Direct Booking Simplified Podcast – EP04 – Getting more repeat bookings with text and email marketing with Sam Minstretta

Sam is a short term rental operator with properties in 5 markets and is the founder of GoSTRMarketing, the done-for-you str marketing firm focused on getting repeat bookings through email and text campaigns.

Podcast Summary

In this podcast with Sam Minstretta on utilizing email and text marketing for vacation rentals, several key insights emerged. Firstly, the combination of text messages alongside emails proves significantly more effective than relying solely on emails. Texts boast impressive open rates (98%) and rapid readership (90% within 3 minutes), highlighting their potential for quick and impactful communication. Secondly, consistency emerges as a crucial factor for success. While initiating strong campaigns is feasible, maintaining momentum over time requires systematic and regular outreach efforts, which in turn yield compounding results.

Furthermore, personalization emerges as a cornerstone strategy. Tailoring communications to include the guest’s name, property details, and reminders of past stays enhances engagement and fosters a sense of connection. Importantly, offering value beyond mere promotions is emphasized. Providing local insights, restaurant recommendations, and event suggestions enriches the guest experience and fosters a sense of community. Leveraging existing data, such as past guest contact information, is highlighted as a valuable resource with significant revenue potential when utilized effectively.

Lastly, maintaining a positive mindset and visualizing goals are underscored as crucial for success when embarking on direct booking efforts. Tracking key metrics like unsubscribe rates and click-through rates enables optimization over time. However, the true power lies in consistently expanding and nurturing the guest database year after year. By implementing these strategies, vacation rental marketers can enhance their outreach efforts and cultivate lasting guest relationships.

Essential Highlights

Here are a few key takeaways from the podcast with Sam Minstretta about using email and text marketing for vacation rentals:

  • Combining text messages with emails is much more effective than emails alone. Texts have very high open rates (98%) and get read quickly (90% within 3 minutes).
  • Consistency is crucial – it’s easy to start strong but hard to maintain momentum over time. Having systematic campaigns that go out regularly produces compounding results.
  • Personalization is important – using the guest’s name, property details, and memory joggers about their previous stay helps re-engage them.
  • Provide value beyond just promotions – share local tips, restaurant recommendations, events etc. Don’t just ask for bookings.
  • Leverage the data you already have – past guest phone numbers and emails hold a lot of revenue potential if marketed to properly.
  • Visualization and belief in your goals is key for maintaining the right mindset when starting something new like direct booking efforts.
  • Track metrics like unsubscribe rates, click-throughs etc to optimize campaigns over time. But the real power comes from consistently building your guest database year-over-year.

Follow Sam on instagram @samuelmistrpm


The email by itself, I’ve tried that before and, um, just email marketing alone. And that took a little longer to kind of gain traction. But whenever we started doing the text and email marketing, I mean, it was within days  

 Hey there, welcome back to direct booking simplified, where we break down the strategies and tactics to win in direct bookings.  And on today’s show, we have Sam and Shada. He’s an SDR operator with properties in five markets and is the founder of go STR marketing and SDR marketing firm focused on email and text marketing.

Today he’s going to walk us through how he leverages email and text marketing to win more repeat bookings for his portfolio and his customers. So let’s bring him in. Hey, Sam. It’s, uh, it’s great to have you on the show. 

Yeah, Gil. Thanks for having me, man. Excited to be here. How things been for you? 

It’s been, it’s been good.

It’s been good. Um, we did a whole bunch of releases on craft to stays a few weeks back, new templates, new additions, um, onboarded a whole bunch of new customers. So it’s been, it’s been really good there. I, I definitely can’t complain. Yeah, that’s awesome, 

man. I think it’s so cool what you guys are doing. 

What’s been, what’s been up with you, man, 

just, um, trying to, trying to do the best at, at we can, both in the short term rental side of the business and then also helping people drive some direct bookings, man. So, um, yeah, just fulfilling those bookings for the summer, doing the, uh, revenue management things on one end and then, uh, really the team’s kind of been doing that.

So we’ve got a great team, uh, that’s helping me while my main focus is over on, you know, the go STR side. Uh, just, just helping people reach out to those contacts and rekindling those relationships so they can be, you know, bookers for life, man. So go STR has been keeping me busy. All good. Yeah. 

I live also the dual world of Um, being, uh, being a host,  being a full time host and a full time, uh, entrepreneur as well, too.

Um, I find that now I have less mind space to tend to like the day to day of hosting. Um,  but I, I try to carve out like the beginning of my days to like take care of all of my hosting stuff so I can then focus on just the business thereafter.  But it’s, it’s challenging. It’s challenging.  It’s a great plan. 

Time blocking, you know, I love it. Do all the same, but. It’s so easy for one thing just to kind of spin off, but yeah, it’s just awareness. I guess, you know, I mean, like, I feel like if I don’t spend the time in the morning to do the SDR stuff, then it, I think about it. It’s in my mind, it’s implanted in my mind for the rest of the day.

So I do take, make sure that everything is running. I’m checking my pricing for at least like 10, 15 minutes in the morning just to make sure that like, I don’t have to worry about for the rest of the day.  Absolutely. Yeah. How’s, how’s your properties been, um, on your side? Um, have they, is it looking as, as good as it was last year?

