We all have customers that have defected. The question when it comes to marketing to them with automotive direct mail is: are these lost customers gone for good? Maybe. Maybe not. But, how do you have a hope of luring a lost customer back into the fold? Plus, is going after multiple “lost customers” worth the effort and money spent when you could be spending your time and money trying to find new prospects? It’s a tricky issue.
The thing to remember here is, a lost customer was once a customer – a customer who was more than willing to buy what you were selling. And, for as many loyal customers as you have, you likely have dozens more of the “fair weather” variety – those who can be easily convinced to shop elsewhere if the price is right. Your competition is targeting them right now via automotive direct mail, Facebook ads, television spots and more.
Unless someone within your chain of sales and service really blew it with them – chances are, another firm likely just wiled them away with a more enticing offer. And, if that customer was easily wiled away by your competition, it stands to reason you can get them right back with if you put some effort into it.
What’s the easiest way to catch their attention? Simple. An unbeatable service offer. It’s a lot tougher to convince a cold lead to come back to you and buy a car into the tens of thousands as it is to get them to take advantage of a free oil change or low cost repair or maintenance appointment. No matter what they drive, their car is going to need some work done. Don’t believe this is the way to go? Well, a recent GM survey last year found that 86% of regular service customers at a dealership buy their next vehicle from that same dealer. Compare that to customers that never use a dealership’s service department and their low 8.8% sales rate.
Service reminders – even for those with cars that never came from your lot – and service deals along with repeat service loyalty programs all have major value to cold leads. If they were convinced to do their business elsewhere for a better price, why not swing that same pendulum in your favor?
Sure, there comes a point that some leads do indeed go cold. They move (we remove those names and addresses out as they change). Their tastes or needs change (ie: your sports car every two years buying bachelor marries and defects to the minivan and SUV lot down the street). Maybe they’ve become brand loyal to another manufacturer or dealership. But, more often than not, it’s just about a customer wanting the best deal they can get. Make a planned marketing effort and get them back!