This article covers 10 different ways to promote your listing on Airbnb that will result in more customers paying higher prices and staying for longer. This is an in-depth article of all of the things that most Airbnb hosts don’t do. They’re leaving money on the table. If you do these things, I would bet money you will see results!
Some things might sound obvious, some things not so obvious. I’d really appreciate it if you’d leave a comment in the section below as to what you’ve found new, useful and interesting.
1. Collect Email addresses from every single guest.
Okay, that sounds obvious, but it’s an easy thing that anyone and everyone could and should do, but most people don’t do!
Of course, you need to get your guests’ permission to do this and be GDPR compliant (see GDPR definition here), however, once you have email addresses they are like gold dust, and can drive engagement and traffic for your listing (and indeed traffic back to your own website) and generally promote your listing on the internet.
Here are six ways ways to collect email addresses:
- when your guests log onto your Wi-Fi have them connect via Facebook signup or email sign-up address (incorporate marketing permission into this process). This is an awesome way to collect addresses. An example of a provider of this service is beambox.com which starts at only £25 a month (please note I am not compensated for including their link); and there are many other similar services.
- Before your guests check in to your property, whichever way you have sourced the booking (i.e. Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, vrbo.com etc) send the guest a registration form. This not only looks professional but it enables you to capture the contact information including address and email address. (Tip, if you really want to get good reviews, send people a thank you postcard through the post, i.e. snail mail. The fact that you’ve been bothered to do this will speak volumes).
Here’s an example of the sign-up form I use:
- If you’re wondering how to get someone to follow a link to sign up to an online registration form when some of the booking platforms block this on their messaging system, remember you have the guest’s mobile phone number and you can send them a text message. I recommend using a text message service that shows the name of my property rather than my mobile phone number. This service I use is textlocal.com.
- Some booking engines will automatically give you people’s email address. The main booking channel that does this (in my experience) is Expedia (and there 100s of affiliates). Use this information (but of course be GDP are compliant in the EU).
- This sounds simple, but if you call guests to welcome them prior to their stay, and you don’t have their email address, just ask for it because you’ve got to send them arrival information anyway. You can add it to your mailing list and use it again in the future.
2. Create your own website.
One of the main purposes of a website is to collect leads/contacts/email addresses. I can build you a website. Please see Site in a box for more information and get a stunning website for a very low fixed fee. Please see this link for more information. Here’s an example of a website I built for a client recently:
The benefits of your own website are huge. Let’s have a look at a few of them:
- If you have your own website you have a facility to take direct bookings.
- If you have your own website you can link this with a Facebook page and an Instagram page to help promote your listing.
- You can use your website to get listed with local tourism bodies, or indeed any other relevant organisation. A good example of this is one of our properties which is near a hospital: we advertise in the hospital magazine because a, it’s a charitable magazine and means we can give a bit back and it gives us great exposure to people who are likely to stay in our apartments for a long time full
- Having your own website also enables you to signup for a Google my business account (GMB listing). This means that your property will appear when people search for it, and there will be a little flag with your property name on Google Maps. Even more importantly a GMB listing will concatenate all of your reviews from booking.com, TripAdvisor, and Expedia.
3. Social Media
This goes hand-in-hand with having a website. However, even if you don’t have a website you can still make great use of social media by posting really superb images of your property. The saying “a picture tells 1000 words” doesn’t come from nowhere! Here’s an example from Instagram of a really stunning post:
“If you are regularly posting great pictures of your property that really make it shine, this will build trust with your audience that they will be staying somewhere high quality.”
In addition to pictures, I also post screenshots of reviews, particularly on Facebook. This “social proof” shows people real-life evidence of other people who appreciate your property. And of course, if you link back to your page on Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor etc, people can then go and read those reviews for real, and the more engaged they are with your property, the more likely they are to book it.
Going hand-in-hand with that, many of the more sophisticated online travel agencies (booking.com, Expedia etc) Use what’s called re-targeting. This means if you have visited a particular property page on their website, they will send you emails about this property and it may well pop up on Google search results. You can read more about retargeting in this video (It’s worth watching):
Credit: Surfside PPC
4. Leave (lots of) marketing literature – branded – at your property.
In your property leave marketing literature with your branding material and most importantly business cards, but also a welcome letter with your headed paper, and a nice branded “house manual“. (Please see my separate article about branding your Airbnb).
5. Special Offers Generate Urgency (and Sales)
There’s a good reason why retailers have Black Friday sales. They work. Booking.com does them, so you can too!
