We’ve all been there… Last month was slow and now we need to have a plan to increase traffic! What can we do that’s more time honored in automotive than have a SALE!
To many dealers the word SALE means hanging price tags, balloons, radio station remotes, and full-page newspaper ads. It means inflatable gorillas; rally-the-troops style sales meetings and popcorn machines.
We hold these sales to generate excitement and urgency with the hope that any additional traffic will stimulate the sales team and drive sales. Often though, we forget to promote these events online and execute without a well thought out supporting digital campaign.
To maximize the effectiveness of any short-term sales event it is critical that the online and offline efforts be given the same amount of focus. Getting your online marketing on the same page can be as easy as these steps:
- Pick a Theme: No matter what the theme ends up being, any event needs to have one. WE’RE HAVING A SALE is not a theme and isn’t enough to convince buyers to adjust their purchase timeline to your urgency. Whether it’s a cookout, charitable event, carnival, or otherwise, your sale needs to have a theme with reasons to come in beyond simply purchasing a car.
- Setup a Landing Page: Putting an enormous SALE banner on your website’s home page is not a strategy. Create a sale-specific landing page that outlines the sale’s theme, benefits to coming in during the sale period, inventory specials, and specific calls to action (test drive forms, specific tracked phone numbers, etc.). This will give you a place to send traffic from the next couple steps.
- Modify Your Home Page: You should include a reference to your sale on the site’s home page, but that means doing it in a way that doesn’t disrupt the large amount of visitors that are looking for something else (service, hours, etc.). Consider running a specific banner in your main carousel and a fixed banner along the bottom of the browser that both point to the landing page.
- Tailor Your Digital Ads: Run through your PPC campaigns and tailor all of the ad copy to include mentions of the sale. For specific terms related to your sale vehicles, consider routing the traffic to the sale-specific page.
- Plan Your Social Calendar: I’m a firm believer in using social media to boost engagement through great storytelling and content that goes beyond just selling cars. If you employ a similar strategy you have earned the right to a few sale-specific posts each week. Plan out your social media content to focus on the sale theme, reasons to come in, and send that traffic to the all-important landing page.
- Build the Emails: Plan to increase your email frequency ever so slightly during a sale period. If you are sending one mass email per month to your customer base, feel free to dial it up to once per week during the sale period. Make sure that the email has real value to the customer, highlighting the theme, reasons to come in, and some vehicle specific special offers to look for. Traffic from the email should be sent to, you guessed it, the sale specific landing page.
- Communicate with the Team: Most sales fail because management fails to communicate the strategy with the sales team and doesn’t fully explain what offers are being advertised. Make sure your team gets copies of the emails, sees the landing page, and knows all of the channels being advertised. In addition to being better informed, this can get them even more excited than the gorilla. Bonus tip – Offer additional sales spiffs/incentives for them to correctly source the sale traffic, allowing you to better choose your channels in the future.
By following the steps listed above you can get your existing digital strategies dialed-in to provide maximum support to any sales event you could possibly plan. By having the digital side of your marketing effectively tailored to your sale messaging, you can better excite your team, drive additional traffic, and sell more cars.
Don’t miss Cavan Robinson and Kristopher Nielsen’s session at Digital Dealer 25 Conference & Expo on Tuesday, October 16, 2018: 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM. Learn how to use multiple digital channels to reach different segments of your customer base!
Author: Kristopher Nielsen
Kristopher Nielsen is a digital marketer with more than 10 years of experience. As the Sales and Customer Experience Operations Manager for the Soave Automotive Group, Kris oversees the sales processes, digital marketing, and customer experience for 10 luxury and exotic automobile dealerships in the Kansas City area.