The future of direct booking marketing is

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 488. In this podcast episode we're featuring a special webinar we did with the CEO and Founder of StayFi, Author Colker. We discussed the features and benefits of using StayFi to increase your direct bookings.

Looking to build that trust factor with your customers? Check out www.boostly.co.uk/trust

Here's the audio for this episode:

Here's the video for this episode:

 

Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Introduction
03:10 – An introduction to Arthur and Stayfi
07:45 – Booking trends and the power of Direct Bookings
16:03 – Tactics that you can employ to build direct bookings
19:27 – Effectively using guest data
25:47 – Automation and marketing
34:34 – Text marketing
38:51 – Facebook & Instagram retargeting
42:38 – StayFi offer
 

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Transcript from the Episode

[00:00:00] Mark: Oh, okay. Welcome everybody to a very special recording of the Boostly podcast. Boostly teamed up with Stayfi recently to do a direct booking webinar. And what I wanted to do is I wanted talk about the future of direct bookings and the technology, the hardware, and the software that has become available to all short term rental hosts, Airbnb host, hospitality, host, whatever you wanna define yourself as that is available for people with warm properties or over a.

[00:00:25] Mark: Um, the technology of what we're talking about used to be reserved for hotels, casinos the big chains, but now thanks to stayfi and other amazing, uh, suppliers and peers in the industry. It's been available to you. What I wanna do in this very cool webinar that we put together, it is a recorded one.

[00:00:44] Mark: It's not live, but in, in this recorded webinar, we wanted to just go through what the trends are. Um, what, the things that we're noticing and specifically pay attention to text message market. I'm joined by Arthur Colker, who is the founder CEO of Stayfi. So many of that. I've got to know very well over the course of the, of the past year and very excited to sort of showcase stayfi to the UK Europe and the rest of the world is obviously founded in USA.

[00:01:09] Mark: It's grown massive popularity there. It's getting bigger and bigger and bigger. This is why the time was right now to make sure that you in the UK, Europe and wherever you are in the world can learn about this. Stayfi is all about Direct bookings. And as you know, with Boley, we're all about Direct bookings. So it's a perfect little marriage and something that we can put together, put out and put to you, the Boostly peoples.

[00:01:30] Mark: So what I would love for you to do number one, as you're watching this do join in there's questions that I ask, which were for the zoom call, that we did a very special zoom call for the Boley community. But please do join in on the comments. If you're AFI customer, client member, please make yourself be known in the comments.

[00:01:45] Mark: Say hi. But most importantly, I'd love to know your feedback and your thoughts specifically, when we come to talk about text message marketing, the cool thing, what we're gonna show you. A lot of the tactics in here is a set and forget. Set it up once and then you can implement it. And for those of you that are part of team Boley that have got access to our checklists, our templates for expert copywriters in this industry have created for you.

[00:02:07] Mark: Then you've got a leg upon everybody else. If you're not part of the Boley your community, if you wanna join the Boley community, please do send me a message. Uh, mark booster dot code at UK, and I'll make sure you've got all the links on how to join, but in the mean. Without more being said, let's go, uh, straight over, gonna flip my screen.

[00:02:23] Mark: You're gonna, uh, hear from myself and then offer from stay. And we've got 30, 45 minute presentation, webinar, zoom call, whatever you wanna call it to talk all about the future of diet bookings. Um, we're gonna go through some really cool tactics. We'll talk about diet bookings, why, and obviously we'll go for a few things.

[00:02:41] Mark: Um, but for the, to get started with before a Arthur introduces himself, if you just take a second, just to give a, a little bit of context of, of, of who you are in the chat. So use the zoom chat. Uh, we, we can all see it. I believe we can all see it. Let us know where you are in the world, your business, you know how you know, what's your ratio of D bookings to, to OTA bookings and like your biggest pain points when it comes to sort of getting more direct bookings, that would be an awesome place to start.

[00:03:03] Mark: So, Arthur, do you wanna. The the floor is yours, buddy. I'll let you introduce yourself and then we'll, we'll go from there.

An introduction to Arthur and Stayfi

[00:03:10] Arthur: Yeah. Thanks a lot. Yeah. So my name's Arthur Colker. I'm the founder of stayfi. Uh, my background is in digital marketing and branding, um, and actually got into the short term rental industry by doing marketing consulting for short term rental.

[00:03:26] Arthur: Um, and that's really how stayfi was born. So, uh, I was developing the brand and digital marketing strategy for a company called heirloom out of Boston. Um, and we found their, you know, one of their biggest challenges for generating more direct bookings was they had very little guest data. Um, obviously because the OTAs don't share a lot of guest information with you guys and.

[00:03:52] Arthur: Whether it's the Booker or the other travelers staying in these properties, you know, they didn't have a lot of guest data to market to, um, so we want to develop a solution that seamlessly collected information from all the guests, no matter what OTA they booked on, um, and help them remarket to it, uh, to those guests.

[00:04:10] Arthur: And that's how state FFI was born. Um,

[00:04:17] Arthur: Yeah. And then, so a little more about state five founded in 2018, really with the mission of helping short term rental operators become less dependent OTAs, just like mark spoke about. Um, and the way we do that is we use captive wifi splash pages to help you collect data. So it's just like the same experience of logging into the internet at a hotel, a coffee shop, an airport, we provide that TA same type of service to short term rental companies all over the world.

[00:04:45] Arthur: And that helps them collect and get their brand in front of 80 plus percent of all guests staying in the properties. And then, because we're a wifi tool, there's all other sorts of great wifi related benefits around connectivity, occupancy, alerting, outage, alerting that, you know, Customer service calls when it comes to wifi related issues.

[00:05:05] Arthur: Although in this presentation, we're really gonna be focusing on different marketing strategies on how to take guest data and drive more brand awareness bookings, and also other kind of ancillary rev revenue during and after the stay. And then marking, you talked a little bit more about Bruce Lee's history.

[00:05:22] Mark: Yeah, a hundred percent. So I think a lot of people in the room live us know about boosty, but for those who don't and those watching on the replay who don't, so boosty was founded in 2016, uh, with a mission to help 1 million hosts, uh, and property management companies cut down on their, over reliance on, on the OTAs.

