7 Marketing Tips for Your Auto Repair Shop
Are you looking for more ways to spark your advertising and gain new customers? Here are 7 tips to bring more qualified leads into your auto shop:
1. Market your auto repair services before the season changes
Canada’s climate can cause cars to be serviced more frequently due to the range of weather experienced. From hot summer days to frigid winter storms, your customers should be prepared for these weather changes early! Prepare your auto repair marketing campaigns well before your customers need their seasonal maintenance and reach your potential customers first and more often.
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. The more your prospects see your ad, the more likely they will reach out to you when it’s time for scheduled maintenance.
CASE STUDY: A Canadian national lube, oil and filter chain used direct mail to target local customers within 10km’s of each location. Every 3 months, local customers received a direct mailer with seasonal offers. By targeting local customers every 3 months, the national chain and their franchisees realized a 500% return on ad spend!
2. Target your ideal prospects to generate maximum returns
Target local customers most interested in your services by leveraging your existing customer list and 3rd party data lists to zero in on the best customers. Target customers based on:
- Location (postal code)
- Vehicle age (target consumers with vehicles out of warranty)
- Vehicle type (target consumers with vehicles you can service)
- Household income
3. Use shared mail marketing to captivate your audience
Shared direct mail continues to be a valuable marketing tool for the auto service industry for being cost-effective and allowing you to target specific neighbourhoods and demographics.
People are creatures of habit, so you can always count on your customers to check their mailboxes on a regular basis. Using a great design, powerful offers, and the right targeting, your shared media products 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 shiny 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 prohibits soliciting reviews from customers, so be sure to tread cautiously on how you word your requests.
Utilize something like: “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 in an easy way to convert them into customers.
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
- Include an exclusive offer
- Be short and simple
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, with a CASL compliant checkbox, you will now be able to provide them with more deals and updates on a regular basis.
6. How to make your auto repair website rank higher on 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. Here are some ways you can improve your SEO:
- Claim optimize your Google My Business!
- 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 website content to include the top searched terms.
- 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.
7. Start a loyalty rewards program
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? Starting a loyalty program will reward customers and help generate more repeat business.
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