Welcome to Benchmark!

Hal Licino

Your Car Buyer’s Online Behavior Is Loud & Clear: Are You Listening?

Apr 07 2011, 01:10 PM by

Dealerships often fail to derive critical data from their customers’ online behavior. Each of their clicks possess a wealth of information you can use to tailor your return email to them. Improving your automotive dealership email marketing requires tracking your customers’ email open habits and click-throughs to see what kind of car they’re really interested in. Use this valuable data to segment your lists and craft marketing and newsletter strategies that really work.
Forget Upselling a Rio Customer to an X5
What’s the likelihood that the prospect who clicked on your Kia Rio or Chevrolet Aveo link is going to be interested in your Dodge Ram 3500 Cummins, your Lexus LS 460 or your BMW X5? What your customers click on is the primary determinant of the type, style and cost of vehicle that they’re in the market for. It may not be completely impossible just highly unlikely to convert a 1995 Ford Aspire click into a sale on a 2009 Infiniti FX50. Your windshield price on the latter would buy 30 of the former! You’re also not going to upsell the $10,000 Accent customer to a $60,000 Equus, no matter if they are both Hyundais.
Some Customers Refuse to Consider Other Marques
It may be hard to believe but there are still people in the United States who won’t buy imports and some who refuse to even look at various marques (“Ford: Found On Road Dead,” “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Chevys,” etc.). Amazingly, there are some WWII veterans who won’t even ride in a Mitsubishi due to the company’s manufacture of the wartime Zero kamikaze plane. Even if it is remotely possible to upsell your Aspire customer to a Ford Five Hundred, it may be well nigh impossible to get them into a Buick Lacrosse, a Chrysler 300 or a Toyota Camry.
Propose by Email Only Similar Types & Costs of Vehicles
The type of vehicle they were originally interested in is also a telling factor. If they clicked on a Corvette they might go for a Viper but never for a Grand Caravan. Similarly, a soccer mom shopping for a minivan is going to be outright offended if you propose a Mercedes SLK by return email.

Especially in this economy, price is a leading indicator of a prospect’s potential purchase. Car dealers know that there is a vast gulf between the customer who is looking for cars priced below $5,000 and the one seeking the one for more than $5,000. While it’s likely that the customer who clicks on the $3,500 car is simply not going to exceed the $5,000 barrier, the one who clicks on a $7,000 vehicle can and probably will be upsold to a $10,000 or even more expensive car.
Biweekly Payments in the Email Relate Immediate Affordability
Generally buyers under $5,000 are cash on the barrelhead types while buyers over $5,000 are looking for a loan. This leads to another factor: whether they have indicated that they are seeking financing. Although most car buyers will succumb to severe sticker shock when they see the difference between a $20,000 F-150 Regular Cab pickup and a $40,000 F-150 SVT Raptor, they may be more amenable to the concept that the former equals writing a check for $200 every two weeks while a $400 biweekly payment can be made on the latter. When your prospect has indicated a desire for financing, it is advantageous to provide email replies with the cost shown as a biweekly payment rather than full cash price and to ensure that you link to your financing page.

Although it may be possible to upsell a customer who has initially clicked on a used car onto a new vehicle, it is much more difficult to get the new car buyer to consider a used car, especially for the same or higher price. Some customers would be much happier spending $15,000 for a brand new base Chevrolet Cruze than they would considering a fully optioned out 2001 Cadillac CTS for the same money.

By analyzing the behavior that your prospect displayed in their initial contact, you can determine exactly the type and cost of vehicle that you can propose to them in your email newsletter, and that will mean a lot more cars being driven off your lot!

Posted in Automotive Dealerships

Related Blogs

Post a new comment

POST YOUR COMMENT

Comment With Facebook