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RV Dealers and RV Industry

Beat Your Competition to the Punch – Creating Effective Autoresponders …

Posted by Chris Mapson on May 08, 2013

In RV sales, you need to beat your competitor(s) to the punch.  You have to get back to your leads … and FAST!  Break a wall

But, what if you’re not in the office?  What if your store is closed and a bona-fide lead sends you an email inquiry?  How are you going to “act fast!”?

ENTER:  the (trusty) Autoresponder, an automatic reply email you create that  1.  acknowledges receipt of your prospect’s email and  2.  “Primes the pump” for a sale.

But, how can an RV dealer create an Autoresponder that gives maximum effect?

Conflicting Opinions …

Heads!  You win:  The first school of thought insists that EVERY email lead MUST be acknowledged with an Autoresponder – regardless of the reason.

  • Makes sense
  • Strong position
  • More than reasonable
  • Can be done extremely well in a visually pleasing / content rich fashion that you pre-design to tactfully move the client forward in the sales process.

The Flip Side of the Coin:  Says, Autoresponders are great IF (and ONLY if) you follow up all leads either by phone and / or by email.

Here’s why …

  • If you do not follow up (religiously) with ALL your leads, then, the fact that you have sent out a generic Autoresponder could “add salt the wound” of a buyer IF you have neglected to follow them up.
  • The thought is that it could shed a “not so good” light on your dealership IF you have not responded at all.

Consider This Option:  Indicate the time you expect it to take for you to follow up and provide your business hours.  (Eg. “We’ll get back to you within 2 business hours.  We’re open 9 AM to 6 PM six days / week.”)

Then, KEEP your commitment – at all costs!  There is nothing worse than being promised a follow up within a specified time, and then never receiving a follow up at all.

Optimize the Effectiveness of Your Autoresponder:

Automatic replies are simple to set up.  Ask your technical staff for assistance.  It won’t take long, and if done correctly, these simple messages can help you maximize the number of …

  • Appointments set – and
  • Sales made.

Here are a couple of sample Autoresponders for you to view.  Use these to give you some ideas as to what you might like to say in your Autoresponder.

Subject:  Thank-you from ABC RV

[Nice branded logo at the top]

“Thank you for contacting ABC RV Center, Florida’s LARGEST RV Dealer Since 1984.

This is an automated response acknowledging the receipt of your request.  Your request has been forwarded to our Customer Care Department and a representative will contact you within 1 hour.  If your request is after regular business hours, we will be in contact with you as soon as we re-open.  Thanks for your patience.

Thanks again and we look forward to serving you!

Best regards,

ABC RV Center”

Or, how about this sample …

Subject:  thank you for your email

“Thank you for your email.  XYZ RV is family-owned and operated since 1973, and the combination of our experience and our great product line-up is what you need to make an informed purchase.  One of our friendly, knowledgeable sales people will be in touch with you to help answer your questions.  Our business hours are 9-8 Tuesday and Wednesday, 9-5 other weekdays, 9-3 Saturdays, closed Sunday by State Law.  We look forward to following up with you.  Have a great day, and Happy RV’ing!

First and last name, General Manager

XYZ RV Center

Address, City, State, ZIP

Phone:  444-555-7777;  Email:  FirstName@XYZRV.com

Visit us on the web at www.XYZRV.com”

Do NOT “Set It & Forget It”

Here’s where Autoresponders can separate the men from the boys.  Make yours do more.

Ideas:

  • Announce your promotions.  Change your Autoresponder up whenever you change your specials.
  • List the brands you handle.

Then,

  • Link each of your brands to brand specific searches of your inventory – so all your Jayco’s for example, pop up.  Or all your Class C’s pop up.  (Lots of options.  Let me know if you’re interested in this.  Here to help.)
  • Profile pics and bios of sales staff.  People buy people, right?  (Stat:  71% of car buyers surveyed said they bought because they “like” their sales rep.  Source:  Joe Verde, Earn Over $100,000 Selling Cars – Every Year)
  • Since you sell more RVs when consumers spend more time on your Vehicle Detail Pages (VDPs), show a couple of thumbnails of RVs in your Autoresponders – link the thumbnails to VDPs = more VDP views, more time on VDPs = a huge win for your dealership.

Quick Take Summary

Autoresponders are an important part of excellent lead follow up programs.

But …

Rule # 1:  The speed of your follow up is critical, especially in this age of online classifieds.  Your prospects are likely inquiring on several RVs at a time.  Beat your competition to the punch!

Rule # 2:  Follow up ALL leads  – then follow them up again!  Manage your prospect relationships over the entire buying cycle.

NOTE:  If you know you suck at Rule # 2, don’t use Autoresponders as this could cause a “double offense.”  One offense when your Autoresponder tells folks how important they are to you and a 2nd offense when you never get back to them.

A Bonus For Taking Action!

Now it’s your turn:  Post your freshly updated or newly implemented Autoresponder in the comments below and RVT will give you a worthwhile surprise!  We’ll feature (more of) your RVs in rotation at the top of our coveted Search Results Pages (SRPs) – FREE – for 30 days.  Just post your Autoresponder in the comments below!

Author: Chris Mapson

PG Chris Mapson | RVT.com | RV Sales Maximization Specialist. Chris is RVT's Lead Generation, Lead Management and CRM professional. He works closely with RV dealers and manufacturers across N. America. Chris helps "optimize" RV ad listings and implements out-of-the-box Lead Generation initiatives that increase dealers' RV sales. Blog: RVAdvertiser.com. Private consultations: Visit RVT.com/Sessions.

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