6 Easy Ways to Grow Your Vacation Rental Email List

Without a clear plan for email marketing and growing your mailing list, you’re missing out on maximizing occupancy rates and direct bookings.


The problem is, vacation rental email marketing is a challenge when OTAs don’t share your guests’ emails, making it virtually impossible for you to connect directly with your guests.

But even if you can get guests’ emails, how can you be confident in your email marketing strategies?

Happily, we’re here to help. In this post we cover:

  • Why you should build a vacation rental email list
  • Legal considerations
  • 6 easy and effective ways to grow your email list
  • 5 email marketing tips for success

When you’re finished reading this post, you’ll be able to walk away confident in how to connect with your target audience, and your email marketing strategy for optimizing occupancy and direct bookings.

RueBaRue lets you send automated emails to guests who’ve stayed with you so you can encourage them to book again. Book a demo personalized to your rentals to see the platform in action.

Why should you build a vacation rental email list?

While it’s important for you to have a social media presence, you shouldn’t ignore the value of a structured email marketing campaign.

That’s because, unlike social media, email marketing isn’t at the mercy of algorithms that can affect how you connect with your target audience. This makes email a marketing channel you can control.

Using email marketing for your vacation rental business is also:

  • Highly cost-effective: Without requiring a large budget to get started, email generates $42 for every $1 spent, making it a low-cost, high-return option.
  • Measurable: Various email marketing platforms like Mailchimp give you insights on your email campaigns, including email open rates, the best sending times, and more.
  • Stable: The popularity of different social media platforms can fluctuate hugely. On the other hand, email is a constant channel of outreach and communication.

With email marketing, you can build a direct relationship with your subscribers, remain in regular conversation with them, circumvent OTAs, and boost your vacation rental income.

Vacation rental email list: legal considerations

Before you get into how you can grow and succeed with your email list, you need to be certain you’re complying with the data protection laws relevant to your region.

Wherever you’re based, normally the most important consideration is to ask for your guests’ email addresses so you have their consent to email them, and provide them with the chance to opt-out so they can discontinue their subscription at any time.

6 easy and effective ways to build your vacation rental email list

Now let’s dive into how you can build your vacation rental email list to develop a relationship with your target audience, and start getting more direct bookings.

1. Use a smart guest communication tool

Since OTAs don’t share guests’ personal details with property managers and owners, the best way to capture your guests’ email addresses is to contact them directly.

The simplest way to do this is with a guest communication tool like RueBaRue.

You can give guests an incentive to part with their email addresses by offering discounts or other special deals on stays at your properties.

An alternative method would be using a WiFi marketing tool and capturing guests’ emails when they log into the vacation rental WiFi—just make sure to give them the choice of opting-out from your email list.

Now, how to capture the emails of visitors to your website who have never guested with you?

2. Encourage website visitors to sign up for your newsletter

When people visit your website, you need to grab their attention and direct it to a place where they can sign up.

To do this, you can add buttons, sidebar widgets, or popups to your website, which you can use to tell visitors about what they receive if they sign up for your newsletter. This could be a discount or a perk, or it could be informative content on traveler tips.

A newsletter is a great way to build and nurture trust between you and your audience. You can tell subscribers about events in the area, activities they can enjoy, and the best places to visit—so make sure you advertise it on your social media accounts with content snippets and original imagery.

Evolve Newsletter

Evolve Newsletter Widget Credit:

3. Create exclusive content

The purpose of exclusive content is to provide your website visitors with valuable information and insights they can’t ignore, which not only establishes trust, but keeps them engaged with your all your latest updates.

This way, your audience will always be aware of your brand, and what your properties and local areas have to offer. Also, when you offer special deals or notify them of upcoming events, they’ll be more likely to take notice and book a stay.

Your exclusive content can include:

  • Local guides with recommendations on your favorite places to eat and drink
  • News on upcoming events, like shows and festivals
  • Interviews with locals restaurant and bar owners, and tour operators
  • The best sites to see by season, including tips on equipment hire or other essentials

Your website visitors are already looking for tips or inspiration about their next vacation and if they receive useful information from you, they’re much more likely to turn to you when they’re actively looking at booking options.

4. Run a competition or giveaway on social media

Running a competition or giveaway on your social media channels incentivizes potential guests to give you their email addresses.

Your competitions don’t have to be complicated. For example, you can ask social media followers and group members to tell you why they’d like to visit your destination or stay with you, and subscribe for a chance to a discounted stay at one of your properties.

Once you have their email, you can add it to your vacation rental email list and move ahead with providing value to your subscribers with original content and insights into what your vacations can offer.

5. Create blog posts with calls to action (CTAs)

A CTA is an image or text on your website that prompts visitors to perform a specific action, like clicking on a link or completing a form. Some CTA examples include: “Book Now!” “Click Here!” and “Subscribe.”

You can use CTAs on your blog posts to nudge readers in the direction of signing up to your email list.

