People are more connected than ever before with the trends in cell phone technology. I was blown away by the statistic from a recent study from the Pew Research Center indicating that 95% of Americans now have cell phones and that 77% own a smartphone.[i] We spend a lot of time working with our clients on enhancing their website design, efficiency, and mobile sit speed to promote growth in traffic. With the above statistic, it is very compelling that dealerships should also be implementing text marketing to their marketing campaign. With nearly every American possessing a cell phone, there’s never been a better time to focus on text marketing as a means of growing traffic at your dealership. Let me give you four suggestions for enhancing text marketing at your dealership.
Text campaigns are easy to setup and get people to subscribe, but you have to give them an incentive. Place your subscription number in email blasts, mailers, the front page of your website, television and radio commercials, and anywhere you know people will see or hear it. Now here’s the important part when it comes to promoting a text marketing campaign. You have to give them a reason to subscribe. You can promote a free car wash or discount in your parts/service department when people subscribe by texting your number. Not only are you providing them an incentive to subscribe, but you are also giving them a reason to come to your dealership. Getting their connection is your first step of turning mobile traffic into real on the lot traffic.
People tend to get overwhelmed if they’re overloaded with long messages. Make sure you are keeping the messages short and to the point. I suggest connecting your text campaign to your monthly campaign and emphasize the same deals that you have in your radio or television campaign. When you are sending messages always make sure to include a link to your dealership site and the specific page of your deal or offer.
Maybe you take the route of having potential customers connect with you through text messaging. This is a very effective form of marketing with a 90% open rate when it comes to having your text message read.[ii] You can set it up to have a back and forth conversation with a sales representative and the mobile user. When proceeding through this option, make sure you have someone who is “text literate” and can communicate to achieve customer satisfaction. You’re more likely to get someone to visit your lot after they’ve had a digital conversation with an actual person.
There’s a thin line between being persistent and being annoying. Yes, you must be persistent in sending out messages, but make sure you’re doing everything you can to drive traffic to your dealership instead of driving away potential customers. Like any other parts of your marketing campaign, be consistent with your message and the offers you are promoting. Even if you don’t feel like you are getting results; remember, 97% percent of text messages are opened and read with most being read within three minutes of delivery.[iii] Text messaging campaigns are great for generating leads for driving more people to your dealership.
Text messaging is no longer seen solely as a means of communicating with friends and family. It is now a viable tool for your marketing campaign. With nearly everyone having a cell phone this is the perfect opportunity for you to use a text message to drive next day traffic to your dealership. Let our team at Strong Automotive Merchandising help you get the edge on text message marketing. We can turn your ☹️ to a 🙂.
John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.