[00:05:37] Mark: Um, I like to say my sort of elevated pitch, if you call it, that is we give the, the tools, the tactics and the confidence to increase your direct book. And, um, as of yesterday, or as of today, sorry, the 4th of May, uh, our website. So boostly websites is a big part of, of, of our brand and what we're doing here.

[00:05:54] Mark: So our, our, our WordPress websites, as we call 'em, they have generated over 500,000 pounds in new Direct bookings, uh, for our clients in 2020. Alone, which, which is amazing. I'm on a goal to get to 1 million this year. And we're already ahead of, of that target, which is awesome. A little bit about me, if you don't mind moving to the next slide alpha.

[00:06:14] Mark: Um, so yeah, bestselling alpha, Amazon alpha this year with the book playbook, which is, uh, which is epic as you can see it there, um, Hosted the award winning Boostly podcast nominated for a shot, his award, which is epic, which has happened in London in a few weeks and in, uh, Nashville. Uh, so in June I'm gonna be in Nashville, speaking at, uh, STR wealth summit, uh, event, which is which I'm really looking forward to because the 4th of June will mark 20 years today that I first touched down in America.

[00:06:43] Mark: When I was in a previous life as a soccer coach. So it was really exciting to going back to Nashville, going back to Tennessee, where it all began many, many, many, many years ago. Um, and it is so cool to see so many people in the chat here saying, hi, people saying welcome. And also as well in the chat, sort of sharing their stories.

[00:07:02] Mark: So if you're coming into this late, if you're coming into this, this webinar late, please do jump in a chat and give a little background about yourself. So we. More about you and a cool thing for me, and which is why I really wanted to do this with our friends specifically stayi is that I was messing around with a technology like this back in 2012, our family business, uh, it didn't, and it wasn't ready, but the short term rental industry, Ben, and this is why it's so cool to me to see something likey now available, not just for.

[00:07:30] Mark: Tea rooms are for restaurants or for hotels. This is available to everybody in our industry, and it's so awesome to see the results that everybody can can get by, uh, watching this webinar and putting into practice what we're gonna talk to you about. So if you go to the next slide, please, Arthur, we've got some cool little trends.

Booking trends and the power of Direct Bookings

[00:07:45] Mark: If you wanna just touch upon what, what what're looking at here, please.

[00:07:49] Arthur: Yeah. So I think, you know, despite the efforts we're making, the reality is industrywide, uh, direct bookings is a increasingly small share of overall bookings. Um, and Airbnb continues to grow their market share and become more dominant in the space.

[00:08:08] Arthur: I know this is just the, the us, and I know we have a lot of UK folks, um, On this particular webinar. So, um, you know, obviously could be different in different markets, but this is definitely general overall trend. And one of the main reasons why this is happening is during COVID and after COVID, there have been a lot of new individuals renting short term rentals for the first time.

[00:08:30] Arthur: And obviously since Airbnb has. Kind of the brand dominance is like the Kleenex of the space. Let's say where people are going directly to their website. Um, it's attracting a lot of new individuals to rent for the first time, which is fantastic. Um, but because of that, everyone else to share is shrinking.

[00:08:50] Arthur: Um, and so one of the key things just to kind of remember is. Uh, OTAs are always great, especially for first time guest acquisition. Uh, but the key thing is you really never want to have those guests book you again through an OTA. And that's one of the things we're gonna talk about how to make sure we turn, um, bookers or people that come to your property for the first time.

[00:09:10] Arthur: Make sure that they're coming back to you again, directly in the future.

[00:09:15] Mark: Lovely. So, um, what we're gonna do over the course of the, the rest of this presentation, my sort of angle is why D bookings myself angle will be, um, the power of a, of a website and obviously getting people to that website and then a is gonna jump in and sort of show the next part.

[00:09:32] Mark: So what we wanna do, we wanna give you kind of a, a roadmap on what you can be doing to not. Generate that direct booking or generate a booking or what you can do afterwards to make sure that if that guest was ever to come back or referral basis, et cetera, they'll be able to attract D bookings at any stage of the process, which is, which is really cool.

[00:09:52] Mark: Um, so the power of a proper direct booking website, that's what we've got here. So why. Do you need first and foremost, a proper DRA booking website. And what do I mean when I say a proper DRA booking website, now what I would love? We've got so many people in the chat. Um, so from everybody that's in here right now, just gimme a simple yes or no.

[00:10:15] Mark: Do you have live right now? A direct booking. I ask this question a lot and it is amazing to me still to this day, how many people could turn around and say and say no, which is why it just gives me more power to sort of keep doing webinars like this, where we can encourage more and more people to, uh, to get one Nathan's put no, but we've got one on the way.

[00:10:36] Mark: So that's, that's a good one for, for Nathan. So what I mean by a proper diet booking website. Now, if anybody has read the book, my book, the book dare play, but you'll know what I talk about when I say a proper one, because there's so many. Solutions that are out there at the moment. If you've got a property management software, they give you a free one.

[00:10:53] Mark: Uh, for example, there's there's solutions like Wix and, and, and Squarespace and Weebley on and all the other ones are out there. But if you want a proper direct booking website, if you want one, that's really gonna, um, make a dent, make an impact. You need to have a word. Website. I think Damian will be able to gimme a more accurate sta, but it's somewhere between 60 and sort of 70% of all the websites in the world are built on a, on a WordPress CMS.

[00:11:19] Mark: So if you're gonna have a, if you're gonna go for the effort of getting yourself a website, if you wanna have a diet booking, one, that's gonna build the trust and the brand out there. It needs to be a WordPress one. If you wanna go look at some examples, I just very quickly put together four examples of a proper WordPress website in action.

[00:11:37] Mark: Uh, vector stays.com jungle house.org. Stay H and bright.com and lively properties.com uh, dot AU. You can go and check them out. If you wanna see an example of a, of a, of a WordPress website in, in action. Now, if you wanna go back to that lovely slide next, please. After that would be lovely. The one, um, if you build.

