Driving sales and success in the used car industry has taken a largely digital turn in the last couple of years.  The dealerships and subprime finance companies with strategies for success are those who take advantage of text and email marketing.  Are you taking advantage of these to drive profit in your business?

There are many considerations you need to take when creating campaigns.  These can be helpful not only in increasing sales, but also in boosting efficiency and promoting great customer service.

Some important factors to consider are:

Your Desired Audience

Successful marketing starts with targeted campaigns using segmentation and making sure the timing and the message are intentional.  This benefits the customer, but also your business in terms of creating favorable opportunity for a better ROI (Return on Investment).

This suggests that you should build lists of similar lead profile based on such things as Lead Status, Zip Code, Source, how did you hear about us, etc.  With cyclCRM, marketing lists are created from Lead Manager using the filter tools, from using a file import and from the Inventory module.

The Content of Your Message

When executing blasts, particularly SMS, the template you use is very important.  Your goal is to engage your audience with information, make the message personal rather than overtly sales like, include call-to-action items and format the template correctly.

For both SMS and Email templates you should always use placeholders to ensure the message content is not identical and cater your template to your customer using them.  Whether your message is for a sale on a particular vehicle, a follow up or reminder of an appointment, a request for reviews or referrals, etc. there are many ways to use placeholders to customize your templates.

Pro-tip: always use the customer’s first name at the beginning of the message!

Is my Message Better as a Triggered Event or a Blast?

Determine if your campaign is best received at a certain point in the lifecycle or if as a one-time bulk message.  This is best determined by the type of message you are sending:

Service coupons, referral or review requests, birthday or anniversary messages, following up on a New lead, trade-in offers for low balance customers, etc. are best for triggered messages.

Updates to business hours, event notifications, Holiday sales, etc. are the types of campaigns that warrant a blast.

Keep in mind that personal messaging is always the better route.  Reviewing the last notes and information unique to a specific lead will result in more personalized messages from your salesman.  Ultimately, this provides the best customer service possible and is one of the best strategies for success.

Should my campaign be an Email or a Text?

When deciding on a marketing campaign, consider content and if it is better for text or email.

Benefits of Email Campaigns

  • Low(er) cost than SMS or print marketing
  • Ability to create more visually pleasing content via HTML formatting and including GIFs and other rich media
  • Your customers can easily forward any specials or deals to others getting word of mouth referrals and encouraging brand loyalty
  • Larger canvas meaning more information – if your message it more than a line or two, Email is the way to go!

Benefits of Text Campaigns

  • Immediate results can be seen due to prospects typically opening text messages within a short period of time
  • Increased customer engagement across the entire customer lifecycle
  • Engagement statistics easily tracked
  • More cost effective than some alternatives (buying ads, billboards, etc.)

Will my Campaign Yield Results?

The deciding factor on how you should use marketing for your business is if there are measurable results.  This would mean you see a quantifiable ROI.

Campaign to small, segmented groups in your database to discover what is the most engaging for YOUR customers using all the tips and information above.

The end goal with marketing campaigns is to convert prospects into sales, but keep in mind sometimes it is a long game.  Creating enough brand recognition, securing reviews and referrals, and building customer rapport all contribute to maintaining good customers.  In conclusion, these techniques and considerations are your marketing strategies for success.