I have a small automotive business and I'm not sure how to do effective marketing. It's difficult to spread the word to potential new customers, and I also have limited time and resources. So how do I successfully market my business, while working with the resources I have?
The solution that I have chosen for my business is an all-in-one marketing and communication solution. It provides email marketing, text message marketing, fax marketing, social media (Twitter and Facebook) marketing, voice message marketing and more.
I can even use it to create online surveys to gain feedback from my customers about their experience and how they like my business's products and services. And if I'm hosting an event for my business, I can have invitations and reminders automatically sent out to all my guests.
Automated Communication Solution for Business
When I used to think of automated communication, all that came to mind was those out-of-office emails: "Thank you for contacting me. I will be away from my desk from Friday December 17 to Tuesday December 21. If your message is urgent, please contact our secretary Gloria. Thanks!"
I didn't realize that automated communication could be more personal, and could actually help to engage my customers.
With my automated communication solution, I can send out personalized communication campaigns to each of my customers, based on their individual needs and preferences. The solution draws information from my customer files, so it can send them appropriate and relevant messages. I can also reach out to new customers through my social media pages.
What I can Do with Automated Communication to Market My Business
I'll tell you how I use each tool to effectively market my business to my automotive customers.
Email marketing: Email marketing is a great way to send information. I often use it to send information packages to my customers. I have signup forms on my website and social media pages where customers can easily sign up to receive my email newsletters. Whenever a new customer signs up, their information is automatically entered into a new customer file. They receive a welcome message with a 20% off coupon that they can use on items like oil, antifreeze or other merchandise. Customers like receiving this coupon right away because then they are getting immediate benefits right from the first email newsletter and they are glad that they signed up.
As customers open the email newsletters and click links, each action is stored by my business communication solution to help create a more detailed profile about what that customer is interested in. The solution then uses the stored information to send each customer messages that are relevant to their individual interests.
Text message (SMS) marketing: If you want to not only market your business but also provide your customers with practical messages, text message communication is an effective way of doing this. I use text messages to reduce no-shows for automotive service appointments, and this method has been highly effective. Every customer service appointment is stored in the system, and each customer receives an automated text message notification reminding them of the day and time of their appointment on that day. Text messages make such effective reminders because, while emails may get lost in a customer's inbox or may not be read right away, the majority of all text messages are read within five minutes of being received.
Text message marketing is also a great way to send coupons, and coupons can definitely help to market your business. Text message coupons are much more likely to be redeemed than other types of coupons. Customers can also redeem them right from their mobile device, so it is very convenient for them.
My customers automatically receive personalized text message coupons on their birthdays and on the anniversary of the date that they purchased their vehicles.
Fax marketing: I mostly use fax marketing for B2B marketing, which is business to business marketing. Most of the businesses in my area have fax machines, so I send out special deals to them on a weekly basis. I have gotten quite a good response from this type of fax marketing, because many of the people who work in the businesses are vehicle owners and they do require regular maintenance on their vehicles. I send exclusive discounts off my shop's maintenance services to encourage these customers to visit their friendly local neighborhood automotive dealership. I don't send faxes to my regular customers because most of them do not have fax machines at home. I also don't send out faxes on weekends. I have tried sending on weekends but I did not get much of a response, as most of my customers do not work or do business on the weekends, so my faxes were just ending up in a pile of paper which was discarded on Monday morning.
Voice message marketing: Voice messages are another good way to reach your customers to remind them of appointment times. It is also a good way to reach customers who do not have a mobile phone or internet access, but do have a home phone. I use voicemail messages to connect with my customers who do not own a computer. The voice messages keep them up to date about what is happening at my dealership, if there are any good deals going on currently and so on.
Facebook marketing: Facebook is a highly effective way to market your business to new customers. Many new potential customers will check out a business's website and social media pages before actually visiting the business or making an online purchase. If you have an active Facebook feed and engaging posts, new visitors know that your business is a going concern and that you put effort into connecting with your customers.
Facebook is also a great way to have a two-way communication with your customers. Customers can post questions and a staff member can answer them.
I have my Facebook posts all set up in advance, and my automated communication solution posts them for me at organic times, so they don't look automated. This keeps my Facebook feed fresh and up to date, and I don't have to worry about manually posting all the time.
Twitter marketing: My tweets work the same way. I create a series of tweets at the beginning of the month and they are automatically posted at organic times. Twitter is also a great way to spread fun contests and engage new potential customers. Every so often, my business will offer customers the chance to win a new car and I always promote the contest using automated tweets and Facebook posts. When we announce the winner, that goes all over social media too. You wouldn't believe how fast news spreads!
Survey marketing: I always want my customers to be satisfied so I regularly send out links to surveys in my email newsletters. Surveys help me to easily gain valuable customer feedback so I can continue to improve the products and services offered by my business. All survey data is collected and organized by my automated communication solution and it creates helpful graphs and charts so I can easily view and understand the results.
Event marketing: Nothing helps to market your business quite like an event. My automated communication solution sends invitations to my guests through email, and also sends reminder notices as the date approaches. It even helps me to create a landing page for my event so guests can view all the important information.
To find an automated communication and marketing solution that works for your business, try our SimplyCast 360 industry solutions. They are examples of how the solution can be used for different industries. Each solution is custom tailored to your business and your industry, so please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your unique needs.