3 Unique Ways to Use SMS Text Message Marketing in the Automotive Industry

Text messaging is the fastest way to connect with customers. There’s no playing phone tag, getting stuck in voicemail, or waiting for someone to see an email and respond.

Text messages get noticed and read. In fact, 60% of texts get read within one to five minutes and about half get a response. To make sure marketing messages get seen and read, SMS marketing is the way to reach leads in the automotive industry.

How to Grow Your Automotive Audience and Generate More Revenue

While there is no shortage of ways to engage with customers using text messaging, we recommend three specific strategies to improve results.

Scheduling Appointments and Reminders

When someone inquires about a vehicle, the goal is to get them into the showroom. Nailing down an appointment time increases the odds someone will show up.. Using SMS, you can quickly find an agreeable time and get a commitment.
This also provides another significant benefit. It helps control the flow into the dealership. Rather than have too many or too few customers, dealers can make sure you have the right volume showing up. For automotive sales teams, you can also make sure your customers show up when you’re available.
By integrating your CRM or dealer management system (DMS) with an SMS platform, you can automatically send reminders to help customers keep their appointments. If someone misses an appointment, you can trigger an automated process with follow-up texts to reschedule. You can also automate appointment follow-ups to suggest the next steps based on interactions.

Pro Tip: Customize your text targeted to particular customers, focusing on their convenience. For example, letting them know you’ve got the car they’re interested in pulled to the front of the dealership and keys in hand ready for their test drive can reduce no-shows.

Targeted Service Notifications

Regular vehicle maintenance is important to keep cars and trucks in top shape, yet many vehicle owners will forget about regular maintenance.
Auto dealer services centers are a key to profitability. About half of the average dealer’s profit comes from service and a high absorption rate helps smooth over those months where sales lag. If you can keep your service center full, you can generate significant revenue. You can also generate repeat business. Nearly two-thirds of consumers are likely to buy their next auto from the same dealer if they returned there for service regularly.
Timely reminders about oil changes, tire rotations, and key service dates can generate business and keep your dealership top of mind with customers.

Pro Tip: Rather than send generic reminders, tie marketing campaign texts to specific vehicles. Based on mileage, age, or vehicle type, suggesting specific maintenance that’s due yields greater response and demonstrates customer service.

Customer Segmentation

Segmenting your customer contact list based on preferences and previous purchases can help you send the right messages that are in line with customer interests. Don’t forget about your existing customer base either. If you’ve taken care of them over the years, they may be your best prospects for new sales. Here are a few examples.

  • Segmenting by affinity: Send announcements for new models to customers who have older models of the same vehicle letting them know it might be time to upgrade.
  • Segmenting by vehicle age: With the current shortage of used vehicles available, consider sending SMS messages to prior customers who have paid off their vehicles, soliciting their used car with guaranteed offers based on purchasing a new vehicle.
  • Segmenting by lease expiration: Proactively identify customers who have vehicle leases about to expire. You can offer early termination options, lease renewals, or incentives to upgrade to a newer vehicle.
  • Segment by short code/long code: By using short codes, long codes, or vanity codes in advertising and marketing, you can track responses to specific campaigns and segment customers based on their interests.

Pro Tip: Another way to segment customers is by demographics and income. For example, certain product lines are more attractive to customers of certain ages. You can leverage your automaker’s data to target the right customer with the right type of vehicle. Depending on income levels, you can also highlight incentives for high-income cash buyers or financing options for low-income buyers.

Easy, Cost-Efficient Way to Engage Leads and Customers With SMS Text Message Marketing

SMS is an easy, cost-efficient, and highly effective way to engage leads and customers. Read on for more tips for using this type of marketing.

Respond Quickly

When you first get an inquiry, texting is the fastest way to respond and start a conversation. Because it’s a two-way communication tool, you can answer questions and help guide potential customers to the right vehicle and get them in for a test drive.

“Not only do I not need to manage my personal cell phone going off 24/7 – I can manage right from my laptop sending speedy messages to all prospective car buyers in less than 15 minutes.”

Gillian, Automotive Representative


Stay in Touch

By engaging regularly with your customers, you also maintain a relationship between the time they buy and the time they’re car shopping again. This helps improve brand awareness and generate additional revenue opportunities even before they buy again.

Leverage Multimedia

Because SMS allows you to share links and images, you can also generate excitement by including vehicle spec sheets, video walkthroughs, vehicle history reports, and financing/payment calculators.

Optimize SMS Campaigns

The right SMS platform will enable you to track every message you send, so you can see what works best and what’s falling short. The best platforms will let you A/B (split test) messages to continuously optimize your results.

With any SMS text campaign, make sure you have the customer’s permission to communicate by text first to remain in compliance with privacy laws and avoid legal issues. As such, texting is not a good approach for how to nurture cold leads without permission.

Highest Delivery and Response Rates is the number one text marketing platform for reaching out and staying engaged with your leads. As the industry leader in message deliverability and cost per message, empowers you to manage your SMS outreach, track key performance metrics, and generate more revenue.

Boost engagement. Strength customer loyalty. Reduce Risk. Drive Sales. Contact us and test drive today.

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