15 Effective Marketing Strategies for Car Dealerships: A Comprehensive Guide

Marketing Strategies for CarDealerships

In today’s time, customers participate more in the buying process. They are likely to browse and buy cars online, so it becomes essential for the automotive industry to follow marketing strategies with automated systems to attract and convert these prospects into buying customers. 

Marketing strategies and channels for car dealerships- digital and traditional marketing- are imperative. This blog has covered proven automotive marketing strategies that can help you sell more cars. 

What is Automotive Marketing? 

The process of promoting and advertising the automotive industry is called automotive marketing. Effective marketing strategies lead auto dealerships to differentiate from their competitors. 

The primary goal of automotive marketing is to generate contact between car dealerships and potential car buyers. 

Generally, automotive marketing refers to numerous strategies that dealerships can efficiently utilize for the promotion of their products/services. This includes traditional advertising channels ( radio, television, print) to digital marketing strategies ( email campaigns, SEO, social media). 

As we know, customers frequently do not make auto purchases; they purchase a new vehicle once a year or after a long time whenever they require it. This signifies that dealerships need to be focused on generating long-term relationships with their customers. 

Overall,  automotive marketing can effortlessly support you in achieving this by creating a strong and dynamic brand identity and thus fostering customer loyalty. 

15 Excellent Marketing Strategies You may want to try

1) Warming Up Leads the right way

Customers visiting your dealership are not uninformed anymore; they know what they want, and they are aware of your dealership and brand. They are no longer cold leads; if you are fortunate, they may have heard all the good stuff about you. If not, you may be facing a reluctant buyer or, at the very least, a person on the fence.

Warming up your leads allows you to nurture your potential customers into customers. You can quickly generate 2x callbacks and awareness using Ringless Voicemail and Rich Text Messaging. Services like Rich Text messaging also allow you to share pictures, links, and geo-location to help you better convey your message.

2) Working on Sundays

Working on Sundays (read weekend) can be a fantastic strategy to woo clients and separate yourself from other dealers.

One of our clients in Jackson, Mississippi, reported a 9% growth in sales after they started working on Sundays, with almost double the rush seen on Sundays than on Mondays!

In some states, the law prohibits car dealerships from being open on Sundays. But for those states that allow car dealerships to be open on Sundays, catering to the customers when they have time for trying your services and products can drive up your sales.

Also, working weekends improves post-sales customer service. Your dealership taking out time for them, when they are free, sends out a positive message to the customer.

3) Leveraging Cab Sharing Platforms

Cab-sharing platforms offer huge potential to market your cars and dealerships. It can be an excellent guerilla tactic to increase your local brand awareness. The idea is simple: lend out your car or register your vehicle in the ridesharing app and let the people experience the car. It’s like you are getting paid for every test drive.

Adding your brand name, contact details, and other branded merchandise in the car can help you reach customers who directly use your products.

Note: Like all guerrilla tactics, don’t go overboard. No one likes to be bothered on their commute and wouldn’t want a garish car decked with mascots to pick them up. Be smart, Be subtle.

Marketing strategies, as well as channels, are a crucial aspect of any dealership’s success and growth. To attract, engage, and convert customers, you need to opt for marketing channels by implementing a few strategies to make the car dealerships win.

4) Prioritize SMS for Marketing Follow-up 

Business texting for marketing is a powerful tool for car dealerships. SMS can easily remind customers to stay informed about current offers, and recent models, and can leave a review after purchase or service via text message.

Car dealerships require more follow-ups with potential customers as the car-buying process involves lengthy and multiple touch points to take till the final purchase point.

Text messages have 98% open rates, likely more than email, which is 20% only.

SMS is a great tool for frequent follow-up and thereby speeding up your sales cycle. For example, you can create a series of text messages that share helpful information with your prospects. This can finally turn interested customers into paying ones.

5) Improve visibility in Search Engine Results 

Search engine optimization is improving the visibility and viability of your website through online searches. Simple SEO involves promoting your automotive website and content on search engines.

Customers perform extensive research before making a purchase—additionally, automotive consumers with an average visit 4.2 websites during their buying process.

Ensure that your automotive content includes relevant keywords and rich text snippets, ensuring good SEO practices. one of the best ways to pull more prospects in your sales funnel.

95% of car buyers prefer digital research as a part of their source of information, revealed to Google.

6) Leverage Ringless Voicemail for Latest Car Deals

This marketing strategy allows car dealerships to engage with potential customers on a more personal level. Simply update them with exciting information about new car models, special discounts, and limited-time offers in your voicemail messages.

As we know, the automotive industry increasingly uses numerous innovative marketing channels. One popular approach is utilizing Ringless Voicemail, which involves sending voicemails directly to potential customer’s phones without actually ringing their phone.

With the Ringless Voicemail marketing channel, your automotive industry can grab attention in a non-intrusive manner. It is considered one of the most effective ways to deliver personalized messages about the latest car offers and updates.

7) Generate Engagement with Informative Content 

Another great way to close car dealerships is to optimize content marketing strategy. Creating informative content, and valuable, engaging content to attract and retain customers is all about marketing your automotive brand. Content marketing involves blog posts, videos, and infographics that educate and inform your audience about your dealerships.

As per a study, “14 hours on average customers spend time researching and consuming content on the websites before visiting a store or dealership”.

Dealership content can specifically address common questions, provide some car buying tips, and inform the latest automotive trends. Just make sure you consistently deliver valuable content.

8) Establish a Strong Online Presence on Social Media Platforms

Try to create a strong online presence on social media platforms. Various social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook can be leveraged to promote your brand, reach a large scale of audience, communicate with customers via comments/messages, and thus keep your business relevant.