[00:11:56] Mark: They will come or he will come. So here's a little question and I'm gonna see who's the movie buffs that we have amongst us in the, uh, in the zoom room right now. Can you tell me the question is, can you tell me what movie is this quote from? Let's see if we've got Ugh, Nathan straightaway, field of dreams.

[00:12:16] Mark: Amazing. Now, um, If you build it heat or they will come is something that so many business owners fall for the trap of. And you know, I, I'm definitely one for this. And, and I can definitely say that I felt for this. When I first created boost Lee, I was like, right, I'm gonna create a business. I'm gonna do this.

[00:12:34] Mark: I'm people are gonna come flock in and it's, it's gonna be amazing. And it's the same with hospitality. You, you go out, you go and get your property. You spend all of your money, you spend all of your budget. Getting the property ready, getting all of the things in place and, and doing all of the jazz. And when it's, when you, you put the post up online to say, Hey, we're open.

[00:12:52] Mark: And then you just go right. Let the booking's fallen. And unfortunately, um, that's not always the case. This is where the likes of Airbnb and booking.com and VR. And more importantly, like, as I said, Airbnb really sort of stand out because they've built a whole business model and a market, a message of.

[00:13:12] Mark: Listen in a couple of minutes, you can put your property on our site and it's live and, and it's, and it's bookable. And because we're in an industry of hospitality, which is so in demand, you know, even right now with all the things that are going on in the world, it's still a very in demand industry. You can simply put your business one or two pitches on Airbnb.

[00:13:35] Mark: And at the right time of the year, you can pretty much guarantee to, to get revenue coming in now is a blessing and a curser because it's a blessing. There's no other industry that I know, like when I first created boost Lee, there's no website that I could go to list my services. That would be pretty much guaranteed to bring in, in, in revenue.

[00:13:52] Mark: So it's good in that retrospect, but this it's, it's a curse in the other ex uh, example it's because when you. When something is so easy and I'm sure so many hosts in here who are, so, who were so reliant on Airbnb or booking.com. It is so easy to get revenue. You just become overreliant and complacent because he goes, you know, it's all right, I'll just leave it on there and I'll get bookings.

[00:14:16] Mark: With the pandemic and with so many people now coming into this industry, not so much the guests, but like property people. It's so easy now to get started in this industry because of, of what has happened. It's not like what it was 2000, 19, 2018. It is so easy to get started. So many people are coming into, into it.

[00:14:33] Mark: And so many people are now flooding the market. And so the reason why we're doing this today, The reason why it's a really important message to spread to everybody and for you to take home and to sort of spread it around as well, is that the businesses that really pay attention to their marketing, to building their brand, building their trust, having a dart booking website, having the tools that we're gonna talk about today in place, and to start putting these practices on, on, on a, on a daily or weekly basis, you are the ones that are going to not only survive, but.

[00:15:06] Mark: On the other end. So when I say here, if you build it, they will come. That's, that's not the case. What you need to be doing is you need to be making sure that you're put in these tactics, these principles, and these, these core beliefs in process. So you can build a direct bookings business and a has got some slides coming up now, um, which will really help you get these PO core principles in.

[00:15:34] Arthur: Awesome. Yeah. I mean, uh, those are all great points about building a sustainable resilient business, especially, you know, uh, that can survive downturns. And I think it's easy when. Demand is through the roof and everybody's getting bookings to become complacent. And it's really about how do you set up the systems today so that you have a sustainable long term business that can survive a downturn or a decrease in demand or a flood and supplier, anything that the market has coming to throw at us.

Tactics that you can employ to build direct bookings

[00:16:03] Arthur: Um, and so now we're gonna talk about some specific. Tactics that you can employ today, um, that are relatively straightforward and easy to do. Um, they're gonna help build that direct booking engine and you can think of it at like an engine. So over time as you kind of add more fuel to it, It will just start producing more and more ROI.

[00:16:25] Arthur: Um, as you get more and more guests into kind of your contact database, um, and kind of central piece of that is gonna be email marketing, which is what I'm gonna talk about first. Um, since it's kind of the gold standard of how to reach out to both perspective, first time bookers as well. Repeat or past guests that you've had stay with you.

[00:16:46] Arthur: Um, and it's consistently rated by marketers as their highest ROI channel. Um, so just kind of jumping into, um, you know, all sorts of email marketing tools out there. And, you know, at St five, we don't have a favorite one. And in fact, we integrate with all the kind of nature ones that you're probably familiar with most popular one in this industry is definitely mail.

[00:17:10] Arthur: And they have great tools to both set up email automations, which what I'm gonna talk about as well as kind of one time newsletters. Um, and the great thing about scifi, because we are doing wifi collection of emails. Um, we're collecting emails during the stay. So that means guests are in the property at the point of collection, which means you can automate communication to them.

[00:17:32] Arthur: That's both relevant to the stay. So if you do sell other things to guests or have upsells, it's a great opportunity to automate marketing to those guests, to feature those upsells or extending the stay or other ways to reach you, uh, during the course of their stay, to buy things, as well as follow up with them after I'm on how to rebook the.

[00:17:52] Arthur: And so I'm gonna talk a lot about automation in this presentation, since that's kind of the first step in setting up emails, in our opinion is to set up automated series. Um, and what that means in practice is you can ensure all guests get a series of branded email communications from you. Um, but it's something you only need to set up one time and it will automatically just get sent to all guests.

[00:18:14] Arthur: And that way, if you don't have. Let's say the expertise or knowledge or background or bandwidth, which is a big issue in this industry to be sending weekly or monthly newsletters, you can set up something one time. That's being sent to everybody who stays with you or interacts with you on your website.

[00:18:32] Mark: I, I just wanna quickly jump in and just say, but one, one key word that you said where was automation, because we're all busy hospitality owners. We've got so many things going on and there's not many things that you can do in this business that you can pretty much set and forget. But when you really do crack email and automation, it, it really is a game changer.

