In our digital age, it is easy to believe that flyers are outmoded forms of self storage marketing—as out-of-date as using the Pony Express or a town crier to spread the word about your business.
But don’t count out marketing flyers yet! Flyers can be a surprisingly effective tool in your self storage marketing toolbox.
However, the key is to use them effectively and recognize their strengths and weaknesses.
Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t pull the plug on flyers for your storage facility just yet—as well as some the downsides.
Six Reasons Marketing Flyers Still Work to rent Vacant Units
- Not everyone uses the Internet.
According to the Pew Research Center, 11% of U.S. adults don’t use the Internet.
These non-users tend to be age 65 or older, live in rural areas, lack a high school education, and live in households with $30,000 or less in annual income.
Any self storage marketing plan that focuses exclusively on digital marketing excludes these potential customers.
If your self storage facility is located in a rural area or near a high concentration of senior citizens, marketing flyers provide a way to communicate with these “offline” consumers.
- Neuroscience studies indicate that physical, paper-based ads tend to be more effective than digital ones.
According to Forbes, “direct mail was easier to process mentally and tested better for brand recall.”
Other findings indicate that physical material (like a paper flyer) is more “real” to the brain, which better connects it to memory.
This means that smart marketers will harness the strengths of both paper and digital advertising to get the unique advantages of both.
- Flyers are tangible items that can be kept for future reference.
Unlike a digital ad that disappears once you click away, a flyer is a tangible item that can be retained for future use: “I don’t need storage now but might need it when we clear out the basement next month.”
This delayed reaction is one reason to avoid listing specific prices on your flyer. If a customer keeps your flyer for 6 months, you’d better be prepared to honor the unit rates printed on it – even if rates have increased.
- Direct mail puts your flyer in potential customers’ hands – even if just for a second or two. When you get the mail from the mailbox, do you throw it straight into the trash or recycling bin? Probably not … most people tend to look through their mail to see what to save and what to toss. In this brief moment, you have the opportunity to catch their attention.
This means your flyer needs an eye-catching headline that speaks to potential customers.
- You can mail flyers to your target audience.
We’ve learned that 80% of renters live within 5 to 10 minutes of the facility they rent from, so when you’re focusing your marketing efforts, don’t spread your net too wide.
The United States Post Office’s Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) program lets you target your direct mail flyers by zip code and carrier route. (You can also specify age, income and household size.)
The EDDM site gives you two options – do it yourself or obtain online design and printing help.
- Flyers can have multiple uses.
Aside from direct mail, you can use flyers in other ways, such as handing them out at community events, posting them on local notice boards, or giving them to local businesses with whom you have a symbiotic relationship.
The Downside of Flyers
Although we’ve just described six reasons why flyers should be part of your marketing strategy, it is also important to be aware of the negative aspects.
- Feedback isn’t as immediate as digital marketing.
With a digital ad campaign, you can instantly get results to gauge its effectiveness (or ineffectiveness).
Flyers don’t provide that same feedback, and tracking a flyer’s effectiveness can be challenging.
To alleviate this problem, use a “call to action” on your flyer, along with a tracking mechanism.
In other words, give consumers a specific reason to contact you—and a reason that is specifically tied to the flyer so you can gauge its effectiveness.
For example, use a promo code that provides a discount on the first month’s rental—and make sure that promo code is only available on your flyer.
- Effective flyers can be expensive to print.
As with any printing job, costs can escalate quickly if you use quality materials and design.
The Catch-22 is that the cheaper the flyer, the more likely that it will be dismissed by potential customers.
Making flyers on a copy machine just isn’t going to cut it! To create an effective flyer, you’re probably going to have to spend a bit of money.
- Flyers can be quickly dismissed and thrown away.
Remember how we mentioned that mailing a flyer to your customer actually puts it into their hands—even if only for a few seconds?
Well, that can be how quickly you can lose a customer’s attention if your flyer doesn’t interest them.
Sadly, many flyers end up in the garbage or recycling bin almost immediately.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, flyers have a place in self storage marketing.
The key is to integrate them into your overall marketing strategy and use them effectively.
Ideally, your marketing flyers will integrate seamlessly with your digital marketing efforts and vice versa.
For more Self Storage articles, take a look at:
- Self Storage Websites that are Fast, Modern, and StoragePug-Managed
- Self Storage Websites: 8 Ways to Convert Leads
- ADA Standards for Self Storage Providers
About the Author:
Jennifer Pfliegler is a freelance writer for StoragePug. She has been writing and editing for over 15 years.