UPDATE: As of Version 4.3.3 MOHOBOOK integrates directly with Campaign Monitor which means this article only applies if you’re using a different provider
If you are using a third party commercial solution, commonly known as an ESP or Email Service Provider for your email marketing efforts, this article will help you extract guest emails from the MOHOBOOK frontdesk.
First of all, there are many advantages to using an ESP, for example:
- bounce handling
- superior deliverability
- formatting (HTML)
- design and spam testing
- to circumvent limits imposed by web hosts
Our preferred ESP is Campaign Monitor, they are a seasoned provider that has built an exceptional and intuitive interface to manage all aspects of your email marketing.
Let’s consider a scenario where you have an existing email list in Campaign Monitor (or any other email provider), likely from a newsletter signup form somewhere on your website, and now you would like to move (in fact, copy) guest emails from MOHOBOOK into your existing list.
Or, you don’t have an existing ESP list and you simply want to begin email marketing, but you want the benefits of a commercial provider. It makes no difference, the instructions are identical.
Before we outline the steps, a word of caution!
Some email providers do not facilitate manual importing, and some providers treat imported addresses in the same way they treat manual subscriptions, this means if you use double optin verification, everyone you import manually will receive an email asking them to confirm their subscription – in most cases this is not a good idea, and can cause you more headaches than it’s worth. And lastly, most providers will have additional rules depending on the quantity of emails you’re importing.
Although some of these rules seem restrictive, email providers need to enforce enough rules to protect them (and you) from being accused of sending SPAM, but at the same time, don’t make it so complicated that you can’t properly use the service you’re paying for.
It really comes down to this; are you importing addresses of people who have engaged with you recently and likely interested in receiving emails from you?
Below is a screenshot of the policies shown on the import screen inside Campaign Monitor, it pretty much sums up good versus bad examples of email addresses that can and cannot be imported.
In the case of guest emails collected through MOHOBOOK (via online and offline bookings), you basically fall into the “customers who have purchased a product from you within the last 2 years” policy, unless of course, the addresses are more than 2 years old.
These represent people that have done business with you and are familiar with you. If for whatever reason they do not wish to receive correspondence from you, they can simply unsubscribe from your list in the very first email they receive (more on this later).
Step 1: Login to your MOHOBOOK Frontdesk
Step 2: Navigate to Guests > View Guests
Step 3: Click the CSV button near the top of the page
Step 4: Save the file to your desktop
Step 5: Open the file in Micorosft Excel or similar application and delete the following columns; Last Name and Telephone (this is assuming you have configured your list to collect first names, otherwise you can remove the First Name column as well, although not recommended)
Step 6: Sort the remaining columns by the Newsletter column, and delete any guest records that contain a value of “No” in this column (this step simply removes guests that have already unsubscribed from your native MOHOBOOK list)
UPDATE: The internal MOHOBOOK newsletter has been deprecated, this means the Newsletter column is irrelevant
Step 7: Delete the Newsletter column
Step 8: Sort the remaining columns by the Email column, and remove all emails beginning with 7 digits followed by your domain name, for example; firstname.lastname@example.org (these are fake emails you generated for guests who booked offline and didn’t provide an email address – this is a very important step because these emails will bounce back, and the less bounced emails, the better your reputation as a conscious email marketer)
Step 9: Close the file and reopen it using a text editor such as Notepad (the reason you must do this is to gain access to the data in comma separated format so that you can easily copy and paste the data into your providers import field)
Step 10: Delete the first row containing the column headings (i.e. First Name, Email)
Step 11: Highlight and copy the emails in the CSV file, and then paste them into your provider’s import field, and save the form. This should be all that’s required, at least if you’re using Campaign Monitor (to get to the import screen in Campaign Monitor, click Lists & Subscribers at the top of your account page, then click on the List you want to import to, then click on the “Add new subscribers” button in the right column – naturally this will vary depending on your provider)
Note, even if the emails meet the requirements of acceptable use imposed by your provider, depending on the quantity, you may encounter a manual approval warning. Basically, your provider would like a little more information before they permit blanket bulk mailing. This usually won’t happen if you import in reasonable quantities over time, for example, monthly.
Going forward you’ll want to keep track of emails already imported into your list, this can be done fairly easily by naming your CSV files chronologically, for example; emails.01.csv, emails.02.csv, emails.03.csv, etc., and then using a list manager such as to subtract emails from the latest export that have already been imported. You can also use Excel or similar programs to handle this if you’re experienced in advanced spreadsheet operations.
Although most providers will ignore duplicates during the import, there are still reasons why you should handle it yourself beforehand.
Although this post talks about importing guest emails from MOHOBOOK into your email service provider, we want to remind you that exporting your emails from your provider’s database, on a regular basis, is extremely important. You should always have a copy of your entire list stored outside of your provider’s environment. If your provider does not give you the ability to export subscriber data, take your business elsewhere.
Also, if you’re not already aware, there is certain information that should be present in every email you send to your list:
- a recognizable FROM name and address (for example; MOHOBOOK and email@example.com)
- address your subscribers (for example; Hello George)
- your property name (below the main content)
- your property address including your telephone number (below your property name)
- an unsubscribe link (as the last item in the message with a short description, for example; If you no longer wish to receive emails from us, click the link below to unsubscribe)
Note, because the first name and unsubscribe link are variables, you will use shortcodes to dynamically pull this information into your messages.
Letting people on your list know who the email is from will reduce, if not eliminate spam complaints, moreover, in certain countries, identifying yourself is law. Including an unsubscribe link is equally, if not more important for similar reasons.
For a slew reasons beyond the scope of this post, if people don’t want to be on your list, you don’t want them on your list.