[00:18:50] Mark: And, and I think the best sort of example, to give you is if you've ever been and stayed at a big hotel chain, like a Marri. Or a Hilton, or if you've ever been to Las Vegas and you stayed at one of their casinos, they are so on the ball with this. And in the past you would always think, well, I could never replicate that for my short term retinal business or for my small business, but now we have the tools and we have the things in place and we've got the software and, and the, and the hardware that, which means we can, we can finally do this and it's not something that you're gonna go, oh, I've gotta hire member of staff to do this, or it's gonna take me forever to do this.

[00:19:22] Mark: The cool thing about what we'll show you is it can be really a set and.

Effectively using guest data

[00:19:27] Arthur: Yeah. And obviously the fir before that, um, the number one, you know, first step is to obviously collect guest information and there's a few places to do that. Um, number one is on your website. Um, and I know mark and maybe talk about this and all of those tools I have have.

[00:19:43] Arthur: Different widgets and ability to kind of place, uh, collection points on your website, do like a give get, um, because if you are driving traffic to your site, whether it's through back links, Marketing that you're doing other places. Um, every time you pay or invest in getting somebody or prospective Booker to your website, it kind of increases the value of doing that when you also collect their email.

[00:20:10] Arthur: Because even if they don't book in that moment, if you can collect their email while they're on your site, That gives that kind of transaction some value back for your business. Then I'll talk about stay five current guests. And then obviously there are some other places like Facebook or your PMs, where you can also find valuable guest information.

[00:20:28] Arthur: Um, when you collect data, when we talk about automation, it's kind of like, you need to have a relevant message. Um, and so whether they're from your website or they're currently staying with you, you wanna cater. That message to the stage the guest is in during their journey with you. Cause you can imagine, depending on the point of collection, different messages are gonna be relevant.

[00:20:51] Arthur: Um, and that's something that you wanna keep in mind, uh, because that's how you're gonna get the highest open rate and click through rate with your marketing is it has to be relevant to where that guest is during the journey, whether it's pre stay during stay post day, or they're just a perspective guest looking to book, collecting emails on your direct booking site.

[00:21:11] Arthur: Um, I would say, you know, the. Best way to do this is through some type of give get with popups and website forms. So this is a great example. We have from one of our customers where on their direct booking website, where they're investing in sending traffic to, they have this popup where you'll get a guidebook as well as a hundred dollars off your next day.

[00:21:32] Arthur: When you enter this email and MailChimp provides all the tools you need to set this up. So they have a popup builder where you can build this, then they give. Piece of code that you insert on your website, which I'm sure mark could help with. You just insert it into the header and then this will automatically just pop up on your website and then it make, they make it really easy to say, like create a follow up email where then once somebody does submit their email here, it automatically will send this email to them with the information you wanna provide.

[00:21:59] Arthur: So that's a great kind of encapsulation of how you can create. An email capture and response through MailChimp, um, which will facilitate sending this information to the prospective guest on your website and something, again, you only have to set up once and then it's automatically being sent until you wanna change whatever the promotion is.

[00:22:17] Arthur: Or if you do wanna send additional information to the guest, you can even set up multiple emails to be sent into that series. So I know mark, if you've seen like. Particularly successful ways of capturing information on your websites. I was, I was going

[00:22:30] Mark: to say, um, I can see Kathy saying, oh, I hate popups and it's.

[00:22:34] Mark: And the cool thing is you don't have to have this as a popup as such, um, a part of boosty websites. What we do on standard for all of our new templates is that we have a really nice, really elegant looking, super simple form. Is built into the homepage of the website. So it's not a popup, it's not flying at you.

[00:22:53] Mark: It's not flashing or anything like that. But the, the main thing is, is that you've got to give, um, like the give get you've gotta, like the juice is worth to squeeze. And some really good examples that I have seen is, um, something which is saying, would you like our top five hidden, uh, favorite places to go and check out in your town or location?

[00:23:12] Mark: Because if somebody is visiting your website, if somebody's on your homepage, they are obviously interested in coming to. In your area in your location. So if you can offer, you know, the, the, the top five secret places or the top five recommended places that our guests like to go visit in St. Your town or sea, that's the give get.

[00:23:32] Mark: And all I have to do is we have to give up the email to get this. And for, for people that are thinking well, that's all well and good, but you're talking about the email automation. I don't know what to create. Well, those of you that are part of team Boley, you've got literally in the vault. You've got it all.

[00:23:48] Mark: Copy. Ready to go. You just have to copy paste, personalize into your merchant account. So it's all there ready to do. It's just connecting the dots. And this is a really cool way of having that. Give, get, having that form. On your website that doesn't have to be a flashy popup now, flashy, popups, and all those things.

[00:24:04] Mark: They may annoy you, but they work. They work massively. Otherwise these big marketing companies wouldn't use 'em. But the cool thing is, is that you get, you get a couple of options. So if you wanna go see some in action, if you wanna go see some in, in, in, in real world, examples, go look at the boosty, uh, portfolio boosty website portfolio, and you, and you can go on there and see them, but it it's so easy to be done.

[00:24:26] Mark: And it, like I say, it's a set and forget.

[00:24:30] Arthur: Um, yeah, so obviously website key to capture any information there, because if you're paying or you're investing in sending people to your website, you definitely wanna help monetize that traffic and cashing an email is gonna do that. Um, then of course stay FFI, which is the in-home experience. So this is an example of what a captive portal looks like.

[00:24:50] Arthur: It's very similar. If you've ever been to a Starbucks or a lot of main brand hotels or an airport where you connect to the wifi, um, and then this will load automatically on your device. And then you enter your name and email here. And we validate all emails with a tool called zero bounce. So guests can't enter in fake emails.

[00:25:08] Arthur: So we make sure every email we collect is valid and won't bounce. Uh, when you do email them through a tool like MailChimp, um, and what's great about this is we'll capture emails from. Everybody during this day, pretty much who connects to the wifi. Um, and then we have a bunch of ways to kind of reach out to them after the fact.

[00:25:25] Arthur: So I'll talk about, I talked about validation. Um, so it's not just email. So I'll talk, talk about email automation, like how to then set up a series to contact people who are currently staying with you. Then I'll talk to about two other channels, which are definitely worth looking into one is SMS marketing, uh, which people have different thoughts on, but we do have an SMS marketing tool within stay five.

