New way to sell SMS, any thoughts?

by BKH
127 replies
I have a friend who is the sales manager for two different Auto sale lots, one new with about 90-125 cars and the second used with about 50-60 cars on the lot. I gave him free accounts to see what would happen with using text messaging for each of his cars. This is what we did and found in running the campaign.

First account: We had 100 generic keywords, each placed on a car with medium sized print next to the information sheet and a couple "deals of the month" had large print on the windshield. During this testing phase I had him send me the information that he wanted for each car to limit his involvement and basically get him to agree to it. I set the account up as an information-only account, which means the end user texting in was not opting into anything just receiving a response to the inquiry and the number can NOT be contacted back by text. (Less information needs to be shared with the user) This just emails him the phone number of the lead and which car the lead is interested in.

The texts we were sending back on this account looked similar to this:

All power and leather, Keyless entry and remote start
MP3 play w/display
Premium sound w/10" sub
Free year of XM radio w/this text
3.9 APR
<URL>

The idea was, for anyone that is like me and doesn't want to be bothered by a sales person while looking at a car, they stop by after hours, peek through the windows and get specs off of the information sheet. Now they have the ability to capture the lead by sending additional information via text.

I had planned on grabbing about 5-10 leads per month and approaching him with the cost of $500 for 100 cars. It didn't work quite that way! The first two weeks we were setting everything up so I didn't keep any of those stats. Over the next month he received on average 2 new leads per night with one Saturday night grabbing a high of 7 leads. This gave me great ammunition in my quest for selling him the package.

After the first full month running the campaign, I sat down with my friend and said "It worked even better than I had projected". He nodded his head almost in disgust of being wrong (he didn't believe people came to his lot after hours) then slid me a check across the table made out for $1200. I asked him "What is this? We haven't discussed a price yet". Apparently when he talked to his manager about the program he was told that "they would not spend a penny more than $200 per converted lead!" 62 leads turned into 6 sales and I was smiling with a new way to approach this. Sell the lead!

Oddly enough they are willing to pay $300 on the used car lot and we have just implemented this same program on that lot. On the used cars we will be only offering the price by text...more stats on this to come!

Here's the idea for approaching the next car lot! Sell them the leads at $10 each and $200 per converted lead. That's $1820 using this scenario and my cost to set this up is less than $150 after I made a deal with my provider but normally only $200 a month; roughly $1600 a month income from one car lot.

Anyone have any ideas how I can tweak this or obstacles I might run into selling it? Could you sell it like this? Please share your thoughts!
b
#auto #sell #sms #thoughts
  • Profile picture of the author susanMC
    nice! but how would you know when the lead get converted ? unless you just trust the person,..cant you do a flat rate fee a month or per text etc?
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    • Profile picture of the author TheLocalCoach
      Awesome!! This is so great, there are so many lessons here!

      What a perfect example of how we often think we're selling a service (SMS, Mobile Sites, etc), when in fact what we're selling is results! And in this case, the business taught the "lesson" by just assuming that you would want to be paid on results.

      We teach a similar model to this, using QR codes (along with printed call-to-action) in car windows targeting exactly the off-hours lot visitors. I would suggest taking the extra step to get the opt-ins, so you the dealer can market similar cars, price reductions and new specials to the visitors.

      Are you getting any resistance to the lot visitor being called by a salesperson when they weren't expecting that? Just curious. If so, you could add a Request-for-Call to the text auto-response (or a button on mobile website), to trigger a text notification to salesperson that someone WANTS to be called about this car. Now that's a hot lead!

      Congrats again on a great SMS campaign, please keep us up to date with more results.
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      • Profile picture of the author BKH
        Originally Posted by susanMC View Post

        nice! but how would you know when the lead get converted ? unless you just trust the person,..cant you do a flat rate fee a month or per text etc?
        Susan, This was my original intention, a flat fee, but I got paid for conversions...Idk though how I would find out if the lead converted outside of trust...maybe someone could chime in with an idea?

        Originally Posted by EatDrinkTextJay View Post


        Are you getting any resistance to the lot visitor being called by a salesperson when they weren't expecting that? Just curious. If so, you could add a Request-for-Call to the text auto-response (or a button on mobile website), to trigger a text notification to salesperson that someone WANTS to be called about this car. Now that's a hot lead!

        Congrats again on a great SMS campaign, please keep us up to date with more results.
        EDTJ, Idk if they have ran into any resistance on the call backs. He is giving the leads to his sales people who are making the calls and they are closing about ten percent, so I wouldn't think there's much resistance.

        Thanks and I will update with more stats with the used lot.
        b
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      • Profile picture of the author Tess D
        brilliant!! This is basically the only application of text marketing that I've seen, that wouldn't annoy me as a customer : )
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      • Profile picture of the author anpharmd09
        Originally Posted by EatDrinkTextJay View Post

        Awesome!! This is so great, there are so many lessons here!

        What a perfect example of how we often think we're selling a service (SMS, Mobile Sites, etc), when in fact what we're selling is results! And in this case, the business taught the "lesson" by just assuming that you would want to be paid on results.

        We teach a similar model to this, using QR codes (along with printed call-to-action) in car windows targeting exactly the off-hours lot visitors. I would suggest taking the extra step to get the opt-ins, so you the dealer can market similar cars, price reductions and new specials to the visitors.

        Are you getting any resistance to the lot visitor being called by a salesperson when they weren't expecting that? Just curious. If so, you could add a Request-for-Call to the text auto-response (or a button on mobile website), to trigger a text notification to salesperson that someone WANTS to be called about this car. Now that's a hot lead!

        Congrats again on a great SMS campaign, please keep us up to date with more results.

        That's incredible! Congrats on your success. But like someone else already mentioned here, if you are going to get paid on a per lead basis, it should be for every lead that you generate, not just on how many of those leads wind up purchasing a vehicle.

        Those 62 leads are leads that dealership would not have had othewise, without your services. It's not your fault that only 6 of those leads purchased a vehicle. Your only job is to get them the leads, it's then up to the dealership/salesmen to close them.

        Don't get me wrong $1,200 is nice paycheck, but what if next month you are able to collect let's say 50 leads, but none of them purchase a vehicle. Does that mean you aren't going to get paid anything for all of that work, just because none of them bought a car?

        Personally, I would be charging anywhere from $20-$40 per lead period. Just my 2 cents. But again, congrats, looks like you're really onto something there!
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        • Profile picture of the author BKH
          Originally Posted by anpharmd09 View Post

          That's incredible! Congrats on your success. But like someone else already mentioned here, if you are going to get paid on a per lead basis, it should be for every lead that you generate, not just on how many of those leads wind up purchasing a vehicle.

          Those 62 leads are leads that dealership would not have had othewise, without your services. It's not your fault that only 6 of those leads purchased a vehicle. Your only job is to get them the leads, it's then up to the dealership/salesmen to close them.

          Don't get me wrong $1,200 is nice paycheck, but what if next month you are able to collect let's say 50 leads, but none of them purchase a vehicle. Does that mean you aren't going to get paid anything for all of that work, just because none of them bought a car?

          Personally, I would be charging anywhere from $20-$40 per lead period. Just my 2 cents. But again, congrats, looks like you're really onto something there!
          I am selling the leads as low as $10 a lead and as much as $25 per depending on the lot. The only two lots that pay me per sell is my friends lot! An interesting note however, my friends lot consistently pays me between $1200 and $1800 on the sales and the most I have been paid on any of the per lead deals was just over $1300. I still believe that if I could find a way to track the sales it would be an easier sell as well as more profitable but I have given up at this time in trying to find that way to track them accurately. Thanks for the input!
          b
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    • Profile picture of the author uberstudios
      Originally Posted by susanMC View Post

      nice! but how would you know when the lead get converted ? unless you just trust the person,..cant you do a flat rate fee a month or per text etc?
      Hi
      I am looking for local Email Marketing Data or SMS sender in Delhi . Can you give me some information about this or show me your some work demo, you done before .
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      • Profile picture of the author BKH
        I use the txt180 reseller platform but really any platform will work with this idea...it's just a matter of what the platform offers you.
        b
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  • Profile picture of the author ADukes81
    Yea, the trust thing could be an issue. Why not charge him $20/incoming text? That's basically what this breaks down to and it's easy to track. Have it in writing, though.

    I am working something similar to this with auto trader magazines. Just started it this week, but I have been wondering how I am going to price it. I think $15/incoming text to start and possibly bump it to $20-25. If they close @ 10% I think that's fair for both parties.

    Thank you for sharing this.
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    • Profile picture of the author BKH
      Originally Posted by ADukes81 View Post

      Yea, the trust thing could be an issue. Why not charge him $20/incoming text? That's basically what this breaks down to and it's easy to track. Have it in writing, though.

      I am working something similar to this with auto trader magazines. Just started it this week, but I have been wondering how I am going to price it. I think $15/incoming text to start and possibly bump it to $20-25. If they close @ 10% I think that's fair for both parties.

      Thank you for sharing this.
      I think your right! Break it down to a higher per lead charge and not worry about if it converts or not.

      Its good to hear you got stuff working with auto trader...I was wondering about how it would work with them advertising their cars in a paper or something. If you can let me know how things work out with that.

      Goodluck,
      b
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      • Profile picture of the author ADukes81
        Originally Posted by tjkirgin View Post

        That is a great case study, thank you and keep em coming!

        FYI, if you start to be even more successful, we have developed an automation system called ACAP (Automotive Customer Acquisition Platform.

        The ACAP reads a dealer data feed or csv download of vehicle inventory and automatically creates

        SMS keyword based on Stock #
        Vehicle specific auto responder
        Forward to email (lead)
        Forward to SMS (lead)
        Mobile web site virtual tour of vehicle w/Carfax info
        Dynamic link to the Mobi site in the SMS auto responder

        For a lot of 300 cars it takes about 90 seconds to create all of this.

        This will explode your profit margin if you are currently setting these up manually!

        Call me for more info, the system is in BETA and needs test clients.
        Wow! This sounds like an awesome system. I am going after a few dealerships in town and am hopeful to be working with one soon. I will be getting ahold of you for more information.
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      • Profile picture of the author justinc21
        Originally Posted by tjkirgin View Post

        That is a great case study, thank you and keep em coming!

        FYI, if you start to be even more successful, we have developed an automation system called ACAP (Automotive Customer Acquisition Platform.

        The ACAP reads a dealer data feed or csv download of vehicle inventory and automatically creates

        SMS keyword based on Stock #
        Vehicle specific auto responder
        Forward to email (lead)
        Forward to SMS (lead)
        Mobile web site virtual tour of vehicle w/Carfax info
        Dynamic link to the Mobi site in the SMS auto responder

        For a lot of 300 cars it takes about 90 seconds to create all of this.

        This will explode your profit margin if you are currently setting these up manually!

        Call me for more info, the system is in BETA and needs test clients.
        Is this a system you have developed that is based only in the US at the moment? If so is the problem the use of the SMS provider? I am not in the US but can see how good this system would be.
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      • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
        any updates on your platform?



        Originally Posted by tjkirgin View Post

        That is a great case study, thank you and keep em coming!

        FYI, if you start to be even more successful, we have developed an automation system called ACAP (Automotive Customer Acquisition Platform.

