September 13, 2021

#bookdirect Refresher

4 Ways to Drive Vacation Rental Guests to #BookDirect (Over and Over Again) 

One of the best ways to boost your revenue is to turn a one-time guest into a regular guest—especially if you can drive them to book directly on your website. 

Booking direct offers great benefits to you and your guests, like fewer fees for both parties and better access to customer service. The trick, of course, is getting them to your website to book. And then keep them coming back. Here are a few ways to drive guests to #bookdirect with your property management company.

Tip #1: Use Good Ol’ Email Marketing 

Email marketing is an incredibly popular way to connect with guests, new and returning. And it earns its keep—Forbes notes that email marketing earns $42 back for every dollar spent, one of the highest ROIs of any marketing channel. So building a robust email list of past guests is a powerful asset to have on hand. 

Obviously, it’s easiest to collect emails from guests who book directly through your website. But there are tools out there to collect guest information from OTA bookings, as well such as guide books, internet router access, and “in property” devices such as tablets.  

Once you have a list established, you can build out a nurture email series that encourages guests to explore your website, take advantage of special offers, and #bookdirect for their next vacation. Maintaining a cadence of communication with past guests is important to be top of mind when they are planning the next booking.

Tip #2: Retarget Via Social Media

Using social media ads is another great way to engage with guests, especially those who have booked with you in the past. Build enticing marketing campaigns and target guests based on a previous vacation, location, or time of year. Using your email list can come in handy here. You can use visitor retargeting but also create custom audiences in Facebook and other advertising platforms, this allows you to target a very specific contact, and at times that make sense for the booking curve. 

Just make sure that you keep the frequency of your retargeting efforts to a reasonable amount and keep the creative fresh so as not to fatigue your potential guests. 

Tip #3: Make Your Website User-friendly

Nothing is worse than clicking on a CTA from a social media ad or a marketing email and ending up on a low-quality, dysfunctional webpage. Part of the reason why OTAs like Airbnb do such great business is due to the useability of their website. 

Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to build a professional-looking website that is easy to navigate and functions across all devices. (If you need some suggestions on a PMS system that can make taking bookings and inquiries easier, check out our ultimate guide right here.)  

Tip #4: Keep Your Prices Dynamic

Guests are learning that booking directly with a vacation rental property manager means a better price since the rate isn’t inflated by OTA commission fees. Which puts the onus on you to keep your prices up to date and competitive within your market. Using a dynamic pricing tool and a revenue management system can help you optimize your prices, offering guests rates that match the demand, the season, and the condition of the property. 

Ready to learn more about revenue management? Get a free account with Art, Rented’s Automated Rate Tool here.

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