The Missing Ingredient in Your Emails

Have you ever read an email or a newsletter that really captured your attention? One that made you want to keep reading and even take action? Chances are you experienced an emotional trigger.  If you add this missing ingredient to your emails, newsletters and campaigns, you too could capture your customer’s attention in the same way.

Emotional Triggers

The right trigger to use depends on the goal – driving website traffic, promoting a sale, brand awareness, etc. Try to pick the trigger most appropriate for the situation.  For example, guilt could be triggered in an email campaign designed to entice a reader to finally get that nagging repair fixed.

  1. Belonging: Make the reader feel like a part of something bigger than themselves.
  2. Hope: Create a sense of expectation.
  3. Guilt: Help the reader understand that they have the opportunity to make something right.
  4. Vanity: Flatter the reader with praise over their intelligence or smart decision making.
  5. Fear: Inform the reader of what they are in danger of if they don’t take action.
  6. Lust: Tug the heartstrings of the reader by waving a carrot of desire in front of them.
  7. Greed: Appeal to the reader’s want for wealth or power.

Structuring Your Message

For the emotional trigger to be effective, your message should be structured in a way that it includes these other elements:

Personalized details: Help make the communication more conversational and use their name if you can.

Real world problem: Present a solvable problem.

Emotional trigger: Pick the best option from above.

Solution: Present the solution to the problem.

Call to action: Encourage the reader to take action. For example “Click here to learn more”.

Subject line: Make it engaging and relevant to the topic of the email.

Perfecting the use of this strategy requires a little practice. Try different approaches/triggers and take note of what works best in each situation.

For more on this topic see “7 Emotional Triggers to Hook Your Subscribers” Janice Kersh – convinceandconvert.com

5 fundamentals for video success

More dealerships than ever are using video as a tool in their dealership. However, just like with any other tool, know-how is required to achieve results. Done properly, video is an amazingly effective sales tool and the ideal way to deliver a highly targeted and personalized message. Regardless of your dealerships level of experience, here are 5 fundamentals to consider before making your next video.

Purpose

It’s pretty easy to get carried away when creating a video. For this reason it’s best to keep it simple. Hone in on a single objective or purpose for the video and stick with it.  Here are some video types to consider:

Awareness – promoting your dealership as a brand

Engagement – first touch point with an internet lead

Retention – a potential alternative to the classic courtesy call

Product – vehicle demonstrations

Support – service tips or tricky tech features explained

Content

Establish who your intended audience is. Doing so will help you shape the content and messaging so that it speaks to that audience. For example, if you are creating an engagement video, keep it short and personalized. Think under a minute. A product demonstration, on the other hand can be longer. The audience for this video is expecting you to cover details and demonstrate some of the features, all of which takes time. Regardless of the video type, always keep the content on point and as engaging as possible.

Production quality

Try to match the production value to the video type. If you are shooting a short customer engagement video, any modern phone will be more than adequate. Consider boosting the production quality for awareness videos, longer videos and any video that has high replay value. This may mean investing in equipment or hiring outside help.

Distribution

After creating your video, the next step is to decide where you want it to be viewed and by who. Consider the video type, audience, production quality and length. A 4 minute product demonstration video would be well suited for YouTube but not necessarily Twitter where the audience is accustomed to short sound bites.

Measurement

A key aspect to any video content strategy is measurement. Tracking your metrics will allow you to make changes to your strategy and tailor the content to your audience’s preferences.  Here are some metrics to keep an eye on:

Impressions – the number of opportunities a person has had to view your video

Views – the number of times the video has been watched

Play rate – a measure of how enticing the video is (views divided by impressions)

Engagement rate - provides insight into how much of the video is being watched

What are you waiting for? Get out there and make some videos!

For further details on this topic and more, see “Five Questions to Answer When Creating A Video Campaign” by Chris Bondhus – marketingprofs.com

Technology vs Process

If technology and process went head-to-head in a battle which one would win? Would it be technology because of its ability to increase your efficiency and capability? Or would it be process because of its adaptability and repeatability? If you answered neither, you would be right. In fact, technology and process have to work together for either one of them to be effective.

Technology or process first?

In most cases it’s a good idea to implement your process first. Process defines what needs to be done, how it will be done and who will do it. For example, most dealerships have (or should have) a lead handling process that defines how a lead will be handled, from start to sale. It’s this process that defines the requirements of your technology.

Tips for getting the most out of process

Align with your goals: Make sure that your process is set up to achieve a specific goal. For example, your lead handling process is in place to turn leads into sales.