        The ACAP reads a dealer data feed or csv download of vehicle inventory and automatically creates

        SMS keyword based on Stock #
        Vehicle specific auto responder
        Forward to email (lead)
        Forward to SMS (lead)
        Mobile web site virtual tour of vehicle w/Carfax info
        Dynamic link to the Mobi site in the SMS auto responder

        For a lot of 300 cars it takes about 90 seconds to create all of this.

        This will explode your profit margin if you are currently setting these up manually!

        Call me for more info, the system is in BETA and needs test clients.
        Signature

        In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing. ~ Theodore Roosevelt "Trust, BUT VERIFY" ~ Ronald Reagan

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    • Profile picture of the author bryson
      Originally Posted by ADukes81 View Post

      Yea, the trust thing could be an issue. Why not charge him $20/incoming text? That's basically what this breaks down to and it's easy to track. Have it in writing, though.

      I am working something similar to this with auto trader magazines. Just started it this week, but I have been wondering how I am going to price it. I think $15/incoming text to start and possibly bump it to $20-25. If they close @ 10% I think that's fair for both parties.

      Thank you for sharing this.
      I recently got a lead with a car dealership and so I am very interested in this thread. I have also been combing the WF for any informartion on car dealers. One titled "Major Car Dealership Group here in Chicago" had responses calling the leads at $50 each.

      I am just starting to work all this out so I may be off the mark. So if the average car earns the dealer $2,000 per sale. -> 100 leads -> 10 sales.

      20,000 to the dealer and at 50 per lead that is 5,000 in your pocket or 25%. At 40 per lead its 4,000 or 20% and you can follow the math from here.

      20 per lead is only 10% IDK about the rest of you but that seems cheap. Car sales bonus checks for beating sales targets can be more than 10% on top of their commission.

      I am thinking the 30 to 40 per lead is a sweet spot.

      Any feedback is appreaciated.
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      • Profile picture of the author BKH
        Originally Posted by bryson View Post


        I am thinking the 30 to 40 per lead is a sweet spot.

        Any feedback is appreaciated.
        Bryson, I think you may very well be right! I am charging in the $10-$15 range and I have seen a huge response. It started out pretty slow the first week but I started getting calls back from interested lots and and now two weeks of footwork and selling has turned into a week of revisiting and setting up packages. A couple went with a flat monthly fee to try it out which works for me because I was not doing any of their signage and it's how I am really used to selling it. Aside from my friends lot I now have 7 car lots all paying me between $10-$15 per lead...I am really thinking that I may increase my per lead charge to about $25. If I am still able to sell it at that cost I will be looking at quitting my 9-5 by start of second quarter next year. Had some interesting conversations with some fellow warriors about tracking conversions that I may try but for now I will stick with the per lead charge.
        Good luck to you all,
        b
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        • Profile picture of the author danielp310
          Hey bkh,

          I saw another thread where you wrote that you offer this service to real estate agents, just wondering how much you charge them per listing?

          thanks for your help.
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        • Profile picture of the author NameThatCandy
          hi there,

          When u said $10-15 per lead, is that mean per car? How much do you charge for flat monthly fee?

          how did you approach the carlots? cold calling or walk in??

          One last question, in where I live there are some family-owned small carlots and some big carlots, do you approach both? I am curious that which type of carlots are easier to sell.

          Thanks


          Originally Posted by BKH View Post

          Bryson, I think you may very well be right! I am charging in the $10-$15 range and I have seen a huge response. It started out pretty slow the first week but I started getting calls back from interested lots and and now two weeks of footwork and selling has turned into a week of revisiting and setting up packages. A couple went with a flat monthly fee to try it out which works for me because I was not doing any of their signage and it's how I am really used to selling it. Aside from my friends lot I now have 7 car lots all paying me between $10-$15 per lead...I am really thinking that I may increase my per lead charge to about $25. If I am still able to sell it at that cost I will be looking at quitting my 9-5 by start of second quarter next year. Had some interesting conversations with some fellow warriors about tracking conversions that I may try but for now I will stick with the per lead charge.
          Good luck to you all,
          b
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          • Profile picture of the author BKH
            Originally Posted by danielp310 View Post

            Hey bkh,

            I saw another thread where you wrote that you offer this service to real estate agents, just wondering how much you charge them per listing?

            thanks for your help.
            The cost on the listings I charge ranges from $5 to $10, less for more listings. I had set amount of listings for them. For example $50 for five listings, $75 for ten or $100 for twenty. I did go up against another company when talking to a broker about it and they were upwards of $20 per listing 'til they got to 25 so there's room for play.

            Originally Posted by NameThatCandy View Post

            hi there,

            When u said $10-15 per lead, is that mean per car? How much do you charge for flat monthly fee?

            how did you approach the carlots? cold calling or walk in??

            One last question, in where I live there are some family-owned small carlots and some big carlots, do you approach both? I am curious that which type of carlots are easier to sell.

            Thanks
            A lead would be any unique phone number that opts to receive the info on a car. If they opt in on multiple cars it's still one lead. The flat fees were on smaller lots of 25 to 40 cars and I charged $200 and $300 for those...I did not do any signage for those two.

            I approached the lots as advised by my buddy that is a sales manager at a lot...Walk in, talk to the sales manager, I don't give the sales manager any information about what I actually do, instead let him know that I can capture an additional 50-70 leads for him after hours and I wouldn't charge him anything unless he gets results. Typically, he asks what is it I do and I ask in return can you authorize an expenditure agreement? I always get a no and I ask who can. It's the GM or owner and I always follow that up by saying Why don't you bring him/her in on this so that you don't have to remember it all and explain it over again. To be frank, it never happens but I've met with nearly 50 lots and heard no straight out of the gate about 10 times to which I leave a card, I've heard back from them about 20 times and of those I've sold now 9 of them. With the long weekend and trying to catch up on things I haven't had the opportunity yet to get back with those that have not called me back yet. I'm assuming I can close another 5 of those if I'm quick about getting back with them.
            My sales process was really put together by me and my friend that is a sales manager at a lot but I have heard great feedback from other warriors on how to approach it as well. Any more feedback is still very much appreciated.

            I would say both...I've approached both and sold both thus far. The bigger lots I think are easier just because there is more of a structure to how it works but both small lots I sold were sold on the spot.

            Good luck to you,
            b
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            • Profile picture of the author NameThatCandy
              hi there,

              thanks for the detail reply!

              I have more questions, when do you get paid? Because you charge per lead, you won't know how many leads you generate.

              You said you use txt180, I remember that they charge $2 per each keyword a month, so your cost are very high. If the carlot has 100 cars, it will cost you $200 just for keywords a month.

              I am thinking to charge per car. But don't know how much to charge.

              Thanks again!

              Originally Posted by BKH View Post


              A lead would be any unique phone number that opts to receive the info on a car. If they opt in on multiple cars it's still one lead. The flat fees were on smaller lots of 25 to 40 cars and I charged $200 and $300 for those...I did not do any signage for those two.

              I approached the lots as advised by my buddy that is a sales manager at a lot...Walk in, talk to the sales manager, I don't give the sales manager any information about what I actually do, instead let him know that I can capture an additional 50-70 leads for him after hours and I wouldn't charge him anything unless he gets results. Typically, he asks what is it I do and I ask in return can you authorize an expenditure agreement? I always get a no and I ask who can. It's the GM or owner and I always follow that up by saying Why don't you bring him/her in on this so that you don't have to remember it all and explain it over again. To be frank, it never happens but I've met with nearly 50 lots and heard no straight out of the gate about 10 times to which I leave a card, I've heard back from them about 20 times and of those I've sold now 9 of them. With the long weekend and trying to catch up on things I haven't had the opportunity yet to get back with those that have not called me back yet. I'm assuming I can close another 5 of those if I'm quick about getting back with them.
              My sales process was really put together by me and my friend that is a sales manager at a lot but I have heard great feedback from other warriors on how to approach it as well. Any more feedback is still very much appreciated.

              I would say both...I've approached both and sold both thus far. The bigger lots I think are easier just because there is more of a structure to how it works but both small lots I sold were sold on the spot.

              Good luck to you,
              b
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              • Profile picture of the author danielp310
                thanks for the reply

                What did you include in the listing fee?

                Just a qr code and a text message with the home info or did you build a mobile page for the listing with pictures, info etc..?
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              • Profile picture of the author BKH
                Originally Posted by NameThatCandy View Post

                hi there,

                thanks for the detail reply!

                I have more questions, when do you get paid? Because you charge per lead, you won't know how many leads you generate.

                You said you use txt180, I remember that they charge $2 per each keyword a month, so your cost are very high. If the carlot has 100 cars, it will cost you $200 just for keywords a month.

                I am thinking to charge per car. But don't know how much to charge.

                Thanks again!
                They do normally charge $2 per keyword (I've worked a deal with them for generic keywords) and at that it is still profitable. With 100 cars at $200 and generates about 60 leads at my $15 per lead (which I now believe I can increase to about $25) and I also pay for the signage which is about $150-$200 on 100 cars and messages that costs me about $10, leaves me with $500 profit. I am only paying $1 per keyword now and am working with txt180 to save me even more on that cost.
                I think it would be harder to sell it as a per car charge especially when the dealers love hearing "you only pay for what you get". If you give the per car a try I would be very interested in hearing how that goes for you...I'm always looking for an edge.
                b

                Almost forgot...I meet with the GM or Sales Manager 30 days after the signage is complete and collect the check then. They already have the emails of all of the leads and I bring in a print out of the leads to confirm with them. (I have only done this with my buddy thus far as I have not yet had to collect on any of the other lots so this is how I intend on it going)
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                • Profile picture of the author NameThatCandy
                  Cool that you can make a deal with txt180, do you still need to pay for the setup fee $5 per keyword? I was thinking to go with txt180, coz the initial investment is cheaper than the other platform, but only thing stop me is they charge per keyword. Avidmobile offers unlimited keywords, and they charge $119 a month, I think you will save a lot of $$ and make more profit. Just you have to pay $99 set up fee.

                  After I did all the maths, I think I will go with "charge per lead", not per car. I think it is easier to sell.

                  Regard to the signage, what kind of sign do you offer? How big is the sign?

                  thanks again

                  Originally Posted by BKH View Post

                  They do normally charge $2 per keyword (I've worked a deal with them for generic keywords) and at that it is still profitable. With 100 cars at $200 and generates about 60 leads at my $15 per lead (which I now believe I can increase to about $25) and I also pay for the signage which is about $150-$200 on 100 cars and messages that costs me about $10, leaves me with $500 profit. I am only paying $1 per keyword now and am working with txt180 to save me even more on that cost.
                  I think it would be harder to sell it as a per car charge especially when the dealers love hearing "you only pay for what you get". If you give the per car a try I would be very interested in hearing how that goes for you...I'm always looking for an edge.
                  b

                  Almost forgot...I meet with the GM or Sales Manager 30 days after the signage is complete and collect the check then. They already have the emails of all of the leads and I bring in a print out of the leads to confirm with them. (I have only done this with my buddy thus far as I have not yet had to collect on any of the other lots so this is how I intend on it going)
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                  • Profile picture of the author ADukes81
                    Originally Posted by NameThatCandy View Post

                    Cool that you can make a deal with txt180, do you still need to pay for the setup fee $5 per keyword? I was thinking to go with txt180, coz the initial investment is cheaper than the other platform, but only thing stop me is they charge per keyword. Avidmobile offers unlimited keywords, and they charge $119 a month, I think you will save a lot of $$ and make more profit. Just you have to pay $99 set up fee.

