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BEYOND BEST PRACTICES: 10 Outside the Box Ways to Use AutoHook’s Private Offers

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[The 2019 Edition]

AutoHook is best known for converting online traffic into showroom visits using private offers and test drive incentives on dealer websites and third-party sites. These private offers and incentives, combined with our untouchable attribution model, has proven to be one of the most (if not the most) cost-effective ways to get customers physically into your showroom and into the driver’s seat of a vehicle, where you have the best possible chance of closing a sale.

What many dealers don’t realize, is that AutoHook’s capabilities go far beyond rewarding customers for visiting your showroom for a test drive. Our most successful dealers use AutoHook to boost revenue across multiple departments – not just new car sales.

Customized incentive campaigns can be executed at any time to support any and all of your unique initiatives from securing more service customers to acquiring more quality trade-ins for your used inventory. The following are 10 ways to use AutoHook’s private offers to further boost your bottom line. All customization options below have proven successful at actual dealerships across the U.S. and are free of charge for current customers. In this case, more sales (and the data to prove they came from us) really are just a phone call away.

1. Boost Specific Model Performance

Depending on your brand, we know there are certain models you can’t stock enough of and others that overstay their welcome on your lot. Use higher value test drive offers on the vehicle details pages (VDPs) of the models in your inventory that may need a little help. If you know you have a high defection rate tied to a specific new car model, you can incentivize customers who land on those VDPs or submit a lead for that model with a greater value incentive, say a private offer for $50-100 when they come in for a test drive. Target and boost any model that may be underperforming or even a single VIN.

The same logic can be applied to your used and CPO inventory. Offer higher value incentives only on stubborn or aging inventory you can’t seem to move. A great example came from Jim Burke Automotive Group on a 2016 Subaru Impreza.

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“We needed to move the Impreza ASAP and we were able to accomplish this utilizing AutoHook’s Web2Show solution via our Dealer.com website. We did an increased, targeted offer for the Impreza’s stock number only of $100 for a test drive and sold the vehicle in just 4 days. We are thrilled with the quick turnaround of this specific vehicle targeting campaign and will definitely continue to use AutoHook’s solutions in the future.”

-          Gordon Gibbs, President, Jim Burke Automotive Group

2. Target Underperforming ZIP Codes

Increase the value of private offers in areas where you’re struggling. AutoHook can set up custom filters to target your website visitors located in specific ZIP Codes where you see high defection rates or where you know you’re getting crushed by competitors. For example, offer a $65 test drive incentive only to customers located in the ZIP Codes you define and a $35 reward to website visitors in your backyard. The further away the ZIP Code, the higher the reward should be. Planet Honda did this and saw outstanding results. They identified three ZIP Codes where they were losing the most sales to competitors. They increased their test drive offers from $35 to $50 for any customer viewing inventory on their website located in one of these areas. We tracked their sales attributed to AutoHook incentives over six months, and their results speak for themselves. Check them out below or read the complete case study here.

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3. Incentivize Your Service Drive

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With new car sales forecasted to decline in 2019, dealers need to shift focus to service and parts to make up for potential losses in new car sales revenue. We’ve had dealers get extremely creative with using private offers to persuade customers to choose their dealership for their service needs rather than the local body shop shown the street. Use AutoHook to get more service appointments by offering customers who book appointments online a special reward that can only be redeemed when they come in for their appointment. You can also use our Issue Instant Reward feature when setting up appointments over the phone to help ensure they show up.

Another idea is to target specific segments of service customers by pulling contact lists from your CRM that meet certain criteria. For example, pull a list of customers that are due (or overdue) for their first service appointment and email them an offer for a $25 reward when they complete their first scheduled vehicle maintenance at your location. The same can be applied to your parts department or special service events. For example, “Get an instant Amazon eGift Card when you schedule an appointment to come in for our Spring Tire Sale!” Or, “Receive a $100 Visa eGift Card when you purchase a complete set of tires!”

Dealers have also used AutoHook to incentivize service customers who have a desirable vehicle for their used inventory or vehicles that exceed a certain mileage range. In addition, you can always pull a list of appointments you already have on the books and use our Bulk Coupon Generator (just call us and we’ll do it for you) to reward your service customers with a $25 gift card to test-drive one of your new vehicles instead of sitting around waiting for their car to be serviced. Who wouldn’t want to get paid to take a spin in a vehicle that peaks their interest while they wait? Use our Issue Coupon Code or Issue Instant Reward features for customers sitting in your waiting area that may not have received a pre-generated offer to test drive a new vehicle.

4. Revive Dormant Leads

Use the Lead History report in the AutoHook portal to pull a list of anyone who completed an AutoHook test drive offer lead form but has not yet come in to redeem their gift card. You can also pull a list of all leads in your CRM that are 90 days or older (or a timeframe of your choice) and reengage them with a $50 offer to visit your showroom for a test drive. AutoHook can help you set up custom targeted offers based on the leads (or even lead sources) you want to influence.

