How dealerships reach potential car buyers has become more complicated.
The pandemic changed car sales and buying habits with the need for contactless purchases and payments.
But buyers just don’t visit dealerships in the same way they used to.
That’s because 92% of car buyers research online before they buy. These buyers start their car buying journey online and contact your team first.
And 41% of car buyers only visit 1 dealership before they purchase a vehicle. 4/10 visitors will actually purchase a car the same day they visit a dealership!
So here’s the question:
How do you bridge the communication gap between your dealership’s website and your sales team?
The answer is business text messaging.
In this article I’ll cover:
By the end, you should have a good idea of how text messaging can bridge communication gaps, improve lead generation and lead to sales.
Read on for more.
Car dealership text messaging is a short messaging service (SMS) built for businesses and organizations. Car dealership texting software makes it possible for car dealerships to send mass texts and have two-way conversations with contacts, prospects, and customers. SMS for car dealerships makes it possible to generate leads, send additional vehicle information, schedule appointments, test drives, services, and more.
A dealership texting service can help fill the communication gap between your website, email, and phone calls. That’s because texting gets around a 45% response rate and a 98% open rate.
Compare that to 20% open rates and 6% response rates for email. Oh, and did I mention that 76% of consumers don’t like talking to businesses over the phone?
This is where text messaging has some clear advantages over email and voice.
Yes, there will always be a need for email and voice - they aren’t going away.
But business text messaging works well for:
There are a lot of great business texting services out there. But first, I want to explore six different ways to implement text messaging at your dealership.
The first and most obvious way dealerships can text is with a dealership text messaging service. This is the most popular and often easiest implemented solution for car dealerships.
This is because team SMS inboxes enable everyone to send and receive text messages from one business phone number or landline. It even makes it possible for customers to text specific extensions.
A unified dealership texting software like MessageDesk gives your team access to a shared inbox. It also makes it possible to send bulk SMS from one business phone line.
What’s the best part of having a software-based SMS system for your dealership? Its having the ability to access your inbox from anywhere.
Working from home?
Lose your device?
No worries - just sign in to your dealership texting software from any device connected to the internet.
Most business owners assume that the only way to text is from a personal cell phone.
Luckily, that’s not the case.
Most businesses text-enable their existing business phone number. They do this by connecting it to their preferred texting app for their car dealership.
Businesses can text people from an existing landline or existing business SMS phone number after completing a number porting or hosting request and submitting it through their business text messaging provider.
MessageDesk makes this process particularly easy. All it takes is a single form submission.
Here’s an example of what that looks like:
I’ve highlighted dealership texting software and text-enabling your business line. Both are great ways to incorporate business text messaging into your dealership.
But you may be looking for a platform that only provides text message marketing for car dealerships.
Most popular SMS marketing tools for dealerships:
Car dealerships all over the United States leverage text messaging to run highly effective marketing campaigns at a low cost.
For example, DeNooyer Chevrolet leverages MessageDesk’s SMS marketing to bring hundreds of people to their website and dealership every month.
Car dealership text marketing can help drive sales conversations, and improve the return on investment from local advertising.
Enabling your sales team to chat with potential buyers using a chatbot is a website feature that's proven to generate leads and drive sales.
But the problem is…
What happens to that conversation once your potential buyer leaves the website?
Does the chat end permanently?
With an SMS-based chatbot, you don’t need to worry about either of those problems. That’s because SMS chatbots grow text lists and can help you start more text conversations from your website.
This means your sales team can continue texting potential customers long after they leave your website.
Let’s say you don’t want to set up a unique business texting solution for your business.
But you still want to benefit from the advantages of business texting….
So the next best thing is text-enabling the CRM that your sales and marketing team already rely on.
Most CRMs offer direct SMS solutions, integrations, or plugins that allow you to text customers directly out of the platform.
Many car dealerships leverage Facebook for reaching leads and starting sales conversations.
Using Facebook for advertising or just for posting upcoming events?
Should be using Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or some other group texting solution to chat with potential customers?
There’s no “correct” answer for this but I’ll provide some reasons why you should consider leveraging Facebook messenger more:
Do you frequently run paid advertising on Facebook?
If so, it’s wise to actively monitor your Facebook Messenger since some customers will reach out through your ads.
Do you actively promote dealership events and engage on social media?
If you’re posting pictures of new inventory and upcoming events then I would suggest actively monitoring your Facebook Messenger.
PRO TIP: Do you actively post on social media or run advertisements but don’t want to use Facebook Messenger? I suggest exploring click-to-text solutions like MessageDesk. These enable customers to click on ads or links to start direct text message conversations with your business phone number.
Do you feel comfortable giving your sales and marketing team access to the company's Facebook Account?
If not, then Facebook Messenger is a dead end since nobody will be managing it.
I’ve always felt that proper work-life balance depends on separating business and leisure time.
But it’s hard to accomplish this when your personal devices double as your work devices.
Although some dealership employees manage this by using the same cell phone and laptop for work that they use for their personal life. But from a business owner’s perspective, personal devices just aren’t scalable enough.
As a solo owner-operator, it makes sense to simplify things. But once your team is 10 or more it becomes almost impossible to manage “personal” devices as an entire dealership. Unless you're using MDM software to manage your personal Android & iOS smartphones.
The best solution for “cellphone” fans is to use a texting app for your dealership. This way you can download the app right onto your current smartphone.
And as your team grows you’ll have no problem scaling up your texting.
I’ve covered what business texting is and how it works for car dealerships.
The following are car dealership message examples and text templates that many dealerships might use.
Your call to action, message details, and the links you send in texts will vary.
But these are some of the text message sequences for car dealerships I’ve seen MessageDesk users like DeNooyer Chevrolet send.
I've also got a list of 60+ business texting templates and a full text message template library you can use here.
Note: I’ve formatted these car dealership text message templates with brackets to work with MessageDesk’s personalization tag feature. This is a great way to customize text messages for personalized text messaging.
Ready to put these templates to work and start selling cars?
Start using a dedicated business text messaging solution. You’ll enable your team to bridge the customer communication gap with your potential clients.
Have questions before starting your business texting journey?
Feel free to start a free MessageDesk trial or meet with one of our messaging experts. They’re happy to help and answer any of your questions.
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