A decade ago, text-message marketing was the buzz. Now something else is getting a lot of attention: push notifications.
They operate just like text messages, but are free to send to individuals who have downloaded an app.
To get those downloads, I recommend that dealers do this: When customers are in your F&I manager’s office, ask them to download your dealership app so all their warranties and information can be stored and easily accessed.
With the app installed, you now can send those customers push notifications at no cost. Millennials are the next wave of service customers and, 95% of them want brands to reach out to them, according to Smart Data Collective. Push notifications are the way to reach this group and every other customer with a smartphone.
Apps can be expensive to develop from scratch. However, there are plug-and-play solutions on the market that are low cost. Dealerships add their branding, their contact information, and even have their sales, parts and service programmed right in. Dealerships can send push notifications as often as they like for things such as coupons, reminders, even holiday greetings.
Be wary though of companies offering to create an app at a price that is too good to be true. These ‘apps’ are usually little more than copies of your website with a few slick features such as push-to-call buttons and appointment calendars.
The apps that people keep contain vital information and provide easy access to services from your dealership, such as allowing them to store and access information on their vehicle-protection products and making it easy for them to file and track claims in progress.
The marketing landscape has changed dramatically in just the last decade. With the low (to no) cost, instant attention and direct access to customers, push notifications are the newest loyalty-building tool in your marketing toolbox.
Dean Harrison is president of Maximus Auto Group, a national administrator and product service provider to automobile dealerships. He can be reached at maximusautogroup.com