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: As owner of Strong Automotive Merchandising, a company that increases traffic up to 1,000% for dealerships, Strong lives by the simple concept that your attitude affects your success. Without a positive mind set he would not have been able to grow the company over the last decade from just 10 to over 80 full-time employees. The rapid growth is thanks to his ability to keep the company on the forefront of technology, market changes and an infectious talent to motivate and keep employees striving to fulfill their potential. His beginnings in direct mail gave him the tools and skills to develop incredibly successful marketing plans. From there he moved on to traditional forms of media and has now mastered the dynamic world of digital and social media advertising. With over 150 dealers to please, Strong takes a hands-on approach and personal attention to detail in all aspects of marketing strategies. His expertise in plan development gives him a keen sense on how to maximize a dealer’s budget and ultimately increase their bottom line. Strong is a passionate speaker in the automotive industry. He has authored two books on creating next day traffic. He graduated from the Executive Education Program at the Harvard Business School. Strong received a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Montevallo. He lives with his wife and three children in Homewood, Alabama.