Here Are 3 Effective Ways to Increase Sales at Your Auto Dealership

Guest Post by Marshall Englebrook

We asked one of our sales specialists here at Superior Business Solutions, Marshall Englebrrok, how he helps his auto dealership clients increase their sales in a very competitive market place. Could this three step approach work for your dealership or business?

1. Speak Directly to Your Customers and Increase Response Rates with One to One messaging

Response rates for mail campaigns will increase dramatically with targeted graphics and text linked specifically to the recipient. New digital printing technologies produce One to One print pieces with variable messages and graphics in great color.  The auto dealership that can incorporate these techniques in their mail campaigns, will see an increased response and then will be able to convert those responses into increased sales.

Data is a key component to creating a successful One to One campaign using variable graphics. A specific car model purchased by a customer or test driven by a prospect makes a great variable and targeted graphic. Another piece of data could be a photo of your customer with their new car.

Many dealers now do this as a common practice for posting on their web site or in the showroom. By archiving these pictures in a database, they can be used along with other customer data in a One to One campaign when the time is right for another car purchase.

The customer or prospect’s name, car model, and/or their photo with the car can be incorporated into the design so that they receive a graphically personalized message that speaks directly to them. It is also very easy to include a QR code or pURL to lead them to a personalized landing page with promotions or a questionnaire.

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council indicates that response rates for targeted direct mail is 4.4%.  This compares to non targeted direct mail response rates that struggle to reach 2% and email response rates that are well under 1 %. The Winterberry Group projects that direct mail will increase in 2014 partly due to the strength of direct mail, an especially targeted direct mail, response rates.

2. Use Branded Promotions That Say Thank You and Leave a Lasting Impression

There are many opportunities for a dealership to provide their customers with branded promotional reminders of the dealership. When a new car is purchased a custom dealership branded floor matt could add protection to the carpet in the trunk.  Branded air fresheners hanging from the mirror or car coasters in the cup holders are inexpensive and a great way to promote the dealership name. So your customers and their friends see the dealership name long after the sale there are many items available such as license plate holders, full color dealer plates, key fobs, chrome decals and dome labels, and key rings.

When the customer’s car returns for service, return it to the customer after the service with a vacuumed floor and cleaned exterior. Dealership branded water bottles could be placed in the cup holders.  The water bottle label could include peel off coupons for future service. Temporary dealership branded floor mats could be left to protect the driver’s side carpet during service.

Of course many non automotive items like coffee mugs, reusable bags and apparel all displaying the dealer name in a great design make appreciation gifts that they’ll remember also.

3. Use New Technologies for Multiple Touch Points and Outreach Via the Web, Social and Print Media

There are many opportunities for dealerships to be creative when marketing prospective car buyers or to gain repeat customers. It is a good practice to use cross media or multi channel marketing to obtain the greatest impact in your campaigns.

Multiple channels could be a direct mail piece, with a personalized URL (pURL) that leads to a web landing page that contains a personalized message and a contest for a prize at the dealership that is entered by “Liking” the dealer on Facebook.

Of course the dealer should be active on Facebook and use the space to get their fans excited about what their dealership has to offer. Stay active, fun and informative with posts and use lots of photos and offer promotions and links to your online site.  Then do the same on LinkedIn and Twitter and explore the Pinterest and Instagram platforms as they are gaining momentum too.

Other unique technology promotions include greeting cards with LED video. High end vehicle prospects would receive the promotional video in the mail. The greeting card will not be thrown away and it will be shown to friends and coworkers further promoting the dealership.

As reported in Direct Mail Marketing News in March 2014, Jaguar recently used an augmented reality (AR) promotion. The yellow first down line we see superimposed on a televised football game is a version of AR.  The Jaguar promotion piece produced a sound and image video over the actual marketing piece when the marketing piece was viewed through the smart phone’s screen. The video and sound was the augmented part of the marketing piece’s reality. Soon via Google glass, special contact lenses and other visual devices we will view AR images and sound promotions overlaid as part of the real world in front of us as we check out our favorite model in the dealership showroom or lot.

What Solutions Will Work for You?

If you are looking for solutions to increase sales at your auto dealership or business, please feel free to reach out to me at MEnglebrook[at]inkonit[dot]com with any questions or contact us at Superior Business Solutions HERE.

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