Best PracticesDealership Communication ToolsDealership Marketing

4 Texting Tips to Maximize the Online Experience with Your Dealership

There is no question that having a solid mobile strategy, including the ability for your customers to text you in a safe and compliant manner, is important in helping your dealership increase sales and improve customer service.

The success of your texting strategy, however, hinges on maximizing a person’s ability to initiate contact with your dealership via text message. The best way to do this is to add a call to action for texting across all of your marketing and communications initiatives, including your mobile and desktop websites, to drive leads, increase engagement, and ultimately enhance your business.

Below are four easy steps for more effectively implementing text calls-to-action with your dealership.

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Make sure all important phone numbers are text ready

Dealers can implement technologies that exist today to text-enable their existing phone numbers, including main phone numbers, special vanity numbers, service numbers, and call tracking numbers. The reality is that consumers are probably already trying to text to your current landline phone numbers, but their messages are not being successfully delivered.

Include “Text or Call” in your advertising

Anywhere you promote your text-enabled phone numbers, whether in your online or offline advertising, be sure to add “Text or Call” to open new channels of communication with customers who prefer to text. In addition to generating new prospects, your existing customers (including your service customers) will be able to engage with you quickly, easily, and in the manner they prefer.

Feature “Text Us” buttons on SRPs and VDPs and other key website pages

Be sure to implement “Text Us” buttons on new and used vehicle search results pages and on vehicle details pages, on lead forms, and on “contact us” and directions pages on both your desktop and mobile websites. This will help broaden your reach among car buyers and improve your ability to engage and communicate with shoppers who want information about a particular vehicle in your inventory.

Utilize a text lead management system that assists with compliance

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) guidelines are strict when it comes to texts, and fines for non-compliance can run as high as $1,500 per unwarranted text sent. Permission-based texting platforms assist with proper opt-ins and opt-outs while serving as an effective lead management system to monitor and track communications since all text communications can be pushed to your CRM for follow up and lead management.

By maximizing a person’s ability to text you via your existing phone numbers (including your service numbers, in your online and offline advertising, and at your SRPs, VDPs, and lead forms), you offer your customers a great first line of communication to engage with your dealership. Texting is also a great way for you to initiate communication and reach out to customer prospects after they have opted in (and after you have implemented a texting platform to assist with compliance and manage leads).

Remember also that texting makes a great addition to the service business, enabling your service advisors to ask the customer’s permission to text with updates at the time of write up, and by allowing the customer to text back with questions once they have opted in.

Scott Pechstein is VP of National Sales for Autobytel Inc., offering the industry a full suite of high quality lead products and advertising services....