Automotive Texting Best Practice

January 10, 2018

Communicating with your customers in the way which makes most sense to them is a win/win

I recently read an interesting article about the “death” of email. As someone who was in her 20s when she first heard her oversized and overpriced computer say, “You’ve got mail,” the idea of email being headed toward extinction is an overwhelming concept. I, quite frankly, did not believe it, instead waving it off as a ploy to get readers. However, considering this concept in regard to automotive marketing, I don’t think it’s far-fetched at all.

THE PAVLOVIAN EFFECT OF TEXT

When a business asks me for my email address these days, I usually politely decline. I’m sure like many of you, my inbox is usually overflowing with unimportant emails that make it more difficult for me to spot the important ones. If it is a business to which I plan on returning regularly I ask if I can opt-in for text message notifications for coupons, sales, events, etc. Again, I tend to be selective about this practice, but I always open texts and usually within minutes. I’m like Pavlov’s dog — when I hear a buzz or a ding, I check my phone. Don’t lie; you know exactly what I mean!

I still remember the first time I sent a customer a text from my Razr flip phone on a whim when I was selling cars years ago. I was frustrated with not getting return calls or email replies, and decided to give texting a shot. He responded within seconds! [Cue heavenly harp sound effect.] The remainder of our communications, up to the point at which he bought a new car from me, was almost completely via text message. It was the solution to the constant struggle between being communicative but not overbearing – between never hearing back from the customer and getting an immediate response. Voila!

WHAT WE KNOW NOW

  • Text messages average a 98 percent open rate versus a 22 percent open rate for emails.
  • Mobile offers are redeemed 10 times more frequently than print offers
  • The average person looks at his or her mobile phone 150 times per day
  • Consumers are much less likely to opt out of text messages than they are email messages
  • Today’s mobile users prefer texting because it’s more PRIVATE (nobody can overhear a text conversation), more PERMANENT (they can refer back to the information later), and allows them to PREPARE (they can think about how to respond and don’t feel put on the spot)
  • In a recent study, almost half of those surveyed said they were very interested or somewhat interested in corresponding with the dealership via text message after the vehicle purchase
  • If SMS/text marketing is not part of your strategy, I can all but guarantee that it is part of your competitors’

What was once sent to your customer’s mailbox, then to his or her inbox, should now be a text.

Looking to get better response from your leads? DealerSocket has made it easier than ever. SocketTalk, part of the DealerSocket technology platform, features texting and internal messaging from any DealerSocket product. SocketTalk also keeps your store compliant with all opt in/out procedures that relate to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).