Cape San Blas, Florida
PMS Software: Escapia
Coastal Joe Vacation Rentals is a family-owned property management company that’s been operating for 16+ years in the Port St. Joe, Florida area. They’ve been a Bluetent client since September 2018. We sat down with Megan Burkett from Coastal Joe Vacation Rentals to discuss her experience since signing on with Bluetent.
Prior to signing on with Bluetent, Coastal Joe Vacation Rentals was using a free website solution offered by their property management software (PMS). In order to drive direct bookings and compete with online travel agencies (OTAs), they decided to upgrade to a more robust website. And according to Burkett, they really “didn’t know what they were missing” before signing on for their Bluetent Rezfusion website.
Bluetent upgraded the existing Coastal Joe Vacation Rentals website to their Rezfusion Essential platform, a website solution created specifically for Escapia (formerly Homeaway and V12 software customers) users. The Coastal Joe team quickly realized that a beautiful, PCI-compliant, direct–booking website wasn’t all they wanted, they also wanted fuel to drive online traffic to their website — digital marketing and an email program. That’s where Bluetent really outshined the competition: “It’s been worth every penny. There is no point in having a company build you a website and not do the behind-the-scenes work.”
BEHIND THE SCENES:
With a beautiful direct-booking website, Coastal Joe Vacation Rentals needed digital and email marketing services to not only drive traffic to the website, but also to turn lookers into bookers. That meant engaging with Brynn Flaherty, Bluetent’s Director of Marketing Services, and her team to help produce content for the website when it launched, and ensure that same content was optimized for search engines (search engine optimization).
They also signed on for Bluetent’s email marketing services. Prior to signing on with Bluetent, owners would ask Megan and her team why Coastal Joe didn’t send a monthly e-newsletter like other vacation rental companies. Now, using Bluetent’s email marketing expertise and professional branded templates, they create beautiful emails that not only impress owners, and (even better) drive bookings. Their emails are averaging a 34% open rate and 30% click-to-open rate — those are outstanding numbers when you consider that email marketers aim for open rates hitting at least 20%. And as an added perk of having a Bluetent website, they were able to install a pop-up tool which they then used to invite website visitors to provide their email addresses. With the pop-up, they built a strong list of interested travelers to target with future email marketing campaigns.
With Bluetent, the Coastal Joe team gained a team of digital marketing experts in addition to a robust website. Burkett appreciates feeling free to give suggestions to the Bluetent team, but also loves that she can count on them to give advice and be proactive when it comes to her digital ecosystem: “It’s worth the peace of mind and knowing you have someone looking out for your website.”
BONUS: HAPPY OWNERS!
In addition to sending beautiful emails that her owners love, Team Bluetent created an end-of-year analytics report for Coastal Joe, including a breakdown of traffic and revenue growth, how each channel performed, and more! Burkett says her owners “absolutely loved” the report and, conversely, she loved being able to show them how signing with Bluetent “upped her game.”
ON THE CUTTING EDGE:
In the fall of 2020, Coastal Joe Vacation Rentals tapped into the latest vacation rental advancement, signing up with Rezfusion Boost™ to connect to Google Vacation Rentals: “I like the idea of being one of the first on the platform … and who wouldn’t want to try something developed by Google?”
DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT:
”Bluetent has made me feel like we have a website that is respectable and something we can be proud of.”