                    After I did all the maths, I think I will go with "charge per lead", not per car. I think it is easier to sell.

                    Regard to the signage, what kind of sign do you offer? How big is the sign?

                    thanks again
                    I am a member of Jack Mize's Mobile X-factor Club ($47/mo) and he uses Avid mobile. We get a forum, training, fliers/brochures, 1,500 texts and the kitchen sink. I am not sure if it is open, but I believe it is now $97/mo, still a great deal. Better than Avid and you get a training/forum.

                    @BKH You might want to look into joining Avid if you have a few clients as this will save you money in the long run.
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                    • Profile picture of the author NameThatCandy
                      I am going to pm you about Jack Mize's Club.

                      Originally Posted by ADukes81 View Post

                      I am a member of Jack Mize's Mobile X-factor Club ($47/mo) and he uses Avid mobile. We get a forum, training, fliers/brochures, 1,500 texts and the kitchen sink. I am not sure if it is open, but I believe it is now $97/mo, still a great deal. Better than Avid and you get a training/forum.

                      @BKH You might want to look into joining Avid if you have a few clients as this will save you money in the long run.
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                  • Profile picture of the author BKH
                    Originally Posted by NameThatCandy View Post

                    Cool that you can make a deal with txt180, do you still need to pay for the setup fee $5 per keyword? I was thinking to go with txt180, coz the initial investment is cheaper than the other platform, but only thing stop me is they charge per keyword. Avidmobile offers unlimited keywords, and they charge $119 a month, I think you will save a lot of $$ and make more profit. Just you have to pay $99 set up fee.

                    After I did all the maths, I think I will go with "charge per lead", not per car. I think it is easier to sell.

                    Regard to the signage, what kind of sign do you offer? How big is the sign?

                    thanks again
                    They have been very helpful and have worked well in either getting what I need or giving me the ideas to make it work. I don't pay the $5 set up and only pay $1 a month on any generic (a1234) keywords. Brandon and Matt have both told me they plan on having a generic keyword generator that will charge for a lump of generic keywords.
                    I looked at Avid when I started a while back and liked what they had to offer but in the end decided to go with txt180.
                    The signage depends on how the lot wants to do it. Most all of them I just have a 12x12 poster board with the keyword on it for each car. When the car sells they take the sign out and put it into the next car. Some use the static cling letters and numbers to just put it directly in the car window. If you are doing the signage for them, it's pretty easy to work a deal with your local sign shop to print them up because of the volume that will be needed. I can get 100 printed within a week for a $1.50 each and then they reuse them going forward so that is just an initial cost I incur.
                    Glad I can help,
                    b
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                    • Profile picture of the author NameThatCandy
                      So you only have the "keyword" on the sign? What do you put the phone # (Short code)? I guess I need to call around the local sign shop for the price before I set up my price. I was planning that print it from my printer and laminated.



                      Originally Posted by BKH View Post

                      They have been very helpful and have worked well in either getting what I need or giving me the ideas to make it work. I don't pay the $5 set up and only pay $1 a month on any generic (a1234) keywords. Brandon and Matt have both told me they plan on having a generic keyword generator that will charge for a lump of generic keywords.
                      I looked at Avid when I started a while back and liked what they had to offer but in the end decided to go with txt180.
                      The signage depends on how the lot wants to do it. Most all of them I just have a 12x12 poster board with the keyword on it for each car. When the car sells they take the sign out and put it into the next car. Some use the static cling letters and numbers to just put it directly in the car window. If you are doing the signage for them, it's pretty easy to work a deal with your local sign shop to print them up because of the volume that will be needed. I can get 100 printed within a week for a $1.50 each and then they reuse them going forward so that is just an initial cost I incur.
                      Glad I can help,
                      b
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                    • Profile picture of the author bryson
                      Originally Posted by BKH View Post

                      They have been very helpful and have worked well in either getting what I need or giving me the ideas to make it work. I don't pay the $5 set up and only pay $1 a month on any generic (a1234) keywords. Brandon and Matt have both told me they plan on having a generic keyword generator that will charge for a lump of generic keywords.
                      I looked at Avid when I started a while back and liked what they had to offer but in the end decided to go with txt180.
                      The signage depends on how the lot wants to do it. Most all of them I just have a 12x12 poster board with the keyword on it for each car. When the car sells they take the sign out and put it into the next car. Some use the static cling letters and numbers to just put it directly in the car window. If you are doing the signage for them, it's pretty easy to work a deal with your local sign shop to print them up because of the volume that will be needed. I can get 100 printed within a week for a $1.50 each and then they reuse them going forward so that is just an initial cost I incur.
                      Glad I can help,
                      b
                      What do you think about having just one keyword and making up a template with the dealers logo, a section for some car stats and then your SMS info that says maybe something like "text silver dodge (maybe the last 5 digits of the VIN)" for pricing. Something they can have their receptionist fill out and print? No more keywords or printing.
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                • Profile picture of the author webvidman
                  If you were to use long code sms instead of short code like the WP plugin offered here on the forum, you would have unlimited kw at no cost, messages at about .01 per message and a text message every time someone called your text number. This way you could respond almost immediately to their interest. Higher ROI and only one text program with multiple keywords. Good luck. Bill
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                  • Profile picture of the author BKH
                    Originally Posted by johnniec View Post

                    BKH,

                    I think you have a great method here. Congrats on your success with it up to this point. Shoot me a PM when you get a chance(I'd PM you but my post count hasn't reached 50 yet). I'd like to discuss an opportunity with you.

                    Thanks,
                    John
                    Done!

                    Originally Posted by webvidman View Post

                    You could add QR codes and build a small website with contact forms, video's, more pictures etc. Bill
                    I have not had any success with QR codes in any of the other companies I work with but I'm still wondering if maybe I was just not presenting it correctly.

                    Originally Posted by webvidman View Post

                    If you were to use long code sms instead of short code like the WP plugin offered here on the forum, you would have unlimited kw at no cost Bill
                    I actually use the shortcode because of the throughput I need for some of my larger customers but you are correct, any looking at doing this could increase the return by using a company with free Keywords. My suggestion would be to make sure the company has the ability to automatically email the new numbers to the sales manager, that has been a load off of me.
                    Thanks for the suggestions.
                    b
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                  • Profile picture of the author bryson
                    Originally Posted by webvidman View Post

                    If you were to use long code sms instead of short code like the WP plugin offered here on the forum, you would have unlimited kw at no cost, messages at about .01 per message and a text message every time someone called your text number. This way you could respond almost immediately to their interest. Higher ROI and only one text program with multiple keywords. Good luck. Bill
                    I don't know how this works but seems like it is an smtp set up. How reliable is it for setting up a major text campaigns?
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                    • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
                      Ok. So I decided to take this idea to the streets and see if I could get anyone to bite. I spoke to 3 different dealerships (small to medium) and they all said that AutoTrader.com and Cars.com have this service.

                      After hours visitors can send a text and the dealers get the lead.

                      I didn't get into too much details with the dealerships once they said they already use the service through AutoTrader.com, so.....basically.....oh well.

                      I'll have to come up with something else.

                      Mike
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                      • Profile picture of the author BKH
                        Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post

                        Ok. So I decided to take this idea to the streets and see if I could get anyone to bite. I spoke to 3 different dealerships (small to medium) and they all said that AutoTrader.com and Cars.com have this service.

                        After hours visitors can send a text and the dealers get the lead.

                        I didn't get into too much details with the dealerships once they said they already use the service through AutoTrader.com, so.....basically.....oh well.

                        I'll have to come up with something else.

                        Mike
                        Mike, I can tell you that I have come into this objection a lot! Some just say "no" because they have it others you need to overcome the objection. The service that they have with cars.com they consumer has to go to Cars.com and enter their phone number into the form to recieve the message. I offer a text in option from the lot...offline. I have slowed down a lot as of late because of the holidays but I've talked to close to 50 lots and have sold and set up 8 of them (plus one referral) all within about three weeks. I would say don't get discouraged but go more into where your service differs from the online options and their only paying for what they get!
                        Good luck,
                        b
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                        • Profile picture of the author BKH
                          Hello all, It's been a while since I've been on just because everything has been so hectic with work and the holidays but I wanted to give an update.
                          I lost two accounts after just a month so I will not include them into my stats. The size of the lot differs the amount of leads generated so I will give a quick synopses, here you go:

                          Lot size Opt-ins Leads Conversions
                          (in cars) (only tracked on one lot)

                          35 17 10
                          50 52 35
                          75 55 38
                          100 78 64 7
                          125 90 63

                          The 50 and 75 are averages between two lots each and the two accounts that canceled still generated leads but they were doing their own signage and I think they just got tired of replacing the signage.
                          Good luck to you all and Merry Christmas,
                          b
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                          • Profile picture of the author HypeText
                            TXT180 allows for FREE Sub Keywords. Why not just use the stock number after the main account keyword and eliminate the need to additional expense?
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                            • Profile picture of the author BKH
                              Originally Posted by HypeText View Post

                              TXT180 allows for FREE Sub Keywords. Why not just use the stock number after the main account keyword and eliminate the need to additional expense?
                              Hello, when I originally pitched this to my friend thats the way I pitched it. He didn't like the dot idea and said he'd rather they not be there even if it was auto1, auto2 as opposed to auto.1, auto.2 We set his up with generic codes and that's just the way I have kept it since, but yes it would be a lot cheaper if I used the sub keys>
                              Thanks for the ideas,
                              b
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                              • Profile picture of the author BKH
                                I will have some updates hopefully this weekend! I have not had a lot of sales time because I have been training a new person to handle all of the managed accounts for me, but there is still some good points to cover.
                                b
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                          • Profile picture of the author KabirC
                            Originally Posted by BKH View Post

                            Hello all, It's been a while since I've been on just because everything has been so hectic with work and the holidays but I wanted to give an update.
                            I lost two accounts after just a month so I will not include them into my stats. The size of the lot differs the amount of leads generated so I will give a quick synopses, here you go:

                            Lot size Opt-ins Leads Conversions
                            (in cars) (only tracked on one lot)

                            35 17 10
                            50 52 35
                            75 55 38
                            100 78 64 7
                            125 90 63

                            The 50 and 75 are averages between two lots each and the two accounts that canceled still generated leads but they were doing their own signage and I think they just got tired of replacing the signage.
                            Good luck to you all and Merry Christmas,
                            b
                            So it looks like you are having some nice success. What do you define a lead as? A number who texts in or what? What happens if a bunch of spammers text the number or a bunch of high schoolers? Also, what SMS service do you use for this? Long code or short code? Why?

                            Thanks a ton! Looking to start this up and want to get things done properly the first time.
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                            • Profile picture of the author BKH
                              Originally Posted by KabirC View Post

                              So it looks like you are having some nice success. What do you define a lead as? A number who texts in or what? What happens if a bunch of spammers text the number or a bunch of high schoolers? Also, what SMS service do you use for this? Long code or short code? Why?

