Optimization of conversions of an online vacation rental marketplace

Guidelines to optimise and maximise the retention of customers (customers = property owners)

Retention will be supported on 3 lines:

  1. Communicating interactively with property owners
  2. Integrating the value chain of VacationRentals with property owners
  3. Owners of each campaign – resources and timelines – would be agreed with all the stakeholders

Communicating interactively with property owners

Objective: turn VacationRentals in an all-year-round partner of their business
Target: the top tier customers in terms of value
How to achieve it: cross-over offline and online effectively for maximum impact
Campaigns in decreasing order of lasting impact:

  • Focus groups in locations with high density of properties. The aim will be to understand customer needs and glean market intelligence to feed the rest of the campaigns
  • Newsletters with case studies, news of marketing campaigns
  • Performance data: sharing metrics of online active on their properties (impressions, bounce rates, conversion analytics, leads generation)
  • Training and technical support: sharing knowledge of online marketing techniques including digital content, social networks, mobile apps

ROI of offline campaigns will need to be assessed jointly with online ones because the former would
otherwise be weighted down in cost and efficiency. The measurement of ROI will be by path rather than
by last action before retention. See Appendix I with examples of Campaigns targeting top value
customer owners

Integrate the value chain with loyal property owners

VacationRentals have the size and muscle to lead the change in online innovations and close the gap with
the offline marketing. Property owners would benefit from the leadership of VacationRentals as an
international marketplace.
Objective: Identify valuable customers at the beginning at the end of their life cycle. Accelerate the
former and revive the latter by finding synergies with all VacationRentals websites and divisions, both in the
technology and the marketing areas
Target: Whilst growing vigorously in Spain, the brand name of VacationRentals might still be perceived as
too foreign to potential Spanish customers. We will retain customers by leveraging VacationRentals’s
international footprint and local expertise for worldwide holidaymakers.
How to achieve it: Ensure that loyal property owners are the first to benefit from all marketing inroads
of VacationRentals in innovations like mobile apps, social networks, retargeting, multichannel cross-ups and
sells, hyperlocal marketing and SEO, SEM and affiliates
ROI: Appropriate weighting of costs from all areas of the company should reflect the investment.

Successful online tactics for the acquisition of customers

Partner with a high-volume non-property website, W, in the B2C weather category.
While property and weather do not seem relevant to each other, they happened to benefit from our
visitors’ shared interests.
The local pages of W display links to their equivalent pages on my websites. A small, but significant,
fraction of the visitors to W click on the links to my local pages. We measured the performance of those
visits and they happened to convert admirably well.
The popularity and trustworthiness of W in Germany helped us learn two things: 1. we can scale up our
success in Germany to other countries by contacting large weather websites and 2. we can partner with
sites of other categories as long as they enjoy very high levels of traffic. I find this experience relevant
to VacationRentals in that:
– Weather sites are more relevant to vacation rentals than residential property
– Property owners can be acquired at a very competitive CPA via these partnerships. Negotiation
and implementation are both quick and simple. ROI is measurable and immediate
Similar approaches can be implemented with investment, finance, travel and other websites and
communities

Examples of Campaigns targeting top value customer owners

Pay for performance – the better your listing, the less you pay: we can measure it!

We can measure visits and leads to the best ads. Successful listings are made of good pictures and
accurate descriptions. We will remunerate you with discounts in future uploads and renewals if your
listings perform 50% above the average of the listings for the same location in peak season.
ROI: Conversion rates can effectively monitored in real time with Google Analytics

Make your Internet-savvy tenants work for you

Holidaymakers will be asked to share their twitter accounts at the booking checkout. If they promote
your property in their social circles, VacationRentals will offer them a complimentary voucher worth 250 MB
of mobile broadband during their stay. We will give you access to our proprietary tool that will let you
confirm that they tweeted about your property during the duration of their holidays.
ROI: Assuming an adoption of 2% of the holiday makers and 1% of the owners, calculate the reach in
social networks (followers and friends) and deduce the cost per click to the listing page

Scheme to promote celebrity holiday destinations and properties

Has someone famous rented your house for holidays? Inspired in the Blue Plaques of English Heritage,
VacationRentals will:
– Add a distinctive badge to your detail page
– Promote it on local media as a PR action
– Attach a commemorative plaque with VacationRentals logo on the property
– Capture organic, PPC and affiliate traffic for keywords of holidays and celebrity names
ROI: Increased traffic to listings targeting the (untapped) queries of holidays + celebrities should quickly
pay for the cost of the commemorative plaques

Turn holidaymaking into experience sharing

Are you aware of all the conferences, festivals, culture, sports or company events within 25 miles of
your property? We will help you smooth out the seasonality of your bookings by targeting specific
communities likely to visit your area in the next 6 months.
Large groups can be effectively targeted via SEO, SEM and affiliate networks. VacationRentals will drive
pre-qualified visitors to your listings if you sign up for our events campaigns. VacationRentals will also
partner with leading ticketing and cultural institutions to acquire qualified leads to our listings.
ROI: Increased traffic to listings will be valued higher in off-peak season. This is because VacationRentals
will meet the demand curve for new needs in an innovative way.

VacationRentals local ambassadors

Are you one of your most loyal property owners in your area? Are you also an influencer in your local
and online communities? VacationRentals will appoint you our local ambassador. As such, you will benefit
from our special offers and invitations to corporate events. You will also be granted priority status with
our Customer Service
ROI: Test different combinations of offline and online campaigns

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