When leads come in from lead feeders, property management firms have to share the revenue from those bookings with those lead feeders. If you want to maximize revenue, then, you want customers to book with you directly. So, how can you stay in touch with new customers to ensure they re-book with you or share their experience with their friends so they will book directly?
Many firms resort to capturing emails and sending newsletters out to this customer list in hopes of staying in touch with them. When this is your primary method, 80 percent or more of those contacts may never open or even see your email newsletters. Email (on a good day) sees about a 16 percent open rate.
And that’s about to get even smaller. There’s disruption in the marketing world with the recent Apple iOS update and new, state-based privacy restrictions. It’s not as easy to retarget customers who visited your website, or “follow” that customer around the internet to re-present your offer to them. Additionally, customers who use Apple Mail have the option of disabling email read receipts. Roughly 50 percent of the market are Apple users; therefore, your intel is likely to plummet.
If you can’t retarget those customers, or even know if they’ve shown interest, what can you do? There is still a communication channel available to you that is highly effective, and you’ll be able to reach nearly everyone who opts in almost instantly.
If you haven’t begun to do so, now is the time to build an opt-in mobile subscriber database. When you have a new property to showcase, or a list of available properties for the upcoming vacation season, text it to your customers. Because the best properties are in limited supply, text communication, with its built-in sense of urgency, is ideal for communicating this type of information. Regular engagement with your customers keeps your business top of mind, so when they are ready to book, they remember you.
If you want to explore establishing a mobile marketing initiative, it is important to work with a provider that is knowledgeable about the ever-changing regulations around this type of communication. You cannot just upload a list of numbers and start texting them; you’ll open yourself up to legal jeopardy. If you work with an expert, they stay apprised of these regulations, ensure the design of the program respects those regulations, and, as importantly, will get your program implemented much faster than you could on your own. This will deliver value to you much faster.
Social media has often been used to stay in touch. Don’t ever forget that these are rented platforms. You don’t own that data. Facebook or Instagram could shut your account down for unknown reasons and you’d have no claim to that data. You’d have to start from scratch building those “followers.”
Barbara Casey is the CEO of Mobile High 5, a mobile-first marketing agency based in the Philadelphia area, and has 30 years of experience in marketing. She was a member of the team that launched the first frequent buyer program in the country for AT&T, is a customer retention specialist, and brings an executive level of experience to benefit her clients