Or are you seeing a change this year around?  

Yeah, man. Uh, actually I had the best January I’ve ever had. It’s typically, uh, I’m in five different markets, so it’s kind of different. I’m in two beach markets and, um, um,  Three, well, I guess three beach markets in, in two kind of, uh, I guess college towns, I guess you could say all along the Gulf coast.

So, um, man, uh, January is typically the slowest month. We’ve had the best January we’ve ever had. I think we were up like 40 percent over last year.  It’s crazy. It’s crazy, man. And then, um, February was good. It was just up 8%, but, uh, Feb, uh, March is, March is looking pretty good. So, so I think we should be doing better than a Q1 last year.

So it’s exciting. So there’s no, uh, no Airbnb bus there. No, no,  

but I’m telling you, man, it’s, it’s so interesting. My college, uh, markets Baton Rouge in, in, in Oxford, Mississippi. Uh, man, I just love the seasonality on those things. Right. I mean, my two beach markets, I’ve got Galveston and Gulf shores and man, it’s great when it’s great, but it is.

It’s pretty quiet when it’s quiet, you know?  

Yeah, you just got to make sure you manage your cash flow, right? 

Exactly. Exactly. We even put, um, so we actually did, did the hot tub in a beach market. So we’ve got a beach house in Galveston. So I was like, uh, man, you know what? Anybody can make money in June, July, but to really pad my shoulder seasons and things like that, let’s get that hot tub, you know, let’s, let’s put that, you know, ROI highest ROI amenity to use, I guess, you know?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Before we get too, too deep into it, um, do you mind giving the listeners a sense of who you are and what you do?  

Yeah, absolutely. So, um,  Sam Estrada, I come from, uh, an IT background. And so I was in, uh, enterprise IT for, uh, about the past 12 years. And so I was started, started with long term, uh, real estate as kind of a side hustle.

Um, Decided I wanted to shift my focus to short term from long term and transitioned one long term, uh, side of a duplex to short term. Realized that, man, I did as much, you know, net revenue in that last month as I did in the past year with the long term. I think we may have something here. And so after that, uh, the next 12 months, uh, we had 12 listings in the ownership and co hosting  At the 12 month mark, oddly enough, I, uh, resigned from the W2  and then decided to do, um, you know, STRs full time.

And so we went on to do 18, uh, listings in 18 months.  Yeah. And that was pretty insane and, uh, rewarding, but then we needed a break. So then I had some mind space and I was like, man, I need to, uh, I need to do something, you know, I need to, I need to generate, okay, I’m done. I’m going to take a break. Take a time out with the team and me from, from launching properties.

And so that kind of freed the space of, um, me kind of falling into my next, um, You know, passion now, and that’s marketing to my past guests, um, via email and text marketing, and then, so I did that for my own business, saw the results, how they impacted me, got a beta group together, saw it impacted them, and then I had the confidence to kind of share with some other people.

So now that’s, that’s what we call go SDR marketing. And then, um, that’s about the last two years in a nutshell.  

You mentioned that you got some, some early wins. What did that look like when you started doing email marketing for yourself? Like did it take a long time for you to see that traction or did you start seeing immediate results like pretty much like right away? 

You know, it’s interesting. Um,  the email by itself, I’ve tried that before and um, just email marketing alone and I took a little longer to kind of gain traction. But whenever we started doing the text and email marketing, I mean, it was within, um, Days,  um, just because you’re landing on people’s phones and, you know, uh, text messages have a 98 percent open rate, 90 percent of texts are read in the first three minutes.

So, um, it’s just a total game changer going from email to text. I mean, it’s literally like.  I mean, it’s night and day. So yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s pretty immediate. Wow. 

Well, why do you think that the, the texts other than just the open rate, why did that really accelerate the growth of direct bookings for, for you personally, when you started doing this yourself? 

So I think, um, we always reach out, uh, with, with a personalized, um, message, right. It’s,  uh, we’re either reaching out. Uh, initially we reach out to thank them, uh, for being a great guest and then, um,  offer them value. So if you would like to receive, you know, some discounts and coupons and explore our other properties, um, we’d love to show that to you if you’d be interested.

So kind of,  extending the conversation from the last day, offering that kind of olive branch, giving value. And I think that’s kind of the biggest thing is really just giving value on a personal 

level. Yeah. Do you start the whole texting pretty much after  They’ve stayed with you. So like the, the, thank you for staying with us.

Or do you start seating like getting into their phones even before their stay even ended?  

So what we do, um, is typically wait a couple of weeks  and that is, and that’s what  we wait about personally, like whenever I was doing it myself, I waited about a week, but now when I’m doing it, uh, you know, offering this to other people, I give it about two weeks because I want to give people time to, Mark their guests as bad and tag them and their PMS and their CRM as bad.

So, um, you know, it’s, um, you know, for us doing it for other folks, I don’t want to invite bad guests back to the property for, for them, you know? So, um, so it’s, it’s a different, uh, it’s a different cadence. Uh, it’s a different channel.  

Got it. Got it. Okay. So you’re, you’re not like one of those where  once they log onto your wifi, you send them a text right away.

