Watch Our Latest Webinar Online: 8 Email Marketing Fundamentals That Drive Real Results

Vacation Rental Webinar Email MarketingLiveRez’s webinar from April 23 on “8 Email Marketing Fundamentals That Drive Real Results” is now available to watch online.

To access the video, check out the Downloads Page on LiveRez.com. It’s listed under the webinars section.

And make sure to check out our Webinars Page as we will be adding even more webinars to this year’s scheduled lineup.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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Sign up for April’s Vacation Rental Webinar: 8 Email Marketing Fundamentals That Drive Real Results

Vacation Rental Webinar Email MarketingThe next installment of LiveRez’s vacation rental webinar series is slated for Wednesday, April 22 at 2 p.m. ET.

Titled “8 Email Marketing Fundamentals That Drive Real Results,” this webinar will show you the essential components of creating successful email marketing campaigns. The webinar is free, and all professional vacation rental managers and their staff are invited to attend. To register, click here.

And for a list of upcoming webinars and recordings of past webinars, check out our webinars page.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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7 Reasons to Diversify Your Vacation Rental Marketing

diversify marketing

Diversifying your marketing efforts can protect the financial independence of your company and help you increase your ROI.

Just like investing, it pays to diversity your marketing efforts. Many professional managers are stuck in the rut of just posting their properties on advertising sites and relying solely on those channels for bookings. But, as we’ll outline in this post, there are multiple benefits to diversifying your marketing efforts – so you’re not held hostage to one or two channels for your financial success.

But, before we take a look at why diversifying your marketing will help, let’s define what we mean by diversification. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to say that diversification is being active on multiple marketing channels – channels not being just listing sites, but any way in which you can reach potential guests. Channels encompass advertising sites, but also include things like SEO, email marketing, Adwords, Adsense Remarketing, social media, blogging, public relations, print advertising, and local partnership and affiliations, among others.

So now that we have defined diversification, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why diversification is good when it comes to marketing.

Financial Independence / Leverage

The problem with relying solely on one or two channels for marketing is that you have no leverage when the channel costs increase. This is especially relevant to short-term marketing strategy channels like advertising sites, which only produce revenue while you are paying for them.

Realize this: If you get all of your bookings from one channel and that channel become more expensive, you are virtually forced to pay more. Plus, as a middle man, your owners are also expecting continual returns on their investment, so that puts even more pressure on you to get results, locking you in to channels and forcing you to increase your costs. And, when you pay more for marketing and don’t get greater returns, it cuts into your commissions and lowers your profits.

Simply put, you need alternatives. And you have to realize that some of those alternative you can’t just turn on at a moment’s notice; rather, they have to be built over time.

Market Changes

Everything changes. 60 years ago, print advertising was the bread and butter of most marketing departments. 30 years ago, TV and radio were the top dog. Nowadays, internet marketing is king. But, even internet marketing has changed dramatically in just the past few years.

You need to be prepared for the effectiveness of every single one of your marketing channels to either increase or decrease as consumer trends change. Developing multiple marketing channels is one way to weather that change. It gives you time to adjust to the change in one channel, because you are supported by your other channels. In some cases, you may even need to be prepared to stop using a channel altogether because it doesn’t provide enough return on investment.

Reaching Different Customer Types

Your potential guests will vary in their shopping behaviors. Older guests will certainly find you through different means than your younger guests. International guests different than domestic guests. Men different than women. High income different than low income. The best way to be successful in marketing is to understand where your potential customers are and be in all those places.

Return on Investment

If you’re only using one type of channel, how can you compare your ROI? You simple can’t, because there is nothing to compare it to.  Using multiple channels gives you perspective on which of your channels is performing better, especially how that channel’s ROI is changing over time. Sometimes, ROI goes up and down seasonally, or is different for different customer types. If you don’t invest in different marketing channels, you won’t have that type of data to draw from.

The Cross-Pollination Effect

One great thing about having multiple marketing channels is seeing how they all work together. For example, how are your blogging efforts affecting your SEO rankings? How are advertising inquiries fueling your email marketing lists? How is traffic from all channels fueling your Adsense Remarketing efforts?

Marketing generally follows the rule of “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Your marketing channels don’t just sit in different rooms and not talk to each other. They interact with each other and increase each other’s effectiveness.

Testing

Having multiple marketing channels gives you more room for testing new ideas. If you only had one marketing channel, you wouldn’t want to take chances with it, because it would be your sole earner. Having multiple marketing channels gives you a platform to test the effectiveness of different messages across different mediums and across different demographics. And, after a while, you’ll start testing new channels and adding to your marketing arsenal.