Automation and marketing

[00:25:47] Arthur: And I'll show how that works. And then social media marketing, which is a super interesting one. Um, and I think a lot of people get intimidated by this one because it's definitely. A little more of a hill to climb to first set up verse, SMS and email. Um, but anybody can set up Facebook ads, which covers Facebook and Instagram, and they even do advertising on other websites as well.

[00:26:09] Arthur: Um, and you can set up very highly targeted campaigns that are relatively inexpensive to run. So one example would be is you can, for instance, set. Relatively easily within Facebook, an Instagram ad that's shown to everybody who's currently staying in your properties or recently stayed with them through sci-fi.

[00:26:28] Arthur: Um, and that's a way, if you are investing in social media to, instead of advertising to let's say a random demographic based audience to advertise to a very specific audience of people who have stayed or are aware of your brand, um, and that can get a lot. Helpful engagement during this day where people start tagging you in their posts and become aware of your social media presence during this day, if they do love your property.

[00:26:54] Arthur: Um, now this is an example of an email automation from MailChimp. So within MailChimp, they have a tool called automation. In other email marketing tools, it's sometimes called a drip campaign. So there's different names, but they're all functionally the same thing. And it's where you're sending a series of emails to a specific audience.

[00:27:11] Arthur: And so in this case, this is an audience of people that have. Logged in through state FFI. So we know that they're in the property and this particular customer is in fie, British Columbia, which is a ski destination in Canada. Um, and in this case, when the guest logs in, they will get an email immediately from fie, which is basically a welcome.

[00:27:32] Arthur: Message that says, Hey, you may have booked us through OTA, but you know, we're the brand that actually managed your experience and is why you really love and enjoy your stay, which is a really key message because people say they booked an Airbnb, but we know that Airbnb has nothing really to do with the stay other than getting you the booking.

[00:27:47] Arthur: Um, so you kind of wanna keep reinforcing that, uh, message over and over again because guests don't intuitively maybe understand. Who actually runs this rental and why their experience is really from the brand and not from Airbnb. Um, and then in this case, they actually send a really quick follow up with a bunch of upsell options, like how to extend this day.

[00:28:09] Arthur: I know they have partnerships with some like ski rental shops and like grocery delivery in this town. So they kind of feature all their local partners, which is an awesome way to kind of both add value to the guest day, as well as generate some additional revenue. Then after about seven days, they send an email that asks them to review the listing on Google.

[00:28:30] Arthur: So Google Facebook are kind of the two places where you can ask. Anybody to review. So obviously OTA reviews are really important, but only the Booker can review you on the OTA. Uh, but the other six people that stayed in the rental that had a great experience, uh, you can get a valuable review from them too.

[00:28:48] Arthur: Google's a great one because it actually really helps you in your search marketing results. If you business page has a lot of five star reviews and that will appear there when people are searching for your rental business or a rental company in the area area that you operate in, um, Um, sorry. I think I skipped a page here.

[00:29:12] Arthur: Yep. Uh, and then, uh, after 30 days they actually sent another email about rebooking, fie, uh, and different year round activities or reasons why to stay there. And they feature some events that fie has developed to really bolster, uh, Towards them outside of the peak ski season, because that's where really where they need to get more bookings is isn't what they call it, their shoulder season there because obviously a ski destination is super seasonal.

[00:29:38] Arthur: Uh, so they really push messaging around how to, why you should come revisit during the non ski season. Um, then. And a few months later, they actually send a text only email. And you may be wondering why would I wanna send an email? That's only text kind of the, one of the key things. Since most of the people I say 50 or 60% of people who submit their email will use Gmail.

[00:29:59] Arthur: And in Gmail, you typically have a promotions, a social and a main folder. Most. The way the promotions, email folder works is when Gmail sees an email with a lot of photos, they think it's from an eCommerce or another kind of like direct consumer brand. They automatically kind of put that in the promotions folder and things in the promotions folder have a, typically have a lower open rate than things in the main folder.

[00:30:23] Arthur: Yeah. Um, so when you have a text only email that you send out, it's much more likely to be sent in the main folder and as a result, have a much higher open rate. Um, so, so in this example, I think there, these emails with images typically have like a 15 to 20% open rate while this text only email is like in the 30, 35% range.

[00:30:42] Arthur: Um, so I wouldn't necessarily say send. Emails that are only texted, only emails are only imaged. They really work well together when you kind of integrate them into one flow. Um, so in this case, Ryland is sending an email in the series. He's the owner of this company, where it appears as if Ryland has written this directly to the previous guest.

[00:31:03] Arthur: Um, so it seems like Ryland just. Type this out in his own Gmail account and shut it off to you as the guest. And that's gonna really have a higher open rate and engagement rate. And I know from this email that people reply directly to it and say, Oh, Hey, I do wanna come back and ski next February. Like, what do you have available?

[00:31:19] Arthur: And then one of his, uh, sales kind of associates takes the conversation from there. Um, so I definitely recommend integrating a text, only email into a series like this. And then I know they actually sent up some additional emails, uh, within this series. I think they sent like a one, like, oh, it's been nine months since you stayed.

[00:31:38] Arthur: Do you want a book again, like an anniversary trip and you can imagine you can set up five. 10 emails in a series like this, so that you kind of set it and forget it like mark talked about. So you can invest one time in creating a great series. And then, you know, every single guest that stayed with you will get that content over time.

[00:31:56] Mark: Now what I just wanna quickly jump in, and this is the one thing that I really love about this technology and with stay five have created and, and are doing is because this email right. Normally, if you were just going to use your PMs and the automated emails that are part of that, that will just go to the person who has made the booking.

[00:32:14] Mark: That just goes to one person. But as we all know, That those of you that have got maybe a larger rental unit, which sleeps 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, or even four, five or six, however many, there's gonna be more people in that party that could be a potential future booking for you. And the power of this and the power of stay fire is that this will not just go out to the Booker.

[00:32:35] Mark: This can go out to everybody in, in that party, because let's say two or three friends of friend groups have come together, right. D Booker may never come back or another need to come back to the area. But two. The other two parties, the other two friend groups may want to come back or may know somebody want to come back.