Keep it simple: In the end, a simple process is always easier to execute and leaves less chance of error. Remember, if you abandon the process you risk abandoning the sale.

Document it: A process that lives in your head will be lost if you ever leave the dealership. A key part of creating and implementing a process is documenting it so that it can be reviewed, passed on and revised.

Tips for getting the most out of technology

Align with your process: Look to your process to determine what kind of features or functions you need from your technology

Do your homework: Ask a lot of questions when shopping for your technology. Most importantly ask your potential vendor if their technology can carry out your process.

Avoid overbuying: Some product demos will leave you dazzled with advanced features and functions that you will supposedly “grow into”. Buy what you need today to avoid carrying the added cost of unused features.

Start 2017 the right way by making sure your processes and technology are aligned and ready to achieve your goals.

Need some guidance on honing in or creating a process? We can help.

For more information call us at 855-984-3360

Or email productinfo@scimarketview.com

Why People Love Brands

What makes someone LOVE a brand? And more importantly, how do you become a brand that someone LOVEs? This question was the focus of a recent study conducted by Accenture Interactive. This wide sweeping study was conducted over 18 months and involved over 27,000 participants living in the US, UK and Brazil.

Participants were surveyed on four industries which included Retail, Hospitality, Automotive and Banking. The results of the study revealed five key dimensions that best characterize a customer’s feelings towards a brand. Together these dimensions make up the “Love Index Score”.

5 dimensions of the “Love Index Score”

Fun – holds people’s attention in an entertaining way

Relevant – provides clear and customized information

Engaging – identifies with individual needs and wants

Social – Connects people with each other

Helpful – is efficient, easy, and adapts over time

Dimensions for Automotive

Although there are 5 dimensions, the study revealed that some dimensions were more relevant to customers depending on the industry. These are the dimensions that customers favoured the most within the automotive industry:

Relevant – keep your website and other online content up to date and easy to understand. Provide options to allow your customer to communicate or buy from you how they want

Engaging – be prepared to do business online and beyond traditional business hours

Helpful – make buying and servicing a car easy. This means looking into individual processes within the dealership to constantly improve the ease of the customer experience

Disruption

Just because certain dimensions are most relevant to an industry today, doesn’t mean that they will be tomorrow. Disruptors in any given industry usually come in and add a new dimension that changes the rules of the game. Look at Netflix as an example. They completely changed their industry. How did they do it? They gave customers an experience that is fun, engaging and helpful. Something that really wasn’t there previously and it’s what now sets them apart.

Is it possible that getting ahead of the competition is less about doing something better and more about doing something that isn’t being done at all? Wise words by General George S. Patton “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking”.

Check out the full details of this fascinating study by Accenture Interactive: https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-love-index

Why Customer Obsessed Dealerships Will Succeed

We have entered the Age of the Customer. It may sound like another catchy phrase coined by business pundits, and it might be, but there are some really important takeaways to be had. Up until recently organizations, government institutions and businesses held most of the power in the form of information. This is no longer the case. Consumers now have access to as much information as they care to have and it’s all right at their fingertips; Product specs, prices, availability, reviews, etc. – it’s there for the taking. Being successful in this environment means coming to terms with our new reality and adapting to a new model that is “customer obsessed”.

The ingredients of a customer obsessed business

  1. Structure – The business needs to be structured in way that allows emphasis and focus to be placed on your customer. This could mean creating a new customer focused role within the business or shifting the focus of an existing role towards the customer.
  2. Culture – This is the starting point. Before any business can be customer obsessed, the concept needs to be woven into the fabric of the company. It needs to start at the top and trickle down through the entire organization.
  3. Talent – The easiest way to create the culture you want is by hiring people that are already people focused. Look at new ways to hire new talent and make sure you really identify the skill set your organization is looking for.
  4. Metrics – As the saying goes, “you can’t change what you don’t measure”. The metrics that you use should focus on all parts of the customer journey. This includes research, online requests for information, chat logs, etc.
  5. Process – All of the processes within your business need to be simplified to ensure they improve the customer experience.
  6. Technology – This means ensuring that business technology is in place. Business technology is focused on winning new customers and maintaining relationships with existing ones.

Ready to transform your dealership to customer obsessed organization? Learn more on this topic by checking out this very informative article by Katrina Read – katsinsight.com: http://katsinsight.com/age-of-the-customer-forrester-research/

Digital Analytics for Non-Techies

The topic of digital analytics used to fall in the category of “nice to know”. That’s no longer the case. Today virtually everyone can benefit from even a basic understanding of how digital analytics work and how they can work for you.

