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7 messages your dealership should be sending

By Ron Cariker

Integrating mobile into all facets of your dealership can be challenging. You want your customers to receive effective communication no matter which department they connect with. And there’s a mobile opportunity in every department with a variety of messages to share.

Not only is it important to integrate mobile in every department but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to extend a message to a customer with digital work you’ve already invested in other marketing or advertising channels. Social media profiles and your website are both areas you want to encourage customers to visit. Mobile is the best way to drive those customers to very specific content.

I’ve emphasized the simplicity of a text club many times over the months so I want to share some real examples of messages that have seen incredible engagement with customers. Not only increasing page views or video views but actual sales.

  1. EVENT PROMOTION

HOUSE OF HARLEY: THIS SAT. Racine Spring Open House! Live music, beverages, food by Route 20, vendors, Surface Care 101. See you there! http://swurl.it/0M3P6

You immediately get the dealership name in front of the customer and communicate the event. The additional URL let’s customer click through to the dealer website with additional details on the event as well as an email to RSVP.

  1. BRAND SPECIFIC SALES

Eastbay Motorsports: Dear Honda Owner, thank you for your business. Are you ready to trade up to a NEW Honda? Check out 2017 models in our showroom: http://swurl.it/2J5J3 

This is a multiline dealership.They were able to use the features from their mobile partner’s platform that allowed them to message only their HONDA customers. They encouraged a trade in opportunity and promoted their NEW 2017 inventory. Again a URL was added to the text alert and it takes customers to a mobile-friendly landing page built by the dealership in their mobile platform.

  1. CHARITABLE ENDEAVORS 

Ride Like an Animal Run today @ HDWorld. FREE BBQ Lunch @ 11a while it lasts. Ride to Remember is Coming Soon Get Registered Today Details @ http://swurl.it/2C8Y7

One of the absolutely fantastic things I see about powersports dealership all over the country is the incredible way you all give back and support your community. This dealership has been major part of a HUGE bike run, Ride to Remember, supporting the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. They use their mobile club to encourage their customers to register for the run and they provide a link directly to the page where they can do so.

  1. HOLIDAY PROMOTION

Happy St. Patricks Day! Stop in and enjoy 10% off any green apparel at Rexburg Motorsports today and tomorrow. 

No reason to overthink promotions. Simple is effective and this dealer kept it simple. A friendly message on a holiday that appeals to ALL customers can be incredibly effective. The day/s are clear for this promotion and customers don’t need to show a message or even wonder what is on sale. The message told them exactly everything they needed to know.

  1. BIRTHDAY CLUB

SENT MESSAGE: Happy Birthday ~FIRSTNAME~ from Dallas Harley-Davidson. Reply SURPRISE for a special gift from us!

BOUNCEBACK: Click here for your birthday surprise from Dallas Harley-Davidson! ~redeem~ 

On the customers actual birthday this dealership sends an automated message to the customer (SENT MESSAGE) and is able to include the customers name as a personal feature by using the ~FIRSTNAME~ placeholder. The customer is asked to respond to trigger the offer (SURPRISE). The message they receive (BOUNCEBACK) includes a link that’s unique to their exact phone number and it opens a web app with a graphic coupon designed for the offer. The customer then shows that at the dealership to redeem the birthday offer. And the web app is able to track those redemptions for the dealership all the way down to each individual customer.

  1. SERVICE

Dealership: 

SENT 4/11 4:56p CT  - JERRY YOUR BIKE IS READY FOR PICKUP AT XXXXXX HARLEY.

Customer:

RESPONDED 4/11 5:34p CT  - I can't remember did I ask for the oil to be changed? They did change the front rotors, and installed the brake peddle in the saddle bag correct. 

Dealership:

SENT 4/11 5:47p CT - You asked to change the rotors and brake pedal. If you would like we can change the eng oil or all fluids. Just let me know.

Customer:

RESPONDED 4/11 5:53p CT - All fluids and check air filter and I also gave insurance information for safety inspection that needs to be done.  

Dealership:

SENT 4/11 5:56p CT - ok no problem   

Dealership:

SENT 4/12 11:43a CT - JERRY YOUR BIKE IS READY FOR PICKUP AT XXXXXX HARLEY.

Finding tools to make your departments more efficient are vital. And exchanging text messages with customers is the BEST way to accomplish this. The exchange above is typical. When the customer dropped of their bike they were asked if it was okay to receive a text alert when it was ready to pick up. The customer agreed. When it’s time to let the customer know all the service associate had to do was send that initial message. The need to call the customer, and most likely be forced to leave a voicemail, was eliminated. The customer’s response was received back about a half hour to the dealer’s account and the service associate could easily communicate and log the history of this conversation. Not only was the dealership able to confirm work that had been completed but they communicated that the customer had not asked for the oil change but could do so. The customer authorized the oil change within 6 MINUTES. And the customer added an additional detail about the inspection. This experience is what customers are seeking. They don’t want a less personal experience. They simply want a more efficient experience.

  1. SOCIAL MEDIA

Come by Arlington Motorsports & get the NEW Five Motorcycle Gloves. Check out Brian's video showing off the cool features: http://swurl.it/4T6R1

This dealer is building a better social media presence and by adding video to their page they are engaging customers. With minimal effort to produce and post the video the dealer anticipated engagement. But sometime’s just having a social media profile and good content is not enough. The dealer sent a text alert to their mobile club and within less than 18 hours had over 200 additional views they cold directly attribute to the mobile customers. Essentially a mobile club gave the dealer the ability to extend a creative, informative message immediately. Social media can be incredible but why not help your customer out by pointing them directly to that great content.

These 7 examples I’ve listed are just scratching the surface of the amazing ways you can use a simple text message strategy to drive engagement and sales.

If you’re doing mobile and have examples like these please share them in the comments below or email me and I will share. If you’d like help with crafting messages like this please don’t hesitate to contact me for that as well.

Ron Cariker is owner/president of 7 Media Group, a diverse mobile marketing firm based in the U.S. and the leading mobile provider for the powersports industry. Ron and his company have worked with over 100 dealers across the U.S. for the past 6 1/2 years. 

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