Receive any holiday cards yet? A couple have made their way into my mailboxand Ive also received a few e-cards. And while Im not much of a holiday-card giver, there are plenty of people and companies who still spend hours choosing, signing and mailing (or e-mailing) dozens of cards every year.
For self-storage operators, holiday cards can be an effective marketing tool. Sending oneeither a printed version or by e-mailaccomplishes several marketing strategies.
First, holiday cards show your tenants youre most than just a facility. It gives you a human aspect. Lets face it, you likely dont see the majority of your tenants too often. Customer friendly features such as extended facility access hours and online payments have truly limited operator-tenant interactions. A holiday card shows that even though you may not be able to greet them in person every time they visit their unit, youre thankful for their business.
Holiday cards are also ideal for top-of-mind awareness. OK, so youre current tenants dont need to be reminded you exist. But what about previous tenants? A card shows them that even though theyve left your facility you still remember them. And who doesnt want to be remembered? A couple of years ago, I received a holiday card from a chiropractor I hadnt seen in more than two years. Sure, I understand the company simply pulled my name and address from its database, but it was nice to be remembered.
Lastly, think referrals. A holiday card is the perfect vehicle to remind tenants about your referral program. If youre stuffing cards, add a pre-printed coupon. For those of you e-mailing your seasons greetings, add a special note at the bottom. Consider adding more to your referral program during December. Rather than offering $20 per referral, make it $25.
You dont have to limit card giving to the holidays, either. Many businesses have experimented with sending cards on other major holidays, seasons or even customer anniversary dates. All have the same goalthanking customers for their business. It may seem like such a minor thing, but in todays competitive environment even small gestures can help you retain tenants.
To see what other self-storage professionals think about the marketing benefits of holiday cards, join the discussion at Self-Storage Talk, the industrys biggest online community. Or post a comment below to give us your two cents on holiday cards.