Car Giant Dramatically Boosts Sales With New SMS Technology

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - 15:14
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Jason Palgrave-Jones

Lookers, one of the top five motor vehicle retailers in the UK representing 31 vehicle manufacturers, from 391 sites across the UK and Ireland, already use a variety of tactics to contact customers, but were experiencing poor returns from social media and email promotions., experts in mobile marketing and SMS communications, stepped in to help Lookers drive up their customer engagement and sales. Textlocal, devised a bespoke solution, using innovative SMS messages ‘Ticketing’, for four dealerships in the North West to drive sales of two Vauxhall models.

‘Ticketing’ is a new type of SMS message which offers multiple benefits to the dealer and customer.

Through Textlocal’s online platform, Lookers were able to create and send individually coded tickets that could be saved to any mobile phone, each of which were personalised for 80,000 customers across the North West region.

The SMS tickets contained special offers on two specific Vauxhall models and links embedded in the texts directed customers to web pages with more information about the cars. These pages were hidden from search engines so only those who received the message could see the website pages.

Jason Palgrave-Jones, (Pictured) Managing Director at Textlocal, said: “While Lookers already use SMS to reach their customers for MOT and service reminders, they were finding that email and social media were giving poor response rates. They needed to test an alternative way of driving bigger campaigns to success.

“They asked us to deliver a solution that helped them reward customer loyalty with special offers to generate sales and insight and our innovative SMS ticketing was the answer.”

SMS can be a more effective engagement tool for business than email or social media, because the open rate is so much higher. The average open rate across all industries is less than 23 per cent, while 99 per cent of all texts are opened and nine out of 10 are read within three minutes.

Mr Palgrave-Jones added: “Companies of all sizes are beginning to understand the power of text messaging as an instant and highly effective communication platform. SMS is now more than just delivering words, it can deliver vouchers, surveys, attachments and, in the case of Lookers, tickets.

“The results were excellent. The rich content of the SMS ticket drove a huge level of customer engagement, with Lookers selling 76 cars as a direct result of this special local campaign, representing for them a return on investment of 4,000%.”

Also through Textlocal’s platform, Lookers were also able to track which customers had clicked links, giving them great intelligence in their customers’ interests and levels of engagement.”

Paul Craft, Divisional Online Sales & Performance Manager at Lookers, said: “Textlocal’s brilliant, but simple, SMS ticketing was the solution to overcome the barriers that we had been experiencing in communicating with our customers. Not only were we able to offer genuine benefits to our customers, but also generate sales and crucially for us gather important information for the future.”

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