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You Gotta Tell 'em, Tell 'em, and Tell 'em Again

Disclaimer: This may sound stupid simple but it really works. I recommend you try.


To solve a fellow VRMB Community member's very important messaging question, we recently spent $700 for one hour with a copywriting consultant. Yes, this is a huge amount of money. But I had been following this particular expert for many years, have listened to every one of his podcasts, admire his expertise and business model, which warranted bringing in the specialist. After the 1-hour session, perhaps the biggest thing I took away from the call may sound stupid but it's value is really growing on me and I'm going to share it with you now...

"In your sales copy," he said, "you need to use the key word or phrase many times. So if you are trying to emphasize X in a paragraph (or page), repeatedly use X in that paragraph (or page) almost to the point it feels ridiculous. And much to your surprise, people will start to use that same X in their inquiries and purchases."

This made me think of the Dale Carnegie quote: "Tell them what you're going to say; say it; then tell them what you've said."

And it made me realize that with vacation rental guests "not reading" what's clearly stated, this same tactic could work the same way it does with a spouse or child or friend who ... ummm, needs something to be repeated a few times before they get it.


1. Watch the full Limited Edition 2.0 course and identify pillars of your key value proposition (ex. Family-owned/Family-run, Based in, Locals of, Specialists in...etc)
2. Repeat the key words/phrases that differentiate you from competition multiple times in your property titles & descriptions almost to the point it seems like its too much.

Feel free to jump into the thread below with any questions, ideas, or feedback!
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Inner Circle
People don't read long emails - they scan them. Make it scannable.

Keep it short - break it into smaller bites if needed

Make the subject of the communication short and interesting - think Click-bait then dial it back a tad.

Repeat the important stuff - provide directions to the detailed info for those that are ready to read.

Still here? I rest my case. :)
Right on target, Robin. Lots of comments in lots of threads in Inner Circle but I confess that I mostly skip the long ones (unless it hooks me upfront)!

This message is particularly true with GUESTS: short and sweet gets results.


Karla, Owner of Tropical Blessings
Inner Circle
They read them if they're interesting!
Amen, @ToonTownRob, people love reading long e-mails if they’re interesting. Spin a tale, provide info, engage the reader, start up a dialogue, get to know your guest, vet them, assess their needs, help them, make yourself known then take it from there, worth the time. Thr results of doing that usually prove to be good at the very least, but even better: often excellent.


Inner Circle
Thanks Karla.

There is a fine art to balancing longer communications with shorter ones. Part of being effective is knowing when to be short and swift, and when to take more time with someone.

Good writing is a lot like courting someone. You have to take time to do this... not everything can be done in a hurry. Trust is earned through time spent.

Spending time can also allow your humour and personality to shine through, which can make you more personable. Dropping creative nuggets into short messages can come off as weird, whereas they can be very endearing once you've taken the time to earn your reader's trust.

Yes, short communications definitely have their place, but you never want to give a guest the impression that you don't have time or are too busy to take care of them. Through your communications, whether written or oral (or even on video) you want to assure them that you'll be available to take care of them whenever and however needed.

Coming off as rushed, in a hurry, or too brief to do a topic justice works against both effective communication, and strong relationship building.


Inner Circle
Likewise, it should also be noted that not taking the time to read something someone has written to you – or perhaps just skimming it and/or missing important details – is simply rude, and tells the author “You're not important enough for me to spend my time reading what you've written.”

Some feel victimized by being presented with something that takes time to read, as if the writer is somehow stealing their precious moments away. Others feel it disrespects the reader’s time simply to be requiring some of it.

For me, the written word almost always a source of entertainment or education.

I prefer to view long prose as a gift; something that took significant effort to prepare, and is offered to me because it is expected I will be able to value and appreciate it. It takes me a tenth as long to read something as it did for the author to create it, perhaps a twentieth if the writing is really well done.

If I'm the reader, I always consider myself the winner in the bargain!


As usual, right on target @Matt Landau. Yes: I was worried about telling guests the same thing in an email and on my website but it works! Absolutely key: repeat, repeat, repeat!

Here’s a guest communications tip :
My welcome book has an intro 1 page with key info: how contact me, emergency/health numbers, Wi-Fi and code, CHECKOUT INSTRUCTIONS, and HOW TO BOOK DIRECT. I also send the EXACT checkout instructions in a message on the afternoon prior to checkout. WORKS LIKE A CHARM. Also, my 2 book direct sentences get repeated EXACTLY in multiple communications. It works!
We've implemented similar. Instead of handing them a packet of information at check in, I email it 5 days prior to arrival and send a reminder the day before checkout. It has substantially reduced the # of calls/emails. Sending info when they are in planning mode or relaxed as opposed to when they are tired from travel and just looking to settle in has improved engagement.