And then you, you try to nurture that and you, you kind of wait until. Um, you really do want to thank them. And then when you do, it’s a very genuine one, um, and it’s one that you want to want them to come back. 

Yeah, exactly. And so I, I kind of want it as, as different, um, channels, um, or types of communication.

So one, I don’t want to, um, you know, this is all about your stay. Thank you. And then the next is. Okay, kind of a nurturing campaign afterwards. So it’s two kind of different campaigns. One during your stay and then second, you know, break afterwards. So  

got it. We got it.  Um,  how do you think about  crafting your,  um,  Your email campaigns or SMS campaigns.

And you don’t have to go into like the nitty gritties because I know that you focus a lot about this in,  um, in your services, but at a, at a high level, so someone’s approaching this from the ground up, like what suggestions do you have for them to help them craft out that, that nurturing campaign? What do you, what are the parts that you think about? 

Yeah. So, uh, definitely, uh, give value first. Um, that is one thing that a lot of people miss and just, Um,  just maybe ask, right? Just say, Hey, come back. Hey, come back. Let’s offer value. Okay. Um, so in some of your different messages also make them different. So make each,  you know, communication a different type, make it unique.

Um, also brand yourself. So what we do is we put, uh, our logo or other folks, you know, our client’s logo at the top and make it consistent because, um,  Whenever people see you, we’re, we’re, you’re branding yourself here. So people like trends, people like consistency, right? So each time they open that email, they know, okay, I recognize this.

I’m either going to get something of value like a 10 percent coupon or something I didn’t know about.  Maybe a local attraction or a favorite restaurant and things like that. So, um, keep it, keep the messages different, give value, but also have some form of consistency because that’s what, you know, it’s just kind of a, a marketing thing. 

Do you always try to get them to click back into your website? Or a lot of times it’s just reminding them all the great things that they, they could have done or want to do the next time they visit. Um,  do you always have a, have a care of them, care for them to come back? Or is this. Sometimes value is enough and they’ll come find you if they need you.

Yeah. So typically we have a two or three calls to action, you know, book now going back to the, um, going back to the direct booking site. So that’s, that’s always there. But then also we just don’t want it again to just be like, ask, ask, ask. Right. Um, we have those live links for a link. Um, so say, uh, that’s five, five of my favorite restaurants, you know, in each market or whatever.

So. We’re going to provide, um, a write up for that specific restaurant, say it’s the seafood house, you know, and, uh, they recommend the shrimp, right? So everybody has a different way of hosting. They have different, uh, things they like themselves. So that’s why it’s, it’s unique and branded to everybody. But so, and that’s a good thing too, for your guests.

So, you know, we do, um, you know, a picture of the food, right? Everybody loves to look at food pictures,  and then a little write up and then a live link. They’ll be able to that restaurant or a live link to the 4th of July, uh,  fireworks, you know, party or something like that. So  

both. Got it. Got it.  Talk to me about how, so say for instance, if I were to sign up with, with your service today, what does that experience look like for you, for, for me and both, actually both of us?

Like, what do you, what are the different phases through? I’m guessing you guys go through like, who’s your ideal guest avatar and crafting out your messaging and possibly even like. exploring the different markets here.  Um, walk me through kind of like what you help other hosts get through and kind of what the outcome is. 

Absolutely. So, um,  I feel we kind of help hosts kind of focus for, for at least a few hours on the, you know, their, their markets and their company and what they really want to brand and put out there. Um, so during the onboarding phase, what we do is we collect, uh, information about your company as, as a whole, um, as well as your markets.

And then we go down to the property level. So, um, so let’s just say you’re, uh, your company. So what’s  basic information, basic company information, but then also is that an LLC or a partnership or whatever, because whenever we do, um, register that phone number for you, that you’re going to be messed.

messaging out of. We actually, um,  apply and register and get approved your EIN, your company with that phone number. And we do all that in the back end. So you don’t have to do any of that. Uh, but that’s so your, your texts don’t land a spam. They actually land and they’re not spam. Uh, cause there’s a lot of different SMS, um, new regulations out there.

So we do that sort of stuff at the company level. You know, basic information about that, your different markets. Um, so you have five different markets. Well, that’s great. Well, um, just put your shoulder, peak and slow seasons. And then after that, um, you know, like what are your, what are some favorite attractions?

What are your, uh, you know, the, the restaurants and events. Now we just ask for you to put the URL. We’ll fill all the.  We’ll fill all that out for you. So, um, at the end product, we’re going to, you know, provide the copy of the imagery, the live links and everything like that. So just the links. Um, and there’s a few other things, uh, in there too, like some coupon selections.

So, uh, it’s, it’s based on your aggressiveness, right? So we don’t want to give away the farm. You know, a lot of these are, a lot of these coupons are typically, um, around the shoulder and in slower seasons. And so you have that ability to kind of customize that towards your, You know, business, uh, you know, comfort level.

And then after that, uh, we actually just started, we, you don’t even have to upload your pictures anymore. We just go grab, uh, the photos, uh, ourselves. So we’ve eliminated all that. So we’re really trying to streamline all this. So effectively, um, after your, that takes, depending on how many properties, um, let’s just say, I mean, four to eight hours, I guess, um, depending on, you know, your portfolio.

