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Newsletters - does anyone do them?
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welshgirl



Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Posts: 49
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:56 pm    Post subject: Newsletters - does anyone do them? Reply with quote

I am about to enter my second year and thought it would be a nice idea to send out a newsletter to all last years guests in the hope of getting some repeat business.

I think its a very cheap form of advertising, just the cost of a stamp really, or even cheaper if I e-mail, but I was wondering if anyone has tried this and has it been succesful?

Also, would it be appropriate to e-mail it to those who made an enquiry but didn't make a booking?

WG
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5975
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done a couple of email newsletters - mainly as a New Year type of thing, with the odd bit of information about changes and improvements that we've made etc etc. I always give the option of being removed from the mailing list.

It's spurred a couple of repeat bookings - they might have booked anyway, but they were in response to the email. Worst case is they all bin the email without looking at it, so you've lost an hour or two of your time and wasted a few billion electrons. Or maybe not - your name will stick in their mind.

We've stayed a couple of times at a hotel we liked. Every now and then I get an email newsletter from them - special offers, whatever. Their name is etched permanently into my memory, whereas when we wanted to stay there for our first repeat visit I had to Google the location to find them.

I don't include enquiries that haven't converted, but that's mainly because of my record system - I can very easily generate a mailing list of past guests, but I'm not geared up to do the same for enquiries.

ps if you're anything like us entering your second year, you'll have probably introduced a few changes worth telling about - we'd made one of our places dog friendly, for example.
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welshgirl



Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Posts: 49
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for that Greenbarn.

Its a good point that even if they don't make a booking this time, it may jog the memory at a later stage, and with my unpronounceable Welsh name I need all the help I can get!

I will also let them know they can be removed from the mailing list, a good idea. I don't want to upset anyone.
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Beachcondo



Joined: 16 Jan 2011
Posts: 760
Location: Anna Maria Island, Florida and Sweden

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
I have done newsletters around New Years Eve to try and jog the memories of my past renters. I don't know if it has made any difference, but if nothing else, I think that the upcoming guests appreciate to feel that I am an owner that cares.

On Homeaway they have discussed newletters and at least in the US it seems that you are not legally allowed to contact people that you've had enquiries from that did not convert into bookings.

"Who can I send a newsletter to?
Legally you can only send a newsletter to a customer (someone who has paid for a stay in your vacation rental) or someone who specifically opts in. That means you cannot include people who have only inquired about your property, even if you have had several emails back and forth with them. Because of the legal particulars, we highly recommend that you use one of the email marketing programs available online."

Here is a link to the whole article, but I don't know if you can see it if you´re not advertising on Homeaway in the US:

http://www.homeaway.com/info/ownercommunity/oc-advertising/marketing-ideas/guest-newsletter

Marie-Louise
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5975
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a good point, and the Data Protection Act may kick in to prevent you contacting non-guests (if you see what I mean). It's also the reason for giving the opt out - I just start with a line saying something along the lines of "you are receiving this email as a previous guest; if you no longer wish to hear about any news or special offers please reply with 'Remove' as the subject line and we will remove your details from our list". I think that's required under the DPA.
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Beachcondo



Joined: 16 Jan 2011
Posts: 760
Location: Anna Maria Island, Florida and Sweden

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, after reading this article I have also added that one can be removed from the mailing list.
No one has wanted to though (maybe because I only have sent out one per year)

ML
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Margaret



Joined: 16 Jul 2007
Posts: 3579
Location: Bavaria and Mid Wales

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I usually send out 2-3 per year plus a Christmas letter with Christmas card. I keep it very factual, just updating them on changes here. I regularly get some thank you emails and changes of email addresses and this year, for the first time (now in our 7th year of letting) we have a significant number of repeat bookings rather than a handful. I would send it to enquirers - I think you have a relationship with them - but I have not kept the email lists up to date. Last year we had English and German flyers printed and sent it to all those who had enquired and that produced nothing at the time.
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HoneypotCottages



Joined: 05 May 2011
Posts: 152
Location: Chipping Campden, Cotswolds

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is something we are interested in doing however, not being particularly good with computers slows us down quite a lot! Rolling Eyes
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pepsipuss



Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 3473
Location: Bédar, Almeria

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slight TC but relevant.

Last year I did a test enquiry with Spain Holiday for our property ( can't remember why). One year on I have just received an email from them

Quote:
Exactly one year ago you visited www. spain-holiday .com and sent 1 e-mail enquiry to rent a holiday home in Spain. In case your holiday plans this year include Spain, we have for your convenience listed a link to the Spanish holiday home which you requested more information on.

If you are planning to travel elsewhere on your next holiday, please take a look at our sister site Campaya.co.uk with holiday homes in more than 30 countries.


Interesting idea - not sure how guests who did not book would feel about receiving this but at least they could not blame the owner for it if it irritated them. Interesting also that SH have taken the opportunity to promote Campaya! Razz

Also particularly not sure how I would feel if I HAD indeed booked - how are they to know?
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7030
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just thinking about doing an emailed newsletter, using mail chimp possibly. Do you simply type up a normal email as your "newsletter" or create a document that you send as an attachment? (no idea if you can do that in mail chimp though). What about images, as I'd like to send one or two in the newletter if possible?

I am going to create a new email address, but what shall I start it with? Info? Information? Any other suggestions?
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13142
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

how about newsletter?

I use Mailchimp. You write your newsletter in there upload images, upload contacts, and click send.
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Martha



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 2201
Location: Chamonix

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use mailchimp, I think it's great.
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7030
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, just created newsletter, thanks. I am reading mail chimp but there's far too much to digest in one sitting! Should I read more before I dive in, or is it simple enough to learn on the hoof? I've started by working on an email list in excel and am currently trying to weed out the ones I don't want to mailshot.
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Martha



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
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Location: Chamonix

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just dive in. they walk you through it, it's very easy. Smile
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3931
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beachcondo wrote:
"Who can I send a newsletter to?
Legally you can only send a newsletter to a customer (someone who has paid for a stay in your vacation rental) or someone who specifically opts in. That means you cannot include people who have only inquired about your property, even if you have had several emails back and forth with them."

The last time I looked the law was the same in Europe/UK, but in the UK at least, there was an important exception - you are/were allowed to email someone at a business address.
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