At its core, analytics is really just the discovery of useful patterns and insights. What does that mean? Digital analytics give you the ability to see and understand how customers interact with your dealership online. With these insights, you can make changes to the customer experience and more importantly, track the impact of those changes. The end result is a better customer experience and more sales.

Let’s start with some of the basics.

The Data

Quantitative data (the what): number of visitors to your website, number of leads generated, number of cars sold.

Qualitative (the why): why they visited your site, why they filled out the form, why they purchased a vehicle from you. This data is collected via feedback forms, surveys and reviews.

Segmentation

This basically means splitting your large pile of data into smaller groupings, or “segments”.

  • By channel (email, website, paid, search, social, etc.)
  • By device (laptop, tablet, phone)
  • By geography (town, city, province/state)
  • By customer (new vs existing)

Conversions

Macro (your main objective): number of vehicles sold, number of repair orders filed

Micro: number of lead forms submitted, number of live chats completed. These micro conversions play a big role in driving macro conversions and where you should focus your efforts.

Attribution “giving credit”

If you ever see the term “last interaction attribution”, it means that all credit for the conversion (sale) is “attributed” to the last click that the customer made. There are a number of models that can be used to assign credit. The benefit of attribution is the ability to determine the factors that influenced the sale and their potential cost. Using a model like “linear attribution” will allow you to understand and give credit to all stops along the purchase journey (I.e. paid search, social networks, email, and direct channels—would share equal credit (25% each) for the sale).

Building your plan

Here are some of the basics that should be included when you start building your plan. It’s important to start simple– a crawl, walk, run mentality really helps here.

Objective: sell more cars, service more vehicles. These are your macro conversions from earlier.

Strategies and tactics: How you plan to reach your objective. This could entail using vehicle detail pages, lead forms, content, promotions, etc.

Key performance indicators (KPIs): A key performance indicator is something that measures your performance. For your dealership, this could be the number of vehicle detail pages viewed, lead submissions or social media engagements. Your KPIs may change over time as you learn more about your customers and enter new channels.

Segments: Creating segments will allow you to use different strategies for different groupings. For example, you may use “likes” as a KPI for your “social segment” while your “website segment” uses a different set of KPIs.

Context: You need to be able to compare your performance against some form of benchmark. This could mean comparing yourself to similar dealerships in similar markets, measuring performance based on past results, or setting a baseline internally.

Remember that digital analytics is a cycle that includes observing, measuring, revising and measuring again. It’s also part science and part art. At the end of the day analytics are only useful if you make changes, so run experiments and get creative.

I strongly suggest reviewing your Google Analytics regularly. Remember have fun with it – it’s only analytics!

If you’re looking to see what story your analytics tell, our Digital Performance Team can help. Our specialists can analyze your data and provide suggestions on improvements for your dealership. Click here to contact them today.

How to Generate More Sales Leads

Every business wants more sales leads. Your dealership is no exception. While your first instinct might be to go out and buy some third party leads, check out your other options first.

These are the top 4 channels for generating more sales leads:

  1. Email marketing – You likely have access to hundreds, maybe even thousands, of email addresses. Put them to good use by building email campaigns. Try a blend of promotion and content based (see below) material to see what gives you the most traction.
  2. Content marketing – The focus is on providing content that is valuable to your target audience without necessarily asking them to buy. The idea is to slowly expose a potential customer to your brand. Your success with content marketing will hinge of the quality and relevancy of your content.
  3. Social media marketing – Generating leads through social media has a lot to do with building the trust of your subscribers/followers. Check out this blog post for details.
  4. Landing page/website optimization – Make sure you are sending people to the right landing pages, keep the experience consistent and keep your content to the point. Your website should also feature simple forms and clearly marked methods of contacting you.

Entire books have been written on each of these channels. With that being said, identifying where to focus your attention can sometimes be half the battle. If all these channels are truly new to you, pick one to focus on and build up from there.

For more on this topic, including 3 other channels, check out “The Most Effective Digital Lead Generation Channels” – MarketingProfs

How to Connect With Millennials Through Email

Remember that article you read about millennials not buying cars? It turns out that really isn’t the case. Millennials, who are defined as those born between 1980 and 1995, purchased 4 million cars in 2015 according to JD Power (U.S). In fact they were second only to the boomers in number of new cars purchased. Let’s face it, millennials are here to stay and will soon be your primary customer. Here are some insights and tips to help you connect with millennials through email.

Do millennials even use email?