[00:32:51] Mark: So this is the power of it. This is not just going out to one person. This is going out to several people. And again, um, email automations, you know, my personal preference. I love a text based, only email because it looks like you are personally handwriting it to somebody, but like what IVA says, if you can mix it up with a picture.

[00:33:09] Mark: Text only it, it never hurts. Okay. So bear that in mind when you're looking at this and when you're looking at stay fine. And you're looking at this technology that, that, that we're talking about, especially with what we're gonna move on next. It's not just sent to one person it's sent to the whole party and the way that they do that is because, you know, they're give and get you're giving up your wifi.

[00:33:27] Mark: They've giving up the wifi, they're giving up the email. So it's awesome.

[00:33:31] Arthur: Yeah, I'd say like when we've done kind of studies with customers over who's rebooking. More than half of the bookings come from the initially non-primary guests. Wow. So we know, we see, you know, more than half of the bookings are coming from the non initial Booker because often the decision maker in the book are different people or they're unrelated, you know, you host 10 friends in a rental, you know, you know, the other nine people might wanna come back to your destination.

[00:33:57] Arthur: So that's again, a really key point. And I think a lot of times, because the PMSs are so Booker centric. Like all the communication in a PMs and all the automations they set up, which are fantastic, are all ordered around the Booker. And then sometimes we just kind of the other nine people just kind of get lost or we don't think about them as much.

[00:34:14] Arthur: Um, so just important to kind of bring them back into the fold and make sure that they have a chance to interact with your brand too, because otherwise any messages you're sending are just getting sent to one person. And if you do have upsells or have opportunities to extend this day, are those are things you wanna get in front of the non, uh, primary guests during the course of this.

Text marketing

[00:34:34] Arthur: Uh, now I'm have a bunch of text marketing and we actually launched this last month within scifi. So it's still a relatively new tool for us. Um, and the reason we did it as well, all of our customers have. Or have for the most part, an email tool like MailChimp that works great. Uh, very few had a text marketing tool.

[00:34:52] Arthur: Uh, so we actually built one within stayi. And the reason why is text marketing, you know, I'd say it's kind of the inverse of email. So email you're gonna get really high optin rates, but then a relatively low open rates, like 15 to 20% would be a good average. With text marketing, you're gonna get lower opt-in rates because it's a little more invasive and less people may be willing to receive these.

[00:35:14] Arthur: But for those who do opt in, you're gonna get like a 98 plus percent open read and engage rate and click through rate, uh, because just about every SMS you sent will get read. Um, so within our kind of text marketing tool, there are. Different campaigns you can send. So we have three that we launched with.

[00:35:33] Arthur: One's called a welcome campaign. One's called just like a bulk marketing message. And one's called a review campaign. It's gonna go over the difference. The welcome campaign is automatically sent, uh, to the guest after they opt in and log in through the splash page. And in this campaign, you can see here in this example, we have these kind of weird.

[00:35:52] Arthur: If you look where these percentage signs are, these are, uh, merge fields and what that basically means it will insert dynamic relevant content in the message to this guest. So in this case, it will insert their first name, the property name that they're in, which we're grabbing from scifi, as well as this customer has a guidebook that digital guidebook for each property through like a company like touch day or Hostfully.

[00:36:15] Arthur: There's several out there. Um, and you actually can have a guidebook URL for each property within STAI, and then you're sending to the guest, the link to the guidebook, and you can also send the link to your website or a link to the listing of the property on the website. Uh, so lots of different options to kind of personalize this text message, just being sent to every guest upon login.

[00:36:36] Arthur: Then of course, we have a tool where you can send. A message to all your guests that have, uh, ever opted into SMS. So a few hundred or a thousand over the course of time. Um, and you can send you anything you want to them, including, um, the links again, to the property that they stayed in in the past. Um, so if you are running any promotions or have announcements, like I always love like, oh, we launched a new.

[00:37:00] Arthur: That's like a really good announcement to send to guests, or if you're running a seasonal promotion because of, uh, you know, it's your slower season and you wanna drive more demand, uh, during that particular time of year, you know, you can make sure you can mirror anything that you send an email. You can also send in text to everybody who's ever opted in.

[00:37:18] Arthur: And then finally we have this really cool review campaign widget, uh, which you could automatically send after X number of days, someone stayed with you. And in there, we kind of pre-screen the guest review where they rate you one to five stars, and then if they do rate you five stars or above, uh, you can then send them to Facebook or Google or to your own website to leave a review.

[00:37:38] Arthur: Uh, and that way you're, and if they rate you less than five stars, you can solicit feedback from them. Of course, and see that feedback within day five. Uh, and that way you're sending more five star reviews or collecting five star reviews from the non-book guests, um, who did stay with you and logged into STAI.

[00:37:54] Arthur: Here's an example of like what that looks like within STAI. So you can see here, these are everybody that left for any director review recently. They have mostly five stars, a four star, and they have one star and the one star you can see the property they were in and the relevant comment and Dayton who the guest was.

[00:38:12] Arthur: And this is again, a great way to kind of like deflect people, leaving you negative reviews from a public facing forum, cuz you're giving them an opportunity to leave you a negative review and provide that feedback. And hopefully you can respond to it and get back to them before they go somewhere publicly to leave you a negative review.

[00:38:28] Arthur: Right. So you kind of wanna get ahead of that. So they, they have a place to kind of give you their thoughts, but they're not necessarily doing it in a public forum first. Um, and then of course, for five star reviews, you can see who here clicked on Facebook to leave review there.

Facebook & Instagram retargeting

[00:38:51] Arthur: And then the last one here is Facebook, Instagram retargeting. This is kind of what it could look like in practice. Um, so in, we have a whole blog post about how to set this up. It's too much to go through in this presentation here. Um, but it leads you step by step to how to set up a Facebook and Instagram campaign through the Facebook ads tool.

[00:39:09] Arthur: Uh, and the key thing here, I'll just talk about how this works in practice and I'm sure you've all experienced where you go on a website. Then you start seeing ads for that particular product in your social media feeds and the way they do that is something called a Facebook pixel, which can be placed on your own website or on your stay five splash page.

