How Turning Down the Volume on Dealership Marketing Can Increase Its Effectiveness

Many dealers fail to realize how much sending customers irrelevant, impersonal messages is costing their business

Less is more.

It’s a saying we’ve all heard applied to so many facets of our lives, from candy consumption to the amount of cologne to apply. But are you embracing this philosophy in your dealership marketing?

When creating dealership marketing campaigns, it’s easy to fall into the trap of sending all your emails to all your customers. You’ve already spent the time and money to develop the email, and it doesn’t cost you any more to send it out to a few more customers, so why not?

What many dealers fail to realize is just how much repeatedly sending customers irrelevant, impersonal messages is costing their business. More than half of people have been sent information about an irrelevant product, and 36% have been sent duplicate communications, reports Information Age.

Every time a customer receives an irrelevant or inaccurate communication from you, their perception of your dealership is negatively impacted. This is the true cost. If you continue bothering customers with the same, irrelevant message, they are going to churn.

Take a proactive approach

Today’s most successful dealers understand the big impact small actions can have on their bottom line, and they are proactively taking steps to increase revenue despite the down market. We’ve been talking with dealers a lot recently about how taking a proactive approach can positively impact dealerships, from sales to service to customer experience.

One way to “go pro(active)” is by revisiting your email campaigns. By proactively adjusting your email campaign strategy to be more highly targeted, you can reduce the volume of emails your customers receive while increasing the value of those communications.

Segment your campaigns

There’s no question: Segmented email campaigns outperform non-segmented campaigns. According to MailChimp, segmented campaigns saw 14% higher open rates, 101% higher click rates, and 9% lower unsubscribe rates than non-segmented campaigns.

Most dealers know this, but don’t know where to start with customer segmentation. My recommendation is always to take a deeper dive into the resources you’re already using.

Several CRMs are equipped with the sorting tools needed to build segmented email campaigns, and a few even offer support from dedicated product experts to get you up and running. There are also several data mining tools that integrate with CRMs that make creating segmented campaigns as easy as a few clicks.

Gain retention through service

Speaking of taking advantage of existing resources, your service lane can be an excellent launch pad for great customer retention campaigns.

Service history and recent activity can tell you a lot about a customer’s place in the buy cycle, so you can proactively provide relevant offers based on that history, which will put you one step ahead in the mind of your customers.

Create value with customization

For fewer emails to be more effective, their messages must create real value for your customers.

Today’s consumers are inundated with ads; some experts estimate we see as many as 4,000 ads per day. So blasting off an email with any old “special offer” won’t cut it.

Did your CRM alert you that a customer is in positive equity? When it does, send that customer an email with the details to let them know.

Or, is a customer overdue on service? Send them a coupon to welcome them back to the dealership’s service lane.

Is your dealership going to fall apart if you don’t take any of these steps? Nope. But remaining reactive is going to give your more proactive competitors a chance to edge you out of the market.

Start taking a proactive approach now, and see the results in your bottom line. Don’t wait. Go pro.

Mo Zahabi is the director of sales and product consulting at VinSolutions, a Cox Automotive brand, which integrates systems and tools to deliver a single view of the customer across a dealership, so dealers can maintain relationships and make more repeat sales.

Mo Zahabi


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