Yes! According to Adobe, millennials spend an average of 6 hours per day checking email. Here’s the catch. Their attention span is short, they want control over what they receive and they demand value.

Capture their attention

Start with your subject line. Make sure it’s between three and seven words and offers insight to the content of the email. Emojis can also be used in the subject line strategically. Only use them if you feel like your recipient will appreciate them and if it fits your overall culture and brand.

Keep it short

Keep your messaging short and punchy. Make a bullet list of the main points you want to make before crafting the email. Use headings and sub headings to allow your reader to skim. They will dive into the content that captures their attention the most. Remember, most of your emails will be read on a phone and will require scrolling.

Give them control

The best way to gain the loyalty of a millennial is to give them control. This means letting them chose the type of content they want to receive. Use opt-ins and opt-outs to allow them to specify their preferences. Ask what they would like to see more of or what they are interested in learning about.

Offer value

Millennials love absorbing information. They will even read a slightly longer email if they feel they are gaining value from it. To do this, focus on the section above. Offer value by focusing on preferences and feedback. Also pay attention to your open rate, CTR (click through rate) and who is biting on your call to action. Offer more of what works and ditch the other stuff.

For more information and ideas on this topic check out this article by Marketing Land “How to make your email marketing engaging to millennials

6 Tools to Improve Your Dealership’s Digital Presence

Having the right tools can make even the toughest job seem easy. There are countless apps for your laptop, tablet and smart phone. Here is a short list of tools that will improve your dealership’s digital presence.

Analytics tools

Google Analytics – If you have any desire to improve your search engine optimization or marketing efforts, Google Analytics is a must have. Some of the key features include custom dashboards, the ability to track individual campaigns and segment your customer base. Even if you don’t plan on using all of the available features, you can use it to see what people are searching for on your site and offer them more of the content that they are most attracted to.

Hootsuite – Dial in your social media strategy by tracking metrics for all of your platforms. See what posts are stirring up the most conversation and identify content to avoid going forward. Hootsuite also connects with Google Analytics offering an additional layer of insight.

Media tools

iMovie / PowerDirector – Intro and walk-around videos can really capture your customers attention and help get the conversation started. Both iMovie (Apple) and PowerDirector (Apple &Android) offer impressive editing capabilities that will have you producing videos in mere minutes.

Organizational tools

Evernote / OneNote – Ever get the urge to capture a really great idea? Both apps allows you to make notes, lists and much more. The really great part is the ability to sync all of your devices so that the great idea you had in the grocery store will show up on your laptop or tablet when you get home.

Content tools

Feedly – Follow several blogs? Feedly lets you search for and create categorized lists of your favourite blogs and websites. All new content will automatically be at your fingertips, no searching required.

Overcast – Looking for new ideas and insights beyond your favourite blogs? Podcasts could be that source you are missing. Tap in to thousands of regularly released podcasts on a huge array of topics and industries.

This list is by no means exhaustive and is really intended as a thought starter. Try these tools and take the opportunity to search for others. You may be surprised with how the right suite of tools can boost your performance and make life easier.

Building Trust Through Social Media

So you’ve built up substantial following on Facebook and other social media platforms. Now it’s time to earn their trust by providing them with the right kind of content.

Here are some tips to boost the trust factor of your dealership’s social media presence.

Share – Come across an interesting or useful article? Share it. How about maintenance tips and simple How-To’s? Sharing these items will show your customers that you are in it for more than the sale.

Be a part of the discussion – Find interesting ways of engaging people and always be looking for opportunities to join in on an existing conversation. An easy way to start a conversation is to tap into someone else’s content and add your own commentary or perspective.

Balance self-promotion – It’s perfectly fine to promote your products and services on social media. People expect it. Just make sure that you are striking a balance between promotional and non-promotional posts or content. When you do end up promoting something, people will be a lot more receptive.

Take ownership – We all get negative feedback from time to time. Taking ownership of the situation is a great way to show others that you are easy to do business with. This will give onlookers peace of mind.

Be quick – This is especially important if your customer asks a question or makes a comment that warrants a response. Jump in as quickly as possible and respond. Even if the situation isn’t a quick fix, get the ball rolling and show others that you are attentive. Remember, it’s OK to take the issue offline after you have publicly taken ownership of the underlined feedback.

Share your fun side – Most dealerships have a quirky fun side to them, yours included. Find a creative way to share this side of your business with people on social media. It will add a human aspect to your business and add a refreshing spin to your online presence.

Explore this topic further by checking out this article “How to Use Social Media to Build Brand Trust” (Convinceandconvert.com)