[00:39:29] Arthur: And basically Facebook says, Hey, anybody who's loaded this pixel on their browser. So anybody who's visited your website? We can put them in an audience and target them with ads and you can pick how many days, you know, you want them to live in that audience, whether it's thirty, ninety, a hundred eighty, I think the max is maybe around a year.

[00:39:47] Arthur: Um, so that way you can dynamically retarget. Everybody who visits your website with an ad and Facebook advertising is super cheap. Like maybe. You know, $10 for like a thousand impressions could be five to $10, maybe a little more, depending on who your audience is. Um, so for a few dollars a month, you can essentially get your brand in front of all your guests or everybody who's visited to your website.

[00:40:11] Arthur: Um, on let's say Instagram and Facebook pixels are how you build those audiences. and then there are some tools where you can also upload a list of emails from, let's say everybody who you've collected data from in the past and create an audience based on that data as well. Um, and then within Facebook they've made the tool like it's all self-service and they've made it easier and easier to use.

[00:40:32] Arthur: Um, so, you know, we obviously walk you through how to do that, but if you do wanna start building your social media presence or increase your Instagram followers targeting. People that are already aware of your brand or have stayed with you is kind of the lowest hanging fruit audience that you can go after with social media ads.

[00:40:52] Arthur: Al mark. Do you have any thoughts on this particular? I'm gonna say

[00:40:55] Mark: if anybody's think thinking, well, that sounds cool. How do I set it up? There's a blog post, obviously Onfi, but team Boley members. We've got some specific videos in the vault of the Boley academy vault that you can go to, but shows you a step by step on, on how to set that up.

[00:41:08] Mark: It's so powerful. It is still. Still a very, very, very good tactic, even though Facebook goes crazy and Instagram is crazy at times, this is still a really good tactic because at the end of the day, you're uploading an audience to Facebook, but already know like love and trust you and what Facebook will do, because it knows everything about everybody.

[00:41:26] Mark: Cuz we tell it everything about us. They will go and match it to the data that you are. So the types of people that you want to, to attract, like your ideal customer avatar, those of you have read the book, you'll know what that all about. So it just makes it a lot easier to put your information, your brand, your business, your property properties in front of people that already know like, and love and trust you.

[00:41:47] Mark: And it's people that look exactly like that on Facebook. So it is it's it's of such a powerful.

[00:41:53] Arthur: Yeah, I definitely recommend, you know, the, the people that have already stayed with you are lowest hanging fruit. You get the highest engaging rate. Once you start venturing outside of that with a look like audience or other types of audiences, it gets harder.

[00:42:04] Arthur: Um, so, you know, if you wanna tiptoe into there, it's kind of like, if you think about your audiences as like, kind of like. Eccentric circles, right? The littlest one are people that already know your brand. Like that's where you wanna start with. And then you can build out from there once you start seeing success.

[00:42:20] Arthur: Um, and the pixel two, it does help report on like how successful your ads are. So once you let's say, if you place a pixel on your boosty website, you can see data on like, What then that person did on your website. Right. Um, so that way you'll know if they actually like, did certain behaviors or added something to a cart.

StayFi offer

[00:42:38] Arthur: All of that's definitely possible. So you can measure ROI success, or in Google analytics, you can see like everybody who clicked on the Facebook ad, like what happened after the fact or how long they were on your website for yeah. Um, for our scifi, uh, you know, we always like to do an offer for people.

[00:42:55] Arthur: Sign up for our webinar. And I'll talk a little briefly. How are we doing on time? Okay. It's 5 45. So we have a few more minutes here for questions. Um, I'll talk about briefly how stafe works outside of setting it up in the United States. Cuz we do work everywhere, but the process is a little different in the UK or another country.

[00:43:14] Arthur: Um, but first of all, you can use this code booster to sign up on our website for a discount. Um, You know, we're a self-service tool, as I like to say. And there aren't so many of these in the short-term rental industry. So some of these people are. Don't realize that it's this easy. So you can just go to a website and make an account, and there's no cost to making an account so anybody can sign in and get AFI account and poke around the portal and make a splash page to set up.

[00:43:38] Arthur: Sci-fi you do need to buy a device called an access point that plugs into your router. And we use ubiquity unify access points, which is kind of like the leading provider for enterprise mesh hardware all around the world. And so we can walk anyone through how to get this equipment in the us. We sell it and ship it, but outside of the us, you can buy.

[00:43:57] Arthur: Directly from ubiquity the manufacturer. And then we go on a zoom with you to set it up with you, wherever you're located. And ubiquity has a UK and EU store. So if you wanna get ubiquity equipment, we can recommend which specific devices are a good fit for your properties. And so the way you do that is you make an account and then you would email support St.

[00:44:16] Arthur: five.com and we would get in touch with you, discuss what your properties are and recommend the specific devices for those homes. A lot of people already have ubiquity equip. So I'd say 90% of people who have professionally installed wifis in small hotels, cottages, or in large vacation rental villas, the installers install the equipment, cuz it's the most commonly used.

[00:44:37] Arthur: And then we can also use equipment that you already have. Um, so if anyone's interested, they can shoot me an email and I'm happy to walk them through how that process works outside of the. Nice. Could you just

[00:44:47] Mark: spell the name of ubiquity because people, uh, missed that?

[00:44:51] Arthur: Yes, I will put a link to the UK store so you can see all the devices in the chat.

[00:45:00] Mark: Amazing. So I just wanna say while is getting that, um, get getting that link. Tracy, we'll get that for you. Um, This webinar, what we wanted to do today was to just showcase some of the tools that, that are out there and also as well, sort of just highlight the fact why it is important. Now, for me, seeing St FFI go from email to added in text messaging is really exciting for me because I know the power of text.

[00:45:26] Mark: Um, I know how powerful it's and like you said, the open rate is 98%. Why to get rid of an email, you can just leave it in your . You can leave it in your inbox. It'll just. But if you're like me and you've got OCD and I, I can't, I can't stand to see something unread in my text messages to get rid of it.

