You have years of data accumulated in your DMS system. Every customer you have seen in the workshop, every car you have ever sold. Yet somehow, many dealers miss the mark when it comes to using thisdata.
The most important part of this is quality over quantity of data.
It is much easier to target an audience of customers or hot prospects if the complete list is mildly “warm” to start with.
It is essential to cull your database of dead wood regularly.
Your DMS system should be able to do this for you using your parameters, for example removing them from the marketing database if they have had no contact with the dealership in 5 years.
Whilst this may seem counter-intuitive, it means your marketing is more focused and you spend money on marketing to those that are likely to engage, increasing the return on investment on your marketing spend.
However, all the above is useless if you cannot rely on the quality of data in your DMS. Missing email addresses, wrong addresses as people have moved are often seen in many dealer’s systems.
We are all used to being asked to verify our contact details when we contact many companies (think mobile phone companies or the utilities). It is essential that a dealer does the same – generally when commencing a transaction is the best time to do this as you have the excuse to ask.
A simple “can I check we have the correct details on file to be able to contact you? Can I check your email address? Your mobile number? And your postal address?” works very well if used at the right time.
Experiment with the message, and how you send it.
To some, a short text message with a call to action is very effective, and thousands of texts can be sent out in short order from your DMS at relatively low cost.
Text messaging is however intensely personal, unlike an email, customers feel the intrusion when the phone bleeps, so whilst it can be effective it can also cause dissatisfaction if done wrong or too often.
Email is another good, low cost way of contacting a customer. Again, your DMS should be able to send out hundreds of emails at the click of a button
Don’t forget about physical post. Sending a letter is a very expensive (comparatively) way of marketing but it can be very effective to receive a personalised invite to an event for example.
Many DMS’s will make sending post as simple as an email, interfacing with digital bureaus that will print and post a letter or A5car invite – often for less than the price of a 2nd class stamp!
Your DMS will have a reasonably straightforward selection tool to create marketing selections, so creating a list of customers who are in the last 6 months before their finance expires in order to invite them into an evening event is easy.