Automotive Dealers focus on sales – moving metal from the dealership, hitting monthly targets and ensuring continuous growth. They know how to sell once a lead enters the location but always have challenges getting people into the dealership. One focus needs to be on Automotive Email Marketing.
Google Think Dealer
Having recently attended a Google “Think Dealer” event it was a great way to understand the customer buying process. Google looks at it from the perspective of Google Search and the digital journey.
One part that I found interesting was that they defined a “pause” part of the sales process. Where people are simply overwhelmed with information about the vehicle options, models, manufacturers and options available for customers.
At this point, the customer (lead) may have collected some information about their next potential vehicle. They have watched YouTube videos, read multiple reviews, visit the manufacturer web site and dealership web site. They may have even taken the potential vehicles for a drive. However, the notion of making the purchase has them in a position of uncertainty for moving forward with the decision.
Email marketing allows dealers to follow up on a regular basis. Email marketing uses timely content to ensure that your message is read by the prospective customer. Ways to do this include triggers, timings, monthly specials, and more technologies.
If a lead comes in on a specific model use content that is readily available for you such as your YouTube videos, PDF brochures, web site content and reviews. This gives the person ways to educate themselves more on the vehicle options, specs, safety options and more!
Automotive Email Marketing involves much more than a salesperson sitting at their desk sending out emails once in a while. All the time hoping that they get a response from a lead. They may not have heard back from in a month and the crickets are chirping!
Technology allows for decisions based on how customers interact with the emails sent. For example, if one sent and the customer clicks on a link to visit the web site. This allows for tracking of the interaction on the site but also can trigger another email to be sent as a follow-up.
When a customer sends in an email request to the dealership – there is typically a process of a couple of emails sent out from a salesperson, but not a defined process by the entire dealership itself. Of course, every dealership has a rock star that does amazing follow-up. They work hard to do all tasks in the CRM and regular emails. This is a rare occurrence though as most salespeople do one, maybe two emails and that is the end of the process.
Using an outside vendor allows for a way to continuing to work leads that may have been marked “dead” by the sales team. There are ways to do this include using automated email marketing, sending based on data. For example, if a contact is interested in a certain model than emails focused on that particular model are send out. It can get more involved with email sending as well. Target people based on what they click on in the email. Send an email with a link to a video on safety features, follow up with an email that highlights the safety of the vehicle.
The key to sales in the automotive industry is ensuring that you are staying in front of customers – which can be done by salespeople manually or using automation can do a lot of on behalf of the dealership.
Paused Customer State
As seen at the Google Event there is a time that leads become “paused” when it comes to a purchase decision. The causes of this are based on a few factors by the lead. It can be based on simple indecision by the person that submitted their information. So if they are reviewing multiple models in a vehicle class it can mean there is a lot of information, videos and data they have consumed in the process. When the customer is in this state, simple timing can be everything.