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MWI has never done much outbound marketing. We generally depend on word-of-mouth from existing clients or others who know the firm, or we get clients by people going to Google and typing in “utah seo”. That has served us well. But over the past few years MWI has gotten into the self storage industry and it has worked out quite well for us. So well that we’d like to do a lot better. So as I was thinking “How could we sign up more self storage clients for our web design and SEO services…” I tried to think what would work on me.

I get a lot of sales calls and sales emails, most of which I would classify as spam. I get 20…nay, probably 100 emails a week from people telling me about their firm in India that can provide me with programmers or SEO experts for $10/hr or less. Those get deleted immediately. I get about 50 of those phone calls per week. That’s why I have auto-attendant on the phone. When they leave a voicemail it gets deleted as quickly as I can identify it as nothing more than someone who wants my business, but who is nobody I want to do business with. I’m sure self storage companies get a lot of the same junk. So merely calling up or sending an email isn’t the way I want to go. The self storage companies MWI is going after are going to put down $20-50K for a new website and pay $10-20K per month for online marketing services (we offer lower-cost services through our subsidiary Full Occupancy).  A lot of these self storage companies are already looking around. Others might be unhappy with their in-house efforts or the SEO firm they’re using even if they’re not actively looking. How can I get my message in front of the right people at these companies? The answer, of course, is chocolate.

Or at least I hope chocolate will be the answer. The owner of Utah Truffles is a personal friend of mine.  They make really good, really expensive chocolate. This ain’t no Hershey’s bar. Once you taste their chocolate anything else tastes like chocolate-flavored wax. Plus they do private-labeled chocolate, as you can see above. I went out and bought a bunch of these wooden crates from craft stores, then came up with a simple, two-sided ad for MWI’s self storage services, wrote a brief letter, and put it all together with 25 lbs of really expensive chocolate goodies. Utah Truffles handled packaging and shipping. I put together a list of 50 potential clients, and yesterday 38 of these crates were shipped out and will arrive Thursday and Friday at their destinations.

Now, I ask you. If you got a 25 lb box, would you open it? When you looked inside and saw that it was full of chocolate, would you take a minute or two to look at the ad and read the letter that came in the box? Would you pass the MWI-labeled chocolates around the office? I’m hoping the answer will be “yes” to all those questions, and I hope it will lead to MWI picking up some new clients. I won’t tell you exactly what it cost to do this, but it was a substantial amount. But if we pick up just one larger self storage client as a result, a success rate of less than 2%, it will still be worth it, let alone if we pick up 2-3 or more new clients. I’ll let you know how it goes. If it works this won’t be the last batch of chocolate we send out.