Studies show that engaging with your customers via their cell phones is a critical component in the automotive industry today, representing significant sales and customer-engagement opportunities.
Consider these statistics: According to the Pew Research Center, the vast majority of American adults (91%) own a cell phone, and of those, 81% send or receive text messages. About 60% use their phones to go online.
Having a solid mobile strategy in place can help you drive leads and increase sales, but if you’re texting incorrectly, your business could be at risk. Here are three steps to help you get started.
Step 1: Commit to mobile.
There are four mobile commitments you should make:
Text leads. Implementing a two-way “Text Us” button as a call to action on your mobile and desktop sites welcomes consumers to communicate with you in the manner they prefer. For some consumers, texting is the best option for starting a convenient two-way dialogue with your dealership.
Text compliance. New Telephone Consumer Protection Act guidelines are strict when it comes to texts, and fines for noncompliance can run as high as $1,500 per violation. Sophisticated Web-based texting platforms help enforce proper opt-ins and opt-outs while serving as an effective lead management system to monitor and track text communications.
Send2Phone. Send2Phone technology delivers inventory, photos, and specials straight to a consumer’s mobile phone. Not only does this technology help get your content in front of consumers, it can easily go viral because consumers can share the information with others if they want, resulting in even more marketing opportunities for your dealership.
Text message/window-sticker marketing. Make it easy for consumers to interact with your dealership by texting directly to your existing landline (yes, this is now possible), or by using keywords and shortcode calls to action (for example, Text CAR to 12345 for lease specials). Be sure to leverage these capabilities into your existing marketing materials, including print, radio, or TV advertising. You can even put VIN-specific keywords on window stickers.
Step 2: Don’t have an app? Get one.
Having an app that is branded specifically for your dealership enables consumers to interact with your store even if they’re not actively involved in the sales funnel, allowing for long-term branding and loyalty-building through service and incentive offers, and more.
Step 3: Strive to be mobile-friendly.
Be sure to develop a highly functional, easy to use, fully branded mobile website that integrates with your existing desktop website, and one that quickly and easily delivers content, serves inventory, is fully optimized across all devices, and most importantly, is designed to fully support your lead generation efforts.
Implementing a mobile strategy—one that uses a platform to help you stay compliant and manage leads—is a great step toward enhancing consumer engagement, driving business, and ultimately, selling more cars.
Scott Pechstein is Vice President of Sales for Autobytel Inc., offering the industry a full suite of high-quality lead products and marketing services, including Autobytel Mobile and the company’s TextLeads and TextShield products, as well as the innovative SaleMove technology. For more information, call (866) 589-5498, email [email protected], or visit mobile.autobytel.com.
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