4 Ways To Ensure Dealership Incentives Reel In Revenue—Not Tire Kickers

Jun 17, 2015 | Website Conversion

Dealership incentives have been used to generate leads since the automotive Dark Ages. Today, however, incentives are fraught with objections: “Who’s to say someone won’t just sign up for the offer and come to my dealership for the reward, not to buy a car?”

If you don’t like incentives, we can understand why. Just like with any buzz marketing tactic, you risk attracting some leads that have zero interest in buying a vehicle. In fact, a few poor leads are almost guaranteed. But incentives also give your website that extra “umph” in convincing true in-market shoppers to buy with you instead of your competition—if they’re used correctly, that is.

4 Ways To Ensure Dealership Incentives Reel In Revenue

The Law of Reciprocity

We like incentives here at DU. Unlike reward or point systems popular with small memberships, automotive incentives are not limited to advertising to the same people for the same ad spend. Instead, dealers can create specific offers that intrigue the influx of unique visitors that enter their website every month.

Better yet, there’s a science behind incentives. Ever heard of the Law of Reciprocity? It’s a social psychology term that means people feel obligated to do something nice in return for someone who does something for them—even though the acts may not be equal in extent or value. In fact, it’s the idea behind a lot of successful blogs: by engaging with the blog’s content, you may be offered a free e-book or 25 free summer subject lines.

The Law of Reciprocity For Car Dealers

But be warned! Pretending to be sincere only to trick people into feeling a sense of obligation for a future sales pitch isn’t going to help you long-term.

How can you avoid this downfall? Be less concerned about making the sale, and more concerned about how to connect your customers with their perfect car, a trustworthy service department, the best customer experience possible, and your incentive (a “thank you” for choosing your store!).

If you do this, your incentive will go beyond being a sales tactic: it will become an integral element of your dealership’s value. Learn more about an easy way to add value to your lot in this article about LED lighting.

4 tactics to increase revenue, not tire-kickers:

1. Give juuuusssst enough and add in minor obstacles

Make sure your offer is enough to excite, but not enough to prompt a trip for uninterested tire-kickers. $100 VISA card? Too much! $25 VISA card? Just enough. Also, remember that dealership incentive forms are intended to be performance-based, where action(s) must take place before the incentive can be attained.

If your dealership offers incentives, you need to excite without attracting tire-kickers. $100 is too much.
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Specifically, two actions should be required before a user is rewarded with your incentive: 1) they must complete the lead form, and 2) they must visit your dealership. Adding these small “hoops” for your prospects to jump through helps deter anyone who isn’t truly in-market.

2. Set expectations

Make sure your lead form messaging is clear by identifying exactly what your prospects can expect from filling out the form. Do they need to schedule an appointment, or can they just show up? Will they receive confirmation of their reward? Do they need to print it, or can the dealership just look them up? How long do they have to redeem it? Do they need to take a test drive? Is there a certain person they need to talk to at the dealership?

Be specific about the incentive process, and make sure your customers know exactly what steps are next. Knowing you’re with them every step of the way will show your customers that your dealership is reliable, thorough, and organized.
3. Thank ‘em, remind ‘em, urge ‘em, and don’t forget ‘em

As soon as your leads complete your incentive form, you should send them an automatic or customized email that includes:

  • a thank you message
  • the next steps they need to take
  • your dealership’s contact info (your name, phone number, and address, as well as a link to your location on Google Maps)
  • their confirmation # or print-out as proof for their incentive
  • notice for how many days left they have to redeem their reward

Dealership Incentive Messaging Should Countdown To Incentive Deadline

Did you know that sending 4 emails in a month instead of one doubles the number of opens? Multi-touch strategies amplifies the impact your message makes on your prospects, and will remind your consumers about their incentive and your dealership.

Get more insight into when you should send multiple email campaigns: 4 Questions To Guide Your Dealership’s Email Frequency
We recommend setting up an automatic email drip campaign to help your BDC keep the incentive message alive and kickin’. Each piece of your campaign should highlight how many days the customer has left to retrieve their reward, and you should send a higher frequency of email toward the deadline.

In addition to email, make sure your BDC and sales team gets involved on the phone. Just like with cold calling, your BDC will have a little categorizing to do to help you weed out anyone who seems completely uninterested so that you can focus on the more valuable leads.

And don’t get discouraged if you don’t make the connect or bring in your leads in the initial calls: your chance of making contact increases from 38% to 90% by making at least 6 call attempts.

InsideSales - Be Persistent With Incentive Follow-Up

Image Source: InsideSales
4. Turn tire-kickers into browsers, and browsers into customers

Not every lead that walks through your door will be at the same stage in the sales funnel. You’re going to see in-market shoppers who want to take a test drive, but you will also see tire-kickers who will say they’re just looking. Make sure your sales team is able to prevent these uninterested leads from putting up their guard. Win over these prospects by making them feel comfortable and less cautious about entering the sales process.

  • Instead of asking their current make and model, ask your prospects how they found your site
  • If they still want to “just look around,” show your prospects where to start, or make them feel comfortable at your cafe (or any other amenities your store offers) while you locate their incentive
  • Give them a good reason to step into the sales process, and once they enter, close them down!

Blog Author - Brooke Jensen

Written By Brooke Jensen
Brooke handles all of Dealers United’s digital marketing. In addition to her love for design and copy, Brooke also adores her two dog-like kittens, playing the electric violin, and walking barefoot around the office.


Who is Dealers United?

Dealers United is a game-changing automotive company dedicated to helping auto dealers improve their dealerships. We have helped over 6,500 dealers nationwide cut costs, save time, and sell more cars.

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