If you are a short-term rental owner trying to market your own property outside of the big listing sites/OTAs, you know the struggle is real. The listing sites are large, well-funded marketing machines and they still—even now—have a huge slice of the pie.
It can be tempting to just turn all your marketing over to them. But don’t get complacent! There are numerous advantages to building your #bookdirect funnel. [link]
The beauty is, all the hard work you put into building your brand outside of the listing sites is not going anywhere—because you control your brand. You don’t have to be anxious about whether your own brand will fold, or pivot, or make a sweeping policy change that jeopardizes your income.
There are many reasons to work toward listing site independence that I could discuss at length!
But let’s get a bit more specific and talk about the importance of building your guest database for your book direct campaigns.
A healthy email database = revenue. Revenue from repeat guests, revenue from new guests, and even revenue at a sale. If you sell your property as a vacation rental, a good, healthy, and active database of past guests can be a huge perk for buyers who want to continue using the property as a rental (the same is true for your website, by the way!).
Building A Highly Targeted Database
The usual methods to building your database are a combo of your website, social, and other campaigns. But these come with a cost—your time and/or money! What about the more creative and inexpensive ways to get email addresses at scale?
Here’s one method I love: StayFi’s email capture software.
StayFi non-intrusively helps you market to your actual guests, who already know and love your place.
When a guest books with you, typically you get just one email address (the guest who does the booking). And if the OTAs get their way, they may try to limit you from collecting the booker’s email.
But what about all the other guests who will be joining them? Especially for big house owners—there’s a lot of potential repeat business going uncaptured!
StayFi is quite simple and works like this: Every guest—or nearly every guest—will have a device and a need to connect that device to WiFi. StayFi adds a layer to the login process that asks guests to enter their email address and signup for your newsletter.
StayFi By the Numbers
On average, guests using StayFi are collecting between 4-10 unique emails per stay, per property. Assuming each home has 50 stays a year, we’re talking between 200-500 emails a year!
And remember that’s 200-500 highly engaged, bottom-of-funnel guests who have already had a chance to experience your home.
So, what’s the cost to use StayFi?
For my fellow cohorts with only one property, we win at $0.00 a month with only the up-front cost of the StayFi device. Rejoice!
For those of you with multiple properties, the price increases to $0.00 – $6.00 monthly, but that amounts to pennies per email collected. Even at StayFi’s highest monthly rate, each email costs just $0.14 to $0.36 apiece!
StayFi does more than just email capture as well. You have the ability to remotely monitor your WiFi, integrate with your email tool and more.
Interested in getting started? Talk to folks at StayFi!