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Slay The Holidays With These 5 Dealership Marketing Strategies

Image of Hale Soucie
Hale Soucie

The holiday season is here, and with it comes Americans’ readiness to shop the best deals of the season. While it’s common knowledge that US shoppers are ready to throw down serious cash for Christmas presents—around $1,000—it’s also true that they’re far and away more likely to buy a car at this time: Automotive sales spike in the end-of-year holiday season for both luxury auto brands, such as Tesla, Land Rover, and Lexus, and non-luxury brands:

  • Lux dealers see a sales increase of 20 percent or more across all vehicle segments, including full-size, mid-size, and compact;
  • Non-luxury brands see an overall 20 percent increase in full-size SUVs.

With all of this in mind, it’s obvious why ramping up your marketing efforts in time for the holidays is a smart move.

Last year, we outlined 5 Holiday Marketing Ideas for Your Dealership. Now that 2020 is drawing to a close, we’re delving deeper with 5 more strategies to make sure your dealership takes advantage of the end-of-year increase in car shoppers. This go-round, we’ll focus on:

  • Limited-Time Offers
  • Holiday Hashtags
  • Ad Language & Design
  • Display Ads
  • Strategic Email Campaigns
  1. Gift Customers with Limited-Time Offers

When we say consumers are ready to buy during the holidays, we’re not exaggerating. Statistics show that 38% of consumers are ready to begin their holiday shopping before October is even over, and 46% expect retailers to offer discounts. To avoid disappointing consumers eager to snap up holiday deals while also drumming up your own sales, offer your customers a limited-time offer or two. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Consider offering a 5% discount or free oil changes for the first two years with the purchase of a brand-new vehicle. Another popular option is the “refer a friend” discount, where customers who refer a friend that ends up making a purchase earn a big discount on their next vehicle service. 

  1. Create Your Own Holiday Hashtag

Don’t get lost in the blizzard of basic holiday hashtags (#happyholidays, anyone?). Instead, make sure your dealership’s social posts stand out by creating your very own holiday hashtag. Doing so not only helps differentiate your posts from competitors’, but makes for a fun hashtag that your customers are more likely to remember and incorporate.

For instance, we all know the popular #HappyHondaDays and #Toyotathon that have been used to drive in holiday shoppers to their respective dealerships for years. Create your own spin on your dealership’s name and the holiday season to generate a hashtag that is both catchy and unique.

Once you’ve determined your hashtag, incorporate it into everything you publish this holiday season. That means including the hashtag in your social media posts, email blasts, and on your website. 

  1. Holly, Jolly-fy Your Language & Design

A simple yet effective marketing technique is to update your ad displays with holiday language and imagery. Doing so will create a festive connection between your dealership and your customers—an important aspect, especially in a year as tumultuous as 2020, as ads with sentimental value have been shown to score 50% higher in emotional appeal.

The important thing to remember here is that during the holiday season, your ad impressions will most likely experience a 50% increase, i.e. your ads will be seen more due to the surge in online shopping. It would be a waste to not include holiday imagery and language that will appeal to your audience at large.

So, put on your Santa hat and deck those ads with holiday cheer!

  1. Display Your Stockings Ads with Care

Above all, you want your dealership’s holiday ads to be seen. Guarantee it by having your display ads on multiple high-traffic and high-value platforms.

Consider that a record 60% of shoppers are planning on doing their holiday shopping online this year. That, coupled with the fact that 79% of US adults use social media daily, shows you how integral it is to appeal to the online shopper this year. 

Grab their attention where they will be spending their time: Facebook, Google, YouTube, and auto blogs. This way, your holiday ads promoting limited-time offers will be seen by consumers already browsing these websites.

  1. Spread Cheer with a Strategic Email Campaign

When done strategically, the holiday season can be an incredibly profitable time to implement an email campaign, with emails contributing to 27% of all holiday spending. Consumers are looking for great deals right now, so delivering those deals straight to their inbox can make for a strong ROI. 

Keep in mind that consumers’ inboxes will be more full than usual this time of year, so anticipating lower open and click rates is a must. To increase the chances of your email campaign’s success, follow these tips:

  • Send your promotional emails more frequently than usual
  • Schedule emails to be sent early in the morning
  • Format mobile-friendly emails (more than 54% of all emails are now opened on mobile devices)
  • Include your holiday-specific promotion in the email subject line
  • Write email promotions with a sense of urgency
  • Design the body of the email with HTML that inserts your customer’s name (i.e. “Hello, John!”)
  • Include a service coupon

Final Thoughts

This year has been especially hard for everyone, so implementing successful marketing strategies this holiday season should be the goal—not only for the benefit of your dealership, but to serve your community at large with savings and overall good cheer.

Ready to close out 2020 and begin the new year strong?

Edifice Automotive helps dealerships thrive through listing and reputation management, automotive marketing campaigns, and more. Let’s chat to determine how we can help your dealership close out 2020 with a bang and make 2021 your most profitable year yet!

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