Personally, I'm 100% with you -- I get gobs of marketing emails from companies every day and never pay attention to them (every now and then, I get so frustrated that I start opening every email I received over the last week and hunting for the Unsubscribe link just to try to stem the tide, and I often conduct searches on Priceline/Kayak/Expedia/Airbnb/Vrbo/etc. in Incognito mode just to avoid the ubiquitous "Did you forget to finish booking your Istanbul trip?" emails that come a day later. Marketing emails are largely useless (and occasionally annoying) background noise to me.
But that isn't the case for everyone. In my day job (also travel, but not STR), I oversee our email marketing operations. We send to about 150K subscribers every week. Our open rate ranges from 20-40%, depending on various factors (from season to subject line) and a click rate of between 5-10%. On "newsletter day," our booking volume skyrockets by about 20-30%, largely due to the clicks from the newsletter. We try to put useful content in the newsletter but ultimately it's just a vehicle to kind of "remind" people we exist and to use us as they plan their next trip. And it works! About half the clicks are to the blog articles or other resources we link to in our newsletter, but the other half are just clicks on the header logo or link to our homepage, where people can run a search for our product and make a booking. I'm shocked every week how much the newsletter (sent to the same people 52 times a year) puts us front-of-mind enough to meaningfully drive volume to our site.
My point is that different people process information differently, and the statistics show that email marketing/remarketing DOES objectively work. We (and by that I mean we who operate businesses in the e-commerce sector of all stripes) must be careful not to project our own preferences and tendencies and personalities on our operations and products but rather let the data drive decision-making, and in this case, the data says that email marketing IS not only useful but hugely so.
(My previous message was supposed to be a reply to Ken T -- I apparently forgot to quote his message in my reply, and trying to edit the post now is giving me a "page not found" error.)
I am listed on Vrbo, BDC, local tourism site, GMB, HTG, of course, my own website, FB, IG.
Do not know what works in Punta Cana. But like most everywhere, here in the Smoky Mountains, we have high seasons and low seasons. But we are year-round destination so properties book albeit at rates corresponding to the season. With 15K+ vacation rentals in the area, and every minor and major property management company, tourist bureau, attraction etc peppering visitors with emails, I just do not see them as effective.
besides spending $500/year per listing on vrbo, I no longer pay for any marketing.
That's about it. So my marketing budget is $1000+/year. I just do not see where more advert money can be spent with any kind of effect.
I totally agree with you Sandra. Email marketing (done right) absolutely, positively works!
I’m not talking about sending out so many emails that people drown in emails (hey I hate that too) but friendly occasional emails that basically just say hi and remind people a/ you’re still there and b/ you remember them, go down well with people.
I have people thank me for my emails and touching base with them. Emails allow me a great way to build/continue relationships with guests and if people dont want to get the emails ( whether that’s because they’re not interested any more, receiving the emails annoys them or their inbox is just too full) they can easily and painlessly unsubscribe.
I have nearly 3000 people on my mailchimp account who are all happy to receive my occasional emails (as a one person operator these get sent out ‘occasionally’ when I have time/remember/have something to let people know/wanting to fill a vacancy/have the brain space above everything else to write one and send out).
One day I’ll get organised enough to send out a regular (monthly?) email to these people above the occasionals I do now too
Oh yes, and a direct integration with zapier would make my business admin much easier and owner Rez a much superior product - allowing me to ‘fill in the gaps’ myself with tweaks OR doesn’t provide. OR is good now,a zapier integration would make it great.
As a long time user of OR I know Zapier integration has been a feature that has been requested many times and for a long time by OR users.