Equity

One of the most important things about having multiple marketing channels is that it allows you to focus on both short-term and long-term strategies while you build equity from your marketing efforts. What we mean by equity is marketing that continues to work when you are no longer paying for it or at least not dedicating as many resources to it. Some short-term strategies can get you great results immediately, but as soon as you stop investing in them, they stop producing revenue for you. Other channels that may take longer to development (like SEO) will continue to produce revenue for you even if you slow your investment in them.

Think of building equity as building your brand. As your brand grows, you become less reliant on marketing. Marketing is really the act of getting your product or service in the mind of your potential customers. Once you’ve built a home in their mind, everything gets easier. When you start to generate brand recognition, you’ll have people come straight to you. And, when people come straight to you, you both save money AND are far less reliant on any specific channel. And, when you decrease your reliance on any one channel, you can focus more on the channels that provide the best ROI (so you can earn more profits).

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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The Secrets Behind Timing Your Marketing Messages

Timing is an important factor in your marketing efforts, and can be almost as important as the message itself.

Timing is an important factor in your marketing efforts, and can be almost as important as the message itself.

Do you know that when you send your marketing messages is almost as important as the message itself? While there is a bunch of conventional wisdom floating around about when you send marketing emails, post blogs or be active on social media channels, a few online marketing gurus decided to actually scientifically test when the best time to send marketing messages was.

The results may make you re-think when you send out your marketing messages.

Over a three-blog series, Kiss Metrics – armed with information from HubSpot and social media scientist Dan Zarrella – used quantitative data to explain when your marketing messages are most powerful.

In this blog post, we’ll just quickly summarize their most important findings and give you links back to the original data. If you’re involved in vacation rental marketing in any form, this information should be extremely valuable to you.

Social Media

In its first blog, Kiss Metrics examined how the timing and frequency of Twitter and Facebook posts affected their results. Here are just a few key takeaways:

  • 80% of the US population resides in the Eastern or Central time zone, so make sure you gear your messages to those time zones.
  • For Twitter, midweek and on the weekend, at noon or 6 p.m. are  the most optimal posting times.
  • For Facebook, Saturdays and at noon are the times you’re most likely to get your posts shared.
  • The best posting frequency for tweets is 1-4 an hour, and the best frequency for Facebook posts is once every 2 days.
  • Check out the original blog for more information.

Email Marketing

In its second blog, Kiss Metrics examined the best time to send marketing emails. Here are a few takeaways:

  • For consumer promotions, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. seemed to perform best (5 p.m. to 7 p.m. was best for B2B promotions).
  • Email open rates were the highest on the weekend.
  • Check out the original blog for more information.

Blogging

In its third and final blog, Kiss Metrics examined the best time to post blogs. Here are a few takeaways:

  • Blog posts get the most traffic during the morning hours, with 11 a.m. being the highest traffic time.
  • Blog posts get read more on Mondays than any other day of the week.
  • Check out the original blog for more information.

Vacation Rental Industry Specifics

How do these statistics compare with your own marketing statistics, specific to vacation rentals? For example, what days and times do you get the best response from your marketing efforts? Let us know by sharing your experience in the comments section below.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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5 Tips to Get More Traffic to Your Vacation Rental Website

website traffic

Check out our quick tips on getting more traffic to your vacation rental website.

The first step in getting more online bookings is getting more traffic to your website. While there is no catch-all solution to getting qualified traffic to your website, here are a few helpful tips to consider.

1. Focus on SEO – Organic traffic from search engines is free and normally very qualified, meaning that the people visiting your site are in the market for renting a vacation property. Here are a few tips to improve the way Google ranks your website:

  • Target Realistic Keywords (when you’re just starting, you may want to focus primarily on longer, more specific terms)
  • Create Content That is Unique and Helps Your Guests
  • Optimize Your Pages for Keywords (Page Title, Meta Information, Headings, Alt Tags, etc.)
  • Create and Attract Back Links (links that point back to your website from other websites)

2. Create Pay-Per-Click Campaigns – Google Adwords allows you to bid on top search terms and pay to be listed on the first page. You’ll pay only when someone clicks on your ad, and you can set budgets so that you don’t overspend. If done smartly, Adwords can offer a huge return on investment for your marketing efforts.

3. Send Marketing Emails – As a professional manager, you probably have already gathered a big list of past guests and prospects that you can send marketing emails to. Marketing emails are a great way to entice people to book your properties and to keep your business top of mind. Furthermore, email marketing tools like Mail Chimp and Constant Contact are fairly inexpensive, leading many marketers to say that their email marketing efforts give them the best return on investment among their marketing channels.