Two to three weeks later, uh, we build out your campaign.  We come to you. Uh, we have a zoom call. We say, Hey, look, let’s go over your. 12 month, uh, custom branded text and email campaign. I’m going to show you how to make comments. If you’d like to move at or change anything, this is how you put those comments in there.

We do that a few weeks later, we make those changes. And then after that, we hop on a live launch call together and you see us marketing to your guests for you. And that’s the last time you really have to pick up a laptop because it’s all app based. And, um, you just reply to. Guest inquiries from there, if you 

have it.

Yeah. So you started game bookings pretty much right then.  

Yeah. It’s crazy. Uh, the, the types of conversations that, that we see it’s, it’s totally different. Um, I would have never thought of it. Um, just being off the OTA. Um, I get so many. They’re like, awesome. What do you have? You know, May 5th through 8th. I was like, well,  I don’t know how many people that’s a big question.

Right. So, um,  

Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s different than when you’re on Airbnb. Airbnb is asking you for that one specific stay in here. You’re actually able to market your entire portfolio to whoever wants to visit with you.  

Exactly. And that’s, that’s another thing that was very apparent to me very early. Um, and we all kind of know this, but like, whenever you start marketing your portfolio,  that person that stayed at your property only thinks you have that one property.

Um, even though you think, Oh, they can find me again on Airbnb and that’s people live busy lives. And then God forbid, if they try to find you again on VRBO, right. I mean, what that’s looking like. So, um, it’s really holding their hand to, you know, from their last booking on the OTA and guiding them to  Your direct booking site, because you know, we’re in hospitality.

We got to, we got to help people out and be hospitable.  Yeah. 

Things easy  when you market, do you,  so you have these nurturing campaigns.  Are you segmenting them at all? Or are you sending the same message to whoever may be wanting to stay? Um, Or are you sending us different chain of messages based on where they book last with you?

How are you, how do you think about that?  

So they’re getting similar messages, um,  despite where they stayed. So, uh, on some of these, we’re acknowledging the fact that they may have stayed at this property, but then we’re, you know, exploring the other properties as well. So we want to make it easy for you, uh, for, for our clients to know like what they’re getting, because if we have five different emails going to five different people, Like you don’t,  it gets confusing for the, you know, for the owner, right?

Well, what, what did they see? Right. Or I gotta, I gotta know what message they saw and then align with that conversation. So, you know, it’s, it’s really doing the, doing the basic foundational things, but doing them on a consistent basis. That’s  it. It seems so easy, but it’s so tough. 

Yeah. Yeah.  So when you recommend, like, say, the previous example of the, the five favorite restaurants, uh, and what to order there,  are you tailoring that towards the market that they were on or pretty much any of the, like, for instance, like we’ve had, if we’re in five markets, you’ll get those types of, uh,  Suggestions regardless of which one you stayed at. 

Yeah, exactly. So let’s say you have three markets, uh, Disney world, um, New York and, uh, New York city and San Diego. So on the, on the, um, restaurant message, you’re going to get, Hey, here are my favorite restaurants in my three different markets. So it’s going to be, you know, it’s going to showcase each markets restaurants.

Oh, so you’ll have it. You’ll have all three of them in one, in one email chain.  

Yeah, so in one message, it’s like broken up, you know, into one email. So, um, and it’s, it’s interesting because you want to do that, you know, with the marketing best practices, you know, cause you don’t want to have a 10 scroll or email people get.

You know, I don’t care about five restaurants and, you know, five different markets. I’m going to get tired and, you know, check out. So, you know, we kind of customize that depending on the market count and, you know, things like that. So,  but it’s again, um, just showcasing the different, um,  you know, the best things of each market.

So it’s crazy. Um,  I’ve had multiple conversations with my guests that they stayed in one market and then I showed them, you know, I have properties in another market. And. You know, they’re like, wow, we go there every year. I didn’t know you had place places there. Do you have anything, you know, available?

Because they liked my, you know, they liked our, our products. They liked our, you know, our, our guest experience. And they just don’t know that, that you have places out there other than where they stayed.  

Yeah, that’s a good point. I think about that quite often. It’s like  on Airbnb and VRBO, we always talk about the five star and I think VRBO is going like 10, 10 stars or whatever, or 10,  10, the 10 point rank.

I don’t know what they’re going to call it. Um, but I think like if you really want to get good at direct bookings, it goes actually beyond just asking for the stars stars, because what you really want them to do is feel like they had a really good time with you. And that  it was a special experience that they may not, uh, 

Um, so the next time they want to have a stay, like, and they have the one that want to have a consistent stay that was as good as the one that they had last time,  um, is to, to, to book with the same person again.  

Absolutely. And, you know, it’s those text messages add such a personalized feel. Um,  and, and so that really adds the personalization to that.

So,  you know, it’s, it’s, it’s all about, I tell people, um, you know, we just kind of, uh, I guess, uh, guide your horses to your trough and it’s your guest experience. It’s your properties, you know, that, that makes them drink, right. That makes them come back for more. So yeah, it’s, it’s great to see, um, just really  hosts operating at a high level and seeing, uh,  just building their book of business for, I mean, For the rest of their lives, because I mean, once you get somebody on those, on your direct booking sites, I mean, you know, Gil, it’s like, once you got them coming there, I mean, they’re not really going to go anyplace else because it almost feels like they kind of know a guy and it makes that personalization and it humanizes you and it builds that rapport that, you know, to make them say, well, it’s not just an Airbnb, it’s, it’s Gil’s place.

