you firm on the price? Do you want to negotiate and are you ready to lower the price? How flexible are you? By answering these questions, you will be able to create a proper block in your auto-responder for prices.
You also must assure your potential client that you will get back to him within a reasonable time. Don't wait too long to respond or people will forget about your property. Everyone likes personal attention and if you want your property to be booked, you need to show it quickly.
To summarize, here is your points for auto-responder to the inquiry from portal sites: 1. Thank you for your interest 2. Our property is the best choice for you and your family 3. See pictures of the property here: myvr.com/pictures 4. Rates are here, but we are flexible: myvr.com/rates 5. You can check on availability, we keep it current: myvr.com/calendar 6. Thank you again and we will contact you shortly
The possibilities with auto-reply are endless and this is an excellent tool to make a first step to a renter and show him you care.
Part 2. How to Reduce Spam Email.
Spam on the Internet is one of the widespread problems. If you have had your vacation rental for some time, and especially if you have a functioning website, there is a strong possibility you will find many spam emails in your inbox. And sometimes it is hard to separate rental inquries from other emails.
One of the solutions is to change your email account. But that's not always possible, especially if you have used an email address for a long time, and many people already have your email in their address books.
Here are a few tips that I hope you find useful: Check the email address on your domain registration. Never, ever use your working address when you register a domain name for your vacation rental website. Your registration is available to the public, and almost every large site offers a service like WHOIS where your email can be gathered. It is advisable to set your domain information to “private" if you have to use your working email address.
Forms on your site, including those that allow your visitors to inquire about your vacation rental, can be a big problem. There is a technique called “code injection" that sends your visitors spam email that can harm your credibility. Talk to your webmaster to secure any form you migh have on your site.
You will be surprised that many spam emails offer an option to “unsubscribe" or “opt-out". It may sound like nonsense to you to use this option, because you never subscribed to any spam emails in the first place, but it is strongly recommended that you “unsubscribe. " As a matter of fact, if you will diligently do this for some time, you will see a decrease in the spam in your inbox.
An email address that is generic, such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, will most likely bring a lot of spam. Try to avoid it as much as possible.
Check with your hosting email provider to see if your working email is set to the “Catch all" option. “Catch all" ensures that every email that comes to @mysite.com will go to your inbox. Once you remove “Catch all" from your account, you will see spam reduction.
I hope all this information will help you to clean your mailbox and only receive booking inquiries for your vacation rentals. Happy booking!
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