It has been noticed that around 22% of new vehicle purchasers use social media websites to interact with brands to get affirmations and opinions from other vehicle owners and thereby access content related to the automotive industry.

With social media, your automotive business can have better and more direct customer interaction, thereby enhancing brand visibility.

Note, you can gain valuable leads for your business with social media sites. Social media platforms allow you to experiment with several types of content to connect with your interested customers such as videos, stories, image posts, text posts, and many more innovative types of content (GIFs/reels/memes).

9) The power of Direct Mail Campaigns 

If some percentage of your target audience is not that must be tech-savvy, in that case, traditional marketing is the most appropriate option to be considered.

Businesses can efficiently combine or mix both traditional and digital marketing strategies for better results and can reach their target audience easily. Traditional marketing involves direct mail, newspapers, telemarketing, radio, television, public relations, etc.

Direct mail campaigns are tangible and highly targeted approaches that are cost-efficient. These types of campaigns provide greater ROI than paid ads. Direct mail campaigns enable you to track the results of each campaign you run easily.

10) Organize Test and Drive Events 

One fruitful marketing strategy is hosting community events to connect with their local audience. By organizing car shows and test-drive events, car dealerships can generate a positive brand image and foster a sense of community, ultimately attracting potential customers.

Test driving is considered an important process in car buying decisions. One survey revealed that around 63% of consumers are likely to prefer a test drive without any need for a salesperson present. This makes them feel more comfortable, which enables them to test the drive without any distractions.

This strategy will more likely leave a lasting impression and increase the chances of converting them into paying customers. Organizing a test drive event is a engaging customers or attendees on a personal level.

11) Collaborate with popular Automotive Influencers 

Nowadays, influencer marketing is trending among all other strategies. Collaborating with influencers marketing involves partnerships with automotive influencers or influential individuals in your local area to promote a dealership’s products/services.

These strategies can reach a wider audience and build credibility among customers. Collaboration can be conducted with popular automotive YouTubers or Instagram Influencers to create engaging content that features their vehicles.

Thus, dealerships can efficiently increase brand awareness and attract consumers who trust the influencer’s recommendations.

12) Leverage the greatness of Email Marketing 

One of the terrific ways to boost future sales! A well-designed email campaign will support you to connect with your audience personally. Sending a good email promotional and marketing plan will be a beneficial asset for any car dealership.

Research conducted by G/O Digital stated that “35% of car buyers prefer emails based on their interests, i.e., more fond of personalized emails.

Moreover, 28%  are likely to click on a car dealership email if they find a model, color, or style in the email message.

Businesses can build targeted email lists and send personalized emails with relevant content. This way, dealerships can nurture leads efficiently, promote special offers or discounts, and build long-term relationships with their audience.

Email marketing is considered one of the excellent and effective digital marketing strategies, ensuring brand awareness, and customer loyalty.

13) Consider and Gather Customer Reviews 

Gathering customer feedback is one of the most effective marketing tactics. Customers buy vehicles once they’re confirmed with your trustworthiness, as a large investment will be spent on it. Purchasing a vehicle is considered one of the biggest financial decisions.

According to Semrush reports, “90% of customers reviews make other customers believe them to purchase from you, even if that person is unknown, but its review pushes other customers to initiate a purchase”.

Note that a negative perception of your brand will create difficulty in gaining the trust of potential customers. Suppose, before purchasing a car they are reviewing your ratings on Google which lacks a customer satisfaction indicator, then they are likely to go elsewhere to buy their car.

Remember, favorable feedback will instantly improve your credibility and legitimacy, encouraging other customers to purchase from you.

14) Make Cold Calls  to your Potential Customers 

Businesses can conduct unlimited cold calls to customers in a more organized and systematic way. Making cold calls to your potential customers creates a sense of positive and personalized interaction.

This allows you to have more meaningful conversations, increasing conversion chances.

With a sales dialer, you can efficiently enhance the process of making calls, as they are automated systems designed to streamline and optimize cold calling efforts. Sales dialer often features auto-dialing, call recording, tracking, and CRM integration systems.

15) Retargeting your Prospects 

This marketing idea allows the automotive industry to demonstrate targeted ads to users who have previously visited their website or interacted with a brand. A CRM system can enable this marketing strategy to enhance sales and attract and retain customers.

Retargeting allows automotive dealerships to offer more tailored and relevant customer experience which can establish positive relationships with potential customers. This way you can offer a more personalized approach to your potential customers based on their previous interactions.

It’s a golden opportunity for re-engagement with potential customers.

How can LeadsRain help you with Car Dealership Marketing?

Marketing automation can manage the workflows for businesses in the automotive industry. This involves generating interest in nurturing campaigns till finally purchasing points. With automation integration, you generate a seamless and effortless experience for sellers and buyers.

Our cloud-based outbound marketing solutions enable you to automate your marketing efforts. You can create and schedule targeted email campaigns. We help you to identify and capture potential car buyers’ information. Leadsrain’s CRM tool is a comprehensive solution for keeping a record of all customer interactions.

With our automated and advanced cloud predictive dialer, you can fasten your sales conversion rate with the flexibility of an extensive customization approach.

We provide our users to track the performance of each campaign, measure conversion rates, and identify improvement areas. With our sales funnel management, you can easily track leads, monitor progress, and streamline the conversion of leads into car sales.

Signup for car dealership automation tool


Well, by implementing these strategies, you can easily increase your online presence, improve lead generation efforts, and ultimately drive more sales for your car dealership. In the end, this blog outlines several approaches to generating and improving car sales through online (majorly) automotive marketing with some powerful and advanced automation technology that lets you offer a seamless customer experience.