1. Stop being a LURKER - join our dealer community and get involved. Sign up and start a conversation.
    Dismiss Notice

New Car Specials - What REALLY Works?

Discussion in 'Websites, SEO, SEM, Display, Social, Marketing' started by JesseJ, Mar 16, 2016.

This forum sponsored by...
  1. JesseJ

    JesseJ
    Expand Collapse
    Refresher

    First Name:
    Jesse
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Upstate NY Ford Dealer
    Twitter Handle:
    LathamFord
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Up State NY
    It's no secret that customers love specials. It's not about the deal they're getting, it's about the deal they think they're getting. We get the rare customer we make 50 cents on who leaves thinking we got one over on him and we might never see again after all the back and forth. Then we have customers who buy a used car at list price who are happy as can be and will buy five more. Perception is reality I guess.

    Anyway, I'm not exactly elbow deep in our advertising but I can certainly sidle my way in. I'm wondering what are some common specials and promotions that others have had success with? Be it a banner on a website, a bulk email, radio ad, commercial etc.

    The latest thing here that they've been running is leasing specials at x dollars/day. "Lease a new ford focus for $5/day!" Clever, but I haven't really found it to be a business catalyst.

    Awhile ago we gave away a "free ipad" with certain used cars. In reality, the iPad was worked into the deal (shocking I know). Again, this idea sounded ok, but didn't really do a whole lot. Our GM and sales managers are good at the basic task before them...selling cars.

    I'm trying to help boost the creative side of things. Our dealership seems to suffer from refusal to change with the times. Don't get me wrong, we are on our best six month run in over a decade from what I understand but I think we could do even better. I see all of our competitors running these promotions all of the time.

    Any feedback is welcome and appreciated. Thanks!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. This forum sponsored by...
  3. Brian Podolak

    Brian Podolak
    Expand Collapse
    Noob

    First Name:
    Brian
    Dealer or Company Name:
    AutoLaunchpad
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Biggest we have been seeing is the

    "$20.00 gas card for a test drive"

    Pulling in a lot of clients, and converting pretty good.

    Used or new
     
  4. Jan_c

    Jan_c
    Expand Collapse
    Noob

    First Name:
    Jan
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Motorwebs
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Seattle
    Specials? Step outside the car world and take a fresh look around.

    Major school?

    Then, it's the Bruins Best Deals....
    Query under $10K or whatever, create a custom button (incorporate their logo into the button for real wow factor), have some copy about special student financing.

    Of course, call for permission, you may have to run a generic Scholar Dollar Sale.

    If there's an industry that's big in your area, twists on the normal corporate/company discount program get noticed. Even better, tie in a customized gift with their discounted car purchase. If you're "honoring those in construction industry" a certificate to the local workwear shop sounds good. It's usually just a call or two offering a restaurant, or whoever a "cross promotional partnership" exchange for inclusion in all your web traffic (and advertising) so you don't have to buy everything. (sales skills work well here :-)

    Vehicles prior to 200X could be "Senior Specials". "These high quality cars are a little older but ready to live their life out with a great owner..."

    Different ways of slicing and dicing your inventory can equal easy "specials" with a little creativity.

    Good luck, I like your question!
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
    • Like Like x 4
  5. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
    Expand Collapse
    Founder

    First Name:
    Jeff
    Dealer or Company Name:
    DealerRefresh & Mercedes-Benz of Hagerstown
    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Messages:
    3,296
    Likes Received:
    827
    Location:
    Maryland
    Liking your response Jan! Simple but effective ideas. You have my wheels turning.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  6. yagoparamo

    yagoparamo
    Expand Collapse
    Sr. Refresher

    First Name:
    Yago
    Dealer or Company Name:
    DealerEProcess
    Twitter Handle:
    yagoparamo
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,886
    Likes Received:
    449
    Location:
    Seattle
    I always ask dealers about that stuff when I see them doing gas cards, give aways, etc and most of the time I've heard that the customer that came to the dealer to drive a car and didnt know about the offer gets positively surprised but them on the other hand a lot of people that come to the dealer to test drive a car knowing about the offer they just waste everyone's time, get the present, and leave.

    Converting people that come to check a $20,000 item because they can get a $20 gas card is not easy. I sold cars myself for years, I would like to get the opinion from other real salespeople on this.

    The true Internet special and not the gimmick giveaway is a well thought set up:

    The proper call to action/banner in the dealer's home page, 10% of the inventory marked as a special and chanegd frecuentrly, with 2 prices (was... and now is...), and a good comment with the car perhaps even about why we are moving it.

    I think that a group of goodies after you buy the car will do a lot better:

    Buy a car and get: 1st oil change, gift coffee card, 1st inspection, new owner clinic, 20% car wash, etc.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Rob McCartney

    Rob McCartney
    Expand Collapse
    Getting Refreshed

    First Name:
    Rob
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Rasmussen Ford
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Storm Lake, Iowa
    I may be a bit off topic here as its not a "special" but I use our Service Department to generate new car leads. I will check once a week to see what cars they have coming in. If there is something that is 3-5 years old with lower mileage that I know is in hot demand I go to work.