Yeah, we talk about that a lot in the  direct booking, like website space  is that you want the. The website to be really resonate with your ideal guest avatar and you want to plant  the, you want to build trust as they’re scrolling through your site. So we actually bake that into our website itself. Like we have a whole dedicated section on just talking about the hose and we encourage our customers that use craft to stays to upload their image on there.

Um, because when someone sees another person on the other side, they see the actual host and not just a property management company with the logo behind it. Like it becomes a lot more personable. And if you feel like  you got a really good experience with that person last time, there’s a, there’s a, there’s a deeper relationship there.

Um,  plus we all, we always add like reviews and all those things, but like. When they land on the website, we actually do want to make sure that we foster that trust there.  

Absolutely. No. And that’s what I love about what you guys do too, is, is have that, have that place where you build rapport. That’s, that’s one of our messages too.

I forgot to mention that earlier, but yeah, we have one message that’s directly like, thank you for helping us, you know, chase our dream. We couldn’t do it without you. Here’s why I got into. being a short term real host. And so, you know, having that narrative right there and then seeing it again on you guys site, it’s, yeah, it’s pretty powerful.

Yeah. Yeah. I’m constantly learning about what things should we add on to the website and which things that we should actually like get rid of on there because we don’t want to like put a bunch of garbage. Um,  but yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s great to see the evolution and how people are thinking about marketing, how they’re thinking about the guest experience and really does, Like you say, it does all come together.

The way that you talk to them via text, the way they talk to them through your emails, the way that they land on the website, it all has to be very consistent with each other.  Exactly. Exactly.  Yeah.  Talk to me about  data. Like we, the other week when we were chatting, um, data was one of those things that you leverage Quite a bit.

Um, what did you mean by that?  

Yeah. So, um, I guess for me, I guess starting kind of high level, um, the data that, that really made the biggest impact on me as a short term rental host, um, before I got into really doing the marketing and everything was the valuable company data that I had. guest phone numbers and emails that I wasn’t doing anything with.

I mean, that data is, you’re just sitting on  piles of, of revenue. And, um, it’s, it’s, it’s really a shame that, you know, if you think about it, you’re not, you’re not serving your guests as, as well as you could, if you don’t, show them a place, how to book a place again that they already love, right? You know, they, they know, like, and trust you.

So give them the, give them the courtesy of reaching out to them and making it easy for them to rebook your place. So I think it all starts with that data. You know, the data you already have, it’s, it’s the lowest hanging fruit. Um, after that, um, You know, like we talked about earlier, text messages being just, uh, I think Gardner says it’s the future of sales follow ups.

And I mean, call it what you will, but what we’re doing is following up with your previous sale to the, you know, previous sale is your previous booking. And so that’s why, I mean, we talked about the open rates and how past the red  and then that coupled with, um, the hotel industry actually being one of the, uh, best industries Uh, for email marketing.

So, um, MailChimp ran a, uh, ran a study that it effectively said if one hotel were to send one email out to 50, 000 people, there would be anywhere from 4, 000 to 17, 500 reservations as a result because of the conversion rate. So  I thought that was cool, but. I was like, I don’t know. That’s a little high for me. 

That’s a pretty high conversion rate. It’s like a 35 percent conversion rate. I don’t know if it’s that good. So, but anyway, if you convert it down to even like a 2 percent conversion rate, um, which is, you know,  very, uh, very conservative for a male chimp, that’s what they do. They’re a 700 million a year gorilla, right?

They’re no chimp. Um, but if they were like, you know, 120 percent wrong and you only converted Um, that’s still a pretty good, um, conversion ratio on bookings. So,  

yeah,  this is one of the areas where I talk about quite, quite often with our, our guests here is that  with direct bookings, it’s something that you build over time.

And yes, you may see some successes, um, early on, but,  The real power is actually seeing that compound over years, because like you said earlier, it’s really about the numbers and the volume there and the data that you have. And we may be sitting on X hundred emails today, but give it a year, give it two years, it will have thousands and thousands of emails that you start to market to.

And over, uh, over a few years, like you can really, Redirect pretty much most of your traffic towards direct bookings.  I think that’s like, that to me is a big, the powerful part.  

Absolutely. You know, I, I, um,  I tell people, um, it’s the growth is really exponential. If, if you start doing this early, um, because the biggest separator I find with this or most other services is consistency.

So you can blast that one email out to. A thousand people and that’s great, man. Maybe you get another, you know, make it two in a row. That’s awesome. Three in a row, three, three in a row. Wow, man, you’re on a roll. And then,  you know, a water pipe bus, and then you’ve got to go take care of a guest issue. And then it’s just that momentum that you had just. 

It’s really easy to lose. And so consistency is the key there, I think. And so if you start early and you keep building, you keep building, you keep those people on a regular cadence,  then that’s where the real, you know, exponential growth comes in. Yeah. 

