Car dealerships can use SMS marketing to sell more vehicles, both to existing customers and new ones. This very competitive industry depends on great communication. Because an automobile is such a high-ticket item, it’s especially important to build familiarity and trust with your clients.
SMS Provides the Best Way to Connect With Your Customers
Someone might walk into your showroom and indicate interest in a certain car. However, to keep them interested, you need a reliable way to stay in touch. SMS is ideal for this. It’s a permission-based communication that can reach people wherever they are.
SMS provides a viable alternative to less effective methods of communication. With today’s plummeting open rates (around 20%), an email is unlikely to be read. Many people don’t appreciate multiple calls from sales agents. Direct mail, another traditional tool of car dealerships, also suffers from low open rates.
By contrast, the vast majority of people, around 98%, actually read text messages. And, unlike a voice call, it doesn’t put pressure on the recipient to engage in a conversation right away. Sending text messages is also cheaper than making voice calls.
How Car Dealerships Can Use SMS Marketing
There are numerous ways you can utilize the advantages of SMS. Here are just a few suggestions.
- Build a list of potential customers. You can request the mobile numbers of people who walk into your showroom or who respond to any of your ads. You can create segmented lists based on the make and model in which people have shown an interest. You can then send out texts about special promotions and new models coming in.
- Reach out to existing customers. Let them know when their car is due for servicing. You can let people know when it’s time for an oil change, new tires, an inspection or other services.
- You can advertise SMS keywords wherever you promote, whether online or offline. The possibilities include billboards, print ads, business cards, radio & TV ads. This instantly makes your ad interactive.
- Place keywords directly on cars in your lot. One of your cars for sale might catch the eye of people walking or driving by but they might not feel like stopping. Giving them a keyword to text to you gives them an easy way to get information. A sign on a Honda Civic, for example, might read: “For special deal on this car, text CIVIC to #82257.”
- Get people to contact you using QR codes. These can be placed anywhere and can be used to direct people to your website or to your showroom.
- Create coupons. You can get more people to give you their mobile numbers by offering free coupons for services you offer. You could even partner with other businesses, such as a car wash or oil change place to provide coupons. This helps them acquire new customers and it helps you build your list. To help you get targeted customers, the coupon could be tied to taking a test drive.
- Send customers helpful tips on auto maintenance. This could be a brief tip or it could be a link to content on your website, such as an article or video.
- Conduct polls and surveys. This keeps you informed on what your customers are thinking and it keeps your business fresh in their minds.
These are just some ideas for using SMS marketing to help you grow your car dealership. The possibilities are really endless and only limited by your own objectives and creativity. SMS provides a fast, cost effective and high response platform for you to reach out to customers.