In a directory where the storage heading is particularly crowded, a coupon gives you an additional place to advertise―again, provided the price is right. Here are some pointers about making these coupons work for you, plus pitfalls to avoid:
- Be specific in your offer, for example, “$15 off first month’s rent.”
- State the conditions: new customers only, limited to certain unit sizes.
- Print an expiration date on the coupon. Make it the same date the directory expires.
- Be sure your display ad indicates that you offer a coupon. Use a color icon, if available, so it is noticeable.
- Print “One coupon per customer,” “New customers only” and, if applicable, “Not valid with any other offer.”
- Keep the coupons or make note of their redemption so you can track the success of the program.
- If buying coupons in more than one directory, print a code on each so you can track the specific directory’s performance.
- Include a small map on the coupon so customers don’t have to refer back to the display ad under the storage heading. It’s a subtle way to show concern for the customer’s convenience.
Increase Your Internet Advantage
If you’ve purchased a listing on one of the Internet YP sites, consider adding a hyperlink that says “coupon” or “special” if you can. It may cost a bit more, but an extra link may give your ad higher placement and could give you an advantage over competitors who don’t offer a deal.
IYP sites provide the customer with a link to an information page. If you choose not to use a coupon but mention a special on your facility website, be sure the information is on your landing page. Occasionally, an advertiser will mention a special, but when the customer logs onto the website, he can’t find information or, worse, he sees “No specials currently available” or “Come back again for future specials.” This is the kind of mistake that will alienate prospective customers and drive business to your competitors.
If you get a good deal for a coupon from the Yellow Pages, make sure you track it. If it works, renew it. If it doesn’t, nothing gained, but nothing, or very little, ventured.
Sue Weinman is vice president, yellow page services, of Michaels Wilder Inc., an advertising agency specializing in Yellow Pages, Internet marketing and talent recruitment for the self-storage industry since 1989. For more information, visit www.michaelswilder.com.