If you’re like me, you spend a part of your day, writing, sending, receiving and reading email. For most businesses, even self-storage, it’s a preferred method for communication. You can quickly type a missive and send it out, no phone-tag involved. Writing something also enables you to think about your message and change it if you’d like, plus you can reach several people with just one email.
Self-storage operators use email in a variety of ways. There’s communication with prospects and existing tenants, and staff and ownership. One area where email is a golden opportunity for storage operators is marketing. It’s a low-cost way to connect with a broad audience. A challenge, however, is how to use it to truly get results. Just sending emails into the unknown isn’t going to bring in new business.
Nor can you send emails if you don’t have addresses. If you’d like to communicate through this platform, you must have a good contact list. If you’re not asking prospects and tenants for their email, start now. We’re all accustomed to giving our email for a variety of reasons, from signing up for a store’s loyalty program to sharing it with our health providers. Sure, you might get some fake ones, but the majority of people are willing to provide this information.
Also, watch for typos as they can cause an email to be undeliverable. A retailer once had part of my email as @outlool instead of @outlook. No surprise, I never received those messages. Fortunately, it was spotted by an adept employee who asked me and subsequently corrected it.
Now that you have a quality contact list, how can you make sure those carefully crafted posts don’t collect dust in someone’s inbox? It’s starts with a compelling subject line. It’s very easy for a legit email to land in someone’s junk folder if it seems spammy or promotional. Don’t use words like “buy now” or “free.” Skip the sales approach and be clever. Avoid using all capital letters and too many exclamation points. Thinks short and impactful. You only need a few words. If you need some inspiration, take a look at how other industries write enticing subject lines. You likely get tons of emails from a variety of companies. How do they grab your attention? Also, emails without subject lines are guaranteed to be ignored, so make sure you add one every time.
Next, don’t make the body of the email overly complicated. Yes, it should be carefully written and free of spelling and grammatical errors, but it doesn’t need to be a 10-paragraph missive. People are busy! Get to your point quickly before they lose interest. If you’re having trouble condensing your message, type it all, then start looking for ways to be more concise. Often, you’ll discover you’ve been redundant or there’s a better way to say something. Also, make sure your email is mobile-friendly as many people check their inbox via their phone.
If you want your receiver to do something, like visit your website, add a call to action with a link. Some emails are purely informational, such as an announcement about new office hours or upcoming holiday closures. Even so, you should add your phone number and website link just in case someone needs to contact you.
It’s critical that whenever you use email—for marketing or everyday communications—you follow the law. Understand the CAN-SPAM Act, and provide recipients a way to opt out of future messages.
If email marketing is a new concept for you, there are many resources to show you how to launch and track your campaign. Like any quality marketing program, it’s imperative that you have a solid plan if you expect positive results. A fantastic email means nothing if it doesn’t fulfill its purpose—whatever that might be.