Recall events present a powerful opportunity for dealerships to boost service appointments. However, as with any marketing plan, for a recall event to succeed in acquiring and retaining new customers, it has to be backed by an intelligent strategy.
In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about using a recall event to drive meaningful traffic to your dealership. You’ll learn not only how to handle the event from start to finish, but also what you can do to use the information gained from the event to continue to increase sales.
Recall events can draw in customers to your dealership who would otherwise have never set foot through your doors. Before launching a recall advertising campaign, you need to understand how it can help you acquire new customers.
Unlike traditional car sales events, service recall events take a unique angle, targeting customers who might be driving a vehicle that has a serious safety or mechanical concern. Through the right targeted advertising, your dealership can quickly become that customer’s trusted choice for future services.
One major benefit of recall advertising is that you are marketing to customers who will bring you guaranteed revenue at no cost to them. Customers can bring in their vehicle for a critical service without worrying about the bill.
This is a win for the customer, and it’s also a win for your dealership. When you host a recall event, you know that those who bring their vehicles in for a recall represent guaranteed revenue. Very few events offer such a monetary return guarantee.
A recall event should be focused on convenience for the customer. This in turn can create a customer who’s loyal to your business. Customers who show up to your recall event and have their vehicle serviced quickly and leave satisfied are far more likely to come back for other repairs and services.
When handled correctly, a recall event is a great way to make a positive first impression on new clients, which opens up the door for your team to close sales with the same customer down the road.
Recall events are a great way to put your dealership in a positive light for new clients. Rather than their first experience of your dealership being standard car sales marketing, new customers will associate your dealership with helping them stay safe and quickly getting them back on the road.
All of these positive outcomes, however, hinge on your ability to run a smooth campaign, which is why it is critical that you put in the legwork upfront to ensure a meaningful experience for new clients.
While recall events are excellent at bringing new foot traffic to your store, they are only as effective as the strategy behind them. Implement all the following best practices when launching a recall campaign.
The key to a successful recall event is being able to handle a large volume of recall services in one day. You do not want to make customers wait for repairs.
For this reason, only target recalls that you can handle quickly and ones that involve parts to which you have ample access. This will ensure you get customers in and out the same day. Work with your service team to create realistic estimates for the completion of work. Make sure your entire team understands the importance of working efficiently on the day of the event.
Any quality marketing campaign hinges on the data driving it. Data management is a critical component of a recall campaign.
First, you need to access the right data to know which vehicle owners to target for specific recalls. You can do this a few ways:
- Manufacturer data: You can access data from manufacturers by asking for specific recall data. Ask your manufacturer contact for this information.
- Hire a service: If you cannot access data from your manufacturers, you can check your DMS against a recall list by using a third-party service.
- Purchase a list: Another option for acquiring recall data is to purchase a list from a data provider.
Once you have a list of potential recall clients, cleanse the data, and target audiences with the highest propensity to respond.
Armed with the right data, the next step is to create an intelligent marketing strategy. Gone are the days of simply mailing out a flyer and calling it good. Instead, you need to harness the power of reaching customers via numerous channels (timing is critical to your success):
- Social media: Create a custom audience, and target this audience with specific recall event ads. This custom audience should be built using the data you’ve gathered.
- Email marketing: Email customers with information about the recall event and a link to a specialized RSVP landing page.
- Text message: Use a quick text to get in front of customers on their phones. Be specific. Put the name of your dealership in your text to ensure the text looks legitimate.
- Direct mail: Create a quality direct mailer. Be sure it calls out your dealership to differentiate your business from spam mail.
- Outbound calls: Reach out via phone to tell customers about the upcoming event.
Whether you use all these channels or only a few, ensure that any ads you send are high quality and differentiated from spam. Take the time to create appealing designs and meaningful ad copy.
One of the reasons many consumers hesitate to take their vehicle in for a recall is because they don’t want to be without their vehicle for too long. This is where a recall event can drive customers to your dealership in a meaningful way. Create an event that is focused on quick service. Shoot for recall services that can be performed in less than two hours.
When marketing your event, emphasize the quick turnaround. Consider offering loaner cars for customers who decide to schedule additional services at the same time.
Beyond just marketing your recall event, you will need to focus on coordinating the experience. Make sure you will be amply staffed and that your service department is ready to handle an influx of new customers. Train your team on providing premium customer service. Remember, this will be the first impression of your business for many of the people walking through your doors.
Consider nominating an event coordinator. This person should be responsible for maximizing the customer experience and focusing on running a smooth event that yields valuable data insights from new customers.
For example, an event coordinator can gather all of the following information during the event, which in turn can provide you with ongoing marketing opportunities post-event:
- Who actually shows up to your event: A coordinator can check customers against your RSVP list. This will help you later target specific marketing to those who did not show up to the event.
- Check the accuracy of existing data: When checking people in, a coordinator can have customers confirm the accuracy of the information you have. For example, you can weed out email addresses that are no longer valid or mismatched phone numbers.
- Additional vehicle information: When gathering data during the event, your event coordinator can find out further vehicle information. This can help with future targeted marketing campaigns.
Finally, the key to getting the most out of a recall event is to continue to market to these new customers. For example, now that a customer is familiar with your dealership’s name and has had a positive experience with your service department, consider sending a targeted follow-up with a discount coupon for the next routine maintenance service. This is where the data that your event coordinator collected can come into play.
Additionally, follow up with any event no-shows. This can be as simple as an email letting folks know that while they missed your recall event, they can still schedule a service with your team. This is also a great opportunity for outbound calls. You can reach out to those who said they were coming to the event but didn’t show up, asking if they’d like to schedule their recall service for a more convenient date.
Recall events are an excellent way to boost your service appointments. They also give your team an invaluable chance at creating a positive first impression with new clients. With guaranteed revenue for your team at zero cost to the customer, recall events are a win for all.
If you are interested in launching a recall campaign, talk to our team at J&L Marketing. We will be happy to share our expertise in running recall events. At J&L Marketing, we have helped many dealerships run successful targeted recall campaigns that have led to increased revenue and a new customer base. In addition, we can work with you to build an ongoing marketing strategy that will harness the data gathered from a recall campaign to create meaningful leads to help grow your business.