It’s (almost) the most wonderful time of the year! The holidays are right around the corner. So are some of the busiest shopping and traveling days. According to statistics.com, holiday car shopping is expected to jump by 6 percent this year. AAA estimates that more than 100 million people will pack up their cars for a holiday road trip.
For dealers, this means there’s no time like the present (get it?) to roll-out seasonal service and sales campaigns. In our experience, a service campaign to get vehicles ready for holiday travel and a few sales campaigns to coincide with the busiest shopping days can set you up for a rockin’ (around the Christmas tree) holiday season. Here are three ideas to get you started.
‘Cars-mas’ Service Package
Get holiday travelers into your bays with a regionally-appropriate service package (a fun pun to grab attention doesn’t hurt either). For harsh winter climates, think oil change, tire rotation, and a complete multi-point inspection.
Create messaging that highlights how a well-maintained vehicle will get customers safely to their holiday destinations. After all, being stranded on the side of the road is even worse than getting a lump of coal in your stocking. Focus on safety, and you don’t necessarily need to offer a price discount.
Send this communication out at the beginning of November to attract customers before they get distracted by holiday planning and shopping.
Print out the campaign and give a copy to every member of your service team. This ensures they are prepared to explain and sell it over the phone and in your store.
Black Friday Weekend Event
You likely run a Black Friday sales event each year, and you’re smart to do it. The day after Thanksgiving is predicted by ShopperTrak to be the busiest shopping day of the year.
This year, cover the entire weekend by including Cyber Monday in your campaign. Post sales details and push big manufacturer incentives on your website and on social media to attract online shoppers.
Schedule this communication to drop a few days before the big weekend. When sending emails, come up with a catchy subject line that will stand out in customer inboxes and get you high open rates. A few we like, include:
The theme of exclusivity running through these subject lines make customers feel like they’re part of the “in crowd” so they’re more likely to open the email.
‘Snubbed by Santa’ Sales Event
The day after Christmas, or Boxing Day, is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. This year there are only three Saturdays in December leading up to Christmas, so expect Boxing Day to be busy. It’s another major day where people are off work and can shop or return items.
Pull in those customers who were ‘snubbed by Santa’ and didn’t get the vehicle of their dreams. Create a campaign that highlights deep manufacturer incentives and competitive financing rates. Explain how you have to clear your lot for 2020 inventory so everything must go.
Wrap it Up with Pro Tips
Remember to maximize your results and minimize your cost with targeted customer lists. Lean on advanced search functionality in your CRM to segment similar customers and then send relevant messages.
For example, don’t send your service campaign to customers who were in your bay last week. That would bring out the Scrooge in anyone. Instead, send it only to customers who haven’t been in for a service in at least six months.
The same strategy applies to sales campaigns. Send communications only to customers who purchased a vehicle at least two years ago or are approaching the end of a lease. Every unclosed lead in the last 90 days should receive a Special Holidays Only sales offer.
Leverage cross-channel marketing to get an even better return. According to CJG Digital Marketing, following up a mailer or email with a BDC call can increase your ROI as much as 24 percent.
Finally, track all your campaigns in your CRM. That’s the only way to know what’s working so you can fine-tune your strategy for next year.
If a campaign is falling short, try A/B testing with different subject lines and offers to see if you can get a better response.
With some planning, seasonal campaigns can have you ringing in record revenue this season.