Waiting for customers to come to your lot is not a strategy for long-term success. You’ve got to get your message out to consumers and move your dealership to the top of their list. Here are 11 ways to increase your visibility and get buyers through your doors:
1. Market to Your Own Customer List
It costs five to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing customer. Your list of existing customers is a veritable gold mine; treat it as such.
2. Find New Prospects with Saturation Mail
Have you heard of saturation mail? You can send snail-mail marketing that’s targeted by neighborhood for low-postage costs. You don’t even need to purchase a database when you use saturation mail.
3. Keep your Customer List Up to Date
Take advantage of sophisticated mailing software that automatically searches the USPS national change-of-address database. This tells you not only who’s moved, but also provides you with their new address.
4. Use Direct Mail to Your Benefit
Direct mail response rates have been relatively stable since 2010. Additionally, when comparing response rates, 34 out of 1,000 customers responded to direct mail marketing while just one out of 1,000 customers responded to email.
5. Make Sure Your Marketing Company or Advertising Agency Understands Your Challenges and Goals
Once you start a campaign, use your CRM to track all customer opportunities and make sure you source them correctly. It’s important for dealers to maintain proper advertising costs.
6. Data is the Most Crucial Element of any Campaign
Target customers who fit your dealership’s criteria based on previous sales. Whether a dealership is trying to get finance leads, target lease terminations, trigger leads or attack conquest and service business, accurate data is essential.
7. Anyone Can Send Mail, but Creating Successful Campaigns is a Different Story
One thing that separates a good partner from everyone else is training, follow up and attention to detail. Your partner should provide hands-on training for the dealership’s employees by providing scripts and instructing them on proper follow up. They should also monitor each account daily to ensure the leads are being worked properly and, most importantly, converting those leads to sales. Whatever company you work with, make sure they do these things for you.
8. Make Sure You are Buying Leads that are Exclusive to Your Market
You do not want leads that are being worked by multiple stores. Always get an exclusive territory.
9. Design a Campaign that Plays to Your Strengths
Analyze your strengths and weaknesses with help from your mail company and focus on what you do best. If you have a strong BDC or sales staff who is great on the phone, go with a lead-generation type of mailer. If you want to create excitement and showroom traffic, then an event piece with a giveaway often works best.
10. Select the Right Mail Piece and Envelope
Choosing the best envelope for your campaign is critical. If the customer never opens the letter, you won’t get results no matter how good the offer contained inside is. There are many different types of envelopes; work with your mail company to decide on one that works well in your market and sets you apart from your competition.
11. Prepare Your Staff
This step is critical, but often overlooked. Have your mail company provide copies of the piece in advance so you can complete necessary training with your staff. Make sure everybody is on the same page and ready to create a great first impression when the campaign begins. Add some “seeds” to your mailing list — addresses of people you know so you can be sure when mail is being delivered. Set up call tracking so you can listen to calls and better track your results.