Are you taking advantage of these automotive marketing opportunities?

Automotive customers expect more from their dealerships now than they did in the past. The main change that is happening is how customers are interacting with their dealerships. There are so many new opportunities for dealers to attract both new and repeat business and grow their customer base. Are you taking advantage of these automotive marketing opportunities?

The technology is now available to deliver personalized campaigns to customers without doing any extra work. Using automation software, you can attract customers into your dealership with targeted messages and promotions on their birthday, the anniversary of the day they bought their vehicle, three months after their last oil change and more. Customers are more likely to open and respond to personalized emails than mass emails that are sent to every contact on a list.

Automation software will pull the relevant data from the dealership customer database so you do not have to manually contact customers. Every customer’s information, preferred mode of contact, vehicle information and unique dates are stored in the system so an automated marketing solution can send the customer messages based on this stored data. This means that your customers will receive targeted marketing campaigns without you having to do the work. Automated communication also makes it easy and efficient to contact customers in the event of a vehicle recall.

In the past, if you wanted to send out text messages, do email marketing and run a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter, you would have to deal with multiple vendors to address your needs, and spend time and money uploading data to different places and paying multiple bills. Those days are gone. You can now manage email, SMS, voicemail, fax and social media campaigns all through a single affordable solution.

What channels of communication should you include in your automotive marketing campaigns to engage customers and encourage them to visit your dealership?

Text messaging is a great place to start. Studies by Pew Internet Research have found that 83% of adults in the United States have mobile phones and 73% of those adults use text messaging (http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Cell-Phone-Texting-2011.aspx). Also, SMS coupons are more likely to be redeemed than traditional coupons. SMS is an ideal way to send out special promotional deals: “Happy Birthday Susan! Use this coupon to get 30% off your next oil change.”

SMS is also an efficient way to reduce no-shows for service appointments. Customers can receive automatic text message reminders with the date and time of their appointment so they don’t forget. Most people always carry their mobile phone with them, so your message is likely to be read soon after it is sent.

Email is a great way to send information packages. For example, place a signup form on your website that customers can use to select the vehicle(s) they are interested in. When the data from the form reaches the dealership system, the customer will receive an information package in their email with details about their selected vehicle, images and even how many are currently in stock at their local dealership.

Don’t forget about social media. Dealerships are expected to have an active Facebook and Twitter presence, and these sites are an excellent way to promote your business to a much wider audience. You can even run exciting contests on social media that draw attention to your dealership. “Enter for your chance to win one of our new trucks!”

Your social media pages should provide many additional ways for customers to interact with your business. Sign up to receive our email newsletter, click here to begin receiving our great text message promotions, view our website deals, contact our dealership, and more. The best part is that your social media pages can be updated automatically to keep them fresh, so you don’t have to spend a lot of your time on Twitter or Facebook.

These are a few of the most effective ways to interact with your customers in today’s online world, and these are also the most common ways that your customers are connecting with you. Once you entice customers to visit your dealership, you can wow them with your top notch in-person service.

Personalized promotions and strong customer service build loyalty and trust. With a winning combination of online and offline marketing and service, your customers will keep coming back again and again. And now you can do it all through a single, automated solution.