                              Thanks a ton! Looking to start this up and want to get things done properly the first time.
                              A lead is a unique number that texts in...I say unique because there are several people that will text in to several cars but I only charge as one lead. I have never had the problem of high schoolers texting in but worst case scenario is I charge them for a few leads that were not legit. Spammers would have no motivation to text into them as they would gain nothing. I use TXT180 reseller platform which is shortcode. My main reasoning behind it is that they are inexpensive for a shortcode and I need the throughput that a shortcode provides because of some large accounts I have and expect to add to my services.
                              Goodluck,
                              b
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  • Profile picture of the author AmyKay
    Just spent about 30 minutes with them on the phone. They have great stuff and help for working with car dealerships. I'm impressed!!
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    • Profile picture of the author tracourt
      Originally Posted by AmyKay View Post

      Just spent about 30 minutes with them on the phone. They have great stuff and help for working with car dealerships. I'm impressed!!
      who are you referring to?
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      • Profile picture of the author wagsgraphx
        This is a fantastic thread with great info. I also would like to hear some updated info and success stories.
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  • Profile picture of the author scarab
    BKH, awesome post and the results you were able to get. It is the 'leads'. We of course keep the unconverted leads in the db. When a similar vehicle arrives on the lot we send out a message to the unconverted leads informing of the new vehicle. As always it's in 'list'.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vagabond 007
    I would definitely charge per lead and not per converted lead. Mainly for the reason others have stated, trust. Car dealers = liars. I've worked at one before. My dealership was pretty good. But at the end of the day, they are trying to get every penny out of you that they can.

    The other reason, if the salesman suck at closing the deals, your income suffers.

    Just charge per text and be done with it.

    And the reason they are willing to pay $300 for a used car is because they can make A LOT more on used cars. There isn't much mark up on new cars. Despite what you read on the internet. When I sold cars, even if I sold a new car at sticker, I didn't make much money.

    But on used cars, the mark up can be very high.

    Thanks for sharing your story. Please keep us updated, I'm interested to hear on how things progress with this biz model. May be something I look into.
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  • Profile picture of the author JToneyUK
    This is an interesting read and I guess this accomodates greater numbers of people than offer QR codes and mobile pages for each car as that just accomodates those with smart phones. The text service accomodates practically everybody, barring those living in the past who don't have a mobile phone. Anyway, I think it might be worth putting on the sign that by texting the number you are agreeing to be called about taking the car for a test drive or just a discusssion about it. The details will already be displayed on the car.

    I am planning to hit local used car dealers to offer them mobile set up solutions, and integrating SMS to run along side maybe a good idea also.

    One issue I could see is with the volume of cars and therefore the number of keywords you would need. The SMS service I am planning to use charges £5 per keyword, so that could really rack up the bill. You could always just get the client to text the car number on display, and when the salesman calls them back they simply match up the number so they know which car to discuss.
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    • Profile picture of the author BKH
      Originally Posted by Vagabond 007 View Post

      I would definitely charge per lead and not per converted lead. Mainly for the reason others have stated, trust. Car dealers = liars. I've worked at one before. My dealership was pretty good. But at the end of the day, they are trying to get every penny out of you that they can.
      Thank you! I think I may have found a way around tracking a converted sale but I'm doing some testing on it with my friend now to make sure it works...I'll fill you in as I know more.

      Originally Posted by JToneyUK View Post

      One issue I could see is with the volume of cars and therefore the number of keywords you would need. The SMS service I am planning to use charges £5 per keyword, so that could really rack up the bill. You could always just get the client to text the car number on display, and when the salesman calls them back they simply match up the number so they know which car to discuss.
      I normally pay $2 per key, per month but I worked out a deal with my provider to give them to me at $1 per month because they are generic and I don't think they cost them at all. Even at the $200 in keys just 20 leads at a cost of $10 would pay for that and the rest is pretty much gravy.

      Thanks to you all for the replies,
      b
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      • Profile picture of the author Keith Green
        Just awesome stuff. It seems interesting to spend almost half an hour and get results in dollars. Great!
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        • Profile picture of the author BKH
          Hello, Just wanted to give an update on how things are going but I don't have numbers from all the dealerships as of yet. I have lost two dealerships but I have signed up 6 new. I do have the numbers for my friends lot and thought I would share those with you all. They have been very consistent throughout,

          125 cars (we added about 50 keywords because they had a big pickup in sales the last two months)
          84 opt-ins (within 10 of what they have been doing)
          61 leads (within 10 of what they have been doing)
          11 sales (4 sale increase but they had an almost 25 sold car increase over the last two months so the increase kind of falls in line)

          As soon as I have collected the other lots numbers, I will post them.
          b
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      • Profile picture of the author SJJPFTW
        Originally Posted by BKH View Post

        Thank you! I think I may have found a way around tracking a converted sale but I'm doing some testing on it with my friend now to make sure it works...I'll fill you in as I know more.
        b
        Can you let us know what you have worked out here? I like the idea of charging per lead, and I think its a easier sell than any other ways, but car dealers are not known for there honesty.
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  • Profile picture of the author JToneyUK
    Also for anyone in the know of how local car dealers work, is the owner usually around the forecourt during the day? I think this is best sold by walking in on the business with a made up flier which has a barcode and/or Text code and a mock up mobile car page to demo to them there and then.
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  • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
    I just have to ask this, but what do you guys mean by "after hours" or " evening" visitors? Don't salesmen hang out till late hours on their lots? Just asking :-)


    Thomas
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    • Profile picture of the author Vagabond 007
      Originally Posted by JToneyUK View Post

      Also for anyone in the know of how local car dealers work, is the owner usually around the forecourt during the day? I think this is best sold by walking in on the business with a made up flier which has a barcode and/or Text code and a mock up mobile car page to demo to them there and then.
      Depends. The place I worked at is huge. The owner had 23 dealerships. But he still did pop in from time to time.

      Either way, it doesn't really matter. You want to speak to the GM (general manager) of the dealership. They usually work a lot of hours. And they are the top guy at the dealership (assuming the owner isn't there everyday, of course).

      If you talk to a sales manager, they still have to talk to their GM.

      Originally Posted by SirThomas View Post

      I just have to ask this, but what do you guys mean by "after hours" or " evening" visitors? Don't salesmen hang out till late hours on their lots? Just asking :-)


      Thomas
      After hours as in after the dealership is closed. Salesman leave as soon as they can, trust me. The hours are long, so once their day is over they want to get out of there asap. The only reason they would stay past closing is if they are already with a customer.

      After hours also means on Sundays. In the US most dealerships are closed on Sundays. So people like to browse lots then.
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    • Profile picture of the author JToneyUK
      Most local car dealers I know of around here stick to the usual 9-5 routine! Some may stay open a little later, but not too much later.

      Originally Posted by SirThomas View Post

      I just have to ask this, but what do you guys mean by "after hours" or " evening" visitors? Don't salesmen hang out till late hours on their lots? Just asking :-)


      Thomas
      But think about it, most people are also working 9-5 during the day as well. However buying a new car is quite exciting to most people, and they will be eager to have a look around, even after a long day at work. So if they really wanna go looking for a car during the week after work, they will first want to go home and have some dinner. It could be 7-8pm by the time they end up hitting the roads to the local closed car dealerships. They may just be scouting for cars in order to go back on the weekend and test drive. But how helpful would it be to the dealer to have some way of getting this potential clients phone number even though their business is closed for the night?

      Take this example, and I'm totally improvising here:

      People generally will look at mutliple cars, from multiple dealers before making a decision. Say Barry goes around town at 7:30 lookin at some cars, but he is aware they are all closed for business. The very first place he goes to has a nice looking car he would definately like to try out. He notices in the window is a QR code and it says "Scan to arrange test drive" or words to that effect. He scans it with his smartphone, and it takes him to a page about the car and asks him to enter his number and the car#. It then gives a message that someone will be in touch. His number has been put into the dealers' database.

      Barry goes to 4 more local dealers and he saw 10 similar car models in these other dealers. Once he gets home his head is spinning. He went to 5 dealerships and saw loads of cars and can't fully remember them all. The ones he can remember most are the cars from the last two dealers he visited.

      He plans to go back to those last two dealers to test drive one or two cars at the weekend. But the next day he gets a call from the very first car dealers he went to, where he scanned that code. He'd totally forgot about that! On the phone he arranged a time slot with the salesman to take the car for a test drive. And what do you know, he went and bought the damn thing!!
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      • Profile picture of the author Wild Card
        BKH,
        I like the concept, plenty of car dealers with most of them looking for an edge. Also, plenty of different ways to use the technology in order to make money.
        It seems to me that the car dealer has done the hard part - getting the prospect on to the lot. It would be a shame to lose them . . . What are your plans to follow up? and What will you say to dealers that put all the info on the sheet in the car?
        Jim
        PS There is a SMS reseller that charges $49/month and includes 3000 messages and unlimited keywords. That should save you big time on your monthly costs. I'll post that info here when I find it.
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  • Profile picture of the author rackemup
    Very cool. Lots of good tips and ideas on this thread. Thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author chrisclements521
    This sounds like the best solution would be a Dedicated longcode so that you would not have to pay for each Keyword... Even at $1 per keyword, you are looking at $100 per month, just for Keywords!

    This is a great example of an innovative way of using SMS...

    Good job...
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    • Profile picture of the author BKH
      Originally Posted by chrisclements521 View Post

      This sounds like the best solution would be a Dedicated longcode so that you would not have to pay for each Keyword... Even at $1 per keyword, you are looking at $100 per month, just for Keywords!

      This is a great example of an innovative way of using SMS...

      Good job...
      Thanks Chris! I actually made the decision to go with shortcodes a while ago knowing that my margins would not be as big but my target customer is the large corps that need (hopefully) a lot higher through-put.

      I am meeting with the sales manager tonight to go over the used car lot stats and I'm already shocked at how well it's done...I will update when I have all the stats.
      b
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      • Profile picture of the author ADukes81
        Originally Posted by BKH View Post

        Thanks Chris! I actually made the decision to go with shortcodes a while ago knowing that my margins would not be as big but my target customer is the large corps that need (hopefully) a lot higher through-put.

        I am meeting with the sales manager tonight to go over the used car lot stats and I'm already shocked at how well it's done...I will update when I have all the stats.
        b
        Would love to hear about the stats. Please update us when you can.

        I had emailed out 5 or 6 videos explaining this method to dealerships and heard nothing back. I followed up with a DVD and plan to follow up with them in the morning. If I had some stats to provide, that would be great.

        Thanks again
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  • Profile picture of the author bryson
    The car lots in my area typically stay open til 9pm, but most of the indie's are closed after 5-6 pm
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    • Profile picture of the author BKH
      So I met with my friend at the car dealership and think it may take another round of use before I will be able to get some solid stats. The numbers are a lot (no pun intended) different this time around. I'll start with the used lot because it is its first set of numbers.

      For starters Gregg has no pricing at all on his cars and offers to give the price by text, I thought this was a good idea as it would generate more opt-ins. Unbeknownst to me, he added the call to action to his ads in the local "freebie" paper displaying the auto and information but stating "text xxxx to xxxx for pricing info", this hurt my margins and stats a bit. I'll give you the numbers then explain:

      484 opt-ins
      78 leads
      5 sold

      Albeit, I was paid $1500 I was a little miffed that the numbers were so much greater and I made less, but here's why! There was about twenty leads that text to get the pricing on all of the cars that were in the ad so one lead generated 20 opt-ins. I still made a large amount of income, I was just assuming it would be better than the new lot.

