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Send Departure Information to Your Channel Guest With Contact Information

Triggers give you a powerful way to communicate automatically. You can respond to guests with personalized messages or notify third parties without lifting a finger! To read more about triggers, check out our Trigger overview and Triggers - Setup & Configuration support articles. We've also created a small library of trigger examples to help get you started.

In this example, we're dealing with a booking for the following scenario:

Scenario: Send Departure Information to Channel Guest With Contact Information

Good guest communication is essential for a positive guest experience. Clear and timely communication can greatly influence guests' perceptions and impact their reviews.

This scenario assumes that the guest has already provided contact information and signed a renter agreement.

By setting up an email, channel, or SMS template and trigger, you can send a Guest Departure Information message template to guests. OwnerRez can do that for you with message triggers.

Here are the steps for how to set up a template and trigger for this scenario:

  1. Create a Booking Message Template to Send Departure Information to Channel Guest With Contact Information
  2. Create a Trigger That Applies to Bookings to Send Departure Information to Channel Guest With Contact Information

Create a Booking Message Template to Send Departure Information to Channel Guest With Contact Information

Go to Settings > Templates to configure the "booking" template type message you want to send to your guest. 

There are three choices for the type of template you can create - email, channel, and SMS.  These are the delivery methods that will be used for your response.  To send these types of templates, the booking must have contact information you can reply to.  For instance, if you want to send an SMS message as your reply, the guest must have provided a phone number with their booking.  Likewise, if you want to send a message on Vrbo, the booking must have come through Vrbo, to begin with, so that our system knows how to deliver your response back to the correct Vrbo thread.

Note: Why can't you use a platform email or proxy email address like "joe.blow.12345@messages.airbnb.com" or "joe.blow.12345@messages.booking.com?" These platform/proxy email addresses aren't real. If you send messages to them, your message will be collected by the channel, stripped, re-formatted and displayed on the channel's message platform in various ways that typically don't work well for email.

Send by Email

First, we'll create an email template, so go to Settings > Templates > Email tab > click the Create Email Template button > select the "Booking" option.  This will open an email editor with some sample field codes filled in.  For detailed information about how email templates work, check out the email templates overview article and field codes article.

Copy and paste the following values into your new email template.

Name:

Guest Departure Information Email Template

From Name:

{MYCOFULL}

From Address:

{MYEMAIL}

To Name:

{CFULL}

To Address:

{CEMAIL}

Subject:

Preparing for tomorrow's {BDEP}, {PDISPNAME} departure

Body:

Hi {CFIRST},

We hope you have had a relaxing stay with us at {PDISPNAME}.

As you prepare for tomorrow's {BCHECKOUTTIME} departure, be sure to check all drawers and the washer/dryer for your belongings and grab our business card to book directly with us next time.

While your experience is fresh in your mind, please leave a review for us at the following link.

{BUREVIEW}

Even if it's just a few words, please let other potential guests know what to expect and about the quality of your stay at {PDISPNAME}.

Safe travels, and thank you for choosing {PDISPNAME}!

{MYFIRST}

If you're wondering what those field codes do, check out the field codes support article or use the "Preview" button on the booking to take a live look.

Here's a quick preview of what the above email message looks like:

Guest Departure Information Email Template Preview

Notice how clean and personalized the content is.  The subject line is dynamic to the booking by including the departure date {BDEP} and property name {PDISPNAME} field codes. In the email body, we included the check-out time {BCHECKOUTTIME} field code as well as requested a review by including the review link {BUREVIEW} field codeThe body addresses the guest by name, so it looks like the body was written by hand. In other words, it looks like a hand-written manual response, even though it wasn't.

After copying and pasting the above subject and body into your template, feel free to play with the words and styles to make it your own. However, remember that we are creating a message that is specific to "bookings."  This message assumes that all bookings as it responds to are bookings with guest contact information, so make sure to customize accordingly. 

We are now armed with a Guest Departure Information email template to send to the guest. But what about channel bookings?

Send by Channel

Even though we assume that the guest has already provided their contact information and signed a renter agreement in this scenario, some users and guests still prefer to keep all communications on the channel. OwnerRez directly integrates with the native messaging platforms at Vrbo, Airbnb, and Booking.com, so this is easy to set up!

Note: Why can't you use a platform email or proxy email address like "joe.blow.12345@messages.airbnb.com" or "joe.blow.12345@messages.booking.com?" These platform/proxy email addresses aren't real. If you send messages to them, your message will be collected by the channel, stripped, re-formatted and displayed on the channel's message platform in various ways that typically don't work well for email.

For detailed information about how channel templates work, check out the Channel Templates and field codes support articles.

To create a channel template, go to Settings > Templates > Channel tab > click the Create Channel Template button > select the "Booking" option. This will open a message editor with some sample field codes filled in.

Copy and paste the following values into your new channel template.

Name:

Guest Departure Information Channel Template

Body:

Hi {CFIRST},

We hope you have had a relaxing stay with us at {PDISPNAME}.

