The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are hugely important to annual sales in many industries, including automotive sales. Potential customers are out shopping in stronger numbers than the rest of the year, giving car dealerships a larger audience to market to. Holiday shopping crowds are also in “buying mode”, ready to purchase items not only for friends and family, but often for themselves as well. Shoppers with extra available holiday capital are more easily persuaded to treat themselves to a new car than they are during other times of the year. Whether customers’ new car purchases are a special indulgence just for them or a perfect gift for the whole family, the holiday shopping season is a ripe opportunity for automotive dealerships to boost sales.
In order to capitalize on the holiday shopping season, your auto dealership needs to have a solid marketing plan! Thanksgiving and Christmas offer plenty of fun, fresh ways to promote vehicles and special offers, so get creative. The more unique your marketing strategies are, the more successful they are likely to be.
These four holiday marketing ideas are great ways to kickstart your auto dealership’s season of holiday sales.
1) Get festive! Show your dealership’s holiday spirit by making your show floor and lot bright, inviting and festive. Nothing draws the eye like bright Christmas decorations. Buy a 20′ Douglas Fir, place it in the center of your outdoor lot and decorate it with bright white lights, tinsel and decorations. Hang fresh garlands, red bows and lights from building eaves and light poles. Serve hot chocolate on the show floor. Unless you have a talented person already on staff who is willing and able to completely deck out the rest of your dealership’s exterior and interior, hire a decorator to come and do so. Show potential customers your dealership is in the holiday spirit and make your show floor irresistible with holiday cheer.
2) Offer a “12 days of Christmas” holiday sale. Everyone loves a great deal – so why not package 12 fantastic vehicle deals into a Christmas-themed event? Rather than having an unrelated string of holiday sales events, run a 12 Days of Christmas sale, with easy day offering a different type of sale. Start on smaller incentives and older vehicle models and work your way up to the “twelfth day of Christmas” with larger deals, ending with a grand finale!
3) Be creative with holiday-themed direct mail. Christmas is no time to send out the same old stock postcard mailers. Send your direct mail list a little holiday cheer with authentic-looking Christmas cards or present-shaped cards, complete with bow. Throw in some “dealership cash” to send an extra merry message.
4) Run a social media contest. Offer a contest for a significant % off, or a door prize giveaway (if your applicant pool is large enough for it). Ask people to connect with you in a specific way: have them finish the phrase “all I want for Christmas” in a photo, tweet or video, then ask them to post their response either on your dealership’s Facebook wall or tweet it to you using a specific hashtag. Whatever your contest entails, be sure to create a specific landing page on your website (or Facebook event) that outlines the details of the contest – link to this from your social media accounts.
Jeff Dodson is the owner of Dodson Group, a business supply vendor specializing in automotive dealership supplies and direct mail marketing. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dodson Group has worked with area auto dealers and businesses to increase sales and lower costs with targeted marketing strategies and competitively-priced supplies. Learn more about Dodson Group at Dodson-Group.com, or browse their auto dealer supply catalog.