      Now the new car lot was quite a bit more on track with its first go around but again I was hoping that the increased numbers meant increased profit.

      136 opt-ins
      73 leads
      5 sold

      So I ended up with more opt-ins and more leads but less sales. Again, the only way I am able to track the sales was because the sales manager is a friend of mine but I can see where this is going to be a problem with another lot. I've talked with him about just charging him for the leads at $20 a piece but I don't think his manager is buying into that.

      Leads and sales are pretty close averaging about 65 leads and 5 sales. I think I am going to need to find a way to track sales as I believe this is going to be the best way to sell it to a lot. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
      b
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  • Profile picture of the author ADukes81
    What are you considering a "lead"?

    Are they following up with all these people opting in and then determining if the person is interested?

    I definitely think you are onto something. Keep us posted.
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    • Profile picture of the author BKH
      Originally Posted by ADukes81 View Post

      What are you considering a "lead"?

      Are they following up with all these people opting in and then determining if the person is interested?

      I definitely think you are onto something. Keep us posted.
      We are considering a lead a new phone number that opts in, but there are a few that are opting into multiple keywords. They are getting the info on the camaro and the mustang so it shows as two opt ins but of course it is just the one number or lead.

      Any number that opts in is followed up with by his sales people the following day. He hands out the phone numbers to his sales people and they will call as if it were a lead that came off their online ad. One interesting note is, he said that they were only calling the numbers 3 times before discarding the lead. Meaning anyone that did not answer they left a message each day for three days then had the salesperson discard the number. Almost a third of the numbers don't get contacted. We are trying to work out end of month text to them to basically say "hey you were interested is there anything else we can do".
      b
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      • Profile picture of the author Nanaswhimsy
        Originally Posted by BKH View Post

        We are considering a lead a new phone number that opts in, but there are a few that are opting into multiple keywords. They are getting the info on the camaro and the mustang so it shows as two opt ins but of course it is just the one number or lead.

        Any number that opts in is followed up with by his sales people the following day. He hands out the phone numbers to his sales people and they will call as if it were a lead that came off their online ad. One interesting note is, he said that they were only calling the numbers 3 times before discarding the lead. Meaning anyone that did not answer they left a message each day for three days then had the salesperson discard the number. Almost a third of the numbers don't get contacted. We are trying to work out end of month text to them to basically say "hey you were interested is there anything else we can do".
        b
        If they are not responding by phone, what about sending a Text message follow up?
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        • Profile picture of the author BKH
          Originally Posted by Nanaswhimsy View Post

          If they are not responding by phone, what about sending a Text message follow up?
          You most certainly could! I just give the contact to the sales manager and it is up to him/her to disperse them to the sales people. I can tell you that all of them that I know of as of now are calling the lead.
          b
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  • Profile picture of the author NameThatCandy
    hi BKH,

    I am interested in selling sms marketing to car lots. Are u in US? What state are you? Just curious!

    Does every single cars in the car lot have the "text info" on the windows? I plan to offer free trial period for them, but I can't afford 100 cars or more for free. Just wonder how many cars will be effective enough to see the result.

    thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author D_Rogers
      I like this approach
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    • Profile picture of the author BKH
      Originally Posted by NameThatCandy View Post

      hi BKH,

      I am interested in selling sms marketing to car lots. Are u in US? What state are you? Just curious!

      Does every single cars in the car lot have the "text info" on the windows? I plan to offer free trial period for them, but I can't afford 100 cars or more for free. Just wonder how many cars will be effective enough to see the result.

      thanks
      I live in the states and live in CA but do business in AZ, NM, UT, NV and CA. The majority of my stuff is in NV.

      Not every car has a keyword but I'd say 80% of them do. His new lot probably has 130-140 cars and we've got a keyword on 100 of them. The used lot has 68 keywords and I'm pretty sure there is one on each he has. A thought I had for going forward, maybe charge a set-up fee of whatever your initial cost is. I have not tried this yet so I don't know what the opposition may be.

      I'm still trying to find a valid way of tracking the sale.
      b
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      • Profile picture of the author BKH
        A side note for anyone that gives this a go:

        There is a lot of management to these accounts as I get nearly two emails a day to change the response when his cars sell and he needs them added to another. Not that big of a deal unless you have a 9-5 and several other customers.

        Just a heads up,
        b
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        • Profile picture of the author JToneyUK
          The ongoing maintenance of such an effort should be considered in your pricing.

          I myself plan on creating/updating mobile pages per car and charging per car. Something like £30 per car page. Plus a set up fee and a monthly fee for the SMS service. What I am not going to do is have a unique keyword to identify the car but only 1 shortcode for the dealership.

          "Text DealerName + Car 1 + your name for more info to XXXXX"
          "Text DealerName + Car 2 + your name for more info to XXXXX"
          "Text DealerName + Car 3 + your name for more info to XXXXX"

          Using this method doesn't involve sending the customer any car info, but it is an "opt in" to get a call back from one of the sales people to arrange a test drive or whatever. There would be a QR code and a shortend url for people to visit the mobile page for the car.

          In this scenario the SMS side is all managed by the provider, you can set it up so that as soon as someone texts their message it sends the dealer an email with the phone number and text message attached.

          For this you could charge an initial set up fee (for QR codes, SMS short code and setting up template page with logo etc ready for car details to be added), plus £30 per mobile car page. Then each week or whenever they send you the list of cars they sold and details of new ones they bring in and again its £30 per page update.

          If they sell 10 cars a month, thats £300 just to switch the basic car info on the already set up pages from the old car which has been sold, to the new car they have on display (10 minute tops per car, they keep using the same QR + car number poster), plus your monthly fee for the SMS service which runs itself.

          Well this is pretty much the system I am going to try out. It has a mobile web solution for those who wanna stop by after hours and use a QR reader or just input the shortened URL to see details about the car (which can include a callback option). And for those without smartphones or who want to discuss the car with an employee there is the SMS service to arrange a call back the next day or whenever.

          You just charge per car update so the owner will only lose a small amount on each car sale, but that should not be a big issue if it's leading to more cars being sold overall. It's only the set up fee's which they are taking the hit on, and these dont need to be priced too high.

          Originally Posted by BKH View Post

          A side note for anyone that gives this a go:

          There is a lot of management to these accounts as I get nearly two emails a day to change the response when his cars sell and he needs them added to another. Not that big of a deal unless you have a 9-5 and several other customers.

          Just a heads up,
          b
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      • Profile picture of the author NameThatCandy
        thanks!

        Setup fee is great idea! I haven't had time to contact any car dealers yet. I am not sure that should I walk in or cold call.



        Originally Posted by BKH View Post

        I live in the states and live in CA but do business in AZ, NM, UT, NV and CA. The majority of my stuff is in NV.

        Not every car has a keyword but I'd say 80% of them do. His new lot probably has 130-140 cars and we've got a keyword on 100 of them. The used lot has 68 keywords and I'm pretty sure there is one on each he has. A thought I had for going forward, maybe charge a set-up fee of whatever your initial cost is. I have not tried this yet so I don't know what the opposition may be.

        I'm still trying to find a valid way of tracking the sale.
        b
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  • Each mobile marketing communication channel has its own benefits and drawbacks. there are lots of websites on internet you just need to search cleverly
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  • Profile picture of the author dv8
    BKH - What service are you using for the SMS?
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  • Profile picture of the author Kari Sue
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Shefiu
      This is certainly a great idea selling SMS service to car dealers. I'm based in the UK and we have a lot of car lots who could really do with this type of service.

      Personally, I think charging a flat rate per opt-in lead is more appropriate, as it gives you more control financially. And you can just solely focus your energy on consistently generating and tracking leads. Cost per sale is out of your control unless you have a system in place to track those sales.

      However, if you can do a deal with someone you know and trust, then I will seriously consider a combination of cost per lead and sale.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonthewebmaster
    Banned
    sell the plan based on Cost Per Sale - 30 to 40 per lead is the sweet spot and most dealers will go for it....

    but then charge based on per lead basis ... as that is the only thing you can control... make the dealer understand it's up to them to close the leads, in effect, they are in control of their cost per sale!!
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    • Profile picture of the author cybernet
      could you clarify your post... not sure what you mean when you say "cost per sale"

      Originally Posted by jasonthewebmaster View Post

      sell the plan based on Cost Per Sale - 30 to 40 per lead is the sweet spot and most dealers will go for it....

      but then charge based on per lead basis ... as that is the only thing you can control... make the dealer understand it's up to them to close the leads, in effect, they are in control of their cost per sale!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Winson Ng
    Great infos here everyone..let some ideas/suggestions come pouring in !!

    Cheers,
    Thinkmaverick.com
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    CEO/Founder of http://thinkmaverick.com
    Online Business & Entrepreneurship News, Advice, Strategy Think Maverick
    Information to guide start-up entrepreneurs to grow and strategically manage a small business online, using market researched Intelligence.
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  • Profile picture of the author JToneyUK
    NameThatCandy - Check out my post at #33 for what my plan of attack is. It's based on providing a mobile page for each car and charging per car initially and then per update (when one car gets sold, the page gets updated with a new car they bring in). My only worry is if the owner is willing to lose £30-50 per sale in order to have a QR code and text number on the car on the off chance someone stops by after hours and is interested. Theoretically it sounds like a good system, but then again when are business owners ever theoretical?
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    • Profile picture of the author NameThatCandy
      I want to charge per car, but I am not sure will the owners pay for that. If I charged $20 per car, it would cost them $2000 for 100 cars. It is a lot of investment all at once.

      For charging per lead, business owners don't need to pay anything upfront until they got leads. I think it will be easier to sell.

      I just mailed out some sale letters to 8 local car dealers. Hopefully, I would get some response.

      BTW, love this thread!! A lot of great info!!

      Originally Posted by JToneyUK View Post

      NameThatCandy - Check out my post at #33 for what my plan of attack is. It's based on providing a mobile page for each car and charging per car initially and then per update (when one car gets sold, the page gets updated with a new car they bring in). My only worry is if the owner is willing to lose £30-50 per sale in order to have a QR code and text number on the car on the off chance someone stops by after hours and is interested. Theoretically it sounds like a good system, but then again when are business owners ever theoretical?
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      • Profile picture of the author JToneyUK
        Originally Posted by NameThatCandy View Post

        For charging per lead, business owners don't need to pay anything upfront until they got leads. I think it will be easier to sell.

        I just mailed out some sale letters to 8 local car dealers. Hopefully, I would get some response.

        BTW, love this thread!! A lot of great info!!
        Yeah the initial investment could be a big ask, but think about it, they are only losing $20 per car! But if your service means that they shift an extra 4 or 5 a month, that initial investment will be repaid by just the sale of 1 car, probably with a profit on top.

        The initial investment seems heavy, but those cars may not be sold for months.

        It could be seen as a risk for a dealer to invest so much up front, but you want the people who are risk takers or who want to stand out from the crowd.

        I might go for a strategy whereby for the first month charge them per lead, as a trial to see if it will be worthwhile and thereafter pay per car page/update.
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        • Profile picture of the author NameThatCandy
          I think I will try to charge per lead first. My original plan is to charge per car, and it will be a one-time fee. If I did that, I will actually make less money. Except I charge them monthly maintenance fee as well.

          I just hope I would get some response from the letters I mailed yesterday. If not, I think I will give them a following up call this Friday.

