Are you looking for more ways to spark your advertising and gain new customers? Here are 8 tips to bring more qualified leads into your auto shop:

1. Begin marketing your services before the season changes!

While customers require their car to be serviced year-round, Canada’s scorching summers and sub-zero winter weather typically cause cars to fail more frequently. Your customers should be prepared for these changes early!

Get ahead of the competition with your timing, reach your potential customers first and more often. Start preparing your auto repair marketing campaigns well before your customers need their seasonal maintenance.

We recommend reaching out to your prospects more than 3 times. Repetition will build your reputation and instill a sense of credibility and trust in prospective customers. Plus, the more your prospects see your ad, the more likely they will reach out to you when it’s time for a scheduled maintenance.

2. Only target your ideal prospects to generate your maximum ROI.

Don’t waste your money on potential customers that just aren’t interested or are not in need of your services. Sending your automotive direct mail campaign to every resident in your city is not only costly but frankly, just silly.

Only target your ideal customers through a highly effective demographic analysis. Consider your geographical boundaries as well, a customer is unlikely to travel a great distance to have their car repaired or serviced, so don’t waste your time trying to make them! Focus on the potential customers around your home base.

3. Use direct mail marketing to captivate your audience.

Direct Mail continues to be a valuable marketing tool for the auto service industry, even with the introduction of digital media. Direct mail is cost effective and allows you to target specific neighbourhoods and demographics.

People are creatures of habit, so you can always count on your customers to check their mailbox on a regular basis. Using great design, powerful offers, and the right targeting, your direct mail campaign will skyrocket your customer count and increase your brand recognition.

4. Use local listings to your advantage.

When prospects see your Google reviews they are more likely to trust your business and book an appointment with you. The more positive Google reviews you have, the more people will visit your website. Customers can’t ignore those shining gold stars!

Work on getting your business more 4 and 5-star ratings in order to rank higher in Google’s local listing results. Here are a few ways you can do this:

  • Have your mechanics tell customers they’d appreciate a review
  • Inform your customers on HOW to leave a Google review
  • Utilize a direct link to leave a Google review.
  • Send an email marketing campaign requesting a Google review from your loyal customers

Google’s review policy does not prohibit soliciting reviews from customers, so be sure to tread cautiously on how you word your requests.

Utilize something similar to: “Did you enjoy your service? Leave a review!”

5. Create fully optimized forms on your website to convert more leads!

As many of your marketing efforts drive potential customers to your website, you will want to ensure that your website is set to provide your lead with valuable information and an easy way to convert them into customers! Using an optimized web form, you will be able to capture your leads information and keep your business top of mind.

Your lead capture form should:

  • Be “ABOVE the fold”, meaning customers shouldn’t have to scroll down the page to find it
  • Utilize bold colours to attract the attention of visitors
  • And include an exclusive offer!

Providing your website visitors with something of value such as 25% off their next oil change or a free alignment will increase your chances of converting leads. Once you have captured their email, you will now be able to provide them with more deals and updates on a regular basis.

Less is more when it comes to lead capture forms. Keep your forms simple and leads will roll in (pun intended).

6. Rank higher in Google with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engines match your inquiries with the most relevant websites. The way in which they calculate this is through an algorithm that scans each website’s content and keywords. If your customers are searching for “Best Auto Mechanic in [Your City]”, your website will be more likely to appear if you utilize those keywords on your website. There are some more complicated factors that contribute to your ranking but we won’t bore you with the details here.

Make a list of the keywords your customers are searching for with Google’s keyword planner tool (it’s free!) and begin to adjust your websites content to include the top searched terms.

Here are some additional pointers for increasing your website’s SEO:

  • Each of your page titles should follow the best practices for SEO.
  • The homepage of your website should have your top ranking keywords, such as “auto repair” or “auto mechanic” + your city in the title.
  • Your contact information must be 100% correct!
  • Your business information should be cited on other popular local listings websites.
  • You should be using Google My Business!

SEO is a lengthy endeavour, but it pays off. There’s an old joke in the digital marketing world…

Where is the best place to bury a dead body? – On Page 2 of Google, because nobody goes there!

Get ahead of your competition and start ranking your business higher!

7. Start a loyalty rewards program

You know that servicing a vehicle isn’t a one and done job. Starting a loyalty program could reward customers and help generate more repeat business.

Retention is one of the most profitable strategies in business. Did you know 74% of consumers prefer to buy from a business that rewards their loyalty?

Here some easy reward programs you can start today:

  • Punch card – Get a FREE Oil change after [x] amount.
  • Thank You gifts to loyal customers.
  • Bonus bucks- create “play money” to be redeemed (like cash) for services

8. Go Digital with Google Pay-Per-Click Ads

93% of all online experiences start with a search engine. With Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, your auto repair advertisement will appear above the Google Maps results and above the Google organic results when people search for auto repair services.  One of the great features of PPC is that you only pay when a someone actually clicks on your ad. On the flip side, PPC advertising can be very complicated and you can easily burn through your budget with unqualified clicks.

With PPC ads, you can bid on keywords such as “auto repair service” or “auto body shop.” Google AdWords will suggest a bid for you, but you are welcome to bid however much you want.

Some other factors that impact your cost per click are:

  • The relevancy of your website to your target keywords
  • Time on site, once visitors have clicked on your ad
  • Your overall conversion rate

We hope these tips have helped jump-start your marketing strategy. Remember, with each marketing platform you utilize, consistency and repetition are vital to success.

Contact DRMG to get started on your automotive marketing program today.