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13 Mar 2023

Self-Storage Marketing Strategies: Referral Marketing


Jack Raistrick

Union Realtime

In the latest installment of ‘Self-Storage Marketing Strategies’, we take a look at referral marketing and how you can use it within your self-storage marketing strategy to benefit your self-storage business. The article will dissect what referral marketing is, explain how to create a successful referral marketing program and provide examples of current self-storage businesses who utilize a successful referral marketing scheme to help with their self-storage marketing.

What is referral marketing?

Referral marketing is a form of marketing that utilizes your currency customer base. It is very similar to ‘word of mouth’ however there is an incentive for the current customer involved if they refer someone who then becomes a customer, and usually the friend that is referred will get a discount as well. The incentives can be anything which benefits the current customer and new customer. Referral marketing can be an integral part of your self-storage marketing strategy, as it encourages your customers to openly speak about your self-storage facility and discuss the positive features and benefits surrounding your business.

With competition within the self-storage industry as fierce as ever, referral marketing is an important part of anyone's self-storage marketing strategy. This is down to the fact that if people are talking positively about your self-storage facility, and encouraging their friends and family to use your facility, then they are not talking about your competitors. After all, your current customer base are your self-storage facilities biggest supporters, referral marketing allows you to use them and their contacts to join your biggest fan club.

The benefits of referral marketing

Within self-storage marketing, you may find that you are spending what may seem an atrocious amount of your marketing budget, with little success to show for it. However, when utilizing a successful referral marketing campaign, you may see that this strategy is merely a drop in the ocean in your self-storage marketing budget.

How to create a successful referral marketing program for self-storage businesses

Define your target audience and referral incentives

Then starting a referral marketing program within your self-storage marketing strategy, the first thing you need to do is define your target audience and decide your referral incentives. These incentives need to be enticing enough for people to want them, but ensure they aren't too good, otherwise they could break your bank!

Implement referral tracking and measurement tools

You will need to keep track of the performance of the referral marketing programme, so ensuring you have a plan in place to track the effectiveness of the programme is essential. There are a handful of ways you can measure the success, from forms on your website, the use of coupon codes or can be as simple as asking the customer. Whichever method you choose, make sure you are tracking every single customer.

Utilize multiple channels to promote the program

Promoting the referral marketing program is crucial to the success of the campaign. If no one knows about the program, then no one will be referring their friends. You can use several different methods to promote the program, such as -

Whichever method you decide to utilize, ensure the message is clear. This will help everyone understand the program.

Engage with and reward referrers and referred customers

Engaging with and showing appreciation to the new and existing customers is vital for your customers to feel valued. Make sure the referred customers truly see and feel your appreciation, this will help with loyalty and customer retention as well.

Continuously evaluate and optimize the program

Once you have the program finalized, it does not mean that you are finished. It is important to continually evaluate and improve the program. This is because if the incentivized program does not meet the needs of the intended audience or fails to deliver the desired results, it may not be effective in achieving its goals. Continuous evaluation and improvement of the program can help identify any shortcomings and make necessary adjustments to improve its effectiveness.

Examples of successful referral marketing programs in the self-storage industry

Public Storage Canada: “It pays being friends”

There are 3 simple steps involved within this program and it is clearly advertised as well. The first step being picking up a specific card at your location, or printing one off online, then you have to fill out the form and hand it over to your referred friend to fill out, then finally, this card gets presented at the same location as the current customer rents storage and both the new and existing customer will be eligible for $50 credit on the first full month of rent.

Find out more - https://publicstoragecanada.com/refer-a-friend-2/

American Self Storage: “You Deserve Credit”

American Self Storage has a simple and very lucrative program. All you have to do is refer a friend to American Self Storage, and you will get $50 rent credit, and the new customer will get their first month rent for $1.00. American Self Storage also states that you can continue to bring as many new customers as you like, meaning there is no limit!

Find out more - https://www.americanselfstorage.com/referral-program

CubeSmart: “Discount storage”

CubeSmart’s refer a friend program is a simplistic and attractive proposition. When the current customer refers to a friend, the existing customer will receive $25.00 credit for their next month’s rent.

Find out more - https://www.cubesmart.com/deals/discount-storage/

These three programs are all easy to understand and straightforward to process. They each have an individual page on their respective websites which offers clear instructions on how to use their program. They provide an example of the different incentives involved and the array of different options available.

Final Thoughts

This article has demonstrated the value in referral marketing and why it should be implemented within your self-storage marketing strategy. The article has defined the benefits of referral marketing such as cost effectiveness and increased customer retention. Along with this, we focused on how to create a successful referral marketing program and provided examples of existing marketing programs within the self-storage industry which demonstrated the variety of incentives available to offer your customers and new customers.

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