Find out how email marketing can be effective in self-storage
The modern digital world offers so many forms of marketing that it can be dizzying to keep up. The one that has stood the test of time is email. As one of the oldest channels, it still has its benefits, when used wisely.
Email allows you to relay information about your self-storage products and services to prospects and existing tenants. Most importantly, the right platform allows you to automate your communications and even tailor reach by customer segment (eg, students or boat/RV owners).
Although email is a fairly simple method of marketing, it takes a lot to make it truly effective. Luckily, there are plenty of platforms out there that can help you organize, compose, send, and track your posts. Each provides recommendations on the best subject lines to get recipients to open, how to avoid spam filters, how to get readers to click on a link, and more. That said, it can take a long time to digest, and it can be hard to know what’s right and what’s wrong.
The real question is, does email marketing work well in the self-storage industry? Probably. Let’s dig deeper to see how it might fit your business.
Where it works and why
Like any marketing tool, email works great for some businesses and not for others. Here are three where it can be particularly effective:
Hospitality. When you book a stay at a hotel, it won’t take long for you to start receiving emails promoting discounts and other perks. This works for several reasons. First, people generally like to take trips, and second, there’s a good chance that a hotel visitor will need another room at some point in the future.
Weddings. When it comes to venues and other wedding-related products and services, prospects often spend a lot of time researching before becoming a customer, sometimes years. Email marketing allows a business to build a relationship with that person over time.
Luxury brands and retailers. In these sectors, the use of e-mail is much simpler. Messages are used to connect with repeat customers who spend time browsing and purchasing items. The longer a mark is in front of someone’s face, the better.
But why is email marketing successful in these industries? There are two factors that are particularly important: prospects who spend a lot of time in the lead category and a high potential for customers to be repeat buyers. Unfortunately, neither generally applies to self-storage. In this industry, a consumer generally does not become a prospect until they are ready to rent. Their need is usually immediate and often sudden due to a life transition. It doesn’t allow for the kind of relationship building that you find in other industries. Yes, people may come back and rent from you more than once in their lifetime, but that’s not necessarily common.
How to use email in self-storage
But just because email marketing isn’t always a perfect good for self-storage doesn’t mean it doesn’t belong. Operators can still use it effectively to drive rentals and improve customer experience. Here are four things it can help you do:
Tracking leads. At some point, a prospect will land on your radar that doesn’t immediately rent a unit. You want to stay ahead of them until they do or risk losing them to the competition. Rental decisions are often made quickly, so be mindful over email. Of course, you should also use other methods of communication like phone or text if that’s what the customer prefers; but sending an extra email is a great way to cover your ass.
Correspond with people on your waiting list. There’s no better way to keep in touch with people who are expecting a unit than email.
Nudge prospects who abandon your online forms. A prospect will sometimes start filling out your application or rental form online and abandon it in the process. They may be busy or distracted, or not sure if they want to continue. When this happens, you want to be in front of them and offer advice in case they have a hard time deciding. Email is a great way to do this. Contact the customer and remind them to complete their application. You can also provide ways for them to contact you if they need additional help or have questions.
Keep things positive. Once the prospect becomes a paying tenant, you can continue to use email to encourage online reviews and word-of-mouth referrals, both of which are key to attracting new customers to your self-storage business. In fact, there is many ways you can use email to improve your relationship with tenants, such as making important facility announcements, sending seasonal messages and tips, and reminding people to make their payments.
While email isn’t the only or even the best digital marketing strategy for your self-storage business, it can be an effective way to close sales and improve customer relationships. Even better, you can get a lot out of it without spending too much time, energy, and money to get a good return on your investment.
Robert Priester is a content writer at StoragePug, a Knoxville, TN-based software company that helps self-storage operators attract new leads, convert them into paying tenants, and rent units online. He enjoys creative problem solving and writing informative and interesting content. For more information, call 865.240.0295.