What do you suggest for people that, and I’m, I’m sure a lot of, a lot of, uh, listeners are in this situation where they may have put in stay fi a long time ago, they’re starting to collect a couple hundred emails. 

And, They’re not starting from, thank you for staying with us last week, they, how do you re engage those, those past guests that you’ve pretty much been sitting dormant on for probably a year or more?  

So what I do, um,  is, is in our messaging, we make them personable and we have a lot of, um, we had a lot of, have a lot of memory joggers.

So our first message that goes out, it doesn’t matter if they stayed, you Two weeks, two months or two years ago, you know, it’s, it’s, Hey Gil, this is Sam, your, um,  Airbnb host in  Dallas at the cozy cottage or whatever. So, um, that’s what we do. And we find, we’ve found success in that. So having all those little memory joggers in there.

So even though they may not like know the number it’s coming from, but you know, you, you’ve already, you know, communicated with them. I know your name. You know my name. Okay. And then Airbnb. Okay. Um, Dallas. Okay. Yeah. I stayed in a Dallas Airbnb and then, oh yeah, I think it was this place. So, um, that’s the way we kind of rekindle those old relationships as best we can.

But again, you know, the, the, the longer,  the longer that ship gets away from shore that it’s tougher to see, right. It’s, it’s tougher to rekindle those relationships. So that’s kind of why we say it’s kind of, um, um, I don’t want to say diminishing returns, but it’s, you know, uh,  I don’t know. Yeah. Do it, you do what you do as fast as you can do it, but you know, at some point  they may forget.

Yeah. Do you, do you put them in the same funnel that everybody else is in the same nurturing campaign or do you put them in a different campaign altogether? Yeah, no, 

we put them in the same campaign.  

Okay. Yeah. That’s pretty effective. Like you’re not having to run two separate campaigns and getting everybody back on sync and such. 

Yeah. I mean, some people don’t know what they did. I don’t know what they had for dinner last night, right? So even if they stayed two, two weeks ago, I’m still reminding them,  you know, of where they stayed at. And so, um,  

how, how long do your campaigns last for?  

Uh, we do 12 months. Yeah. So it’s, uh, so it’s a text and email every month.

The first, the first, uh, I guess month, there’s probably a total of about six or seven that go out depending on how. How, yeah, so 

it’s aggressive, it’s aggressive, like beginning 

start. Yeah. So the first two are kind of back to back. So it’s not, um, it’s not every time. So yeah, some folks, if they don’t have an email, um, the system asks them for their email.

So we absorb that. So, you know, that’s another thing. Uh, but then a couple of weeks later, uh, we just give them a, Hey, look, uh, your, your coupon has two weeks left. So, you know, it’s really, you know, the beginning, whenever they’re, Whenever they’re, you know, kind of marketed to a couple of weeks later, Hey, reminder.

Coupons expat about to expire and then a couple weeks later we have, um, the monthly starts going out. Okay. So 

it becomes more regular every, every month they start to, to, to get, uh, messages from you 

folks.  Exactly. Exactly. Because we find that, uh, text messaging, you know, SMS is effective, but it’s also very personable.

So. So we have just found that, you know, if you, if you land too much on somebody’s phone, um, unsubscribe rates, you know, the opt outs kind of go up because we don’t want to, we don’t want to be that pesky Airbnb guy that just keeps wanting you to stay with us. Right. But then we want to be relevant, but not be forgotten.

So we find that, you know, every, every month or so is. Every month is a good cadence for opt in and opt out rates.  

Yeah.  Are there, you mentioned like the unsubscribe rates, are there metrics that you guys keep an eye on to determine the health of your, your campaigns?  

Yeah. We, uh, we stay between two to 3%. So, uh, early on we, you know, we, we tested them things, you know, just, um,  just like everybody does to, to our effectiveness.

So if they get, you know, above 3%, we kind of look at it and be like, okay, well, let’s, um, let’s kind of see,  You know, kind of dive in a little bit deeper and, and, you know, look at the, the messaging, whether it’s the subject lines or, you know, um, the content, things like that. So  is 

that different for SMS unsubscribes as well too?

Is it a higher rate or, or pretty much like 2 percent across both email and, and, and text? 

Yeah, it’s pretty much like combined. Yeah.  Texting an email. So, okay. 

Okay. Whether, do you look at other metrics, like click through rates and all those things? 

We do. Um, you know, it’s, it’s a little different, uh, for, for each, a good thing about it is though, um, and, and we’re coming out with, um,  with some more technology to kind of help automate this even further, but you all, you’re also notified whenever someone does click on your direct booking site link from one of our messages.

So, um, you know, uh,  the client. Can see whenever somebody is on their, on their site. So that’s a good way to kind of maybe bump them and shoot out another text or email or something like that. Say, Hey, no, let us know if you need any help. 

Yeah. Yeah. You, you’re thinking very much like, like, like I do on, on our, our product as well, too, we, we on the backend.

Try to track where the traffic is coming from, because the more, you know, your data, the more, you know, how effective your campaigns are running, the better you can tune and  spend your resources in the most effective areas. Uh, we haven’t released it yet, but we do have some betas already in play where you can know.

