So you’ve made the leap and decided to offer boat/RV, wine or other specialized storage. If you’ve done it right, you probably have a sizable investment under your belt. Now it’s time to start making that investment pay off by acquiring customers.
Fortunately, finding people who need this type of specialized storage isn’t hard if you know what you’re doing. I’m going to reveal how to find these customers. But before I do, I want to teach you about a direct-marketing concept that will not only help you with specialized storage but marketing your business in general.
Marketing gurus call this concept “message to market match,” which is nothing more than matching your message to your target market. In other words, if you’re selling steaks, don’t present your marketing materials to vegetarians. If you’re selling boat storage, why advertise to people without boats? The same goes for wine, RV and other specialized storage.
So, the $64,000 question is: “How do I find people who own boats, RVs and enough wine they need extra storage?”
Boat and RV Storage
Marketing to boat and RV owners is quite simple. Several list brokers offer detailed mailing lists of them by geographical area. Use the addresses to send them your strategic marketing materials. You can narrow your list based on other criteria such as:
1. Household income
3. Geographical area (property radius, ZIP code, city or county)
5. Credit score
6. Credit cards held
7. Many other criteria that would probably surprise you
Some places to get lists include InfoUSA, Melissa Data and W.S. Ponton. To purchase a simple boat/RV list, go to www.infousa.com.
You also should head down to your local boat or RV dealership to create a strategic alliance. Most dealers are looking for ways to add value to their customers, so they’ll welcome your information. Tell the owner you would like his salespeople to give customers a voucher for boat/RV storage at your facility.
Make whatever offer you’re comfortable with on the voucher, but don’t be wimpy about it. After all, these customers come at almost zero advertising cost. You can afford to offer a free month or a discount. The idea is to make the dealer feel like they’re giving their customers something special as a gift.
If you get an aggressive dealer, ask them if they’ll mail a letter (you pay for postage and printing) to their customer base endorsing your facility for storage. This works extremely well—if you can get the dealer to do it. Just be sure to enclose the voucher to increase your response rate.
Locating customers for wine storage requires a little more thought. The idea remains the same though. As a wine-storage provider, you must find wine enthusiasts—people who have a passion for wine—who buy so much they run out of room in their kitchen and basement for it!
Although you can’t find one at InfoUSA, there are several lists you can buy. You see, wine collectors are much like other enthusiasts. They can’t get enough information on their favorite topic. So they subscribe to magazines like Wine Spectator and Food & Wine. You might already know this, but almost all magazines sell or rent their subscriber lists and can break them down according to your geographic requirements. Simply call the magazine to inquire about list rental or use. To protect their subscribers, they may require you to send them your marketing piece for pre-approval. Then you’re home free.
The power of direct marketing is amazing. With the sophistication of today’s list brokers, mass marketing rarely makes sense anymore. For a complete “list of lists” head down to a major library and look through the Standard Rate & Data Service. The next step is sending the right message, a topic for another article.
Derek M. Naylor is the President of Storage Marketing Solutions, an advertising and marketing agency dedicated exclusively to the self-storage industry. For a complimentary marketing-strategy session, newsletter and to obtain free samples of the marketing letters discussed in this article, call 800.941.4805; visit www.storagemarketingsolutions.com.