Ryan Austin, Bluetent’s Director of Email Marketing, contributed to this post.
Airbnb and Booking.com both create unique temporary email addresses for every booking. These temporary addresses allow you to email the customer outside of the message center without exposing the guest’s real email address. But these email addresses expire by design. The OTA system routes messages through to the end customer and this routing service is only active within a specific window around the booking. Once the guest has paid in full, the unique temporary email address becomes active. Then 14 days after the departure date, these emails expire. But, you don’t want that information to expire! That data is key to leveraging high impact email marketing.
Don’t let your OTA email data expire! Check out our email marketing team’s four steps for capturing traveler data that you can use again:
STEP 1: Ask the customer to update their info
Using automated emails based on departure date, you can send a series of emails that will target a subset of customers that have temporary emails from Airbnb and Booking.com. The Bluetent team targets based off the departure date so that we won’t be sending additional emails during their vacation.
STEP 2: Use a custom update form
This custom form will show their temporary OTA email address, and ask them to update to their actual email. The system then automatically sends back all of the past OTA guest reservation information with the new email. The guest’s info is automatically pushed from a guest list into a separate marketing list and is ready for general marketing purposes.
STEP 3: Send your recipient to a custom confirmation page
Once they convert, be sure to have a dedicated landing page that’s customized solely for this email series and thanking the customer for updating their information. Host this page on your website for ease of getting to any of the other content or browsing rentals for their next stay. If you’re incentivizing the email capture, you can also provide that special here such as a promo code.
STEP 4: Engage with travelers through a welcome email
An automated welcome email is sent to the customer immediately following the information update as a thank you that links them back to the main website. A welcome email helps drive OTA traffic back to the website for direct bookings, functioning as a book direct advertisement as well. It’s also a great time to ask subscribers to follow you on social media or to refer-a-friend.