Advertising Your Auto Repair Shop to Increase Car Counts? Here’s Why Your Ads Don’t Work!

July 10, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

I hear it all the time. Service shop owners recounting the money they spend on running ads or doing ‘val-paks’ or flyers and then just sit and wonder if their ad even got seen. They wonder about that because the typical response is NOTHING. That’s right. If you run ads and don’t get a response, you’re not alone. Here’s what you need to look at.

You must stand out. Do the test yourself. Open the yellow page directory and look at your ad as compared to everyone else in your category. Look the same? I know they do. In fact, if you changed names and numbers, I bet you couldn’t even tell the difference. So how would you expect your customer to ‘pick’ you?

It’s not about features; Your ads have to provide benefits; Without even looking at it, I am going to use my ‘psychic’ powers and tell you what your current ad says. I know that it includes statements very similar (if not identical) to; Family Owned for 25 years; 12 Service Bays; Established since 1977; We service Imports and Domestics; Friendly Service; and maybe even a real ‘rip-your-eye-balls-out-fancy-statement’ like “Excellence in Service”. Was I right? I am pretty sure I am. So now, can you tell me what ‘benefits’ those statements are to me as a customer? What solution are you providing to my problem? Basically, NONE.

Your ads suffer from what I call advertising incest. You created an ad (and maybe even with the help of the yellow page salesman who is really only interested in selling you the ad space) that followed the same outline as everyone else’s ad. But what you weren’t thinking about is all those other service shops did the exact same thing when they started. Everyone is advertising the exact same ‘features’ (not benefits) and now your ad is doing the same.

You must include a strong call to action and a REASON: The reason, of course has to be a benefit to me, the customer or prospect. The call to action has to be clear. There’s no room to ‘pussy foot’ around here. It’s got to be strong and to the point. Call me now! E-Mail Me Now! Text ‘YourName’ to 54321 NOW for coupon. The better your offer, the better your response. Remember, it’s a lot like fishing; good bait = lots of fish; bad bait = You Starve.

Eliminate these problems from your current advertising and you will start to see your response increase and your car counts go up.

In short, your adverting MUST include:

  • Benefits to me as a customer; it’s not about YOU
  • Provide a solution to a real problem
  • Create a Call to Action and make several different ways for prospects to contact you; that can be phone, fax, e-mail, texting, website address, 24 help line; 24 hour message line; QR codes; Make it easy to contact you.
  • Provide non-threatening ways for prospects to contact you and get more information. People only purchase from those they know, trust and like. Let them get to know you.
  • Quit trying to sell from your ad; How many of those fancy 10% discount coupons have you ever received back? Yeah, I figured. Your ad isn’t about getting your customer to buy when YOU want them to. They never will.
  • Most important; make your ad a way to collect leads; not sell. Get customer information so that you can continue to market to them. They will purchase when they’re ready, not necessarily when YOU want them to.

Following these strategies will make your auto repair shop more effective while you develop your list of prospects or leads. That way, you can continue to market to them so they purchase when they’re ready, not necessarily when YOU want them to.

Increase Car Counts and get more new and repeat customers for your auto service shop when you get my new book FREE! You can get the Shop Owners Edition of ‘THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO AUTO SERVICE MARKETING ” and discover 44 No Cost or Low Cost Marketing Strategies you can start to use today! You can also text the word tellmehow to 72727 in the US or text showmehow to 555444 in Canada. Finally find out how to build your fortune without spending one first!

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