Using texts for fixed ops marketing is increasingly popular for both dealers and customers. A Digital Air Strike survey released in March of 2,046 car buyers and 2,784 service customers who purchased or serviced a vehicle within the previous year showed that 60 percent of respondents prefer online/text communications, up from 47 percent a year earlier.
McClinton Auto Group, a fourth-generation business that owns Mitsubishi and a Chevrolet dealerships in Parkersburg, W.Va., has been using text-based marketing campaigns since last fall, says dealer principal Ginny Bowden.
In one such campaign, the group sent 2,188 texts promoting cabin-filter replacements and a disinfectant cleaning service. During the next two months, customer-pay repair orders rose 5 percent for both stores, which share a service department, she reports.
In a much smaller campaign, just 264 texts generated 36 service appointments — at a cost of only 5 cents per text, she says.
"That's a pretty good number for that small of a batch, especially considering the price of the program," she says.
Moreover, customer-pay revenue has slowly increased during the last six months to the point that the service department plans to hire three more technicians, Bowden adds.