Preparing for Winter: How to Market Your Auto Shop During The Holidays

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The holiday season is almost here, a time for “Ho, ho, ho!” Unfortunately, for auto shops,’ tis the season to see customers go, go, go. Drivers often postpone repairs and services until the weather gets warmer; when their wallets aren’t so stretched from the holidays. This means your advertising tactics need to focus on auto repair winter specials that entice drivers to come out of hibernation. 

So how do you keep customers active during the fall and winter seasons? After all, you want to be able to pay for the holidays, too! Here are three ways to advertise your auto repair shop during winter, attracting extra vehicle owners throughout the cooler months.

Start Early with Social Media 

October is Fall Car Care Month for a good reason! Cars tend to need more maintenance in the winter, thanks to ice and snow. Heating systems and batteries need to be checked, tires inspected or replaced, and fluids refreshed. By winterizing vehicles early, drivers can avoid the pain of unexpected repairs or breakdowns during the harsher winter months.

Implement a consistent social media strategy throughout the Fall to remind customers of these preventative measures. Drivers that really don’t want to be stranded in the snow will make it a point to come in for an inspection…

Glenwood Tire & Auto Service in Virginia has a great example of social media content that reminds followers to take care of their cars.  

The more you post reminders like these, the more likely your followers will be to take action. After all, that is the goal of marketing and advertising: to drive profits for your business. If you choose to use social media to build awareness for these services, make sure you clearly convey your ability to provide them. Glenwood Tire & Auto did a good job of this by prompting followers to give them a call to schedule a service appointment. 

Use Coupons to Feature Winter Specials

The holidays are rough on the wallet. After paying for Thanksgiving dinner and buying presents for the family, a well-discounted oil-change or repair feels like a gift!  

This makes coupon advertising an especially effective tactic during the holiday season. Consumers are always looking for winter specials, and your auto repair shop can be the one to provide that value. Plus, if your competitors are offering great deals and you aren’t – they can steal even your most loyal customers. 

Consider register tape advertising, in which coupons are placed on the grocery store receipts handed to shoppers after every purchase. These coupons can be tailored to reflect your auto repair shop’s winter specials. Don’t worry! You can adjust every three months to keep up with seasonal changes. Plus, people visit grocery stores more often during the holidays, resulting in even more opportunities for them to see your great deals.

Some ideas for auto repair winter special coupons are: 

  • Free Battery/Diagnostic/Brake Check
  • Free Winter Emergency Kits with Repair of $100 or More
  • Discounts on Snow Tires, Windshield Wipers, or other products
  • Bundled Deal for fluid replacement, tire alignment and inflation  

Even if you already offer some of these services during the year, the coupon gives shoppers a reminder and/or the impression they are receiving something of value, driving them to use your auto repair shop instead of the competitor’s. 

Keep Your Website Up-To-Date 

Updating or refreshing your website is good advice for any season, but it takes on some added importance in the fall and winter. If you still have summer specials advertised on your homepage in December, potential customers may think that you can’t provide the services they desperately need. 

Also, weather conditions change quickly. When that first snow falls, car owners will adjust their priorities on what services they need done. An updated website shows that you are aware of what customers need and are prepared to help.

Take Pep Boys’ web page, for example.

pep boys auto repair winter specials

Dedicating a single page to their Winter Prep Service provides awareness to potential customers all year long. As the weather gets cooler, drivers can compare options and choose the auto repair shop that offers the most extensive winterizing services and affordable deals.

Your auto repair shop should be just as well prepared. Include the list of winterizing services you provide and any winter specials you offer, including what’s on your register tape campaign.

Will You Be Prepared For Winter?

Advertising your auto shop during winter takes just a little time and preparation. Start early and create awareness for Fall Car Care Month. This will drive more business for preventative maintenance during the cooler months. Then, combine your social media strategy with a coupon advertising campaign that reminds shoppers of your auto repair winter specials. These can be handed to shoppers through grocery store receipts, or featured on your website. By showing drivers that you’re prepared for harsh weather, you can build trust and generate customers looking for a mechanic that will keep them safe.

We updated this post on October 14, 2020.

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