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Designing Powerful Signage for Self-Storage Facilities: Attracting New Customers and Helping Existing Ones


By Matt Jordan

Signage is no small matter for a self-storage facility. A self-service business requires signs that provide clear if not “idiot proof” instructions for customers. Without clear signage on the interior of your property, tenants may be literally and figuratively lost. Without powerful signage on the exterior, all may be lost.

Let’s talk priorities. The signage on the exterior of your facility is far more important than that on the interior. The reason is simple: Your biggest priority is to rent your available space. Everything else will fall into place if you accomplish this goal. You need customers, which means you need advertise.

One of the most influential and productive advertising mediums for self-storage is an outdoor, LED electronic message center (EMC). This is signage beyond signage. Your exterior road sign will brand your facility and provide contact information, but what else can it really do for you? Save or make room on that pole for an EMC, and you'll quickly grow your business.

How They Work

EMCs are mini LED billboards promoting one thing: your business. They are the hardest-working employee any company can have. No vacations, no weekends ... They'll deliver constant, relentless promotion of your self-storage facility. For example, an EMC will display your calls to action, specials, promos, holiday messages, community spirit, etc., in 4 trillion bright and vivid colors. It can display text, pictures and video, all programmable through easy-to-use software. EMCs are impossible to miss and demand to be read.

A Plus Storage in Mount Juliet, Tenn., uses its electronic message board to promote a variety of messages.In terms of properly targeting your advertising, an EMC is laser accurate. The people most likely to become your customers are those for whom you’re conveniently located. What can be more convenient than the facility people drive by on their way to work or other frequently traveled locations? An EMC knocks on the windshield of every vehicle that passes and says:

  • Here we are!
  • This is what we do.
  • We are conveniently located for you.
  • We have the following specials and sales.
  • Do business with us.
  • When you need storage, come here!

One of the greatest benefits of electronic boards is the ability to quickly and easily change the message. An operator can promote messages such as, “One Month of Free Storage to New-Home Buyers” or “Band Practice Rooms for Rent: No Band Is Too Loud!” Unlike those old beat-up marquis boards where you physically have to change letters, an EMC can display dozens of messages, one right after the other. If one doesn’t appeal to a consumer, the next one will.

These signs also allow you to display your community spirit, whether it’s congratulating the local football team on its recent championship or thanking veterans for their service on Veterans Day. Inserting the occasional nod to the community between your promotional messaging is a perfect way to be neighborly.

Other Signage Options

In addition to an electronic message board, many self-storage facilities have traditional exterior signs and several smaller interior signs. The ones along the road should be as big and easy to read as your budget and city permitting will allow. Go for an internally lit box sign if tolerated by your municipality. The most advanced light boxes are illuminated with long-lasting LEDs. The neon and florescent days are behind us. If your city doesn’t allow internally lit signs, go for the next most visible alternative.

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