The auto repair industry is competitive. The number of auto repair and maintenance centers in the United States increased by more than 13,000 in the last quarter of 2020.
As a small business, you have many options for marketing your shop, but it’s tough to know where to start so you can increase your sales and stand out from the competition. These five marketing strategies for your auto repair shop can help you attract more customers and retain them so you can grow your business.
1. Build an Email List
An email list is one of the most effective ways for business owners to maximize recurring sales. Every dollar spent on email generates a $42 or a 4,200% return on investment.
You can use auto repair email marketing to promote offers and discounts in your email newsletter. These are some best practices for engaging in auto repair email marketing:
- Identify the characteristics and behaviors of your existing customers in your consumer base and segment your email list accordingly. If you know what your current customers are looking for, you can write compelling copy for emails.
- Only send email messages to customers who benefit from that content. For instance, you can send an email newsletter for winter maintenance deals to truck owners.
- In addition to their phone number, ask your customers for their email addresses as part of the contact information form. Be sure to get your customers’ permission before adding their email addresses to your mailing list. You may lose your ability to engage with customers if they mark emails from you as spam.
2. Use Videos
Video marketing is one of the best ways to market your garage and boost your online presence because they’re engaging and seen as trustworthy. Over 40% of auto buyers use video content to narrow their options and determine what they want to purchase.
There are many video marketing tools available for making professional-quality videos, but a smartphone can be sufficient. These ideas can help you create videos for your auto repair shop as part of your marketing strategy:
- A how-to video: Make educational videos, such as showing how to change a flat tire. Video tutorials give everyday drivers more confidence in performing their maintenance and preventing costly repairs down the road. By providing this service, you’re adding value to your customer’s life and giving them a reason to trust you in the future.
- Testimonial videos: Ask clients if they are willing to share their reviews of your shop on video. Happy customers can talk about how they appreciate the customer service from your employees and why they like visiting your auto repair shop. Positive endorsements from local people instill confidence in viewers who are considering using your services.
- Videos sharing company culture: Make videos about your company’s culture to show a glimpse of the human side of what you do in your auto repair shop. The videos can document a day in the life of an employee or commemorate a birthday.
3. Monitor Online Reviews
One of your most effective auto repair shop marketing tactics is promoting your business on local review sites. Review sites have become the primary way that consumers decide where to purchase products and services. Customers are 31% more likely to spend more money reading excellent reviews about a product or service.
Sites such as Google Business Profile or Yelp allow you to list your business on pages where customers can leave their reviews. You can direct your customer base to these review opportunities in several ways:
- If you have business cards, include information that encourages potential customers to visit your website or leave a review on Yelp.
- Print the information for these review sites on your receipts, directing customers to these online boards following a product purchase or maintenance service.
- Post stickers on the windows of your shop that direct customers to the online location where they can leave a review. “Find us on Yelp” or “Leave a Google Review” is a quick and simple message that customers can grasp on their way out the door. You can even include a QR code on the sticker that takes them to this page when scanned with a phone camera.
Respond to happy customers’ reviews to let them know you appreciate their business. If customers leave negative reviews, let them know you understand their concerns. You can provide a phone number and a manager’s name to contact you to pursue the issue.
4. Start a Referral Program
Among your auto repair marketing ideas, consider implementing a word-of-mouth referral program. 92% of people believe and trust recommendations from friends and family more than advertising.
Referrals can be a creative part of auto shop marketing because they provide an incentive for customers to spread the word about your services. For example, try offering a service discount after a person refers a certain number of people to your shop or a two-for-one deal when a loyal customer brings a friend with them for their maintenance appointment.
5. Provide Coupons
If you want to have more customers coming into your shop, you should consider using coupons as one of your marketing ideas for auto repair shops. You’re adding value to a customer’s experience by providing them with a discount, effectively gaining their trust. You can use coupons to promote offers such as 15% off an oil change or a package deal of an oil change and tire rotation.
Custom printed receipts that promote your coupons and upcoming deals are also a key part of an auto repair shop marketing strategy.
Use Auto Repair Marketing Strategies to Boost Sales
Start incorporating these strategies into your shop’s marketing plan today to give you an edge over other local businesses. To see improvements in customer engagement and loyalty, work with IndoorMedia to develop a marketing plan that targets local consumers.