Does mobile marketing really work for automotive dealerships?

Topic: Automotive, Marketing

In the face of the challenges presented by the coronavirus crisis, auto retailers have to find new ways to keep customers visiting forecourts. Here’s how mobile focused marketing can help do exactly that.

It’s been a tough year for automotive dealerships. Sales were down 97% year on year due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning a projected shortfall of 680,000 sales in 2020. 

But there is cause for optimism. Health concerns over public transport mean many license holders are considering a vehicle purchase; over half of UK driving license holders, according to Auto Trader.

So how do dealerships capitalise on this potential, and promote their vehicles in the best way? Radio and TV advertisements are difficult for buyers to recall once broadcast, and print continues to decline in use. This is where mobile marketing comes into play.

Is there an appetite from customers for mobile engagement?

Mobile marketing delivers personalised messages to audiences’ pockets. Sounds great on paper – but do buyers actually want this?

  • 60% of buyers are already using their mobile devices to shop for vehicles
  • 44% of prospective vehicle purchasers use their mobile devices to start an engagement with a dealership
  • 38% use their mobiles to book a test drive
  • 34% use their mobile to find their nearest dealership
  • 70% of buyers would be interested in watching video content on their mobile device to further explore the vehicle

What about richer mobile marketing?

As vehicle technology continues to evolve, so too do the ways in which they’re marketed. That’s where richer, mobile marketing comes into play. Taking all of the best parts of SMS based mobile marketing like personalisation, campaign tracking, and a 95% open rate, rich mobile marketing adds next-generation tools like branding/images/video, chatbot integration and interactive buttons. Customers can even receive these messages through their preferred channel including RCS, SMS Landing Pages and WhatsApp.

It’s all designed to give your buyers a more informed, interactive experience which will help to sell more of your vehicles.

How does rich messaging stack up against the competition?

Let’s take a look at how rich, mobile-focused marketing compares against the ways that retailers are currently sending their personalised messaging experiences.

Direct mailEmailSMSRich messaging
Message open rate75%20.9%95%95%
Average customer response timeUp to 17 days2.5 days90 seconds90 seconds
Link click-through raten/a4.2%19%27%
Proportion of messages that are spam57%90%1%0%

Data sources: Oracle | Remarkety | Adobe | Esendex | Digital Doughnut | DMN | Compu-Mail | American Express | Royal Mail | Ofcom | Jibe by Google

What results have auto dealers seen?

When trying to re-engage with and convert prospective customers who were no longer responding to traditional email communications, Nissan decided to use a rich, personalised SMS Landing Page campaign to re-establish communications and promote their vehicles. They experienced an 11% conversion rate which represented a 2750x ROI (Source)

Start making more sales today

Esendex have worked with a wide range of auto retailers to convert more of their audience into paying customers who keep coming back. If you’d like to find out how rich, mobile-marketing could help you, please contact our industry experts today on 0345 356 5758 or email us at [email protected].

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