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Selling to the New Consumer - Service & Parts Coupons on Automotive Websites

According a recent eMarketer report, 92.5 million adults will use coupons in 2012 and 48% of them are internet users.



25% of those consumers spend up to an hour shopping for the best online discount deals and marketers are catching on: digital offers increased by 37% in 2010. Even without the statistics to back up couponing, most sales professionals intuitively realize that our country’s financial travails in the recent years ushered in a new era of value-centric consumers and that trend is here to stay.



Professionally designed Service & Parts coupons in print ads are a given, but online ones seem to be hit & miss. Sometimes the miss is literal, as in missing completely. How often have you clicked through automotive sites’ Service & Parts & Specials only to find the ubiquitous “None listed at this time-check back soon.”?



Here is a recent example of JAZELauto's Professional Couponing System, custom-designed for a client's Honda website. Both Service Coupons and Parts Coupons are calendared on the back-end to rotate monthly (expiration dates need to be manually configured bimonthly; in this case the client subscribes to our website management program so we do it for them, but it'd be simple to do on their own too if they preferred such.) 

Instead of the standard "Print Coupon" call-to-(in)action, wherever it makes sense we use a trackable action call (such as "Schedule Service" or "Order Part" linking to those forms) so we can measure online conversions via Analytics & continue to improve coupon offers.



It may not look it, but this was a labor-intensive project, requiring dozens of hours of research (our mission was to create the best-looking & performing online coupons anywhere). We compiled and proofed a scary-looking XL spreadsheet detailing offers, fine print, rotation, etc. which required dealer coordination. Within the JAZELauto Creative team we worked to not only produce good design but also imbue the dealer's brand values (personable, helpful, friendly) into the offers as well as the look & feel of the coupons via imagery use, tone of language in the copy of the offers, taglines, etc.



We created 20 offers total (10 for service & 10 for Parts/Accessories and we rotate 5 of each group monthly with a 30-day expiration date). Instead of scrambling to come up with what Service/Parts Specials to feature, or worse, show no Service & Parts coupons, with such a system in place a dealership has its entire year planned. We will probably reassess offers based on Analytics and dealership staff feedback halfway through the year & fine-tune as needed.



I realize that I may be preaching to the choir because it seems to me that most of the professionals engaged in a forum such as ADM try our hardest to have all aspects of our online marketing presence dialed in. I hope though, that for those who may have had it on a “To Do List” for a while and may have just needed a bit of inspiration for the New Year, that this post serves as such.



Cheers, everyone!


Views: 1434

Tags: Auto, Dealer, Design, JAZELauto, Website


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Comment by Silia J. Hatzi on December 11, 2011 at 7:53pm

Love the seasonal offers and the mobile idea, Ralph. Do you or anyone else here have any numbers regarding seasonal offers which work best and redemption of mobile offers? I find it easier to improve online presence (or anything in life, really) by "making better choices, more often". Not all dealers may have the resources (time, money or focus) to implement everything at once, and if anyone knows any numbers they can share with us it might help us prioritise it on our (or in my case, my clients') to do list. 

Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 11, 2011 at 6:49pm

Tom - The most successful dealers that my team work with have an annual campaign planner that includes coupons, both digital and paper.  Planning service, accessories and parts coupon promotions should be done based on each of the seasons, and since we know that they each come around relentlessly on schedule, it makes sense to have your campaign planner for the year done in advance with an emphasis on coupons.  However, we re finding that coupons customers can redeem using their cell phone (presented in the service drive/parts counter) are very popular and seem to increase business.

Comment by Silia J. Hatzi on December 11, 2011 at 5:22pm

@Tom Gorham My pleasure, Tom. Here's to all of us having our best year to date in 2012!

Comment by Tom Gorham on December 11, 2011 at 5:07pm

Coupons are so important.  I really like the idea of having a years worth planned out ahead of time instead of having to beg for them every month.  Thank you silia!

Comment by Silia J. Hatzi on December 11, 2011 at 12:29pm

@Malinda Perrerri Thank you, Malinda! You have a great, needed product, by the way. (I checked out your website :-)

Comment by Silia J. Hatzi on December 11, 2011 at 12:26pm

@Ralph Paglia: I have one word for you, Sir: "Mwah!"

Comment by Silia J. Hatzi on December 11, 2011 at 12:25pm

@Jeffrey Milne Thank you, Jeffrey & thank you for befriending me. I look forward to your posts. By the way, I'm not sure if your website system permits you to calendar pushing pages live in the future (JAZELauto's does) but if it does, all you have to do is calendar rotating offers to be pushed live on whatever future date you want.

Comment by Silia J. Hatzi on December 11, 2011 at 12:22pm

@Diane Anderson You know Diane, what you describe is exactly the reason why we created this system.

Part of what makes the program work is that instead of waiting for our client to figure out the offers, I spent about 8 hours on a Saturday afternoon, clicking through every high-volume Honda store in the country to research the best coupon offers on the web today for North American Honda owners.