As you prepare for tomorrow's {BCHECKOUTTIME} departure, be sure to check all drawers and the washer/dryer for your belongings and grab our business card to book directly with us next time.

While your experience is fresh in your mind, please take a moment to copy and paste the url below into a new tab to leave a review for us.

{BUREVIEW}

Even if it's just a few words, please let other potential guests know what to expect and about the quality of your stay at {PDISPNAME}.

Safe travels, and thank you for choosing {PDISPNAME}!

{MYFIRST}

Channel templates have a Preview button, so as you type, take a quick look at the preview window to get a sense of how the channel message will look.

Here is a quick look at how the above channel template looks in preview mode:

Guest Departure Information Channel Template Preview

As you can see, this message is plain (no colors, images, or rich text), but that's good because it will be sent to the guest via the channel messaging platform, and the messaging platforms don't allow anything other than plain text. 

Notice how we include instructions to "copy and paste" the plain text URL into a new tab? The channel message template converts the {BUREVIEW} field code link into plain text that can be copied and pasted by your channel booking guest to leave you a review.

Again, the channel message is dynamic to the booking by including the departure date {BDEP} field codes as well as the property name {PDISPNAME} field code. We also included the check-out time {BCHECKOUTTIME} field code. You want a concise message for the guest to read, and this does the trick!

Now we have your channel message template created! But maybe we want to send an SMS message?

Send by SMS

Some bookings that arrive in your account will already include the guest's phone number.  This typically happens when a guest books on your book-direct website, using your Book Now widget, or on a listing channel that passes guest contact information at the time of booking, such as Vrbo.

Using our SMS premium feature, you can reply directly to their cell phone via SMS. For detailed information about how SMS templates work, check out the SMS Templates and field codes support articles.

To create an SMS template, go to Settings > Templates > SMS tab > click the Create SMS Template button > select the "Booking" option.  This will open an SMS message editor with some sample field codes filled in.

Copy and paste the following values into your new SMS template.

Name:

Guest Departure Information SMS Template

To Phone Number:

{CPHONE}

Body:

Hi {CFIRST}, as you prepare for tomorrow's {BCHECKOUTTIME} departure, be sure to check all drawers and the washer/dryer for your belongings and grab our business card to book directly with us next time. Safe travels! 😁

Once again, smack that Preview button to see how this looks live! SMS templates are similar to channel templates in that they are plain text with no colors or formatting options, but you can still dress them up with personalized field codes and light-hearted emojis.

Here is a quick look at how the above SMS template looks in preview mode:

Guest Departure Information SMS Template Preview

Not a fan of emojis?  No worries, edit that part out!

You'll notice that this SMS template differs from the email and channel templates in that it is much shorter and doesn't include the departure date {BDEP} and property name {PDISPNAME} field codes.  Instead, it's a quick sentence to remind the guest of the check-out time, to check for any belongings they may have left behind, and to be sure to grab your business card to book direct next time. If you'd rather say something else - that's totally fine. Or you could send a larger message body, including the departure date {BDEP} and review field codes like the channel template above does.

Now that we have some message templates created, it's time to configure the trigger that will send them.

Create a Trigger That Applies to Bookings to Send Departure Information to Channel Guest With Contact Information

Since each trigger can only send one message template, you'll need to create a trigger for each type of reply you send.  Above, we crafted replies for email, channel, and SMS, so we'll need to create three triggers to send each one.

First, we'll create a trigger to send the email message. Navigate to Settings > Messaging > Triggers > and click + Create Trigger to pull up the new trigger screen.

Here is a list of all the settings the trigger needs to have:

  • Type: Scheduled Time
  • Event: 1 days > Before> Booking has departed > at 4:00 PM
  • Add Condition > Email Address on File: Has Real Email Address
  • Add Condition > Listing Site is > Only: Airbnb, Booking.com, Vrbo
  • Action > Email Template: Guest Departure Information Email Template

Now, let's talk about what the above settings mean!

The Type and Event fields will make the trigger send your email template at a scheduled time 1 day before the booking has departed at 4:00 PM.

Since we are targeting "bookings" for guests for whom we already have contact information only, we want to add a "Condition" to the trigger that will stop it from sending out messages for other bookings. Adding the "Has real email address" condition status covers that. We also added the condition of "Listing Site is > Only: Airbnb, Booking.com, Vrbo" to target our channel guests.

Keep in mind that channels like Airbnb and Booking.com don't provide an email address (or even a phone number) for the guest. See the Ask Channel Booking Guest Without Contact Info, to Provide Contact Info and Sign Renter Agreement support article for more information on that topic.

You may want to add other conditions, but for now, this is enough to make our trigger send the Guest Departure Information email message the evening prior to their departure.

Finally, the last thing we select is the "Action" for the email template we want to send. Since this trigger is supposed to send an email message, select the email template and be careful not to select a channel or SMS template.

At this point, your trigger should look like this:

Guest Departure Information Email Template Trigger Example

Nice and simple!

Click Save, and now you have a trigger ready to go. These actions do exactly what they say. One day before your booking has departed at 4:00 PM, the trigger runs and sends your Guest Departure Information Email Template. That's it!