Are they coming from organic search? Are they coming from, um, click throughs on your email campaigns and which campaign it actually was. So if you’re running like three different campaigns and you can actually see which funnel is actually being effective there.  

Yeah. Love that. Love that. That’s great. I mean, uh, that’s, that just fits in so well with what you guys are doing.

Yeah.  Um, so you, you’ve nailed,  um, turning single bookers, Um, to, to repeat customers. What’s, what’s on the horizon for you for the remainder of the year? What are some of the things that you’re, you’re investing into in terms of your business? Um, different campaigns that you might be running.  

Yeah. So we are going to probably later in the year again, we’re always working on the functionality and the features and things like that.

Um, we plan to get into more of the, uh, social media space and Google my business, things like that. Just have like add ons. To where if it makes sense for you, we can integrate that and you can choose to, you know, go that route and build on. So like email and text marketing is kind of our foundation, the whole, you know, done for you.

Um, that is the foundation because it’s the lowest hanging fruit. You get the, you get the quickest wins off of that. And then, um, you know, if you want to add on a social media integration for you to run, you can do that. Google my business, everything like that. So really just kind of building, growing with us.

Um, if it makes sense and if it doesn’t, you know, that’s cool too. So that’s 

kind of where we’re headed. That’s awesome. That’s awesome.  Any other  strategies and tactics that you want our listeners to be at least aware 

of?  The biggest thing again is consistency. So, um, anybody can do it once. Uh, most people can do it twice, three times.

It starts getting tough. So, uh, I would say consistency is key. That’s the biggest separator. And then, uh,  you know, like we said, for just, just start gathering data, even though if you can’t do anything with it now, um,  Just find ways to start gathering it. 

Yeah, you and, uh,  you and Allie, Allie, must talk a lot about consistency. 

That’s the main thread that you both of you guys have, have, which is really good. It shows that like, it’s not just,  yeah, it’s not just working for one person, but it’s actually, that’s the reason why both of you guys have been successful in direct bookings is that consistency there.  I think like really like scheduling that out and really spending the time to plan out your campaigns makes it actually a lot more sustainable because like she said earlier, like you don’t want to lose that stamina where you’re doing it manually for the first few weeks and then you just fall off.

It’s much better to invest into it for a short period of time  and really start to build that out. And you also have some consistency in like the way that you’re approaching it, the way that you’re talking about it because you’re, you’re spending time. doing it all together. Um, whereas like if you do it every, every month, you’re starting to piecemeal it, your, your, your tone, your voice, the way that you think about it may, may start to  like, it won’t be as crisp as if you were to spend focus time on it.


Yeah, exactly. It’s, it’s really, You know, kind of, I guess, kind of zooming out, looking, looking at this as just a module in your whole STR business, right? You got finance, you got operations, you’ve got guest communications. It’s like, this is really picking up and dropping in a set of systems.  Processes and procedures for your return guests, nurturing campaign, your journey, right?

So it’s, it’s all about, you know, that’s, that’s what makes, I feel that’s what makes STR operators stand out is their systems processes and procedures. And there’s a, you know, there’s their SOPs. And so, uh, it’s just having that in a, in a  different kind of corner of the, uh, of the tool belt, I guess, different side of the tool belt or something.

I knew, uh, Texan emo or was powerful, but. I’m more convinced now after having our conversation here that this is something that all SDR hosts should be really investing into if they really want to amp up their, their dry bookings.  

Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s crazy. I mean that, um, you already have everything you need, right?

And if you’re going to do it yourself, that’s great. Do it yourself. If you’re going to, if you’re going to partner with somebody, it’s not me. That’s totally cool. Just make sure that them out, you know, Make sure they do a good job and that it actually, you know, happens, right. Um, because a lot of, a lot of these different folks have, uh, you know, it’s a good start, but then they don’t kind of follow up.

It’s that they don’t, you know, kind of provide the product that you may have thought you’d be getting. So, um,  It’s just about getting out there. Nice.  

Two final questions for you. And you can definitely reiterate some of those things that you said earlier, because I think they’re relevant. One’s a action question and one’s a mindset question.

So going with the action question first is what’s one action that you suggest that you would  All hosts take advantage of today, what should they be doing today?  

I’d say just start collecting that data, even if you’re not doing anything with it. You know, Airbnb only provides phone numbers. If you don’t have a PMS, um, you can just snag that from Airbnb.

Get those, uh, if you don’t have a way of, um,  you know, gathering emails, I recommend people to use rental agreements after PMS has one, um, I was hesitant to use another form of an agreement, but like less than 1 percent of a person of guests have issues. Um, and it covers yourself too. So that’s just kind of a best practice thing.

And it, you know, gathers data for you. And then, um, you know, if it makes sense, a larger property, you know, I’d say see a CRM, like stay fire or something like that.  

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. You’re losing out if you let every single guest stay with you and you say so long and you never see it and never, you never can connect them again, but you have a sweet window where.

They’re staying with you. And even if you don’t have something like state fire right now, you can grab that. You can grab that phone number one, but once they check out, you can’t, you can’t use that phone number anymore. They, you cannot, you cannot grab it.  

Yeah. That’s it. You got one shot. 

So yeah, you got one shot.

