Balancing customer engagement and the cost of advertising is your key to increasing your marketing return on investment (ROI). Sounds simple, right? It is – and it starts with a digital-first strategy. This variation on multi-channel marketing uses digital media channels (such as email, SMS, or social media) to initiate engagement with customers. Once you’ve established a relationship with customers with a cost-effective approach, you can then follow up with higher-investment media channels like print mail to capture customer sales and service business.
This strategy isn’t uncommon, but even proven strategies can be perfected with data-driven study – at AutoLoop, that’s what we’ve spent over 13 years doing. We have a passion for solving the unique challenges that dealers face every day, so we dug into the digital-first marketing approach to discover insights you can put to work in your store now.
How does a digital-first strategy increase ROI?
Customers who engage with dealers are twice as likely to service and five times more likely to purchase from that dealer. So establishing and maintaining a high level of engagement with your customers is vital—and it can be done on a budget through a digital-first approach. Start by consistently contacting customers with relevant content via digital to keep your dealership top-of-mind. Then, track and target your high-intent customers with timely print mail follow-up. While print costs more, it is much more influential in closing deals. In fact, the open rate for print mail is two times higher than that of email.
Loyalty Rates by Engagement Level
But if email is cost-effective, why pay for mail?
When analyzed individually, we found that no single media channel influenced more than 30% of customers to generate an RO. So rather than using email as the sole solution for their marketing, dealers should include multiple channels in their marketing mix to boost engagement and ROI beyond the additional costs. Pairing email campaigns with a corresponding print piece is a great first approach, as it’s been proven to drive high engagement.
Influence by Media Channel
How can I implement a digital-first strategy at my store?
First, choose a vendor that gives you multi-channel marketing options. If your vendor specializes in only one channel like print, you’ll often be charged unnecessary costs just to add digital to the existing print. A multi-channel solution like AutoLoop Essentials™ offers dealers print, email, SMS, social, voice, and more to minimize costs.
After you’ve found the right marketing solution, start sending your customers emails to boost dealership awareness and target those who opened those emails with print mail and/or other higher-investment media channels. And for an even more effective approach, continue to send email communications along with other marketing communications to ensure your dealership is always chosen when customers need service or a new vehicle.