4. Try Google Re-Marketing – A little known feature of the Google Adsense program is the ability to record what visitors come to your site and then show only these visitors display ads on other sites. Any website that runs Google Adsense ads is eligible (and there are tons of sites online using it). Once a guest comes to your website, they’ll see your ads all over the internet. Google Re-Marketing generally comes in at a lower cost per click than Adwords and allows you to get a massive amount of impressions.

5. Don’t Forget about Social Media and Blogging – Creating and sharing content on social media channels is a great way to grow your online following and create consistent streams of traffic to your website. The content creation and sharing process can even help with your SEO efforts. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Initially, focus on the big channels: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and your blog.
  • Submit your best website pages and blogs to social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon and Reddit.
  • Try running promotions that are exclusive to your followers (or require a person to follow you to get the benefit)
  • Try advertising on these channels. It’s a great way to grow your followers.
  • Make sure to share all the content you create on these channels. You always want to include a call action in your posts, whether it is asking the person to like your post, retweet your post, follow your blog, click on a link, etc.
  • Use a free program like HootSuite to schedule your posts in advance.

These are just a few quick tips to help you get more traffic to your website. Check out some of our other blog posts to find more information on marketing tips and tricks.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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Seven Vacation Rental Marketing Tips That Can Boost Your Bookings

Seven quick tips to optimize your marketing efforts and boost your bookings.

Seven quick tips to optimize your marketing efforts and boost your bookings.

Every vacation rental manager could use a boost to their bookings, right? If you’re searching for a few more ways to optimize your marketing efforts, check out the list below.

1. Track and Test – By far, the most important thing you can do as a marketer is track your results and test different approaches. Marketing is an art, but, done right, it’s more of a science. At the very least, you should be running Google Analytics on your website and regularly testing results against your marketing efforts. It’s hard to improve your marketing if you don’t know what is working and what is failing. Check out these resources for more help:

2. Find a Niche – It’s all about picking your battles. As an amateur boxer you wouldn’t go up against the heavy weight world champ in your first match, right? You always want to put yourself in a position to win, and that’s what niche marketing does. Whether it’s focusing your SEO efforts on long-tail terms or positing your business within a specific segment of your market, you’ll define your own playing field and work to be the big fish in a small pond rather than just another fish in an over-crowded large pond. Check out these resources for more help:

3. Don’t Forget Email Marketing – If you’re a professional vacation rental manager and are not conducting email marketing, you’re throwing away bookings. Email is a great channel to stay in touch with your past guests and all those inquiries that haven’t converted yet. You can tell these travelers about all the fun things they can do when they visit, highlight amazing guest experiences, advertise your specials (everyone likes a deal!) and promote your properties. There are even free email marketing services out there (see Mail Chimp). And, if you’re using LiveRez it will take you just a matter of seconds to export information about your past guests and leads. Check out these resources for more help:

4. Don’t Ignore Your Website – Nowadays your website is the primary place travelers are going to go to learn about you. It’s also quickly becoming the place where they make reservations, as well. Because of these two factors, there is no excuse for ignoring your website. Your website just can’t be just okay, it has to be amazing. It has to look good. It has to be easy to use. Your property listings need to be well-written and have professional-level photography. Your entire website needs to be optimized for conversion. And, with the huge influx of mobile traffic in recent years, it has to be mobile friendly, too.  Check out these resources for more help:

5. Embrace Social Media and Blogging – Social Media is here to stay. Your guests now expect you to have a presence on social media. And, search engines are slowly using social media signals to adjust search engine results. But, you can’t simply have a Facebook page or Twitter account or a blog, you need to embrace the medium and be active. An inactive social media channel or inactive blog is almost as bad as nothing at all. Check out these resources for more help:

6. Diversify Your Paid Advertising – If you’re putting all your paid marketing dollars in listings sites, you’re setting yourself up to fail (or least become dependent on the medium).  Just like your investment portfolio, when it comes to paid marketing diversity is good. You never want to be dependent on a single channel for the majority of your bookings. Instead of putting all of eggs in one basket, try utilizing paid search listings (Google Adwords, Yahoo/Bing) or Google Adsense Remarketing. Check out these resources for more help:

7. Be Patient – Rome was not built in a day. Neither will your brand awareness, your search engine rankings, your mailing lists, your website traffic, etc. Trees don’t grow overnight either, but that has never kept people from planting seeds. That’s how you need to look at your marketing efforts. Make sure you are always planting seeds, tending the soil and watering your plants.  And, if you do it right, you’ll be harvesting the fruits of efforts for years to come.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

Did you like this post?
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