By Jim Breunig - Storage Authority Franchise Director
With a seemingly endless amount of Digital Advertising opportunities lately one of the most cost effective and often overlooked ways to communicate with your prospects, tenants and local business community is a simple Newsletter campaign. According to market- and consumer-data firm Statista, the number of email users worldwide is set to reach 4.6 billion users by 2025. For this reason, email should still be a cornerstone of your self-storage marketing strategy.
Lets take a look at some tips and benefits recently shared in an article from Inside Self Storage by Mike Beutler
Regularly connecting with your self-storage audience through an email newsletter can offer several advantages. Here are five key benefits:
1. It keeps your brand top-of-mind. Send your newsletters regularly to keep your brand and message in front of customers. If people can easily recall your name, they’re likely to contact you directly when they need storage rather than conduct a general search online.
2. It increases brand loyalty and builds customer trust. When used correctly, a newsletter can be a highly effective way to build trust and create a personal connection with self-storage customers. When you routinely provide subscribers with useful and relevant content, it’ll increase their confidence in your brand. Over time, they’ll come to believe in and trust your organization as a quality resource for products, services and information.
3. It increases website traffic. To convert prospects into paying customers, readers should feel invited, encouraged and incentivized to visit your website and browse content. Use clear call-to-action language in your newsletter to get readers to click through.
4. It drives sales and amplifies campaigns. Email newsletters can easily incorporate messages that stimulate a purchase or increase the reader’s knowledge about specific product features or site amenities. They can also be a timely way to inform customers about current or upcoming sales and promotions. Additionally, you can use your sends to qualify leads by monitoring whether they open your emails and click links.
5. It allows you to own your content and subscriber list. As soon as you post content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you give up some rights to it. In most cases, the platform owns the content you post as well as your follower list. This is why it’s critical to build your own email list. There are no restrictions on how you can communicate with these contacts, regardless of which email service they use. In addition, you own all of the content you create and send.
Now that you can see there are clear benefits of engaging your self-storage audience through an email newsletter, let’s explore some strategies for creating successful sends.
Identify your strategy and set goals. Setting clear objectives for your self-storage newsletter is critical from the outset. Think about what you want to accomplish through email marketing. Are you looking to promote your blog or increase your website visibility? Perhaps you’d like to increase social media engagement, raise company awareness, or give subscribers an exclusive first look at new products and services. Knowing up front what you want to achieve will make it easier to determine your newsletter’s tone, imagery and layout.
Select an email-management system. Even if you’re starting small with just a few hundred or even a few dozen subscribers, it’s wise to invest in an email-management system. Services like Mailchimp offer ready-to-go solutions that have become popular due to their affordability, ease of use and quality templates. Do your homework and consider multiple options. It’s essential to choose the right platform for your goals and technical needs.
Build a list of subscribers. While a robust and growing list of newsletter subscribers is the ultimate goal, you don’t need thousands of contacts to get started. Start small by engaging in more direct conversations with your readers. Solicit feedback and evaluate what your audience wants to see. When you’re ready to grow your list, host a giveaway or contest. Another way to start a consistent stream of interest is by offering exclusive content. Whatever you do, make sure you provide genuine value to readers. Consumers are savvy and don’t appreciate tactics that over promise and under deliver, or worse, come off as spammy.
Create quality content. The readability and quality of your self-storage newsletter will determine whether subscribers choose to continue receiving your emails. Stay focused on your target audience and message. Your brand or content niche might lend itself to a long-form presentation, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Newsletters of 100 to 200 words, with click-through options to learn more, can be quite successful and even garner more engagement than a long read. The key is to figure out what’s valuable to your readers and then stay on message.
Don’t underestimate the importance of strong subject lines and preview text. Your newsletter subject line has a significant impact on whether a recipient chooses to open the message. The preview text, usually in the upper corner, is of similar importance and often visible to the user before opening. Compelling, attention-grabbing headlines will entice recipients to continue reading and keep them focused on the goal—your content! Keep headlines short and sweet. Up to 70 characters is a good rule of thumb, though shorter is ideal when possible.
With email subscribers outpacing all social media combined Newsletters are still an effective way to communicate with your prospects, tenants and local business community and should not be overlooked. If you have question on where to start, or are just looking for ideas please feel free to reach out me and I'd be happy to discuss our current newsletter campaigns and how these can benefit your particular situation.
Jim Breunig is a franchise director at Storage Authority. His passion and focus is helping new and existing franchisees in the area's of operations, sales, and marketing. Jim has over 15 years of experience in the self storage industry working with some of the largest REIT's and Privately held organizations in the business. Jim is excited to share his knowledge and is available at Jim@StorageAuthority.com, or by phone, 941-312-1964 to answer any questions you may have, or to share the Storage Authority Franchise opportunity and advantages with you.