5. Integrate Across Digital Marketing and Social Campaigns

Using AutoHook’s Triggered Links feature, custom incentive campaigns can be set up on your dealership’s social media pages and in paid social ads. We can also integrate private offers into paid search and display campaigns, or on any landing page or microsite. You can even use AutoHook in your social ad campaigns to reward customers for booking a service appointment online or to promote a discount on parts.

6. Get More Quality Trade-Ins for Your Used Inventory

Target customers with a private offer to get them to trade in their desirable car and purchase or lease a new one from you. Simply pull a list of customers in your CRM that have a lease expiring in the next 90 days or a time frame of your choice. Offer them a $50-100 Visa Gift Card to come in and test drive a newer model and trade in their lease early. If you have equity mining software, pull a list of lease pull ahead customers and email them with a unique offer to get out of their lease early and into a new vehicle.

7. Get More Positive Reviews

Who doesn’t need more positive reviews? Use AutoHook as an enticement for customers to leave reviews, testimonials, or feedback of their experience buying or servicing their vehicle at your dealership. Give happy customers a reason to take the time to write you a good review by emailing them a link to instantly redeem a Visa or Amazon virtual gift card. Our Issue Instant Reward feature is the perfect way to say thank you on behalf of your dealership for submitting a positive review. Testimonials can be used in a multitude of ways to show off the value of your unique dealership experience or a specific salesperson.

If you identify a list of customers you want to solicit for reviews, you can call our Client Success Team and they will help you utilize our Bulk Coupon Generator to create unique incentive codes for each contact on your list. We can create email campaigns on your behalf or you can include a unique triggered link in your own personal emails to customers.

8. Protect Your Reputation

On the flip side, you can use the Issue Instant Reward feature for any customer who complained or had a poor experience at your dealership. Not that that would ever happen at your store…but know it’s available for you to have in your back pocket, should that problem ever arise.

9. Get More Customer Referrals

Use the Issue Instant Reward feature as a great way to say “thank you” to any customer who refers your dealership to their friends and family. Issue Coupon Code can be leveraged to lock in referrals over the phone in those states that allow referral payments. Check with your state Dealer Association for more information.

A great example came from a Kia dealership that runs a strong referral program and uses AutoHook incentives as their fulfillment and measurement tool. AutoHook worked with their Internet Sales Director to build a set of special Issue Instant Reward placements ranging in value up to $200 and marked each as a Referral Gift. This dealership loves having the gift card fulfillment process completely handled for them. They can also track the specific placements to see who refers the most people to buy and how much they need to offer to incent the best referrals. Additionally, this will make your accounts payable department very happy, in that they only have to write one single check for all of the output in a given month.  

10. Magnify Existing Campaign Success

Piggyback on OEM launch campaigns including new model launches, holiday sales events, loyalty programs and more. Use higher dollar offers to drive those intenders into your showroom instead of defecting to a competitor. Holding a private or special sales event unique to your dealership? Use AutoHook as a way to get more customers to attend and test drive one of your vehicles. One of our largest dealer groups loves to use our Issue Instant Reward feature to create customized marketing campaigns around holidays including Black Friday, Valentine’s Day and Summer Sales Events.

The customization opportunities AutoHook offers are endless. So much so, that we truly struggled to cut this list down to 10. If you ever think of your own creative way you’d like to integrate our private offers, give us a call and we will help make it happen.

Contact AutoHook’s Dealer Support Team anytime at 855.532.3274 or email us at DealerSupport@UrbanScience.com.

10 WAYS TO BOOST SOCIAL CONVERSION WITH AUTOHOOK INCENTIVES

A How to Guide for Dealers

Why Social? Marketing 101 says if you want to effectively reach your customers you have to be where they are, or “in the right place at the right time.” Social media represents the most widely utilized communication channel in existence. Salesforce reported 66% of all Internet usage occurs on social sites. Facebook takes the cake as the most widely used platform with 80% of Americans using it on a regular basis (talk about being where your customers are).

Why AutoHook Incentives? That’s an easy one. In order for a customer to redeem an AutoHook incentive, they have to physically walk into a dealership. We all know the chances of selling a vehicle drastically increase when you’re able to get shoppers off the Internet and into your store. But what AutoHook does that’s even more important than driving more showroom visits (yes there are more important things), is we use the most up-to-date sales match reporting to prove exactly which incentive offers resulted in a sale.  

Below are 10 ways to boost the revenue driving opportunities already available to you as an AutoHook customer. Simply reach out to your AutoHook Client Service Specialist (CSS) to implement any of the examples listed below. They will help you set up campaigns and make sure these efforts convert into sales or service appointments.

1. PLUG INCENTIVES INTO YOUR EXISTING SOCIAL CAMPAIGNS

Plugging in an incentive into any social campaign is very simple to do. All AutoHook needs to know is the URL of the landing page you want to drive traffic to - whether it’s a specific vehicle, model, service offer, or special. We then provide you with a trackable link you can drop into any Facebook or social campaign. We attach a unique identifier to every offer so we can prove sales attribution for your store. Furthermore, we source out every link separately so that you can differentiate which specific AutoHook campaign converted into a showroom visit or sale in your CRM.

