It’s great to get bookings, but it’s even better to add value to those bookings by developing an ongoing relationship with customers – apart from anything else, they’re more likely to book again if you do. Thanking them for booking, asking them if they have any particular requirements, sharing tips about local attractions and activities… it all makes them feel special. On the other hand, it all involves a lot of typing too!
New functionality from freetobook makes life a lot simpler for you, enabling you to create a series of pro forma emails that you can then use to keep in touch with your customers in all sorts of different ways. It also enables you to add links to your Facebook and Twitter pages. You can even give customers a link to your property on Tripadvisor, so they can post a review of it. Here’s how you do it:
Log in to freetobook. On the main page, select the “Email” tab then, in the orange bar beneath the tabs, select the sub-tab called “Templates”. You’ll see two dialogue boxes titled “Step 1” and “Step 2”. In the first box, give the email a title to remember it by (as it says on the page, your customers will not see this.). In the second box, type the actual content. You can view a draft version first by clicking “Preview.” Once you’re happy with the content, hit “Save.”
The title of the email you have just created will now appear at the bottom of the page, in the blue box, under the heading “Your Content Templates.” If it’s the email you’re most likely to send to customers, you can set it as “Default” by clicking the little button to the right of it. You can also edit or delete it using the “pencil” and “x” icons respectively under the heading “Actions.”
You might also want to personalise the email by adding a unique signature to it. Click on “Signature” at the top left of the page. Two new dialogue boxes will now appear, also called “Step 1” and “Step 2”. There will also be a third section, entitled, “Step 3: Add in any extras or links.”
In the first box, give the signature a title (again, your customer will not see this; it’s just for your reference.) In the second box, type the actual signature. Under the third heading – “Step 3” – choose the booking widget you want to display on the email and add any links you wish to Facebook/Twitter/Tripadvisor.
As before, you can preview all this then save it and it’ll appear in the blue box, where it can be set as default, edited or deleted, as you wish.
Now, go to the “Diary” tab at the top of the page. Click on one of your bookings. A new window will open, showing the booking details. Click on the “Email” button. On the new page that appears, go to the drop-down menu to the right of “Email Content” and choose the email you have created. Do the same at the drop-down menu next to “Signature.” In the third box, the “Book Now” button should appear, alongside any links you’ve chosen to add. If it all looks right, click “Send Email.”