Yeah. I’m glad some of the, um, the PMS is they, they help you record that. So you can always look back. So even if you don’t have something like state five,  you can still, you already have some of that data in there, especially with your rental agreements. Sure. Um, second question, or last question, what’s one mindset advice that you would give to someone that’s starting something new that they haven’t, they haven’t done before? 

You gotta see it. You gotta see it before it happens. You have to visualize it and, you know,  feel what it, what it’s going to be like to, to hit that. Um,  there, there, I think it’s Napoleon Hill has said, whatever you can conceive, believe you can achieve. So you have to. You have to get the picture. You have to believe in the picture.

And then, um,  it’s going to happen. I mean, just set goals and constantly again, consistency, right? Remind yourself of those goals. Envision that, um, feel what it feels like. Um, and it’s interesting before I got into a lot of my mindset, uh, coaching, um, I thought like whenever I was a kid, I thought back and I was like, man,  it never really like whatever it was, like whatever I wanted the, the win or, or the, the, Toy or like whatever, um, it never really happened unless I could see it first and like some things are like, nah, I can’t see that and it never happened.

And then other things I was like, yeah, I could see that and it like happened. And then fast forward 20 years, I’m like, whoa. Man, this stuff may have some,  may have some truth to it. So, um, you, yeah, you’re going to make, you’re going to amaze yourself. Um,  

you can do it. Yeah. Reminds me of, uh, Mike’s, uh, Mike’s talk on WealthCon where he, where he was talking about, uh, what’s it psycho cybernetics, the book that he’s, he’s been reading.

Oh yeah. Yeah. I’m, I’m, I’m in it right now. I’m, I’m like, gosh, one third of the way through. It’s a really long book. Um, it’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s a really long one, but it’s a good one. Um, but it talks about like,  um, how this is back in like the 1960s where  people were doing plastic surgeries. They would not change at all, even after plastic surgery, like they thought that their life would change.

But some people, their lives changed dramatically and it’s really about not your physical appearance, not how you present yourself, but actually how you see yourself internally and what you’re capable of. Um, and that was like the true  reason why some people were able to continue to grow in their careers after, uh, plastic surgery versus others that still feel bad for themselves because they, they still feel that they’re not good enough yet. 

Yeah.  I wish there was a shorter version of that book, but that one’s a, that one’s a good one.  

Yeah. Maybe go audible and put it on like one point. nine or something like that. That’s what I’m doing. 

That’s what I’m doing. It’s a 12 hour book. It’s a 12 hour audible book. That’s insane. Yeah. 

Yeah. It took me a while to chew through that, but, uh, I go back to it, man.

It it’s again and again. Yeah. The whole placebo effect, you know, he, he talks about that. Um, no, 

I love it. Yeah. Yeah. I can’t believe that book is like so many decades old now and still relevant. Oh man, I know it’s crazy.  All right. Um, Sam, where can, uh, where can folks find out more information about you? 

Yeah. So, uh,  you can hit me up on Facebook, uh, Samuel Mastretta, or, um, if you want to find out more about, uh, Go STR marketing, uh, you can go to  www.gostrmarketing.com and then there’s like a little, uh, demo button up there so you can click a demo and we can get, uh, I do a live demo with, uh, you know, three times a week.

So happy to jump on and answer any questions about that or anything else you have. So those are probably the two best.  Ways of all the different social media  have an example there. So it’s getting nice, 

nice, nice, nice. I’ll be sure to grab the, the URL from you and I’ll include them to the show notes as well, too.

So folks can, can find out more about you, um, reach out to you and also learn more about your company as well too. Uh, and hopefully help them, uh, be successful and drive bookings.  

Absolutely, man. That’s what I started this for is, you know, to share the success, man. It’s all about helping other folks design their lives easier, um, by helping them generate revenue, right?

Cause that’s, that’s what most of us got into STRs for, right? Is design our ideal lives. So how cool is that to help people  design their cool lives, you know, lives even easier. 

I think things are going to change over the next few years. More and more people are going to go direct and the ones that do are going to be a lot more free.

And in my opinion, um, they’re not tied to the OTAs. So I’m excited about what I’m doing here at craft to stay. I’m excited about what you’re doing on, on the marketing side as well too. And just all the players are in it. Like there’s just, there’s just so much room for, for opportunity here. So I’m excited about people, um, really shaping and giving tools to, to host, to make it successful. 

Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Um, crafted stays, man, you’ve got a good thing going. So I’m excited to see you guys grow in scale too. So it’s going to be a fun ride. 

It’s, it’s been fun so far, um, and bringing, I think the really fun part is actually like working with the PMSs, um, working with them and just seeing how open arms they are about working together.

It’s been, it’s been a thrill.  

It’s such a cool community, man. It really is. Yeah. 

Awesome. Sam, it was, uh, really good to have you here today. I thoroughly. Enjoy learning about how you’re leveraging data, how you’re leveraging emails and SMS campaigns. And actually probably more so like learning today that like SMS is like the really killer thing that really helps amplify it.

And then email alone, um, can only go so far or can get amplified with SMS. So that was a, that was a huge takeaway for me. I appreciate you, uh, you sharing that with us and all the listeners here. 

Absolutely. Had a great time, Gil. Thanks so much, man. All right. Thanks, Sam.  See ya. 

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