  • Customize Time Frame & Offer Amount: All we need from you is the landing page you’d like to promote, the value of the incentive you’d like to offer and the time frame in which you’d like the campaign to run.
  • Ex: Boost your new vehicle specials with a $50 offer.

2. USE YOUR CRM DATA TO CREATE CUSTOM AUDIENCES

We know no two dealers and no two markets are the same. Therefore, we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. Despite what vendors try to tell you, no one knows your pain points better than you. The most valuable data you have at your fingertips is your own customer data. Use this to pull targeted lists that address your unique needs and then work with a Client Service Specialist (CSS) to implement the campaign on social.

Here are a few examples to get the wheels turning:

  • Pull a list of customers who are in equity and provide an incentive for them to get into a new vehicle for the same monthly cost.
  • Consolidate a list of all active leads across all your 3rd party sources and retarget those individuals all in one place.
  • Use equity-mining software such as AutoAlert to identify all customers in your market who have upcoming contracts ending on a lease or purchase.
  • Target customers who visited your service drive but did not purchase from you.

3. ELIMINATE WASTED TIME & MONEY

Wouldn’t it help to know which leads in your CRM have already purchased so you don’t waste time and money trying to sell them? A high percentage of car buyers are only in market for a relatively short period of time. Through near real time sales data from Urban Science, AutoHook can help you identify which customers are no longer in market for a vehicle. No one (not even the OEMs) has access to this data within DAYS after sales transactions occur (rather weeks or months). Work with your CSS to create a suppression list of all the customers currently in your CRM that have already purchased a vehicle elsewhere.   

4. INCREASE CUSTOMER RETENTION

This is a HUGE and often undervalued aspect of the car business. Retention is half the battle. We know 30% of people will defect to a different brand after their lease is up. Use an incentive to ensure they come back to your store to test drive the newest model or any other vehicle they might be interested in. Mine your CRM data to find consumers who are “in equity” or who have a lease coming to term in the next 3-6 months.

5. TARGET UNDERPERFORMING MODELS

Real Dealer Case Study: Germain Ford of Beavercreek

  • Using the data found within the MarketMaster tool and Urban Science’s shared sales database, AutoHook identified specific areas of opportunity for Germain Ford of Beavercreek to grow their market share by targeting the top three models they were losing to competitors (including the Ford Focus, Fusion, and Edge). We then implemented a $50 test-drive incentive on all Focus, Fusion and Edge VDPs and SRPs, while running social campaigns to drive traffic to those pages. The result was a 47% reduction in overall lost sales (pump-in). Click here to see the complete case study.

Can’t move a VIN off your lot? Try increasing the dollar amount of the test-drive incentive.

6. TARGET UNDERPERFORMING AREAS

Utilizing Market Master, AutoHook can help you identify the zip codes in which you’re losing the most sales opportunities. We can also show you the areas with the highest levels of pump-in sales and increase the incentive offer to come in for a test-drive in those underperforming areas. This will help you take back market share from the top brand competitors in your market.

Never heard of Market Master? A lot of dealers don’t know this powerful revenue driver exists. Market Master is an Urban Science tool that uses near real-time sales data to identify the biggest areas of opportunity within your market. It’s typically located within your dealer portal through your OEM (currently available for Ford, FCA, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, and Nissan). 

7. CONQUEST TOP COMPETING BRANDS

Go after the models you know you’re losing to competitive brands in your market. Tailor the creative and messaging in your social ads to express why your brand is the better choice. For example, “Before you go back into a new Ford F150 here’s a $50 Visa Gift Card to come in and test drive the Dodge Ram at Hometown Chrysler.”

8. PLUG INTO VIDEO PRE-ROLL

Custom links can be embedded directly into your video ads on Facebook. Need to move more of a certain model, try offering $25-50 just for coming in to test-drive the featured vehicle. Chances are, if they’re watching the video, they’re already interested.

9. SECURE MORE FIXED OPS APPOINTMENTS

Running service specials? Why not promote them on social to get more exposure? Use incentives in your service and parts campaigns on social sites. Here are a few examples:

  • Schedule a service appointment and get a $25 Visa gift card.
  • Buy 4 tires get a $50 Visa Gift Card.
  • Get a $10 Amazon Gift Card just for getting your oil changed with us.

10. BOOST HOLIDAY SPECIALS

Memorial Day is coming up! Lift the performance of your limited time holiday offers with a $25 gift incentive (or an amount of your choice). Dealers spend countless amounts of money to get customers in the door. Why not spend another $25 to ensure the sale? This same idea can be deployed throughout the year to increase sales around the holidays and give wings to your current specials and holiday sales events. 

To conclude, the opportunities in which you can leverage AutoHook to boost the performance of your social campaigns are limitless. Plus you have the attribution reporting that goes along with it, so you know we’re delivering results in the form of sales and service revenue.

In January of 2017, AutoHook opened up our API so that other best in class technology vendors could tie in our incentive offers to their own existing solutions. SOCIALDEALER is the latest partner to join in our open API initiative. Current and future clients of SOCIALDEALER will see even higher form fill conversion rates on social due to their integration with AutoHook’s API. To learn more about the new capabilities of this partnership, click here.