[Posted August 20th, 2014 by Keith Shetterly]
Within the past decade or two, automotive dealerships have been increasingly relying on customer relationship management (CRM) software. Managing the interaction between company and client, CRM software is useful for integrating virtually all aspects of dealership operations, including sales, customer service, marketing, and technical support. CAR-Research XRM, one of the prominent CRM software providers in the United States, has a feature in its product called DealFinder, a virtual business development center (BDC) that handles and processes sales and service inquiries. One of the BDC’s key tools is automotive direct mail, which has become a standard sales, marketing, and promotion tool in the industry due to its numerous benefits.
Sales activity comprises the bulk of automotive direct mail’s everyday use. Since most car buyers start their search online these days, BDC representatives can fill out an email template—which is edited according to the interest of the potential buyer—and send it out in response to an Internet inquiry. The email sending process is relatively quick, and it increases the chances of the customer responding to the message. Consequently, BDC reps can set up an appointment for potential buyers to meet with sales associates at the dealership, thus giving them a chance for one-on-one discussions about the vehicle of interest. Regardless of the outcome, the automotive direct mail is also there for follow-up. BDC reps can check with the customer on the outcome of the appointment or address any issues that prevent the customer from buying at the dealership. These aforementioned capabilities can greatly facilitate the sales process and actually boost car sales.
Equally as important is the use of automotive direct mail for a variety of dealership incentives. They include lower interest rates on auto loans; trade-in deals; holiday sales; such as the ones on President’s Day or July 4th; and discount deals on certain car models. With the available templates that come with the CRM software, automotive direct mail promotions are quick and easy to make. Dealerships can have their marketers or marketing departments create, design, and direct the campaigns to make sure that mailing efforts are efficient and accurate. Also, professional marketers can give the promotions a toned demographic focus, which could use specifics that include geographical location, marketing segments, expiring financing contracts, lease renewals, and buyer profiles. They are aided by the dealership’s robust databases, which comprise thousands upon thousands of names and email addresses. Also, managers or sales associates themselves can send weekly or monthly email messages with details on their companies’ incentives.
Automotive direct marketing is discreet, since it is done electronically; and it is personalized, since it is addressed to specific people. As a result, dealerships without DealFinder or automotive direct mail cannot monitor the progress and take the ideas of those who have these tools. They also do not have that personal touch, since paper-based media is more likely to be addressed to an anonymous person. Ultimately, businesses that rely on automotive direct mail have a greater advantage.
Automotive direct mail can also save dealerships a great deal of money. With its electronic feature, businesses can skip the purchases, printing, and mailing costs that constitute letters, postcards, and brochures.