If you give people a limited period of time in which to book something, this creates urgency and a desire to make a decision quickly if the discount only lasts for 48 hours, for example.
Also, on a very simple level special offers are a good reason to reach out to people, and is something which would be a great subject for a mailshot. (I recommend you use Mailchimp (they have a free plan for up to 2000 contacts) for sending mailshots with the email addresses you collect.
Mailchimp is one of the most competitively priced providers on the marketplace, and you can view real-time information about who has actually opened your emails and who hasn’t, which links have been clicked, and which haven’t. Essentially enables you tweak and target your further mailshots in the right way (i.e. Great marketing intelligence).
6. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Put (very) simplistically, the more “noise” there is about your property on the Internet (this applies to any website) the more exposure the website, or in your case, the property will get.
Therefore, although harder to measure, it will not do any harm at all to mention your property on Pinterest, Cora, other Facebook pages, blogs, and really any other online resource that you can think off. Again the more mentions you get (in appropriate and relevant places) the more interest in your property there will be.
If you have your own website, and once again we can create this for you, you can add blog posts.
Great examples of blog posts about your property would include things like:
- Things to do in your area
- News about your property
- Articles about why to stay at your property (because it’s near a local business – like a hospital or concert hall, for example)
- Screenshots of your reviews
Essentially, anything that’s relevant to your property is useful. Blogging can get complicated, and there’s literally million of internet and youtube posts about it; but for this purpose let’s keep it straightforward:
The two Golden rules to follow are that the article (blog post) is useful to the reader, has a couple of images in, and references your property once or twice (don’t go crazy). Once again “a picture tells 1000 words” and pictures helps it with engagement.
If you look at this website (satisfiedsleepers.com) for example, The more content I publish, unsurprisingly the more traffic I have to the website. The same applies to your property.
7. Highly Targetted Facebook Ads
Facebook ads are great because they can really target the people you want to reach out to. For example, if you want to target people who live within a 10-mile radius of your property, you can do this. This might be relevant to – for example – promote your page to people who have relatives who might want to stay at your property whilst they’re visiting people in your area.
One thing to be aware also with Facebook ads, is not to go crazy. Be very careful with the budget, and create several variations of your advert. Now, to the newcomer this might sound really complicated, however actually isn’t. Here’s a video of how to create Facebook ads that you might find useful:
Credits: Ben Heath
8. Things to include in your promotions
We’ve talked about pictures and reviews already, however there are other things to point out in your promotions of your property that are really important. These include the following:
- Features of your property. This is really important. People need to know if you have a kitchen with a tumble dryer and washing machine (for example). People need to know how many bathrooms you have, and how many people you can accommodate.
- Avoid mentioning pricing too much when you promote your property. Remember people make decisions emotionally and then back it up with rationale and logic. People don’t tend to make decisions based on the price they make them based on how much they like or how strongly they feel about something. See this article on Inc.com if you need convincing of this! Remember you’re selling here so put your best foot first use images, complimentary reviews, And features, and this will go along way.
9. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!
One of the most important lessons I learned when I started my sales and marketing career was that one promotion is not enough (this could be a mailshot, phone call, or these days and Internet advert).
Xerox the photocopier company in the late 1990s did a survey which suggested the customer needed seven “touches “(i.e. contacts of various sorts) for them to close a deal. My personal view is that you don’t need seven contacts to insure someone, but don’t send one newsletter or make one Facebook post and expect to get a flood of bookings. It doesn’t work that way.
People take notice when they have repeated contact from a business, ideally in multiple forms. So keep going, and keep promoting.
10. Just do it!
OK no, I’m not sponsored by Nike (!) but the fact is that if you don’t take action on these points, nothing will happen, whereas if you do take action, even if it’s one step a day, then you’ll for sure see an uptick in your results.
One of my business mentors used to use this quote, which I found highly inspirational: “Good things come to those that wait, but only the things left behind by those that hustle”. Isn’t that the truth?! (Original quote by Abraham Lincoln).
Good things come to those that wait, but only the things left behind by those that hustle.Abraham Lincoln
A great video I found for taking action is here, and is an awesome resource for getting going:
(Credits TedEx Talks)
I hope you found this resource useful. If you have I’d really appreciate if you shared it on your social networks. If you’d like to contact me about this please feel free to reach me via email to [email protected] or contact me via our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/satisfiedsleepersblog/