Vacation Rental Management for busy people!

Do the emails you send get read?

If you are like most vacation rental owners then you'll send many email quotes and responses to questions each week. Many of the quotes that you send out never get a response - often the property itself was not suitable or the price was not right.

What if the inquirer never even got to read your email?

How would you even know?

Spam filters are pretty aggressive these days and the most aggressive ones are usually on the popular, free email accounts (hotmail, yahoo, gmail etc). Many inquirers use these free accounts - so how do you know if your email gets through?

Why not use your email client's "receipt" capability?

Email clients, such as MS Outlook, often provide options when sending your email for requesting Delivery and/or Read Receipts:

  1. Delivery Receipt: When the email is delivered to the recipient then an email is sent to you.
  2. Read Receipt: When this email has been read by the recipient then an email is sent to you.

So, you're all set then, right? Well, no, it's not that simple unfortunately...

Email receipts are not honored by all email delivery systems

Email receipts are generated by the server that delivers the email to the recipient. You have no control over that server and often they do not support any kind of receipt generation at all. Delivery receipts, in particular, are rarely supported.

Read Receipts can be turned off by the recipient

Read receipts are often under the control of the recipient - they often turn them off totally or get to choose, for each email, whether they want to send the receipt or not.

Why not pay for a service that tracks your emails?

There are many services that you can subscribe to that will deal with many aspects of email delivery and tracking. These cost upwards of $2 per month and do have limits on the number of emails that you can send (ReadNotify.com, for example, has a $2 per month option that limits emails to an average of 5 per day).

These services usually allow you to send email directly with a modification to the email address (that the recipient will not notice) or via some downloaded program or plug-in to commonly used email applications (such as MS Outlook). Then there's a management page that you would log into to see the status of your emails or you may be emailed directly with confirmation and updates as they happen.

These services work by embedding special tracking "beacons" into the email so that when the email is opened or links inside clicked then the service is notified automatically and the email is thus tracked. These are not foolproof as some email clients will block these beacons - the email may be read but you'd not know about it. However, if links in the email are clicked then you would certainly know.

So, surely that's going to work OK then? It is certainly better and may be enough for many people. For the busy owner that needs to ensure that every email counts it really doesn't go far enough...

You still need to manually check that your emails are, or are not, being delivered

You need to remember to review the status by reviewing your notification emails or logging into the service and checking every so-often. As there's only a small window of opportunity to do this when it comes to responding to inquiries the follow-up needs to be done quickly and diligently so you'll need to check daily.

If emails are not being delivered then you still need to do something

Let's say that you realize that some emails look like they are not being delivered. You'd probably like to send out a simpler (unspam-like) follow-up email to check that the original email was delivered rather than send the same email again - if it was caught in spam the first time then it will just get caught there again. If they do get that follow-up email you'll then need to send out the original information once again - if they happen to "whitelist" you then you may get it delivered OK!

Do you have the time or patience to do that? Not many of us do. So, is there an alternative?

Let MyVRZone do this for you - automatically

What can the myvrzone vacation rental management software tools possibly do that you can't get anywhere else?

Remember that myvrzone's mission is to automate anything it can to leave the owner with more time to market their property or even have a life!

Track emails automatically

When you have the Platinum Plan services all emails sent out can be tracked automatically.

  1. Tracking is included in your emails automatically - just send them from within your account as usual
  2. If the email is opened, or links inside clicked then an Activity Indicator symbol will be shown next to the email entry in the history tab of the reservation or with the request if it was a Quote.
  3. Mouse over the activity indicator to see what has happened - it shows when the email was opened,  what was clicked and when.

So, that will get you the information about which emails have been opened by the recipient - you'll just need to look at the history to see what has not been opened. This is where the services mentioned above can get you to, but MyVRZone can go further...

Send follow-up emails automatically

With the Platinum Plan you can set Reminders that create to-do lists automatically so that you can look at what needs doing in one place and click a button to just do it (eg. send an payment reminder email based upon a provided or custom template).

Reminders can be set that depend on whether Quote or Reservation emails have been opened or not. For Quotes, reminders can also depend on whether the requested dates were quoted or not - you may only want to send a follow-up email if you quoted the requested dates.

Using the pre-defined email templates (or your own customized ones) you can set up a reminder to send a follow-up email automatically. The pre-defined templates are very simple and contain a single URL link to a view of the original email online - so there's no need to send out yet another email if the follow-up is received.

You get to determine when the follow-up email is sent in number of days from the original email's sent date and you can have as many reminders as you want - send reminders after 1 day then after 2 then after 5 if you want. Send different emails each time or the same one.

So, in summary

All you need to do is...

  1. Set up email follow-up reminders to execute automatically
  2. Send Quotes from your requests, as usual
  3. Send Reservation reminder/info emails to your guests, as usual

... and follow-up emails will be sent out automatically if the email was not opened according to your follow-up reminders.

The benefits...

  1. Visibility into what happens to your emails (you'll be amazed at how useful this is)
  2. The best chance to make every email count (maximizing your ROI)
  3. Customer service improvement by following up (guests have replied with thanks for following up)
  4. You don't actually need to do any more work (is that OK?)

Check out what else myvrzone has to offer or register for an account here.