Sep 24, 2011

When I covered how we advertise our vacation rental properties, and how we attract repeat bookings, I mentioned that one thing we use is postcards. We post these on noticeboards, leave them in our properties for guests to use, and send them with personal notes to previous guests. Since we have two properties, they also serve as a cross-sell opportunity. We've had guests who have stayed in one of our properties, book to stay at the other.

There are a lot of companies that offer custom postcards. If you already use a photo sharing service like Flickr or Kodak Gallery, you can try them. There's also 1-800 Postcards. But the service we've always used, and been happy with, is Vistaprint. The postcard above was designed on their site. There are some premium charges for uploading your own images and adding text in this way. But once you've designed a postcard you are happy with, you can re-order it without those extra charges.

Vistaprint offers various deals from time to time. 100 of the cards above costs about $25 plus shipping and handling ($7). But if you aren't in a hurry you can usually get a 50% off deal. We just ordered 100 for only the cost of shipping and handling. Heather also has business cards with our web sites that we made up on Vistaprint.

Postcards are an inexpensive way to promote your vacation rental. It can be a little difficult to track how effective they are. But our impression is that previous guests appreciate a personal note on a postcard more than one more email in their inbox.

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