These days, CRMs and CRM-like tools produce some impressive data about who’s in market to buy, what their trade may be worth, available incentives, and many other data points that used to take hours to figure out. Being able to generate a list of 4,000 customers who are good candidates to buy a new car is a luxury that wasn’t available just a few years ago. I remember sitting down to book out every car coming through the service drive the next day so my salespeople could hit them up for an upgrade. Now, that information is spit out in a report, along with incentives, payoff and more.
The sad part is that many dealers market to these folks as if they ‘d never met before. Most dealers use the same old email lists and send out broad newsletters to people with muffin recipes and Fourth of July safety tips. That type of messaging may work for people not in the trade cycle, but do you really want to waste a customer touch point with a person that is 35 months into a 36-month lease on Grandma’s Macaroons?
Even worse, I see dealers and agencies download rich data to use in pricey direct mail campaigns, but still only use email to send out generic messages with no data. Here’s a thought: why don’t you apply your rich data capabilities to your email blasts? Sure it’s more work, but it’s up to 100 times cheaper than direct mail and is actually relevant to your customer.
The key to activating your customer base is to tell them information that they care about. If you know who I am, what I drive, and you can tell me my payment will go down if I buy a new car—why are you sending me recipes?
Which email would Bob rather open: “Your Trade Could be Worth 130% of KBB!” or “Bob, your 2009 F150 Supercrew is Worth More than Book Right Now?” I bet Bob opens that second email. But just in case he doesn’t, you can send a few different versions to him over the next month.
I’m not saying that you should use all these data points in an email. Save some mystery for the dance, and make some effort to hook them. Maybe you could say that the trade is worth more than normal and they need to call this “hotline” to get details right now.
You could also implement a product like ours called Prospect Activator. Our program sends data-rich emails to your customer, telling them about an upgrade opportunity. When they click the email, we deliver a customized, data-driven landing page with the details of their current car value and payment, as well as their new payment if they buy a new car. Best of all, it notifies you when they’ve logged in to see your offer.
It’s your data; it’s up to you to figure out how to leverage it. Use it right and you can keep more of your own customers. Let it slip too easily, and someone else will figure out how to conquest your customers.
Dave Pavlu is the founder and CEO of AdsUpNow.com. A full-service digital marketing agency based in Seattle, WA specializing in online marketing strategies that drive and capture first-party leads for car dealerships.