Slaves to Mail

Equity mining has relied on mail to kick off the process and finish it with a sales agent calling the customer. So many dealers have tried an equity mining solution with little consistent success because of these two failure points.

The automotive industry has been striving to find a way to stay in touch with our sold customers and tap into the service drive too. We’ve been trying to do this since the first car was sold. Yes, this has been a century-long itch that hasn’t been scratched yet.

Mail is static. It is just a piece of paper that someone can read and act on or toss in the recycling bin. It is quite wasteful as more than 90% is immediately tossed while 100% of it eventually gets there.

Because mail is static, it takes enormous effort to nail an equity message with absolute precision. If a customer is shown the wrong car, trade value, undersirable upgrade vehicle, bad warranty info, inaccurate amount of equity or anything that is off that customer could be lost due to the wrong expectations.

This precision adds to the cost of postage, paper stock, ink, and processing. When a precise message cannot be sent, customers are missed. Expenses accrue.

To further complicate the issues with static equity offers is the lack of known engagement. Sure, it can be assumed the customer glanced at the mailer, but we cannot be certain. Thus, a phone call is required.

Phone call follow-up on equity offers requires a sales agent to log into another system, place a phone call, log the outcome, log the outcome in the CRM too, and fully assumes they’re capable of making a quality call in the first place.

Modern Equity Mining Controls

Everything changes when you can pass the controls to the dealer. A digital dynamic offer opens new opportunities for conquesting and removes the expense of high-quality mail and an in-store babysitter.

Control is the name of the game. It begins with the dealer taking the reigns of what they wish to target. In a digital world, that targeting can change every day. When it is, May 17th and the dealer principal says, “you need to sell 60 Accords before June 30th, so Honda sends me to Hawaii,” your equity mining targets can shift to Accords the next day. You may wish to hit customers with up to $3,000 negative equity and customers who have only been in their loan for 18 months.

Further tuning of the payments can be made to better focus on certain lenders, leases, or a push on an aging used car inventory.

Modern Equity Mining for Customers

People are bored with the car they’re already driving. Why in the FRIKIN world would you continue to push them back into the newer version of what they’re bored with?

In a digital world, customers can see everything they can buy. They can see their equity applied to every car. The rebates they qualify for are there. When they apply a credit tier, all payments reflect that tier. They can compare cars and whittle their desires down by specific features they want.

My wife can see how her $4,000 of equity applies to every SUV with a third-row seat and sunroof because she never buys the same car twice and only cares about featues.

Getting Sales Agents Excited

Let them take the path of least resistance. Instead of forcing them to make cold calls, drop customers who have already raised their hands in the CRM. If they’re excited about fresh internet leads, they’ll be ecstatic about loyal customers whose buying motivations are revealed before they pick up the phone!

Automotive salespeople are hunters. They want to find their prey, kill it, and eat it on the same day. Anything that forces them to be a farmer who nurtures a pipeline will meet a lot of resistance.

Digital comes with True Sold Attribution

When a customer gets something in the mail, throws it away, and then buys a car two months later, it is tough to say the mailer caused them to enter the market and later buy.

A digital experience is fully tracked. Customer engagement is known immediately, and subsequent opens, visits, and engagements become part of the algorithm. Reports detailing which customer interacted with which offer over email or text can be traced to the car they later purchased.

When you track sold attribution on VINs where the customer actually clicked something and is in the CRM too, you can claim “VINs don’t lie.”

Digital can take advantage of other calls to action. A dealer’s loyal customers may not be ready to buy the next car. They may want to get rid of that car entirely or schedule their next service. You can’t cram all those paths into a piece of mail. But every call to action can be tracked in a digital world.

Written on November 1, 2022

Written by Alex Snyder

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