          Originally Posted by JToneyUK View Post

          Yeah the initial investment could be a big ask, but think about it, they are only losing $20 per car! But if your service means that they shift an extra 4 or 5 a month, that initial investment will be repaid by just the sale of 1 car, probably with a profit on top.

          The initial investment seems heavy, but those cars may not be sold for months.

          It could be seen as a risk for a dealer to invest so much up front, but you want the people who are risk takers or who want to stand out from the crowd.

          I might go for a strategy whereby for the first month charge them per lead, as a trial to see if it will be worthwhile and thereafter pay per car page/update.
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    • Profile picture of the author joanah
      Not a bad strategy but it's quite risky. Difficult to find leads.
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    • Profile picture of the author Izesta
      Originally Posted by JToneyUK View Post

      NameThatCandy - Check out my post at #33 for what my plan of attack is. It's based on providing a mobile page for each car and charging per car initially and then per update (when one car gets sold, the page gets updated with a new car they bring in). My only worry is if the owner is willing to lose £30-50 per sale in order to have a QR code and text number on the car on the off chance someone stops by after hours and is interested. Theoretically it sounds like a good system, but then again when are business owners ever theoretical?

      I would suppose it would make sense to have a pretty good idea of how likely the "off chance" is. I recall I have stopped by closed dealerships on several occasions in shopping for cars. And on one of those occasions, I ended up buying the car I saw. Do an informal survey by asking everybody you know.

      During the evenings in the summertime, I often see people on closed car lots. Same thing goes for holidays and Sundays.

      But people can also use the service when the lot is open. A few times, I have been at a dealership when no one could help me because they were busy. And there are some automalls that are so huge, you can walk through the lot and never be seen. It would be nice to get these people as leads too.
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  • Profile picture of the author SherylS
    I've been thinking about the issue about not being to track how many of the leads convert. I use to work in a car dealership and was the F&I manager, which at our dealership was the last person to see the buyer to have them sign all the loan documents etc. I believe he/she will be the key to tracking your converted leads.

    Every business needs to keep in contact with their clients, case and point, my husband purchased a Jeep two years ago, and we get a monthly email and a quarterly postcard with coupons for oil changes, tire rotations etc.

    Here's my idea - when the buyer is finishing up his paperwork, the F&I manager can have the buyer TEXT in MYNEWCAR or JEEP or CHARGER (etc). Now the dealership is developing a database of ACTUAL customers and not just leads. This is an opportunity for you to upsell them into a SMS monthly package too. The dealership can save money on the postage, and send coupons out via text, I know my husband and I both delete or unsubscribe almost every email that we get. The one catch I see, is if the buyer doesn't do the final text... now the dealer will need to sweeten the pot for them to opt-in. Have the dealership offer the buyer his first oil change free or a tire rotation, that is a quick and inexpensive service, but important to a new car buyer. Perhaps the buyer must opt-in in front of the F&I manager, and then he can give him a gift certificate for the free oil change. Now the dealership is only out the expense of the oil change if the buyer redeems the gift certificate. Last year 27% of all gift cards went unused.

    Now you can track and compare the opt-in numbers from the "actual sales opt-ins" against the "lead opt-ins". (Catch?- if they use a different cell number for the second opt-in- which most would not do unless they were using a spouses or got a new number.)

    Thoughts?
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    • Profile picture of the author JToneyUK
      Originally Posted by SherylS View Post

      Here's my idea - when the buyer is finishing up his paperwork, the F&I manager can have the buyer TEXT in MYNEWCAR or JEEP or CHARGER (etc). Now the dealership is developing a database of ACTUAL customers and not just leads. This is an opportunity for you to upsell them into a SMS monthly package too. The dealership can save money on the postage, and send coupons out via text, I know my husband and I both delete or unsubscribe almost every email that we get. The one catch I see, is if the buyer doesn't do the final text... now the dealer will need to sweeten the pot for them to opt-in. Have the dealership offer the buyer his first oil change free or a tire rotation, that is a quick and inexpensive service, but important to a new car buyer. Perhaps the buyer must opt-in in front of the F&I manager, and then he can give him a gift certificate for the free oil change. Now the dealership is only out the expense of the oil change if the buyer redeems the gift certificate. Last year 27% of all gift cards went unused.

      Now you can track and compare the opt-in numbers from the "actual sales opt-ins" against the "lead opt-ins". (Catch?- if they use a different cell number for the second opt-in- which most would not do unless they were using a spouses or got a new number.)

      Thoughts?
      Great idea Sheryl, two separate SMS campaigns for one car lot!

      I kinda like the idea of just asking for them to text the shortcode and only offer an incentive if they're refusing to text in.

      Maybe, if it is not such a big job just offer to do an oil change there and then if they do the opt in. Infact don't all car dealers to these small, easy jobs to all of their cars as they acquire them? Either way, if they do some kind of service before they drive away, or give out a coupon in exchange for their mobile number they should get a good number of opt ins.
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    • Profile picture of the author bryson
      Originally Posted by SherylS View Post

      I've been thinking about the issue about not being to track how many of the leads convert. I use to work in a car dealership and was the F&I manager, which at our dealership was the last person to see the buyer to have them sign all the loan documents etc. I believe he/she will be the key to tracking your converted leads.

      Every business needs to keep in contact with their clients, case and point, my husband purchased a Jeep two years ago, and we get a monthly email and a quarterly postcard with coupons for oil changes, tire rotations etc.

      Here's my idea - when the buyer is finishing up his paperwork, the F&I manager can have the buyer TEXT in MYNEWCAR or JEEP or CHARGER (etc). Now the dealership is developing a database of ACTUAL customers and not just leads. This is an opportunity for you to upsell them into a SMS monthly package too. The dealership can save money on the postage, and send coupons out via text, I know my husband and I both delete or unsubscribe almost every email that we get. The one catch I see, is if the buyer doesn't do the final text... now the dealer will need to sweeten the pot for them to opt-in. Have the dealership offer the buyer his first oil change free or a tire rotation, that is a quick and inexpensive service, but important to a new car buyer. Perhaps the buyer must opt-in in front of the F&I manager, and then he can give him a gift certificate for the free oil change. Now the dealership is only out the expense of the oil change if the buyer redeems the gift certificate. Last year 27% of all gift cards went unused.

      Now you can track and compare the opt-in numbers from the "actual sales opt-ins" against the "lead opt-ins". (Catch?- if they use a different cell number for the second opt-in- which most would not do unless they were using a spouses or got a new number.)

      Thoughts?
      Great idea on capturing service customers. This I would set up on a per message sent fee. My bad but I always procrastinate on getting the oil changed.
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    • Profile picture of the author HypeText
      Originally Posted by SherylS View Post

      I've been thinking about the issue about not being to track how many of the leads convert. I use to work in a car dealership and was the F&I manager, which at our dealership was the last person to see the buyer to have them sign all the loan documents etc. I believe he/she will be the key to tracking your converted leads.

      Every business needs to keep in contact with their clients, case and point, my husband purchased a Jeep two years ago, and we get a monthly email and a quarterly postcard with coupons for oil changes, tire rotations etc.

      Here's my idea - when the buyer is finishing up his paperwork, the F&I manager can have the buyer TEXT in MYNEWCAR or JEEP or CHARGER (etc). Now the dealership is developing a database of ACTUAL customers and not just leads. This is an opportunity for you to upsell them into a SMS monthly package too. The dealership can save money on the postage, and send coupons out via text, I know my husband and I both delete or unsubscribe almost every email that we get. The one catch I see, is if the buyer doesn't do the final text... now the dealer will need to sweeten the pot for them to opt-in. Have the dealership offer the buyer his first oil change free or a tire rotation, that is a quick and inexpensive service, but important to a new car buyer. Perhaps the buyer must opt-in in front of the F&I manager, and then he can give him a gift certificate for the free oil change. Now the dealership is only out the expense of the oil change if the buyer redeems the gift certificate. Last year 27% of all gift cards went unused.

      Now you can track and compare the opt-in numbers from the "actual sales opt-ins" against the "lead opt-ins". (Catch?- if they use a different cell number for the second opt-in- which most would not do unless they were using a spouses or got a new number.)

      Thoughts?
      I spent over 8 yrs selling cars and owned a lot for a couple years after that.

      One thing I can tell you is that Car Lots are an unscrupulous bunch for the most part (there are a few exceptions).

      My point is that you are better off charging by the lead...they can't fudge that. If you try to work off of deals most Dealers will screw you out of your money the first chance they get. They do it to their own sales people...they WILL do it to you too!
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    • Profile picture of the author Cazgillo
      Originally Posted by SherylS View Post

      I've been thinking about the issue about not being to track how many of the leads convert. I use to work in a car dealership and was the F&I manager, which at our dealership was the last person to see the buyer to have them sign all the loan documents etc. I believe he/she will be the key to tracking your converted leads.

      Every business needs to keep in contact with their clients, case and point, my husband purchased a Jeep two years ago, and we get a monthly email and a quarterly postcard with coupons for oil changes, tire rotations etc.

      Here's my idea - when the buyer is finishing up his paperwork, the F&I manager can have the buyer TEXT in MYNEWCAR or JEEP or CHARGER (etc). Now the dealership is developing a database of ACTUAL customers and not just leads. This is an opportunity for you to upsell them into a SMS monthly package too. The dealership can save money on the postage, and send coupons out via text, I know my husband and I both delete or unsubscribe almost every email that we get. The one catch I see, is if the buyer doesn't do the final text... now the dealer will need to sweeten the pot for them to opt-in. Have the dealership offer the buyer his first oil change free or a tire rotation, that is a quick and inexpensive service, but important to a new car buyer. Perhaps the buyer must opt-in in front of the F&I manager, and then he can give him a gift certificate for the free oil change. Now the dealership is only out the expense of the oil change if the buyer redeems the gift certificate. Last year 27% of all gift cards went unused.

      Now you can track and compare the opt-in numbers from the "actual sales opt-ins" against the "lead opt-ins". (Catch?- if they use a different cell number for the second opt-in- which most would not do unless they were using a spouses or got a new number.)

      Thoughts?
      Every New car dealer has a service shop. One of the biggest things they want in more traffic on the service end. The reason they can't compete is not price but you usually have to schedule repairs or services with them and jiffy lube down the street while not cheaper is more convenient. When I set the up with their text for info campaigns I also set up a Text for rewards campaign within the showroom and service counter and waiting area. Usually it's a win "Free Oil changes for a year" contest. As people have service done and are paying , they are asked by the service tech or manager it they have entered. If yes they are told that they will receive 2-3 texts a month with oil change discounts, free check engine diagnostics, A/C charge in late spring or winterization packages in late fall. It's another keyword but for a txt 4 reward program I can usually charge $99 a month for it. As with any business with text marketing the more interwoven you make it the less likely they will be to cancel.
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      • Profile picture of the author BKH
        Hello, I finally have all the updates from the lots and wanted to share. Everything has stayed pretty consistent since the onset. I've added some new ones that either have not been a full month yet and lost a couple so I will leave those out. Just a note one lot decided that they were not going to pay me for the leads and I turned the service off, about ten days later I got a call from the "new" sales manager asking why the messaging was not working. I got her to pay for the previous months leads as well as a deposit for future leads and reactivated them.

