Going Offline: Which Old Fashioned Marketing Strategies Still Work?

Jon Fesmire | October 23, 2017 @ 11:26 AM

Remember marketing before the internet? Advertising your storage facility was a completely different thing before 1995. As technology continues to evolve, we see traditional marketing strategies used less and less. It used to be that if you wanted to find a self storage facility, you checked the phonebook. Now, you check online, and phonebooks are scarcely used at all.

However, that doesn’t mean traditional methods are completely dead, and many can work well to expand your online efforts. You probably have a Yelp page you monitor, a slick website, listings with storage search engines like StorageFront, an email newsletter for your customers, and more.

In addition to these online-centric marketing strategies, consider going retro to drum up business with these old fashioned methods that still work.

Direct Mailing

Do you have a deal for your current storage tenants or a deal that might bring in new customers? Try a direct mailing campaign. This can include a flyer, coupons, and more. We’ll explore some of those ideas below. Yes, many people do consider this junk mail and will recycle it immediately, but if done right, even a small percentage leading to conversion can help turn a profit.

Coupon Mailers

Get coupons for your storage facility included in a direct coupon mailer with a company like Valpak. These can be highly targeted, so that you can get your coupons sent only to people in certain zip codes, who are most likely to come in to storage rent a unit for a month or more.

Brochures and Flyers

Want to let your tenants and potential customers know what you offer? Create a flyer or brochure and make it available on your counter. If you belong to your local Chamber of Commerce, or if you simply partner with a few other local businesses, you can all share each others’ brochures and flyers. Include a few coupons to increase your chances of bringing in new customers.


We’ve already mentioned coupons a couple of times, so let’s think about what your coupons can be for. The most common would be a discount on rent. You may want to give new customers something like 20% off their first two months of rent. Or, you may want to offer a climate controlled unit at a non-climate controlled price for one month, going up to the full price for the second month.

You might also offer a discount in the office store. This would be especially helpful for new tenants, allowing them to get their storage supplies for cheaper than usual.

Promotional Gifts

Why not have a promotional gift for each new tenant signing up, or for a certain amount spent in the facility store? These days, it’s easier than ever to create unique, themed products. You can do t-shirts, coloring books, stuffed animals, decks of cards, and much more, and can get many of these more cheaply when you buy in bulk. Customers love free items like this.

Sign Spinners

It’s next to impossible to ignore someone holding and spinning a company sign on the corner. When you have an active person on the sidewalk spinning your sign, with an arrow pointing to your facility, people will remember you. It’s tough not to smile at a cheerful spinner, and when those drivers think about self storage again, they’ll remember you.

Print Ads

While newspaper reading is on the decline, it’s still hanging in there. Some people just prefer to sit back with a traditional paper rather than get their news on their smartphones or computers. Now and then, it can pay to take out a print advertisement, especially since you can include a coupon or mention your latest giveaway.

Local Radio

Many people listen to audio from streaming services in their cars but plenty still listen to the radio. You may have to produce your own radio ad, but often the DJs will read your ad for you. Since people tend to like their local DJs, having a plug for your storage facility come from a trusted voice can get your message to people who might not otherwise hear it.

There you have it, some great, traditional ways to get the word out about your storage facility. Your competition may have abandoned many of these methods completely, which will increase the power of your voice. Obviously, you won’t want to give up the new, digital marketing methods, but let these old ways increase your marketing reach.

Jon Fesmire

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