More than 17 million non-commercial vehicles are bought and sold in the United States each year.
But with so many dealerships out there all competing for the same customers, standing out from the crowd is a must if you want to cash in on any of those sales.
If you’re looking to boost your revenue month after month and draw in more high-quality leads, keep reading. We’re bringing you 10 auto sales promotion ideas that you need to put to work right away.
1. Get Active in Your Community
One auto marketing tip that will not only help expand your reach and widen your customer base but will also help improve your reputation, is getting active in your community.
There is an endless number of ways you can show your support for your community.
Sponsor a 5K to raise money for a charity. Buy ad space in a local sports park. Donate a raffle basket for city or local school functions.
Many of these functions also double as tax deductions for auto dealers. They’re great for showing that you care about your customers beyond simply having their business. They’re also great for exposure.
Charity, sporting, and other community events draw in visitors from out of town as well, which means exposure to surrounding communities as well.
2. Host a Giveaway
Social media is a great free or low-cost marketing option for businesses in any industry. And while paid ads are a great choice (we’ll talk more on that soon!), there are plenty of other ways to grow your following on social media and reach a wider audience at little cost to you.
One great option is to host a giveaway.
Giveaways could be as small as gift cards for local businesses or a free car wash, or as big as free oil changes for a year, a discount on services, or even credit towards the purchase of a new car.
To enter, your followers need to be encouraged to like and share your post, or even tag other friends who may be interested in the giveaway. Offer extra entries into your contest for every share or each friend that they tag to give your post maximum reach.
Don’t forget to require anyone who wants to enter your giveaway to also like and follow your page! That way they’ll continue to see your other posts and updates long after the giveaway is over.
3. Celebrate Your Previous Customers
Not all car marketing tactics are aimed at bringing in new customers.
Cars may not be a yearly purchase for most customers, or even a purchase that they make every few years. But nurturing your relationship with previous customers is still important.
When they do need a new car for themselves or their family, or when friends ask for referrals, if they have positive memories of doing business with you, they’ll be more likely to become repeat customers.
There are plenty of ways to celebrate previous customers.
One way is with useful weekly or even monthly emails featuring deals on service, oil changes, and car washes. You can also include seasonal tips that your customers might find useful, such as how to care for your car’s paint in the winter or ways to clean leather and cloth seats during active summer months.
Another special touch is to check up on your customers on the one-year anniversary of their new car purchase. This check-in could come in the form of an email or, better yet, a mailing. Include a coupon for the discounted oil change or car wash, or remind your customers of your referral program.
4. Use Social Ads to Target Individual Customers
Social media advertising has been on the rise for years now. In fact, 92 percent of small businesses now report that they plan to increase their social media spending in the next year.
Ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are unique in that they utilize algorithms to bring in better leads.
These platforms, as well as search engines, track the websites and searches that web users visit and make. They then use this information to deliver ads that are relevant to those searches.
5. Offer a Price-Match Guarantee
It won’t matter how much time and money you sink into these car dealership marketing tactics if nearby dealerships are selling their vehicles at a fraction of the cost of your own.
Unless you can’t afford to sell your cars for less than what you’re already asking, consider offering a price-match guarantee.
This will ensure that you’ll never lose a sale because a buyer finds out he or she can save a few hundred bucks by buying down the street instead. That way, nothing will stand in the way of the success of your marketing campaign or excellent customer service.
6. Give an Incentive for Referrals
Turning buyers into repeat buyers is always a great goal. But when it comes to buying cars, your buyers aren’t likely to be coming back multiple times a year.
However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t spread the word about your service to friends, and draw in multiple sales a year as a result.
The first step towards encouraging referrals is providing superior service. If you stand out from other dealerships, your reputation alone will help bring in at least a few new customers on recommendations.
Encouraging recommendations can help you drastically increase the number of referred customers you receive. To do this, consider offering an incentive. It could be anything from a cash reward to benefits like free oil changes or car washes, just as long as your customers feel motivated to pass on the word about your dealership.
7. Advertise Where Buyers are Already Searching
Only around 15 percent of new car buyers pay cash for their purchase, and even that number has been dropping.
The majority of your buyers will be looking into financing options before they ever start looking for a car. Targeting buyers while they’re still at that stage in the buying process will help you form a connection and make an impression before they ever have a chance to start shopping other dealerships.
Unlike other online advertising options, marketing your business on sites that help car buyers find financing will generate high-quality leads. If web surfers are already on those sites, you already know they’re shopping for a car, as opposed to web surfers scrolling through social media and seeing your paid ads.
8. Promote Your Service Department with Freebies
Web-based marketing is important. But it shouldn’t completely replace traditional tactics.
Direct mail marketing, especially that featuring freebies and promotions, are a great way to draw in customers. While it can be tough to offer freebies on car purchases, if you have a service department, there are plenty of promotions you can feature.
Offer free car washes with every service, tire rotations for a year with new tires, and other little discounts and promotions that will cause customers to choose your service department over that of your competitors.
9. Stand Out from the Crowd
When you’re offering the same cars, prices, and similar promotions as your competitors, you need more than marketing tactics to stand out.
One way to do this is to set yourself apart from the crowd with a new tactic.
Car dealers get a bad reputation for being pushy and more sales-focused than customer-focused. Turn that trend on its head by instructing your salesmen to take a step back. Then, showcase this difference in your advertising.
This will help draw in customers who are sick of the anxiety and stress of buying cars from pushy salesmen.
10. Offer Deals for Uber and Lyft Drivers
If your dealership is located in a busy city where Uber and Lyft are popular, you have a unique chance to spread the word about your dealership and draw in buyers.
Offering deals and discounts to Uber and Lyft drivers has two major benefits for your dealership. First, with so many people turning to Uber and Lyft as sources of income, you’ll get tons of traffic from drivers looking to upgrade their ride.
Then, when they start driving around picking up riders in their new car, with a license plate bracket or sticker on their vehicle with your dealership’s name on it, they’ll be advertising for you, free of charge.
Putting These Auto Sales Tactics to Work
From hosting giveaways to offering promotions, smarter online marketing, and more, upping your promotional tactics is a must if you want to grow your dealership and your customer base.
No matter which of these auto sales promotions you choose to put to use for your dealership, they’re guaranteed to help you start increasing high-quality leads and boosting your revenue month after month.
If you’re interested in learning more about direct mail marketing, generating better leads through smarter ad placement, or other online marketing tactics, contact us today!