        Lot size Opt-ins Leads
        (in cars)
        55 48 18
        60 40 35
        60 58 41
        75 55 34
        100 91 64
        100 84 64
        110 76 51
        125 90 72
        150 88 69
        220 102 78
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Logan
    That's a great idea Sheryl for tracking to the final sale and welcome to the Warrior Forum
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    • Profile picture of the author tracourt
      I have been at this for about 7 wks now. I use Lime, they have a veh listing tool and a built in ad. I ordered blank window stickers and print the and drop them off every 2 weeks. I started too low but am now charging $299 setp fee and $299 or $399 mo. I only do the used cars as the price and equipment is already on the new cars. Things are going great!
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      Houston, TX

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  • Profile picture of the author JToneyUK
    Well I will keep an eye on this thread to see how it goes with the car lots and the per lead charges.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rhino08
      Originally Posted by JToneyUK View Post

      Well I will keep an eye on this thread to see how it goes with the car lots and the per lead charges.

      Hi JToneyUK, I live in Hertfordshire UK. Just wondering what SMS/Text service you would recommend or using. As I would like to test this system out.
      I agree with the per lead charges.. Thanks BJ
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      • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
        BKH,

        Do you manually enter the information on each car that get's sent to the customer by text? You'd also have to match up each keyword with the correct car for your signage. I would think that would take quite a while when you're dealing with over 100 cars.

        How difficult (or easy) is that?

        Also, do you have a sample of what your signage looks like?

        I love this idea.

        Mike
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        • Profile picture of the author NameThatCandy
          I would love to know that!!

          Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post

          BKH,

          Do you manually enter the information on each car that get's sent to the customer by text? You'd also have to match up each keyword with the correct car for your signage. I would think that would take quite a while when you're dealing with over 100 cars.

          How difficult (or easy) is that?

          Also, do you have a sample of what your signage looks like?

          I love this idea.

          Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author xichabodx
    I'm thinking of just having 1 keyword for each respective lot. Sure, knowing which specific vehicle a potential buyer texted-in for is nice to know, but really not necessary. The potential buyers' contact information is the only thing needed to get the sales process started. Finding out what type of vehicle they're in the market for can and will be found out during the initial conversation.

    I think a salesman could follow-up regardless of how many different keywords were used and open up conversation by merely asking, "So, which vehicle was it were you interested in?" (asked after a brief introduction and friendly small talk, of course). This not only saves on time and keyword expenditure, but they may end up selling a 2007 Nissan Altima to a person that texted in for more information on a 2003 Dodge Durango.

    All this being said, one of the great benefits of knowing which car-specific keywords correspond to each respective cell #, is that you can send out future deals and notices whenever you have another similar make/model available.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
      Originally Posted by xichabodx View Post

      I'm thinking of just having 1 keyword for each respective lot. Sure, knowing which specific vehicle a potential buyer texted-in for is nice to know, but really not necessary. The potential buyers' contact information is the only thing needed to get the sales process started. Finding out what type of vehicle they're in the market for can and will be found out during the initial conversation.

      I think a salesman could follow-up regardless of how many different keywords were used and open up conversation by merely asking, "So, which vehicle was it were you interested in?" (asked after a brief introduction and friendly small talk, of course). This not only saves on time and keyword expenditure, but they may end up selling a 2007 Nissan Altima to a person that texted in for more information on a 2003 Dodge Durango.

      All this being said, one of the great benefits of knowing which car-specific keywords correspond to each respective cell #, is that you can send out future deals and notices whenever you have another similar make/model available.
      That makes sense, however, what incentive will you give the customer to get him/her to enter their phone number and receive the initial text message? Saying "Text ABC to 40404 for details about this car" may get you more leads.

      Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author xichabodx
    Yeah, you're correct, Mike. Info about the car IS important. If using 1 keyword per lot, one wouldn't be able to do that. Some sort of universal special or discount would have to be used. It looks as if we may have to use a different keyword per car and is the better alternative. I suppose that could be a quick alternative for those that are having to pay for keywords and I wasn't taking car info into consideration.
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    • Profile picture of the author BKH
      Originally Posted by NameThatCandy View Post

      So you only have the "keyword" on the sign? What do you put the phone # (Short code)? I guess I need to call around the local sign shop for the price before I set up my price. I was planning that print it from my printer and laminated.
      My signs have a design on them with a picture of a car in the background and just say:
      For more information text A1234 to 33938 from your wireless phone. and small print that has MSG/DATA rates may apply. The A1234 changes of course to whatever the keyword is.
      They are heavy poster cards because they need to be reused! I bet laminating them would work.

      Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post

      BKH,

      Do you manually enter the information on each car that get's sent to the customer by text? You'd also have to match up each keyword with the correct car for your signage. I would think that would take quite a while when you're dealing with over 100 cars.

      How difficult (or easy) is that?

      Also, do you have a sample of what your signage looks like?

      I love this idea.

      Mike
      I do manually enter all the information in on each car and initially it does take an hour to two to get it all complete. On top of that when a car sells the sales manager takes out the sign and puts it into a new car then emails me the keyword and new info to put in the message (the two big ones sell about 60 a month). Typically I get an email on Monday that has a list of about 10-15 keywords and corresponding info.
      It is difficult (especially with my limited time as of late) but so far I have found it to be very worth it.

      Originally Posted by xichabodx View Post

      Yeah, you're correct, Mike. Info about the car IS important. If using 1 keyword per lot, one wouldn't be able to do that. Some sort of universal special or discount would have to be used. It looks as if we may have to use a different keyword per car and is the better alternative. I suppose that could be a quick alternative for those that are having to pay for keywords and I wasn't taking car info into consideration.
      Txt180 has sub-keywords that can be used that are free so you would only need the one keyword but it would still require manually putting in the info. Also in my time doing this I've found that users are more hesitant to text auto.1 than auto1. I think the best way to approach it would be to find 20-30 standard messages that would work with any car so you could just switch the sign...Anyone have any thoughts on what they could be? I would love to save some time on maintenance for more selling time.

      b
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  • Profile picture of the author JToneyUK
    I'd just go with the 1 keyword per car lot and give each car a car number.

    So it would be
    "Text X1234 + Car 1 for a call back about this car"
    "Text X1234 + Car 2 for a call back about this car"

    etc etc.

    This way they salesperson just matches up the car number with the specific car they will call about.

    I aint sure if an incentive is required for someone to text in. If they want to know details about the car or arrange a test drive they will either text the number or just call back at weekend when they are not in work.

    You could sweeten the deal a little. Maybe offer a free oil change for purchases made via the call back service or something along those lines.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnniec
    BKH,

    I think you have a great method here. Congrats on your success with it up to this point. Shoot me a PM when you get a chance(I'd PM you but my post count hasn't reached 50 yet). I'd like to discuss an opportunity with you.

    Thanks,
    John
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  • Profile picture of the author webvidman
    You could add QR codes and build a small website with contact forms, video's, more pictures etc. Use your SMS and seperate your lists according to the price range of the car they are interested in. Then when you have other cars in the same price range, you can send them a quick text letting them know the specifics on the new car on the lot. You will have the ability to stay with your lead until he either buys from someone else or buys from you. I am utilizing this exact program on a new lot this week. thought I would drop the idea and get some opinions of some other warriors.
    Good luck, glad to hear your results exceeded your expectations. Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author HypeText
    One other point. Cars.com has a "text a link" option but in the grey print below the form it also says "Prepaid Phones Not supported" That is potentially a very serious issue for used car dealers who cater to a credit challenged market.
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  • Profile picture of the author thomas73
    Here's how you can make sure a car dealer pays you a fixed amount for each car sold...forget about charging per lead ... only charge for "RESULTS" ( and maybe charge a setup fee and monthly maintenance fee).

    Write up a contract that stipulates a fee of $250 per sale (or what ever the going rate is) and also put a clause in that states that the car dealer will pay you a penalty of $1,000 for every sale that he doesn't report to you. Then once a week or once a month you send out a txt to all of the leads and tell them that if they purchased a car from XYZ Dealer in the last 30 days then if they txt you their name and car year and model that they purchased then they will receive a $50 or $100 Tank of Gas Voucher. The key is to only txt your message to the leads who the dealer does not report a sale to ... in other words, anybody who the dealer has reported a sale was made to doesn't get one of your txt messages offering the $50 tank of gas. If you make the offer compelling enough any lead that gets your txt message will open it, read it and definitely will txt you to get his or her $50-$100 Gas Voucher ... and of course you make an additional $900 or $950 for each car buyer that the dealer cheated you out of. This will keep him honest. Charging for "RESULTS" only will get a cheap car dealer signing up without hesitation.
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    • Profile picture of the author palent1
      Originally Posted by thomas73 View Post

      Here's how you can make sure a car dealer pays you a fixed amount for each car sold...forget about charging per lead ... only charge for "RESULTS" ( and maybe charge a setup fee and monthly maintenance fee).

      Write up a contract that stipulates a fee of $250 per sale (or what ever the going rate is) and also put a clause in that states that the car dealer will pay you a penalty of $1,000 for every sale that he doesn't report to you. Then once a week or once a month you send out a txt to all of the leads and tell them that if they purchased a car from XYZ Dealer in the last 30 days then if they txt you their name and car year and model that they purchased then they will receive a $50 or $100 Tank of Gas Voucher. The key is to only txt your message to the leads who the dealer does not report a sale to ... in other words, anybody who the dealer has reported a sale was made to doesn't get one of your txt messages offering the $50 tank of gas. If you make the offer compelling enough any lead that gets your txt message will open it, read it and definitely will txt you to get his or her $50-$100 Gas Voucher ... and of course you make an additional $900 or $950 for each car buyer that the dealer cheated you out of. This will keep him honest. Charging for "RESULTS" only will get a cheap car dealer signing up without hesitation.
      I live in Virginia, right on the boarder of North Carolina, in both states it is illegal to receive a portion of a automobile sell unless you are an employee of a dealership. You must also have a salesperson license under that paying dealership. In both states it is called "bird-dogging". So you might want to check out the laws in your state to see if it is legal to receive a commission on a auto sell.

      I am planning on using this approach in my area, but I am trying to decide whether to do it on a per lead bases or as a service; mainly because of the laws. Do anyone have any ideas on which way might sell the best?

      Also, one of the ideas mentioned was about using the long-code WP sms plugin found on this site, of which I purchased. I like the idea of the long-code with this plugin because of the few following reasons:
      1. unlimited keywords;
      2. people are more familiar with long-code, especially older people, the id code is the unfamiliar part;
      3. people can just call to get on the list, though there wouldn't be an id code connected to it, however, they are still added to the contact list;
      4. the return response text can have an automatic countdown date in it, just in case the dealer wanted to respond with a special discount if they buy an auto with so many day;
      5. the cost is only $1 per month per phone number, and only 1 cent in and 1 cent out (2 cents) per message;
      6. you can easily offer the dealers managed or unmanaged regular SMS services; and
      7. it also has a call redirect feature (press #), just in case the dealership is not closed.

      Oh by the way, I am not the seller of this plugin. I just thought it would help with some good selling features for dealers.

      Thank for this thread.
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    • Profile picture of the author Izesta
      Originally Posted by thomas73 View Post

      Here's how you can make sure a car dealer pays you a fixed amount for each car sold...forget about charging per lead ... only charge for "RESULTS" ( and maybe charge a setup fee and monthly maintenance fee).

