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In today’s online-centric automotive marketplace, using CRM systems (customer relationship management) and email marketing software is obligatory, due to the tremendous sales and revenue potential you gain from maintaining a database full of your customer and prospect data. Being able to follow your leads as they move through your sales funnel, to focus on the hottest prospects, and to send them to the right sales reps — at the right time — is essential to closing deals.
But as marketers, you already know that. You’re collecting leads through your website and assigning them to your sales team. Your sales reps follow up on those leads, and then drive engagement by sending a nice intro email and asking for a response or a call back. It’s a simple and effective way to learn more the prospect’s buying needs, and then move them further through your sales cycle.
But your CRM platform is more powerful than that. You can use it to follow leads from any channel or source — phones, showrooms, display campaigns, service calls, or even direct mailers and print ads — and with that information, create targeted email marketing campaigns.
Personalization and tailored messaging is key with email marketing campaigns, so your follow-up messaging should be aimed at ensuring your dealership stays top of mind. By sending potential customers from your email list targeted messaging based on their expressed goals (which you’ve measured directly or indirectly, according to their activity on your website), you can keep your leads warm and continue the sales conversation.
We recommend bucketing your emails into different scenarios, based on prospect activities, buying stage and interests.
You can send pre-purchase emails that are designed to increase or renew interest in certain vehicles. Your pre-transactional emails might include content that features benefits (like MPG, anti-lock brakes, safety statistics), financing options, and any special pricing deals you have.
Of course, don’t forget Post-Purchase emails. One of the most easily ignored, but important, parts of the customer buying journey happens after they have purchased your vehicle.
Your post-purchase emails are a real opportunity to turn a buyer into a repeat customer and keep them engaged with your dealership. With the customer data collected, you should send them a personalized thank you email, and then follow up with helpful information about their vehicle’s features and scheduled maintenance dates.
And as they are preparing to re-enter the market for a new vehicle as their payoff or lease completion date nears, you can market to them with new car specs, current finance rates, and any incentives you have running.
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Gravity Digital is a Houston-area full-service marketing agency that produces amazingly clever content assets like this video for their healthcare clients. When the Gravity team bundles these assets into a campaign, they’re focused on one thing: Driving more qualified website traffic for their clients.
But healthcare isn’t ecommerce. It’s not always simple to tie the key result a client is looking for (booked appointments) back to a video like the one above. It’s difficult enough for pro marketers to connect all of these dots, which makes it that much tougher for stakeholders in white coats and scrubs.
This is Gravity’s daily dilemma. What happens when the quality traffic they’re driving to their clients’ websites picks up the phone to do exactly what the stakeholder wants: Book an appointment with the practice?
Gravity started using CallRail in 2017 to clarify that picture for their clients — to draw clear correlations between their assets and campaigns and the booked appointments they were driving for their clients. It’s easy to imagine how critical call tracking was in the healthcare space. Patients in need of medical services want the peace of mind of calling the doctor’s office to confirm that the practice accepts their insurance, and has availability that aligns with their schedule.
While calls are the primary channel for patients booking appointments, they’re not the only one. Most of Gravity’s clients are set up with websites that allow patients to book appointments online, through a form. This was another critical conversion point that Gravity had to be mindful of when it came to attribution — how were their efforts contributing to booked appointments online? And specifically, which campaigns, keywords, and channels were driving those appointments? (And which weren’t?)
“I may have a client where I’m reporting on appointments scheduled,” explains Gravity founder and principal Casey O’ Quinn, “so we’ll have a CallRail form for scheduling appointments. And then we are displaying to them a graph that shows appointments by channel. That might have organic search, paid search, direct traffic, social referral — a break out of those big channels. And then we do the same thing for first-time phone calls: Organic search, paid search, Facebook, maybe specific campaigns. That’s something we’re reviewing with them every single month.”
For Gravity, tracking both conversion types — phone calls and form submissions — through one platform equips them to provide their clients with richer data. This allows for more optimized marketing, and a more optimized patient experience.
“It’s really cool, I think, for someone who’s on the client end to be able to either take a call or call someone back, email someone and kind of had a history to know what kind of activity they’ve had on the website,” O’ Quinn says. “What forms have they submitted in the past? Have they called us before? It’s really helpful to have information like that. And we make sure that when we do onboard a client, we’re educating them about those kinds of capabilities [in CallRail].”
“Obviously, forms are always on our clients’ websites,” says O’ Quinn. “We build out a lot of our client’s websites, but even when we inherit a client’s website to manage, no matter what the website is built on — WordPress, Wix, whatever they might’ve come to us with, if we’re not tackling a website rebuild, the great thing about using CallRail form tracking is we can drop it right into any website.”
Recently, O’ Quinn and his team have been building out new forms with CallRail’s custom form builder. This simplifies their tech stack, keeping password management under control. Rather than logging in to one platform to set up call tracking, another to set up attribution, another to build a new form, and so on, the Gravity team is leveraging CallRail for all of that, and more. By adding their clients as users to their account, they can glean all of the qualitative data they need. And inside CallRail, Gravity clients can easily toggle between a patient’s form submissions and the calls they’ve made to the practice, helping them better understand their needs.
Marketing data is one of those things that can keep business owners up at night. Jumbo-sized traffic and impressions are great, but the analytical business owner sets their sights on the bottom line. How did the video campaign move the needle? How much revenue was generated by the $1,001 we spent on Google Ads last month?
Gravity trusts CallRail to help them make these ROI cases to clients. And perhaps more importantly, they bring their clients along to explain how they’re optimizing their marketing dollars to maximize return.
“It’s really cool for them to see, both on phone calls and form submissions, kind of that top end: Where’s traffic and initial contacts coming from for first touch? How are they finding us?” says O’ Quinn. “So if you’re a business owner trying to make decisions on where to invest in terms of campaigns, with CallRail, you can read the funnel from top to bottom on initial touch all the way down to conversion to see how are all these different marketing things working together to produce revenue.”
O’ Quinn told us about one Gravity client, in particular, whose double attribution yielded the data needed to provide a significant bump in lead generation:
“As an example, for one client, we had the phone call and form submission conversion data we needed to identify a campaign that was performing well, had positive ROI, but was limited by their budget. A budget increase of only 25 percent generated a 43 percent increase in leads.”
Gravity is having no problem solving that aforementioned daily dilemma for clients — connecting the dots between marketing efforts and new patients. Every day, they’re uncovering the impact of their work, and providing crystal-clear proof of ROI.
“I’m looking at a report right now for a client,” says O’ Quinn. “I will be able to say to them, ‘You had 137 first time phone calls last month. Here was the breakdown on where they came from.’ So for that client to be able to understand how their marketing is working and what’s producing results is pretty powerful.”
With CallRail’s Google Ads integration and Multi-Touch CPL report, O’Quinn can tell that same client exactly what their spend was, not just for those first-time calls, but for actual paying patients.
“We can go further,” he says, “‘Here’s how much it costs to get a conversion: $61. How many times do you want to spend $61 to go get a new customer?’ Lots of times, of course. So it’s great to have that kind of data to put right in front of them. It helps them to manage budgets and know what they need to be doing and helps us justify recommendations, too, on maybe modifying a campaign, pivoting on a campaign, increasing budget on a campaign. We have the data we need to help them make informed decisions.”
For Gravity, CallRail is a linchpin in the tech stack for each and every client — the stethoscope that measures their work and informs the prescription needed for the next campaign.