The Only Emails You Should Be Sending Your Rental Guests

And what to include in the emails

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When you manage a vacation rental business, exceptional customer service is the key to long-lasting success. Competition is fierce in the world of short-term rentals, so enriching the guest experience is essential if you want to stand out from the others.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

There’s no doubt that email communication plays a massive role in curating the guest experience. You want to strike the perfect balance of providing enough outreach to be helpful without pestering your guests, reaching out only when necessary to ensure that their stay is as pleasant as possible.

So, how often should you email your rental guests? What should you say? And how can you use effective email marketing to persuade past guests to return? Today, our rental property experts are revealing the only emails you should be sending your rental guests and what to include in them.

Reservation Confirmation

Immediately after your guest has booked their stay, you should send them a reservation confirmation email. This email should contain the standard information any booking would include—a confirmation number, the reservation dates and times, the name and address of the vacation rental they booked, and the guest’s payment information.

However, providing exceptional customer service means going above and beyond what a standard confirmation email would include. With this in mind, you should also share detailed information about the amenities, special requests, cancellation policy, your contact information and how to best reach you, and any additional measures you take to protect your guests from COVID-19 exposure.

Reservation Reminder

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash
Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Your guests are arriving soon and likely beginning to get excited! When you’re about a week out, it’s time to send them a reservation reminder email that briefly reiterates the information from your initial confirmation email. In addition to serving as a reminder, this email should also provide detailed information on the specifics of their stay.

The reservation reminder email should include driving directions with a link to Google maps, information on public transit options, parking information, and house rules. This is also a great time for you, as the property owner, to remind your new guests how they can get ahold of you should they have any questions or concerns before or during their stay. Don’t forget to let your guests know how excited you are to have them!

Welcome Email

On check-in day, it’s time to send over a quick and friendly welcome email. This is the time when many vacation rental owners will send over the door code, WiFi password, detailed directions, and a local map of the area with options for exciting things to do.

If you offer additional services that guests can add to their stay —like a personal chauffeur, private chef, or in-house masseuse— your welcome email would be a great time to try and upsell by reminding your guests of these offerings in case they’re interested in enhancing their vacation. Feel free to also remind them of the house rules.

Friendly Check-In

The day after your guests arrive, it’s best practice to send over a friendly check-in email. Ask them how they slept and how the amenities worked for them, and offer any local travel tips you think might be helpful.

If your guests are staying for just a few days, a single check-in email is fine. However, in the event of a longer stay (like a week or more), you should check in every few days to ensure that everything is still going well. These check-in emails can be used to slip in some subtle up-selling of your add-on services, so long as you refrain from being pushy.

Pre-Departure Email

The day before your guests check out of your rental property, you should send them a pre-departure email containing their check-out time and any check-out instructions you have.

You can also share directions to major transportation hubs, like the nearby airport or train station, if you know your guests did not arrive by car. During this time, you may want to reiterate that you’re available by phone or email if they need any help or have any questions about your rental property.

Thank You

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The ‘thank you’ email is possibly the most important email you can send to your guests if you hope to turn one-time guests into loyal, returning guests. It can also be critical in securing a 5-star review for your vacation rental. When asking for a review, be sure to include a review link for easy access.

Wait until the day after your guests check out so they have time to make their way back home and unpack. This helps to ensure that your guests are in a relaxed state when they receive your email, rather than a high-stress one. After thanking your guests for choosing your rental property, let them know what a huge help it would be to your small business if they could leave you a review.

Holiday Greetings

This last type of email to send your rental guests is one that many property owners don’t talk about. Why? Because it’s so darn effective! When people get together with their families over the holidays, they often use that time to discuss and solidify their summer vacation plans.

By sending a holiday greeting to your past guests before major holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, you can ensure that your property is fresh in their minds when they go to their family gatherings and chat about the next group trip. If you want to secure return guests, this is an email marketing strategy you won’t want to skip.

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