The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are extremely important for annual sales in many sectors, including the automotive trade. Potential customers are shopping in greater numbers than the rest of the year, allowing dealerships to reach a larger audience. Holiday shoppers are also in “buying mode”, ready to buy items not only for friends and family, but often for themselves as well. Buyers with extra vacation capital are more easily persuaded to buy a new car than at other times of the year. Whether customers’ new car purchase is a special treat just for them or a perfect gift for the whole family, the holiday season is a great opportunity for car dealerships to boost sales.
To capitalize on the holiday shopping season, your dealership needs to have a solid marketing plan in place! Thanksgiving and Christmas offer many 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 dealership’s holiday sales season.
1) Get festive! Show off your dealer’s Christmas cheer by making your showroom and property bright, welcoming and festive. Nothing turns heads like glowing Christmas decorations. Purchase a 20-foot Douglas fir, place it in the center of your outdoor property, and decorate with bright white lights, tinsel, and ornaments. Hang fresh garlands, red ribbons and lights from ledges and light poles. Serve hot chocolate on the exhibition floor. If you don’t already have a talented employee willing and able to fully decorate the rest of your dealership’s exterior and interior, hire a decorator to come and do it. Show potential customers that your dealership is in the Christmas spirit and make your showroom irresistible with Christmas cheer.
2) Offer a “12 Days of Christmas” holiday sale. Everyone loves bargains, so why not pack 12 amazing vehicle deals into one holiday event? Instead of hosting a disjointed series of holiday sales events, run a 12-day Christmas sale, with easy day offering a different type of sale. Start with smaller incentives and older vehicle models and work your way up with bigger deals up to “Boxing Day” and end with a grand finale!
3) Be creative with holiday-themed direct mail. Christmas isn’t the time to send out the same old postcard mailers. Send your direct mail list a little Christmas cheer with authentic looking Christmas cards or gift cards complete with ribbons. Throw in some “Trader Money” to send an extra cheery message.
4) Run a social media contest. Offer a contest for a significant % discount or giveaway (if your pool of applicants is big enough). Ask people to connect with you in a specific way: Have them complete the phrase “All I want for Christmas” in a photo, tweet, or video, and then ask them to choose their response either Post it on your dealer’s Facebook wall or tweet it to you with a specific hashtag. Whatever your contest involves, make sure you create a dedicated landing page on your website (or Facebook event) that outlines the details of the contest – link to it from your social media accounts.