As a wave of technology and millennials floods the car buying scene, the sales business for car dealerships is rapidly and dramatically changing. Comparison shopping and the car buying experience have gone digital. In fact, according to WardsAuto, more than 80% of customers in the market for a new vehicle will take to the Internet to gather information and decide on their top dealership options.
Today, it’s more important than ever for dealerships to reach out and engage with potential buyers by advertising online. The key to successful online advertising is finding unique and enticing messages that will appeal to potential buyers. By effectively promoting and positioning vehicle service contracts (VSCs), dealers can communicate added value to buyers while standing out from their dealership competitors in the digital space.
Here are some tips around how dealerships can successfully promote VSCs online.
WHERE TO ADVERTISE VEHICLE SERVICE CONTRACTS ONLINE
The Internet has an overwhelming amount of retail advertising space, so where do dealerships start? The first place to promote VSC messages is on the dealer’s own website. Comparison shoppers who have narrowed their search down to an individual dealership often go directly to that dealer’s website to gather further information and data. It’s crucial to deliver an impressive online experience—therefore, clear messaging and modern design are important factors. Most dealerships don’t promote any information about VSCs on their websites at all, so making this a prominent message is an opportunity to appeal to a different consumer need, the desire for vehicle financial security.
Beyond their own website, dealerships can also invest in paid advertising such as web banners, mobile ads and search engine optimization. Paid advertising is a great way for dealerships to directly target customers who are currently in the process of car shopping, and become more top of mind to this audience.
HOW TO ADVERTISE VEHICLE SERVICE CONTRACTS ONLINE
Vehicle service contracts can add a lot of value to a car. When VSCs are promoted to customers early in the shopping cycle and in the right way, dealerships can have greater success selling them. The majority of car buyers aren’t fully aware of the limitations of an OEM warranty and the risks associated with future repair costs after the warranty runs out. So, dealerships have the opportunity to educate and inform buyers through VSC value statements in their digital communications.
However, those communications needs to be short, sweet and strategic. Since the Internet is an incredibly massive space and the average adult attention span is 8.25 seconds, dealerships need to get their messages out quickly and clearly. By utilizing tactics like catchy headlines, bullet points that outline high level benefits and supportive visuals, dealerships can better communicate these messages.
Below, we’ve outlined some VSC value messages to present to potential customers and examples of strategic ways to frame them:
Value Message 1: Protect Your Vehicle Investment with a VSC
A customer’s vehicle is often one of their most important assets—it’s the way they get from point A to point B every day. By promising customers the added peace of mind that comes with VSC coverage, dealerships can mitigate some initial new and used car buying concerns of future repair and maintenance costs.
Value Message 2: Up Your Vehicle Value and Performance with a VSC
Whether a customer is planning on keeping their vehicle for the long-term or just a few years, VSCs offer tangible value. Since VSCs can cover a wide variety of vehicle repairs and scheduled maintenance services, they ensure more reliable performance over time. VSCs can also be transferred during re-sale, giving the vehicle more value when it goes back on the market. By telling customers that VSCs can enhance the, value and longevity of their vehicle, dealerships can make VSCs more enticing.
Value Message 3: Afford to Add a VSC with an Installment Payment Plan
For customers who aren’t able to have a VSC included with their initial vehicle purchase loan, installment payment plans can offer an easy solution. By informing customers that a payment plan option is available to help them afford a VSC, dealerships can offer and sell a VSC to a customer segment that previously would not have considered a vehicle service contract.