      Write up a contract that stipulates a fee of $250 per sale (or what ever the going rate is) and also put a clause in that states that the car dealer will pay you a penalty of $1,000 for every sale that he doesn't report to you. Then once a week or once a month you send out a txt to all of the leads and tell them that if they purchased a car from XYZ Dealer in the last 30 days then if they txt you their name and car year and model that they purchased then they will receive a $50 or $100 Tank of Gas Voucher. The key is to only txt your message to the leads who the dealer does not report a sale to ... in other words, anybody who the dealer has reported a sale was made to doesn't get one of your txt messages offering the $50 tank of gas. If you make the offer compelling enough any lead that gets your txt message will open it, read it and definitely will txt you to get his or her $50-$100 Gas Voucher ... and of course you make an additional $900 or $950 for each car buyer that the dealer cheated you out of. This will keep him honest. Charging for "RESULTS" only will get a cheap car dealer signing up without hesitation.

      I agree with palent1's comment that sending the txt msg back could be a problem. HOWEVER, you can still tell the dealer you will do the validation WITHOUT really doing it. The possibility of being caught might be all that's needed.
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  • Profile picture of the author AngieDixon
    I'd be concerned about calls without permission. If I put my phone number into something like that, I'm giving permission to receive texts, not for someone I don't know (and probably don't want to talk to or I would have called them) to call my cell phone, interrupt me, and use my minutes. I'd complain very loudly and I wouldn't do business with that company. Not everyone is like me, but plenty of people are. I have a phone (especially a phone I pay for by the minute) for my convenience, not theirs. I wouldn't have a problem with a text, but if someone wants to call me, they need to ask for permission. Just my $0.02, but I know most of my friends feel the same way.
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    • Profile picture of the author tigertale
      My signs have a design on them with a picture of a car in the background and just say:
      For more information text A1234 to 33938 from your wireless phone. and small print that has MSG/DATA rates may apply. The A1234 changes of course to whatever the keyword is.
      They are heavy poster cards because they need to be reused! I bet laminating them would work.
      What if the signs were plastic (or laminated) and everything was printed but the keyword. The keyword would added with a dry erase marker (your sign is on the inside of the window right). That way there would't be a separate printing for each car.

      Also you could use the actual stock number for the car that the dealer uses. I would think that would be less confusing to the dealer.

      Also if they used this in a print ad they could add another letter to track where the lead was coming from -- if from an ad or from the lot.
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      • Profile picture of the author BKH
        Originally Posted by tigertale View Post

        What if the signs were plastic (or laminated) and everything was printed but the keyword. The keyword would added with a dry erase marker (your sign is on the inside of the window right). That way there would't be a separate printing for each car.

        Also you could use the actual stock number for the car that the dealer uses. I would think that would be less confusing to the dealer.

        Also if they used this in a print ad they could add another letter to track where the lead was coming from -- if from an ad or from the lot.
        You most certainly can! I prefer using the generic codes so that the print is solid with the short code. When the car sells they just move the print add to the next car. Personally, I think it is more professional looking, but either way achieves the same goal.
        b
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    • Profile picture of the author BKH
      Originally Posted by AngieDixon View Post

      I'd be concerned about calls without permission. If I put my phone number into something like that, I'm giving permission to receive texts, not for someone I don't know (and probably don't want to talk to or I would have called them) to call my cell phone, interrupt me, and use my minutes. I'd complain very loudly and I wouldn't do business with that company. Not everyone is like me, but plenty of people are. I have a phone (especially a phone I pay for by the minute) for my convenience, not theirs. I wouldn't have a problem with a text, but if someone wants to call me, they need to ask for permission. Just my $0.02, but I know most of my friends feel the same way.
      Hi Angie, The way I use the system the wireless user is not opting to receive texts specifically, they are opting to be contacted. That's the beauty of receiving a call, answer if you want or send it to voicemail, your choice. I don't deal with any of the customers directly so I couldn't tell you what the exact responses have been from them, but I do know that in my friends two lots where we track conversions, 1 in 7 are converting into sales.
      Thank you for your input and different view on potential issues that could arise.
      b
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  • Profile picture of the author kangna01
    BKH, awesome post and the results you were able to get. It is the 'leads'. We of course keep the unconverted leads in the db.
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  • Profile picture of the author emilydesozamy
    Well very good approach BHk I really appreciate your thread....
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Anton
    Great post, but what is to stop them paying your for a "lead" that was already on the lot during normal hours. What if they happen to text then? It's almost like bidding on your brand name in PPC; lots of overlap and cannibalism.

    This of course is "good" for you but bad for them as they are paying for a lead that wasn't truly generated after hours, but I guess still falls within your area?
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    • Profile picture of the author BKH
      Originally Posted by Matthew Anton View Post

      Great post, but what is to stop them paying your for a "lead" that was already on the lot during normal hours. What if they happen to text then? It's almost like bidding on your brand name in PPC; lots of overlap and cannibalism.

      This of course is "good" for you but bad for them as they are paying for a lead that wasn't truly generated after hours, but I guess still falls within your area?
      Each lead does carry a time stamp with it and there is about a third of them that come through during business hours. Three of the lots that I work with have refused to pay me on one, two and five leads because they had already spoken to the lead prior to receiving the lead from me. I was ok with this because of the eight leads, six of them opted in during business hours and the whole purpose of my offering to them was to generate new leads. This is exactly how I approached them with it, and it really did me a lot more good by approaching it this way. The three lots that had this issue are now supposed to send me an email any time they receive a lead that they already have. I haven't received any as of yet. The other ten lots it hasn't even come up and a few of them have been doing it for three months now. Great question and I hope this helps.
      b
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  • Profile picture of the author IngeniousBastard
    Loving this post. Some awesome ideas here. I have a friend who owns a car dealership and another friend who is a Sales Manager at another. This idea should resonate with them.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    You should get a bonus and sales team gets antes up a penalty for every customer opting in during business hours.

    For what reasons did some dealerships drop off the service? It would be good to know the objections in order to tweak or deal with them going forward.
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    • Profile picture of the author BKH
      Originally Posted by NewParadigm View Post

      For what reasons did some dealerships drop off the service? It would be good to know the objections in order to tweak or deal with them going forward.
      Of the five that I have lost since starting, one is going out of business, and one is now under new management and the new manager was not interested in renewing. One lot thought that it was too time consuming to email me with new car info every time he sold a car and to move the signage to a new car. The other two claimed that they were not getting any sales out of the leads they were generating, however, Mike's Deluxe Auto & Care (yeah I'm callin them out) is now using a pay per text service to do the exact same thing I was doing for them.
      The main objections have really been when presenting to the manager of the lot! A big majority of them believe that what I am selling them is the same thing they get with their online ads or print ads, but doing the research will allow you to combat this. I have yet to find any of them that offer apples to apples. example carsdotcom.
      b
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      • Profile picture of the author Cazgillo
        Auto Dealers in the US are paying $23-$28 to the likes of Autotraderdotcom and Carsdotcom for whats known as warm leads. I'm new here, but I have been selling Car Dealers Text for info SMS for a couple of years now. My experience is has been as follows:

        1) At new car dealerships deal with the sales manager ONLY. He generally has bonuses riding on overall car sales quota $$$$$.

        2) I generally only tag the used car inventory. I'm priced at $12 per keyword per month, with a minimum buy of 40 keywords.

        3) I charge $149 Set-Up fee (one time)

        4) I don't care how many leads he may get per keyword so long as he gets some.

        5) I have leads sent directly to his Sales guys phones and and email of the lead sent to the Sales Manager. He knows then that for example: 40 keywords generated 500 leads. The 500 leads were split between say 10 sales guys, so each would on average 50 leads a month.

        6) Make sure the GM walks you over to the Internet/Marketing guy and you lay down the rules of making the program work. I supply them with a template to drop the vehicle info into. This allows me to copy and paste into my platform so it is not time consuming on my end. It is up to the dealership to email me the new car info to upload. I have also the ability to paste the top 25 auto's in a template file to be given to the sales rep from the local newspaper when he runs his daily/weekly ads. If a car gets sold before it hits print deadlines they simply put a sold sigh across the car in the print.

        Hope this adds to the forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lo6icsense
    This is a great post..I'm actually starting the same thing in my area!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jodik
    This is great information. Thank you for this thread.
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  • Profile picture of the author Legacy3
    BKH,

    Great idea! Could you post a picture of one of your cards in the car window? (maybe you blur out your shortcode)

    Also, can you post a text example of the reply message with the info a subscriber might get?

    Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author kimberly Aita
    Hol* Cr@p!! wow, that is like the most awesome story I think I've seen in a long time. I spent some time today trying to sell sms and this just seems like it might make it even easier.

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I am also glad you gave us the prices your friend decided on for you lol, since that gives us a starting point too. I never ever would have thought of something like this. Fantastic!!

    Kim
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    • Profile picture of the author abrandt
      Hello:

      I would like to thank BHK for all that he has contributed to this thread... as well as namely: EatDrinkTextJay - JToneyUK - SherylS - HypeText - Thomas73 - Cazgillo and anpharmd09 - for their contributions.

      Having 30-years of serious marketing experience under my belt... I am very appreciate of the substantive information, reporting and sharing on this thread.

      I am preparing to enter the SMS Text Marketing industry the first of this week... and am studying diligently in preparation.

      In appreciation, I would like to contribute my notes (see: PDF attach) to WF members that might benefit.

      This thread demonstrates the value and the best of what Warrior Forum can be. Thank you.

      I hope this proves helpful.

      Alan
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Fromm
        Originally Posted by abrandt View Post

        Hello:

        I would like to thank BHK for all that he has contributed to this thread... as well as namely: EatDrinkTextJay - JToneyUK - SherylS - HypeText - Thomas73 - Cazgillo and anpharmd09 - for their contributions.

        Having 30-years of serious marketing experience under my belt... I am very appreciate of the substantive information, reporting and sharing on this thread.

        I am preparing to enter the SMS Text Marketing industry the first of this week... and am studying diligently in preparation.

        In appreciation, I would like to contribute my notes (see: PDF attach) to WF members that might benefit.

        This thread demonstrates the value and the best of what Warrior Forum can be. Thank you.

        I hope this proves helpful.

        Alan
        Thank You Alan for putting together a great set of notes on such a great thread. It's Warriors like you and every Warrior in this thread that make each of successful.

        Mark...
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        • Profile picture of the author BizGrabbers
          Such a good thread here.

          Everybody is so willing to put their heads together and help each other out.

          In today's world, too many people are only interested in themselves and don't care to share ideas with others.

          Thanks to all of you here who know that by giving you will receive in return.
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  • Profile picture of the author matrixman
    I would like to resurrect this thread and ask if anyone has had much success with this lately?

    I ask because I have started going to auto dealers in the last week with a very professional program offering all this, and the feedback has been lukewarm at best. They don't think they need it and say since they are open all 7 days and late hours, they feel their salespeople can follow up with everyone on the lot, and most do little to no used car print advertising.

    Has anyone else run into these objections?
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
    I know its been a while, but any more results to this? It was a very interesting read.
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  • Profile picture of the author kimboslice
    Good stuff in this thread... Thanks a lot!
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  • Profile picture of the author kimboslice
    Anybody got anything new to report on SMS at car dealerships?
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