When an inquiry is received for a property that is unavailable, the <autosuggest> merge tag can be placed anywhere in an email response template to show alternative properties that are available. The autosuggested properties can be determined by an algorithm or the Lodgix subscriber can tell the autosuggest which other properties in inventory to check and if available, suggest to the guest.
The algorithm is quite simple. It will attempt to find properties within the same area and with the same number of bedrooms. Defining the properties to autosuggest (and the order in which to autosuggest them) is the suggested method.
Setting the number of properties to Autosuggest
This number is best determined by the subscriber and by how many properties are in your inventory. A good number is five. Too many properties might overwhelm the inquirer and too few might result in less bookings.
Associating alternative properties to Autosuggest
Click the Associations tab to setup which properties Lodgix should autosuggest for each property in your inventory. The order of the additions is also considered. In the example above, the Lakeview Cottage is associated first with the Retreat House and then the Peace Cottage. This means that when an inquiry comes in for the Lakeview Cottage and if the Lakeview Cottage is unavailable, Lodgix will check the availability of those units and if available, suggest them to the guest as alternatives, in the order in which they've been setup.
Inserting the <autosuggest> merge tag within an email response
Go to Settings > Email Responses or click here when logged into Lodgix:
Choose the "Property Not Available" template and click the pencil icon to edit it.
Default "Property Not Available" template
The [AUTOSUGGEST] merge tag can be inserted anywhere in the email response where you want the autosuggested properties to appear. Lodgix provides a default "Property Not Available" template for your use, it can be edited to suit your needs.
Example of an auto-response email with autosuggest being used.
The sample email above is a screenshot for an inquiry I sent to myself for a property that was not available. Lodgix parsed the email, looked up the dates I had entered into the form, determined those dates were not available for the property I was inquiring about and suggested two other similar properties that were available. Those properties are hyperlinked to the url on your website you specified when you setup the property. See next step.
Location of Property URL within Lodgix
Properties > List All Properties, then edit the property of interest, URL field is under the details tab.
Send Guests to Your WordPress Website Using the Autosuggest Feature
If you are using the Lodgix WordPress plugin, you can direct guests to your website to view autosuggested properties. This will provide a link to a page on your WordPress site with a list of the available properties, rather than the list of individual property url links. You can accompilsh this with the [AUTOSUGGEST_WP] merge tag.
Update Property Not Available Template
Your Property Not Available template can be updated from Settings > Email. You will want to add the [AUTOSUGGEST_WP] merge tag to the template.