StrongView Helps Extra Space Storage Make Room for New Customers

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Those who are downsizing or in between apartments for whatever reason can often use a helping hand with all their things—and so can the marketers who are trying to reach out with offers regarding that help. This is especially the case when many of those customers are likely undergoing difficult periods in their lives, notes Jennifer Stamper, Extra Space Storage's interactive marketing manager. Based in Salt Lake City, Extra Space Storage has 1,200 storage properties in 35 states. These spaces run the gamut of personal and business needs and offer storage for objects as big as boats and RVs.

"We have a lot of customers who are going through transitional periods in their life, whether it's divorce or they're moving," Stamper said in a statement.

Despite the size of the operation, the company maintains high standards for treating each customer as a unique individual. But according to Stamper, the firm was falling short of its marketing expectations, even after having worked with a number of "large name" email service providers. "We had been sold what we internally call 'the strong advance,' [in that they] promised everything and delivered on less than half of it," Stamper says. Extra Space Storage needed a vendor that could ensure that the company was targeting its audiences with personal and relevant messages.

After evaluating a num­ber of "enterprise-level vendors," Stamper—who makes up the company's email marketing team—decided to work with StrongView. "The way that they model their data, and the way they go about maintaining it, all aligns with our initiative and our directive," Stamper says.

The vendor offers a contextual marketing platform that analyzes and acts on information collected via customers' interactions with a company's many channels to personalize communications at scale. Users can create appropriate segments based on the insights they get from content reports and run tests on the messages they send out to compare performance and build campaigns.

"We transitioned our mailings in phases," Stamper says. Beginning in October 2013, Extra Space Storage "took two to three [lists] at a time and pulled them off of our old platform and placed them on the new one to make sure everything was fine, before moving on to the next group." All told, the process took about three months, Stamper estimates. The company also began to implement a daily email list scrub that updated data collected from subscribers and imported it into StrongView's Message Studio.

By the fall of 2014, Extra Space Storage had seen a 50 percent increase in its email-attributed conversion rate.

In addition, StrongView advised the company to remold its content to meet the needs of users on the go. "Our mobile open rates were jumping, but our emails were not mobile responsive, and our [mobile] Web site needed to be optimized," Stamper says. "We didn't have full functionality and weren't offering all the features we should have been."

So in April 2014, the company followed StrongView's advice and started reconfiguring its mobile marketing efforts. The company deployed a new mobile Web site and optimized its messaging efforts. The result, Stamper reports, has been a 23 percent increase in rentals via mobile devices. "These were not customers who were transitioning from the desktop," Stamper points out. "These are customers we were not capturing before—mobile-driven customers."

In the future, the company plans to employ the location-based features StrongView has added to its tool set, Stamper says. These features will enable the company to incorporate information such as weather forecasts and details regarding the nearest store site into an email.

The Payoff

Since deploying StrongView's Message Studio and Lifecycle Marketing Module, Extra Space Storage has seen: 

  • a 50 percent hike in its email-attributed conversion rate; and
  • a 23 percent increase in mobile rentals.

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