I am curious what other dealers are doing to prepare for tax time?  We have multiple roof tops and do deep sub-prime.  We are heavy into Craigslist, just signed up with Cars.com and AutoTrader, have an in house web design team:  www.mitsubishiphilly.com

I feel like all the tax time tactics are the same...bring your W2, we'll do your taxes (though I would be open to trying that if there were an easy to use, cost effective company to do it) and all the normal TV / video ads out there.  What are some dealers out there doing differently to get their message out?

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There are a number of mailers that can be formatted to look "different" and get the TAX message across.  I think that is the most cost effective way to get to these folks that will respond to a tax message.  The list we mail could be either credit driven or even makes sense to mail a BK list without a BK message...They will respond.  We happen to be very progressive with mail.  The other option would be radio and in Philly that would just not be cost effective.  I know of a few tax companies that still do the onsite thing.. however, there are ways to get around having to deal with that expense.  I'd be happy to discuss with you anytime.  610-570-3022.  

One last thing we could do is a pre-roll video online that is just a click away from a landing page where they register for the TAX event.   This could be very effective and most certainly different.  Along those lines we could even re-targett people searching for car loans etc with a tax message that they simply can not get away from... will pop every where they go online after searching such a thing.  Just a few Ideas,  hope that helps you Brian.

Thanks for the reply Troy,

We have been tossing some mailer ideas around.  We have an in house tech team / design team and they are currently designing a tax based message which we are going to mail to our owner data base next week so it will be hitting about the same time as most people's W2's.  We have had a lot of success with mail in the past, and our best source of business consistently is a mail piece we do on a continual basis.  

We did consider radio, but as you said, not cost effective.

I would be curious to hear your thoughts on the tax preparation and getting around the cost.  I have thought about trying to collaborate with a local tax prep. place that would refer us business and we could bird dog them, but honestly am unsure how to approach that, let alone who exactly to approach.  

We are looking further into just doing our own mail.  Any suggestions where to obtain "lists" we can mail to?  Like are there any websites out there where we can get profiled lists of customers, like "homeowners," income levels, etc?  I investigated this with Sales Genie today, and they seem adequate, but was just wondering if there was anything else out there that anyone could suggest.  Sales Genie seems easy to use, but a little more expensive than we would like.  Thanks!

I am currently doing a scripted letter as a mailer for one of my clients in Chicago.  She is part of Guaranteed Credit Approval.  You can go on line to sign up for that if you are not already on it.  We are using a fico of 450-550 and she does 100% credit approval.  She is simply putting a message out regarding that and as a PS.  Ask how to use your future tax return as a down payment today!  Jenn Turner / JENSTAR PRODUCTIONS, INC.  949 295 1632

Brian - I'm glad to hear that you are targeting your own owner base as a part of your plan. That is certainly where to start first.  Before I could relay too many suggestions I would need to ask you a few questions, ones like what is the current profile of your customer, do you want to move new or used, etc. You say you are in deep subprime, so that means you have good financial partners which is good to know.  

One thing is for sure no matter what you end up doing, make sure to TRACK your results and also the leads. Not only will it give you a true ROI from the event, but you will then use those leads that come from this effort as a future revenue source for the stores. We believe in transparency and accountability in our multi-channel campaigns, we think that you should let these people respond in a way that is comfortable to them so you get more leads.  You can see more if you wish at www.triauto.com.  

Best of luck!

Thanks Jamie!  

We do have trackable toll free numbers we attach to campaigns we run to see what is and is not working and a very good CRM.  The current profile of most of our customers are bad credit...650 FICO or lower...most fall well below 500 though.  We do have a great relationship with many lenders who will provide financing to those customers.  The keys are always ability and stability.  We have been considering signing up with Sales Genie to garner "lists" of various demographics we would like to target and do some of our own in house mail like we are doing with our Owner Database.

Additionally we are also bulking up some of our pre-owned inventory with some more "desirable" vehicles and some high lines.  Obviously we are missing tons of business from those not so subprime customers out there.

Tax time gives a great headache, especially if you are trying to manage it without any expert help. Last year, when our firm got notices from the IRS, then we decided to get an expert IRS tax attorney help from here. The initial consultation was free of cost, and they helped us a lot to reduce the IRS debts. However, to avoid IRS legal notices in future, we are trying to clear tax matters within time. 

Secondly, I would recommend you always to conduct complete research to avoid tax help scams. Yes, I am just advising because such scams are common in dealership sectors. Usually, law firms come to help but involve you in an enormous headache. 


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