I then wrote the sales copy of the offer (I'm trained in copy writing & oft, dealership staff is not) mirroring Honda's "helpful" branding (meaning it wasn't sales-y or boring but written as if I were telling my mom why she should change her air filter or whatever). I also came up with the fine print but kept that pretty basic to ensure the coupon was easy to read by the consumer (& thereby actionable).

I put all this into an XL Spreadsheet which I forwarded to our client, the dealership's GM. It was a lot easier for him to get his Service & Parts team to review & tweak a ready-made product than come up with it themselves. They actually ended up loving all the offers I had suggested & used all of them and only tweaked details & pricing here & there.

Certainly please forward a link to this post & they can ask me any questions they have if I can help. If you have an agency you love working with, you can ask them to create all of them from scratch for you and that way all your team has to do is tweak. Or, if now or in the future you want to see how we at JAZELauto could help your website be pro-actively improved and kept fresh & relevant, let me know. 

Thank you for your participation, Diane. This was my first-ever post in the blogosphere  and it made my Sunday to have it be so well received :-)

Comment by Silia J. Hatzi on December 11, 2011 at 12:03pm

@Ken Dougas Thank you, Ken! Your system sounds like a great new option for dealers to explore. JAZELauto clients are lucky (in my opinion, but I'm 100% biased :-) because we have a sister company called 10th DEGREEa digital marketing agency for enterprise-level accounts (think hundreds of thousands of dollars in website build-out fees). Meaning that, the Professional Couponing System depicted in this post (as well as all of our auto group & dealer websites) are designed by the same Creative team that work on the accounts of clients with gargantuan budgets. I didn't want to get too technical but as I'd mentioned this project is a lot more labour-intensive on ourthe vendor's end—that it seems at first because obviously we're not just aiming to design any coupons but to calibrate a system which increases Service & Parts conversions for dealers in a way that can be measured and improved on. 

Thank you for your comment, Ken!

Comment by Ken Dugas on December 11, 2011 at 10:53am

We have just completed a new addition to our discount offer platform designed specifically for automotive dealers, contact us and we will install it free as a pilot program for 30 days, no strings, no contracts, no bull. (5 dealerships max) Below is some information on our new development that will in pre-launch in the next few days...

Automotive Marketing.......

We designed and built a custom online/offline viral marketing toolkit that is new to the Automotive industry. This unique platform is fully customizable including adjustable offer values and prize inventory limits in real time. The DiscountBomb.Com system is designed to convert visitors into customers with excitement.

This platform was developed specifically for today’s economic times and critical market conditions. We make this claim mainly because of three important elements in our world today….

Consumers Seeking to Save Money

Excitement for visitors to Take Action with FREE GIFTS and/or DISCOUNT OFFERS and keep new and existing customers engaged in your business

Affordable 1st Party Leads that Convert into Sales and/or Service Department revenues for the Dealership.

With a national conversion rate below 5%, this platform allows the dealer to customize the offers to specific needs of the consumer that is dictated by seasonal conditions and other inportant factors.

Our newest Marketing tool we have developed for our product line, DiscountBomb.Com®, can be utilized by any size business needing to get customers in the door, from a one man operation to Fortune 100 companies with instant measurable results for your campaigns. DiscountBomb is not only a tool to help convert visitors into customers, but also a viral marketing broadcasting platform.

Give away Cash, Cars, Big Screen TV’s Trips, all through an insurance company that we have designed our system to be in compliance with. Offer valuable service dept specials (car washes, oil changes) to offers for New and Used Vehicle Sales ( chances to win higher trade-in values, cash discounts, etc) and other meaningful offers all in your complete control and convert a visitor into a long term customer.

The Discount Bomb® can be Integrated to your Website, Micro-site, Blog or Facebook Page and Branded to any business or customized for any type of offer you wish to present. Plus, it is capable of submitting all activity to Facebook Pages, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Google Plus and other Important Marketing Platforms (over 300) to insure Massive Exposure of your offers and obtain new customers by referrals! We also have mobile apps for Android and IPhone for your customers.

With our auto generated QR code system, a potential customer can scan from a print ad and get information or watch a video on your offers utilizing a smart phone instantly. This tool works in conjunction with any and all advertising and promotional campaigns.

We are much more than just another discount offer, we give you a promotional campaign tool kit and market our platform for everyone of our members to benefit . DiscountBomb is not only a tool to help convert visitors into customers, but also syndicated to our own Video Marketing and Broadcasting platform . Our clients become part of our family, forging a close working relationship ensures we all aim for the same result, sharing success together.

This is the BEST ROI on the Planet Today...$299.00 a month includes 500 SMS Offers and unlimited email alerts along with printable prize certificates with full customer contact information.

Video about the Platform,

For a demo of how it works specifically for automotive dealerships,

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