So why create blogs? Writing posts about your vacation rentals is an excellent way to tell people more about your brand, properties, and vacation experiences. Blog posts also give you the chance to redirect readers to special offers, discounts, and competitions.

Once your website visitor has seen the amount of value you offer, you can have a popup CTA telling them to subscribe to the mailing list for notifications about new blogs, newsletters, and special vacation offers.

CTA on Blog Post

CTA on Blog Post Credit:

6. Join vacation rental forums and social media groups

There are hundreds of Facebook groups dedicated to connecting vacation rental owners and managers to guests and travelers. The purpose of these groups is to make it easier for guests to make direct bookings and avoid OTA fees.

Remember to pay attention to the rules of each Facebook group as many are against link sharing that could be regarded as marketing. However, if you consistently share useful content and answer helpful questions, you can then direct people to your website where they can sign up to your email list.

Of course, joining Facebook groups isn’t just about growing your mailing list. It’s a chance for you to chat with like-minded people, develop friendships, learn about the business, and discover more about what your target audience want and expect from their vacations.

alt="Vacation Rental Facebook Group"

Vacation Rental Facebook Group Credit: Kauai Vacation Rentals by Owners

RueBaRue lets you send automated emails to guests who’ve stayed with you so you can encourage them to book again. Book a demo personalized to your rentals to see the platform in action.

5 Email marketing tips for success

There are many ways to make sure your email marketing strategy is a success, and bring value to your subscribers while boosting direct and repeat bookings. Here are our top five:

1. Keep a regular schedule

A regular emailing schedule not only helps you organize your marketing plan, but also means subscribers will know when to expect emails from you.

This way, if you send a monthly newsletter on the first Friday of every month, your subscribers learn to look for an email from you on that day, every calendar month. On the other hand, if you send out your newsletter every other month and on random days, your blogs and newsletters could go unnoticed.

2. Always link back to your website

When you’re getting your emails ready to send, make sure you’ve included a CTA with a link to your website. This could direct them to a blog post or a booking page. Remember, the goal is to increase your direct bookings and make it easy for your readers to find your booking page from your content.

3. Make your emails mobile-friendly

With so many of us checking our emails on smartphones, it’s crucial to make your emails mobile-friendly. Fortunately, most email service providers automatically adjust text for the device that’s being used, but it’s also important to keep paragraphs short and digestible.

Also, use bullet points and numbered lists, and break up any large blocks of text with imagery. All of these formatting tips are useful for readers on their cell phones.

4. Personalize your emails

According to a study by Dynamic Yield , 71% of consumers believe that a personalized experience influences their decision to open and read emails.

A personalized email addresses the recipient by name—either in the body of the email, or in the subject line, or both. People are much more likely to book a stay with you if you can make them feel special and not just another subscriber in the crowd.

5. Pay attention to your email design and subject line

An email’s subject line is the first thing people see when they open their inboxes, and, knowing your subscribers likely receive tons of emails a day, you need it to grab attention in an instant.

Subject lines should be useful and concise. The content of the email should always be in line with what the subject line promises, otherwise you risk people clicking the unsubscribe button.

You should also make sure emails are designed to be visually pleasing. Include high-quality photos of your property or destination and avoid stock images. The goal is to show subscribers how it feels to enjoy a vacation at your property—and stock images rarely help you achieve that.

Now you’re ready to start building your vacation rental email list

Not being able to establish a direct relationship with your guests and increase your direct bookings is stressful and costly. However, with email marketing and by growing your mailing list, you can leapfrog OTAs and develop a fantastic rapport with your guests.

Here are our six tips on how to grow your vacation rental email list:

  1. Use a smart guest communication tool
  2. Encourage visitors to sign up for your email newsletter
  3. Create exclusive content
  4. Run a competition or giveaway on social media
  5. Create blog posts with CTAs
  6. Join vacation rental forums and social media groups

By following these steps, you can connect with your target audience, increase your direct bookings, have more repeat guests.

RueBaRue lets you send automated emails to guests who’ve stayed with you so you can encourage them to book again. Book a demo personalized to your rentals to see the platform in action.

Frequently asked questions about email marketing for vacation rentals

How do I capture the emails of my vacation rental guests?

You can capture guests’ email addresses using a guest communication tool like RueBaRue. Build a rapport with guests, provide them with engaging content about your vacation experiences, and ask them to subscribe to your mailing list for more updates, discounts, and special offers.

How do I build a vacation rental email list?

If you want to build a vacation rental email list, join short-term rental forums online, run competitions and giveaways on social media, invite your website visitors to sign up to your newsletter, and create exclusive content with CTAs to subscribe to your mailing list on all your blog posts.

How can I find a template for my emails?

Finding email templates for existing guests is a piece of cake. All you need to do is use a guest communication tool like RueBaRue. Our templates include welcome emails to new guests, pre-departure emails, and maintenance-check emails.

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