Every year around the fall and winter months, the seasons change, and cooler weather works its way in. In a non-COVID year, sales tend to slow down and advertising budgets are pushed to the brink to capture the largest portion of active buyers possible. But with a very non-typical year continuing deep into the fourth quarter and dealership inventories perhaps as low as they’ve ever been, what message should your dealership be sending out?
Available new and used car inventory might be struggling, but there are plenty of positive things to share with your customers, plus a few ways to attract their business. Here are four ideas for your dealership advertising and email campaigns for November and December.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, more than 70% of Americans live in snowy regions. There’s no disputing the additional risk when driving on slick, frozen roads as the FHWA reports that more than 116,800 injuries occur in winter collisions or accidents. There are excellent reasons to sell winter tires to drivers exposed to winter driving conditions. Create advertisements that include winter tires and their benefits.
Service staff can feel awkward selling winter tires to customers when it’s still T-shirt weather. However, everyone in the industry knows that winter tires will be in extremely high demand or out of stock as soon as the snow flies, and now is the time for customers to consider equipping their cars.
Seasonal service with a twist
Car owners are often told that they should be servicing their cars when the seasons change, but most drivers think that means an oil change. It certainly doesn’t hurt to change the oil frequently, however, oil life monitors now change what the seasonal service means and how to sell it.
|Related: Four ways to maximize customers’ tire satisfaction|
Whether on a TV spot, YouTube ad, or email blast, tell your customers about the importance of a seasonal service without the oil change. Tires need to be rotated or winter tires installed, coolant strength checked, suspension and steering inspected, and brakes looked at. The message should be that loss of control happens easier and winter weather is harsh, and the dealership service department can help you weather it better.
New vehicle orders
Across the country, new and used vehicle inventory is well below average. Despite being unable to complete the sales volume necessary to fulfill customer demand, dealers can still secure factory orders to ensure future months are strong. Ford has just completed three months with more than 30% of deliveries from vehicle orders, so it’s certainly a proven method. This winter, it could be the way your dealership pushes through the shortage.
The problem is that most customers who will be in the market within the next six months don’t know that factory orders still exist. It would be a great idea to inform those current casual browsers about the viability of factory orders months in advance. Walk shoppers through the steps so they know what a factory order involves, the benefits, and how long it takes on average to take delivery. It’s great information for a blog post as well as an email campaign. With new vehicle orders, definitely don’t assume customers know it’s available or how it’s done.
Though it might seem kitschy and uncomfortable, staff spotlights can develop a connection between shoppers and the dealership. It shows that real people work at the store – people with similar tastes and hobbies, families, and so on. A staff spotlight should explore the person’s role at the dealership as well as reflect their home life.
Make a staff spotlight a regular occurrence in email campaigns. No need to go super deep, but help your customers relate to your team by seeing a “familiar” face when they walk through the door. It’s also great material to include when you’re out of stock on cars to sell this winter.
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