Good morning class, I’m here to confuse you.
Don’t you wish a teacher would’ve started one of your classes that way? Because frankly, some of the material we were asked to learn was just downright hard to understand. And hearing the truth from the start would’ve at least helped us understand that confusion is a likely first destination on our path to knowledge. With that in mind, let me introduce you to a marketing concept I’m struggling to get dealers to understand. I’ll start by acknowledging this will probably confuse you. Because here’s the truth of the matter: There are marketing channels you use today where selling isn’t the objective. It’s the eventual outcome, but only if you choose not to focus on selling something.
Confused? Then we’re on the right path.
Let me start with an example: Your email marketing. At a dealership visit earlier this fall, I had a general manager ask for advice on his email marketing. His store was doing quite a bit of this but he wasn’t seeing much ROI. My first question: What percentage of consumers who are receiving your emails are actually clicking on it and opening it (ie, his open rate)? He wasn’t sure, but we guessed it was a pretty low percentage (somewhere in the single digits.) Enter the confusing issue of not selling to your consumers so they’ll buy. See, as consumers, we’re much more likely to open an email we view as content versus something we believe is sales-oriented, like a coupon or a special. In fact it’s not uncommon for media “enewsletters” or emails to have an open rate of 40% or even 50% because consumers view these as “news,” not advertisements. Do these “news” emails have ads in them? You bet. Are we using them to sell stuff? You bet. But we as consumers just don’t view them that way, and thus we’re more likely to open them.
So my suggestion to the GM was to get more ROI first he had to stop selling, or at least stop making selling the main emphasis of the email. How do you do that? Let’s take an ATV OEM special as an example. Many dealers will send an email that has a subject line and main focus on the OEM special. So that email is perceived as an advertisement, and thus often will get lower open rates. Instead of that route, try this: Find an article on an interesting ATV ride and make that the focus of the email and its subject line. Within that email, place a notable ad in about the ATV OEM financing deal. Now more people will open it, so your chances of getting more online unit leads increase.
Bottom line: Convince me you’re not selling to me. Then I’ll consider buying.