    First I check to see if they bought from us, if they did than I pull up their old account information. This will roughly tell me what they owe left and what their current payment is. I than compose a letter that is left in the vehicle for when they pick it up. It simply states that I would love to get their car in on a trade in and how much I would give them for their trade. I than finish out the numbers and state that I can get them put in a new same model for only XX more a month(typically its 20 dollars or less). This is left with my business card for them to review.

    You would be surprised some of the responses you get (haven't had negative) but a lot are very interested in discussing the numbers further.

    Not really a special but you could market it as Manager Trade special and offer oil change coupons (since you already know they are using your service department), or even a bump in trade value (250 bucks perhaps) if they trade within x amount of days. They are already your customers, so might as well not let them even think of going somewhere else.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
    Expand Collapse
    Founder

    First Name:
    Jeff
    Dealer or Company Name:
    DealerRefresh & Mercedes-Benz of Hagerstown
    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Messages:
    3,296
    Likes Received:
    827
    Location:
    Maryland
    Our boy Dan just published an article over on the blog - "Are your new car specials, really special?"

    Here's a topic that seems to never get old. No matter what year it is and how long we've been talking about it here on DealerRefresh.

    Dan offers several solid ideas on how to optimize and leverage your new car specials page on your dealership's website.

    To summarize:
    - Showcase specials for each individual model
    - List multiple offers per model
    - Incorporate an email campaign strategy
    - Streamline your PPC efforts towards your New Car specials

    Go read the article and then come back here and let us know how you are leveraging and optimizing your new car specials page...

    What great ideas do you have the share?
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  9. joe.pistell

    joe.pistell
    Expand Collapse
    Uncle Joe

    First Name:
    Joe
    Dealer or Company Name:
    DealerX.com
    Twitter Handle:
    JoePistell
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3,869
    Likes Received:
    1,289
    Location:
    New York
    Jesse,
    Lots of good ideas coming your way. Promos drive traffic and help to convert traffic when they arrive at your site.

    So, I went to your site (as a car shopper) and here's what I saw:

    No Real Photos.
    Your managers need to step up and make this happen. Managers can't see internet shoppers, so, they assume the shoppers don't care. Metro Ford, Jack Byrne, Crossroads are beating you on this, but, they all are doing a very poor job.

    Also, upload_2016-3-18_5-58-20.png <---Think about this, it's on EVERY new car you got.


    Is Price?
    upload_2016-3-18_6-12-25.png
    That took me 5 mins to figure out. I can't think of one successful store that runs a sale and uses "Was Price & Is Price".​

    Also, the ** disclaimer is nowhere to be seen. I can't figure out what "Is Price**" means. This is costing you ups.​


    10 New cars to 1 Used Car?
    220 new and 26 used? Eeek!!! Where your used cars are going? Car shoppers want to compare New to used. Used car shoppers are often payment shoppers and with today's leasing deals, many are easily converted to new. If your managers are sending these tradeins to auction, that would concern me greatly.

    All Used cars get photos??
    Used cars are 10% of your inventory and get 100% photo'd. If taking photos makes profits, then 90% of your inventory is being ignored.

    Summary:
    You're in a good market, from what I can see, All the Albany NY Ford dealers are asleep. The 1st manager in the Albany area to take great photos and price cars with discounts will see a jump in floor traffic and a jump in their Ford sales market position. Just down the road in Syracuse NY, in 12 months, this rural Chevy store went from a bottom performer to always fighting the big metro store for 1st place.

    Selling cars is a team sport. You need everyone on board (from the owner to the lot boy). Adding new promos won't move the needle much until EVERYONE is trying as hard are you are.

     

    Attached Files:

    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  10. ed.brooks

    ed.brooks
    Expand Collapse
    Sr. Refresher

    First Name:
    Ed
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Cars.com
    Twitter Handle:
    @EdGetsIt
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    552
    According to Google, consumers are researching an automobile purchase for months, using (on average) 24 information sources. I find it almost impossible to believe that the average consumer would be impelled into the market and into your showroom with a $20 gas card. On the other hand, I can see folks that were already in market, after the months of research using 24 sources, presenting themselves at the dealership and taking a test drive and yeah, wanting their 20 buck card. In that case, the $20 gas card wasn't their reason for coming in.

    And yes, I'm sure there are a few that are a few folks out there who just can't pull the trigger who need some extra prodding, some sense of urgency in order to act. But I'll submit to you, the vast majority of the "gas card sales" weren't incremental business.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
    #9 ed.brooks, Mar 18, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
  11. joe.pistell

    joe.pistell
    Expand Collapse
    Uncle Joe

    First Name:
    Joe
    Dealer or Company Name:
    DealerX.com
    Twitter Handle:
    JoePistell
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3,869
    Likes Received:
    1,289
    Location:
    New York
    When it comes to gas cards for test drives, I'm 100% in Ed's camp. Here's my $0.02

    Managers like it because they can finally make a connection from website visitor to floor up. The million dollar question is 'how much waste is there?' IOW, how many shoppers asking for gas cards were coming to your store anyways? 90%? 60%? IMO, It's a manager's job cut waste and he/she needs to talk to 20-30 gas card sales and get to the bottom of this.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature

Share This Page

This forum sponsored by...