Email marketing is one of the most important methods to get more direct bookings for your vacation rental properties. With a great email marketing program, you can ensure that high-quality guests book directly with you again and again vs. returning to an OTA to book their next stay.
One issue that most vacation rental managers face; however, is how to efficiently and seamlessly collect emails from all the guests in their rental properties. OTAs like Airbnb make it challenging to collect this type of data from bookers. In addition, it is near impossible to collect emails from the other non-booking guests in the home, who may also want to book your property again in the future!
This very issue is how StayFi was born in 2018. StayFi has taken the proven captive splash page technology used for years in airports, coffee shops, and other large venues and made it easy and affordable for use in vacation rental properties. With StayFi, every guest has to log into the WiFi through a customizable branded splash, so you can easily collect the names and emails of every single guest in your properties.
Here is a quick guide on how to set up StayFi and start supercharging your vacation rental email marketing program.
Step 1: Configure Your WiFi Splash Page
After signing up for StayFi on their website, you can go ahead and create the splash pages guests will use to log into the WiFi. StayFi does not charge you anything until after you activate the service in your properties, so there is no cost for creating an account and trying it out.
The splash page builder is easy to use and you can customize the logo, background image, text and the website where guests are redirected after connecting to WiFi:
Step 2: Connect Your Email Service Provider
StayFi integrates with major email service providers like Mailchimp and Constant Contact. With these integrations, all of the guest emails will automatically be sent to your email service for use immediately.
Just follow the integration instructions to set up this connection:
Step 3: Add Your Properties
The next step is to add your properties to the StayFi portal. You can select a splash page for each property, so you have the ability to customize what guests see and what website they are redirected to at the property level:
Step 4: Order Your StayFi WiFI Access Point
In order to add StayFi to a property, you need to connect a device called an Access Point to your property’s router. There are a few different devices to choose from that range from $89 – $109 available through StayFi’s online store.
Step 5: Assign & Plug Your StayFi Access Point In
Once your StayFi Access Point arrives, you will be able to assign it to a property in the StayFi portal. Then, just plug the device into your home’s wireless router and your new guest network will start broadcasting automatically.
In addition to your typical email newsletters, you will want to make sure to set up email marketing automation, sometimes called a drip campaign, in your email marketing provider. An email automation campaign will allow you to trigger a welcome email to every guest that logs into the WiFi, with subsequent emails sent out over a set period of time. For instance, you can even send a reminder email to guests in 6 months to book the same house again for next year.
Every major email marketing provider has automation campaigns as a feature. For example, in Mailchimp, navigate to Automations, and you can set up a “Customer Journey” campaign to welcome every guest with an email when they log onto the WiFi.
Collecting guest data is the cornerstone of any effective direct booking strategy. StayFi ensures that not only will every guest be introduced to your brand, but you will also be able to capture their name, email, and phone number for direct marketing.