Holidays are about more than avoiding mall traffic, flatulent relatives and awkward gift moments. They’re about once-a-year event, sales and brand-building opportunities for your dealership and its automotive marketing. Blogily* speaking, we’re talking strong industry data and strategic digital marketing campaigns for:
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
- New Year’s Day
Plus, “add-ons” with valuable information for you – and some well-deserved holiday fun. ’Tis the season for dealership holiday sale marketing (and event marketing too). So, grab your ugly Christmas sweater and let’s sleigh this thing.
*You’re right – it’s not really a word. Until now. Consider yourself among the privileged few to see it first.
Four million Americans travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving weekend.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the single busiest travel day – with 37 percent of travelers departing for trips. (A History of Thanksgiving)
Social traffic on Thanksgiving 2018 was up 41 percent, compared to 2017.
Thanksgiving 2018 brought in $3.7 billion in online sales, up 28 percent from 2017. (Every Result You Need to Know from Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Holiday 2018 Season So Far)
What This Means and Dealership Marketing for Thanksgiving Weekend
Service clinic and/or free inspection: Lots of people are on the road and they’re traveling a good distance. Have a service clinic and/or free inspection before Thanksgiving to winterize vehicles and get them road ready. Consider a mini clinic for Thanksgiving weekend, for travelers who had car issues during their trip. Guests don’t want to over-stay their welcome (and hosts definitely don’t want them to). An inspection is also a great excuse for customers to get out of the house when relatives start driving them up the wall.
Now about service-into-sales. Customers want to know the ROI on their service dollars: two in five want the cost of services needed, compared to the vehicle value. And one in three want the trade-in value. Be ready to make an offer on a customer’s car, then and there, with staff dedicated to seamlessly moving them from the service drive to the showroom. (Deepen Customer Relationships with Service Clinics)
Social media: It’s skyrocketing. Think about helpful posts before and during Thanksgiving weekend – especially if they tie into a service clinic and/or free inspection (e.g., 5 Things You Need to Check Before You Hit the Road).
Listings and reviews: People are online researching and buying, which means your listings and reviews should be in shape and up to date. (Why Dealerships Shouldn’t Ignore Listings and Review Management)
Black Friday Facts
Retailers sent 3.5 billion emails on Black Friday 2018 – up .5 billion from 2017.
Mobile devices made up 67 percent of all digital traffic on Black Friday 2018, up 6 percent from 2017.
Black Friday 2018 brought in $6.2 billion in online sales, up 23.6 percent from 2017. (Every Result You Need to Know from Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Holiday 2018 Season So Far)
What This Means and Dealership Marketing for Black Friday
- Email: Businesses continue to ramp up on email marketing campaigns. Because they work. Are any of your vehicles on the Best Black Friday Deals for 2019? Tell your customers (and your competition’s too – nothing says “Happy Holidays” like geotargeting). Check U.S. News & World Report, Consumer Reports, Forbes, etc. Then integrate mobile responsive targeted emails, social and your website.
- Mobile: Go heavy on mobile – your customers certainly are. Design responsive emails with mobile in mind, because 67 percent of users open email on mobile devices. Also, write compelling preheaders that get customers to open the full email and create CTA buttons that are big enough for fingers (and thumbs) to click on. (2019 Email Marketing Trends Roundup for Dealers, add link when it posts)
- Online: Let’s talk social. A recent Facebook study found women (81 percent) and men (76 percent) find social media to be a valuable car shopping tool. The question is, how do you make sure the right people see your social media and ads?
- Lookalike audiences
- Boosted content
- Facebook inventory ads (Is Your Dealership a Social Media Influencer?)
Cyber Monday Facts
- Cyber Monday: Here’s a quick backgrounder. Cyber Monday is less than 15 years old and started during the early days of shopping online (then referred to as “cyberspace”). People liked it. And why not? Great deals while you “work.” (Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: What’s the Difference?)
- Retailers sent 4.1 billion emails on Cyber Monday 2018 – up .8 billion from 2017.
- Social traffic on Cyber Monday 2018 was up 16 percent, compared to 2017. (Every Result You Need to Know from Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Holiday 2018 Season So Far)
What This Means and Dealership Marketing for Cyber Monday
Email: More emails and more mobile users mean more emails being read on more mobile devices. Target in-market car shoppers with messages before and after work – and during lunch break – when they’ve got time to check their mobiles, read emails and drop by for a test drive, free inspection, appraisal, holiday gift, etc.
- Social media: Cyber Monday social traffic is up significantly. Let’s look at ways to motivate visitors and move some of that traffic from devices to your dealership.
- Create new vehicle reviews.
- Film walk-throughs on new vehicles and feature sets.
- Use Facebook live or Instagram stories for peeks at new models or hard-to-find CPO vehicles.
- Share common service and maintenance tips drivers should know.
- Show a technician performing a service job, while your director talks about manufacturer certification and complimentary services (shuttles, loaner cars, waiting room amenities, etc.). (How to Start Getting More Dealership Visitors with Social Media)
- More than 400 million people around the world celebrate Christmas.
- Around 1822, the tradition of sending Christmas cards began in America – and the Superintendent of Mails said it would take an additional 16 mailmen to deliver them all. (American Christmas Traditions)
- Today, people buy over 1.6 billion Christmas cards each year – and that doesn’t even include digital cards. (30 Greeting Card Industry Statistics and Trends)
What This Means and Dealership Marketing for Christmas
Christmas greetings: Send customers and prospects a message wishing them the best during the holiday season. It’s a nice gesture (and it keeps your dealership top-of-mind). Include an invitation to stop by the dealership so they can pick up a special gift – or little ones can visit with Santa.
Holiday messages are perfect for personalization and the benefits that come with it. Emails with personalized subject lines are 26 percent more likely to be opened – and personalized messages increase click-through rates by 14 percent and conversions by 10 percent. (2019 Email Marketing Trends Roundup for Dealers)
Add-on: Take the quiz: Which 25 Days of Christmas Character Are You? Naughty or Nice? Check out holiday giveaways – including a new car – and other holiday fun for the family.
New Year’s Facts
- 60 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8 percent achieve them.
- More than half of us fail our resolution(s) before January 31.
- Saving money is one of the top five resolutions, and the top five most commonly failed.
- A survey showed the top 10 resolutions for 2019 were:
- Diet or eat healthier (71 percent)
- Exercise more (65 percent)
- Lose weight (54 percent)
- Save more and spend less (32 percent)
- Learn a new skill or hobby (26 percent)
- Quit smoking (21 percent)
- Read more (17 percent)
- Find another job (16 percent)
- Drink less alcohol (15 percent)
- Spend more time with family and friends (13 percent) (10 Top New Year’s Resolutions for Success and Happiness in 2019)
What This Means and Dealership Marketing for New Year’s
- Social media: Resolution stats might not seem promising, but this could be the year of success! Consider ways you can help customers stay strong – maybe a playful, tongue-in-cheek series of social posts and ads? Here are some ideas to jumpstart your creativity.
- Exercise: put the top down on a new convertible (it counts).
- Lose weight: trade in your heavy SUV for a compact car.
- Drink less: get a hybrid and stop guzzlin’ at the pump.
- Quit smoking: stop by our service department for a free inspection.
- Read more: buy a new car and read the owner’s manual.
Maybe tie-in resolution-based gifts and giveaways too?
Contact us to learn more about the gift that keeps on giving – a partnership with one of the nation’s leaders in dealership marketing.
2019 Email Marketing Trends Roundup for Dealers (add link when posted)