[00:45:43] Mark: You've gotta read it. That's why the, the, the rates are so high. When you open it, you go, oh, okay, let me check this out. Like I'm literally doing right now. And so this is the power of it. And by investing your time into setting up text message and marketing, you are going to be ahead of 95% of the industry.

[00:46:00] Mark: Cause this is one that so many people, if you sleep on it, then you'll just get left. And this why it's so powerful. And again, we, we talked about it halfway through the, the webinar today is that this is not just going to the Booker. This is going to the whole party. So if you can just invest a little bit of time, reach out to alpha, you know, the email is right there.

[00:46:19] Mark: Go to stay five.com, go and sign up, have a little play, have a little dabble around. Um, and then we basically, then you go from there, set it up and if you do it right. You know, you've got the support from stay fire. And obviously those of you are part of team Brucely does all the training and the copy has already been created for you.

[00:46:34] Mark: We've hired copywriters to write email templates, literally for you to go in and put it on into practice. It's a perfect little marriage up. So yeah, that's what I just wanna end on by saying thank you so much for tuning in. Do we have that, that link

[00:46:46] Arthur: carer? Yeah, I put the link here. These are what the devices look like.

[00:46:50] Arthur: Um, these are all kind of the latest wifi six, which is, I don't know, you know, more of a technical thing, but basically just like 4g 5g for phones. There's a new wifi standard called wifi six that came out last year. So the other added benefit of using safe is obviously with new wifi, six gear, you're just gonna get a faster, better connection for all guests that are staying in the property.

[00:47:12] Arthur: I know somebody asked, you know, we can do some questions. Now I know somebody already asked about, um, and you can just put the, you don't have to use the questions. Um, Uh, tab and zoom, you can just put questions in the chat, cuz I know we have that pretty active there. Uh, I know somebody already asked about like a motel and so I say stay FFI, you know, we definitely specialized in short term rentals.

[00:47:33] Arthur: Um, but we have branched out and done like small motel hotel installations too. Um, and that's one where it really just depends how the wifi set up today. Um, there's a lot of different ways. People set up internet, whether it's hard, wiring, access points or setting up wireless mesh devices. And so, you know, basically if you tell us how the Internet's set up today, uh, in an email, we can tell you, you know, what the best pathway to set up stay.

[00:47:59] Arthur: I would be in that building or multifamily property. Uh, just depending on, you know, and then we also recommend, Hey, it's set up this way, but if you want it to be better, you could also hire someone to like wire, some access points in the building, and we'll also improve the internet so we can kinda let you know what all the options are and what the benefits and costs of those would be

[00:48:19] Mark: one final question.

[00:48:20] Mark: That's come in and this is a good one. So Jillian's got file properties. Mm-hmm , which is I've got four properties. I assume we need four hardware devices. How does it work with scifi when it goes to pairing it with four hardware device?

[00:48:32] Arthur: Yeah. So you would get one device per property. Uh, and the way the setup works is you cook this device called an access point into the homes, existing wifi router, most people, because they manage on behalf of homeowners, they actually leave the homes, existing wifi running.

[00:48:50] Arthur: So like any of the devices that are already online there, whether it's a door lock or a thermostat. You can leave on the home's existing wifi. The stay five device will broadcast a new guest network. That guest network will have the same name in every property. And so like brand guest network. So you can imagine you'll actually have one set of wifi instructions for all homes.

[00:49:11] Arthur: You can imagine you have 10 properties instead of giving 10 different sets of instructions. Now you. You have one set of instructions to give to all guests. And when they join that network, that's when they'll get the splash page and then you can leave the existing password protected network, the homeowner set up also running so that doesn't go away.

[00:49:27] Arthur: Um, so that's the way most people would set it up in multiple properties.

[00:49:32] Mark: Amazing. Um, yes. Uh, Eliza has put, can I get a replay of this? I am listening while driving, so yeah, absolutely. We will make sure that a replay goes out and AF is very kindly said, he's gonna send me the raw recording. I'll get it all boosted up and we'll, we'll get it chopped up and sent out and turned into a podcast as well.

[00:49:50] Mark: So just make sure as many people as possible can, can discover this. And this is something that I'm really ex excited for especi. People who are based in the UK and Europe, who, who have never, um, used stay fire or heard of stay fire. I've heard of it. I've never really doubled more into it. This is what I really wanna start getting more and more people onto because I know the power of this technology and text messaging and email and listening to the plans that alpha has next coming up is very exciting for me.

[00:50:14] Mark: So if you are part offa, you're in the UK and Europe, like I say, you're gonna be ahead of the majority of the market here. And it's a great way of not only. Collecting data, but what to do with it, increasing D bookings, which is what we're all about. So, uh, thank you very much for tuning in a Arthur. Thank you so much for getting up early, over there in, in California and, and, and doing this, uh, for us.

[00:50:35] Mark: Is there any final thing you'd like to say before we sign off?

[00:50:38] Arthur: No, it's been fantastic. And thanks, mark. You're amazing as usual. So

[00:50:42] Mark: my absolute pleasure and rash. Thank you so much for tuning in, in Australia, seriously, which, which, which is awesome. I can only imagine what time it is over there, but, um, have a great day.

[00:50:52] Mark: Thank you so much for checking out today's podcast episode now, before you head and go anywhere else before you click to the next episode, before you do that, do me one big favor and go check out boostly.co.uk/trust. IRA are the sponsors of all of the booster content and the reason why I work with them.

[00:51:09] Mark: And the reason why we spread the message of IRA is that when a host or a company is looking to get more into DRA bookings, the main question they have is around trust as in will a guest trust that I'm a true and real business will IRA take care of all of that. And they've got a special offer that is only available to boostly people, but to do that, you need to go to boost Lee, which is B O O S TL Y dot code UK slash trust. You can find out all the information there. You can book in a demo book in a call, and then you will get your super special offer that is only available to Boostly peoples, thank you again for tuning in do go check out IRA. We'll be back again very shortly with another podcast episode, but until then, we'll see you all very soon.

[00:51:53] Mark: Take care.

 

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