Navigating the modern digital marketing landscape is enough to quickly make your head throb. In our industry, sales is the dominant driver of our successes and failures. How can we equip our sales teams for success?
The answer is simple: smart marketing.
I’m not talking about old school marketing like print ads and junk mail that we send out. We know that doesn’t work very well.
I’m talking about creating a digital empire online — and empires take time to build. So how can we grow efficiently, quickly, and support our sales teams? We focus on the marketing channels with the highest overall ROI:
Highest Marketing ROI Per $1 Spent
- Email - $40
- SEO - $22.24
- Internet Display - $19.72
- Mobile - $10.51
- Catalogs/Print - $7.30
- Banner Ads - $2
At Bowman Auto, we focus on the top 2 channels the most: email marketing and SEO. Together, these two channels create a powerful cycle that fuels our growth online. Let me explain:
Let’s start with email marketing strategies. Email marketing has an average of 4,000% ROI for every dollar spent. And while building a healthy, organic email list is difficult to do in our industry, the effort pays off.
When you have built an email list, these are typically people that either have: 1) already bought a vehicle and done business with you or 2) shown interest in potentially buying in the future.
Most dealers are sending out sales emails, chalked full of sales jargon. Instead of giving out value, we are asking for a sale or asking the potential customer to “come check out our incentives.”
This just doesn’t work anymore in 2018. We need to find unique ways to provide value to our prospective customers. What do they want? The simple answer: not sales emails.
They want relevant emails based on where they on in the buyer's journey. Sending unique content and tracking how they respond to it with opens, clicks, etc. will give us the insight we need to move them along further in the sales cycle.
We can start to remedy this by segmenting our email list into multiple lists:
- New email subscribers
- “Hot leads” - high email opens/CTRs
- One-time purchasers
- More than one-time purchasers
You can get more granular and segment into make/model lists if applicable. The key here is to segment your lists so well that your email recipient will be happy to read your emails, because they are tailored for them and feel personalized.
When we align this strategy with SEO efforts, we can really see improvement.
We need qualified traffic coming to our site - visitors who are on our website to buy a vehicle or browse our inventory. Keyword stuffing and other poor SEO practices don’t work because if a landing page is irrelevant to the searcher, they will simply click the back button and go find another website.
We want to create landing pages that are exactly what our visitors want to see. This means that if someone is searching for a “new Land Rover” they probably don’t want to see “used Land Rovers.” Seems simple right?
By optimizing our pages with keywords to specifically only show what our visitors want to see, we can increase our chances of conversion.
Strategy Example: Create Content About Solving Automotive Repair Problems in Hondas
I know, it seems crazy. Why would we want to tell the potential customer how to fix their problems, if we want them to buy a car from us?
Here’s why: by giving value, you’re establishing yourself as a trustworthy resource and an authority. If they do end up getting their Honda fixed, then they won’t be buying a new car from us soon. But when their car inevitably does kick the can, or they are ready for another purchase, we have already established ourselves as a credible, trustworthy source and they are more willing to buy from us.
Another fact of the matter is people will not want to go through the trouble and cost of paying for repairs. Once you detail what needs to be done to fix a problem, cover how much it costs to fix, etc., many will not want to deal with the trouble and will start looking to buy a replacement vehicle. And now that they are on your site trying to figure out whether to invest in the cost of repairs or buy a new vehicle, they are only one or two clicks away from browsing your inventory.
And once you have content based around specific makes and models, you can then send these articles to your tailored email lists.
Instead of “Hey, we know you just bought a Mitsubishi from us, so here’s another marketing email asking you to buy another car from us” it is now “Hey, we know you were looking at a fuel-efficient Mitsubishi, so here’s a free gas-mileage calculator to help you cut back on costs.” Link the customer to free tools, helpful articles, and provide value to help them to actually open your emails, click the links, and potentially convert.
It might seem counterproductive at first, but this is the evolution of marketing. The customer holds all the power now.
Don’t fall into the old school way of sales and marketing. Focus on the customer and providing value first, and your dealership will always come out on top through referrals and 5 star reviews. It’s time to make a change and invest your marketing dollars the right way!