It’s that time of year again when millions of people begin to write holiday gift lists (and check them twice) and plan holiday travel. Holiday car shopping is expected to increase by 6% this year, according to Statistics.com. AAA estimates more than 100 million people will pack up their cars for a holiday road trip.
For dealers, ’tis the season to roll-out your holiday marketing campaigns. Sleigh the competition (get it?) with cross-channel campaigns and marketing strategies that will spread holiday cheer and boost revenue without busting your budget. Start with these four tips.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Plan
Create a holiday marketing plan for sales and service with both revenue-generating communications and relationship-building communications. Yule be glad you took the time to plan when seasonal revenue truly makes this the most wonderful time of the year.
Schedule revenue-generating sales campaigns from November through January to coincide with the biggest shopping days, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
As for relationship-building campaigns, plan a non-religious “Season’s Greetings” postcard or email to reach customers before the big holidays (Christmas, Kwanzaa and the start of Hanukkah).
Finally, leverage the power of cross-channel marketing to increase customer engagement and ROI. Multiple touchpoints, such as combining a mailer or email with follow-up BDC calls, can increase ROI as much as 24%, according to CJG Digital Marketing.
Let it Snow… with Restraint
Don’t bury your customers in an avalanche of holiday offers. A mass email blast to everyone in your database will only bring out the Scrooge in customers.
Lean on the advanced search functionality in your CRM to create highly targeted marketing lists. This is one of the best ways to lower your marketing costs and increase customer response rates.
When your customers receive a coupon at the exact time they need that winter tune-up, or information about big manufacturer incentives just when their lease is set to expire, they are much more likely to pay a visit to your dealership.
Who should you target? Send revenue-generating communications to:
• Customers who have not had a service in six months to a year.
• Customers who purchased a vehicle at least two years ago.
• Customers who are approaching the end of a lease.
Send a special “Holidays Only” sales offer to every unclosed lead in the last 90 days.
It’s the Most Pun-derful Time of the Year (or Not)
When it comes to the style of your communications, consider your brand. A luxury dealer should stick with elegant designs and refined content. A dealer who caters to families or younger populations can have a lot of fun with puns (your presents is requested…) to get everyone laughing along.
When it comes to messaging, your best bet is to stick to tried-and-true strategies. Attract service customers with a regionally appropriate service package geared toward holiday travel. Focus on the safety aspects of the services, and you don’t necessarily need to offer a price discount.
Create sales campaigns around the biggest shopping days of the year, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Update your website and social media with manufacturer incentives and competitive finance rates to appeal to online shoppers.
Many dealers also partner with a local non-profit to host a toy drive or canned food drive. This is a great way to get customers through your doors and give back to your community. Spread the word about what you’re doing on your website, social media and/or a mailed postcard.
A last point: print out every campaign and give it to your staff, so everyone is prepared to explain and sell special promotions over the phone and in your store.
Put a Bow on It!
Make sure to track every campaign in your CRM. This is the only way to know what worked and what didn’t so you can refine it for next year.
Track sales and service campaigns for 45 to 60 days. Review email open rates within three days of sending. If a campaign is falling short, try A/B testing different subject lines and offers to see if you can increase your response.
The biggest shopping days of the year are here. Develop and execute a rockin’ (around the Christmas tree) holiday marketing strategy to ring in record revenue this holiday season.