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Everything A Repair Shop Should Know About Automotive Text Messaging

Text marketing has been adopted across most industries–from UPS who sends updates on package deliveries to non-profits reminding you it’s time to give. And there’s a reason. 

Text messages have a staggering open rate of 99%

That’s why many shops are beginning to leverage automotive text marketing. It nearly guarantees communication with your customers. Here, we cover everything you need to know. 

Automotive Text Messaging Maintains Communication

A challenge unique to auto shops is the inconsistent nature of purchases. No matter how satisfied a client is with their brake pads or windshield replacement, they likely won’t return for months. To help entice people to book additional services, you could consider sending coupons or special offers. 

Most customers rely on auto shops at need, consider leveraging that by reminding them of important, regular maintenance. For example, as winter approaches, you could offer discounted rates on snow tires. 

The key is to keep your auto shop top of mind for clients. Even if a person doesn’t immediately take advantage of an offer, regular messages can help them remember that your services are available. 

Automotive Text Messaging is Less Expensive

Compared to PPC ads or boosted posts on social media, SMS text marketing can direct traffic to your website at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, when using these ad channels, you’ll be competing with other shops. When you send out targeted messages to your clients, however, you effectively cut out the middleman and give access to your shop’s website.

SMS text marketing also allows for detailed tracking. For example, with a solution from AutoVitals, you can monitor your SMS campaign from your computer, carefully tracking which text messages offer you the best ROI and click-through rates. 

Automotive Text Messaging Can Be Personal

While you can certainly send out blanket messages to your customers, text marketing allows you to easily personalize your communication. Instead of sending a generalized message requesting an online review, you could tailor the message for individuals.

For example: Hi Mark! It was great meeting you and swapping out the rotors on your Camry. If you have the time, would you be interested in completing an online review about your experience? I’d appreciate any thoughts you have, and if you have any issues at your service, please contact me at this number. Best, Daniel. 

Notice how this reads less like an email marketing campaign and more like casual communication between friends. You could even designate a team member to sign off on these messages, both lending them authenticity and providing customers with a person to contact. 

Automotive Text Messaging is Immediate

Another benefit of SMS marketing is its immediacy. While the average email inbox is overfilled with spam and credit card offers, most people keep a close watch over their text messages. That’s probably why 97% of text messages are read within 15 minutes. 

The key here is to get straight to the point. You’ll want to succinctly introduce yourself, explain what you’re offering, and provide a clear way for them to act on your offer. In most cases, this will include a link to your site, wherein a person can book a service right from their phone.

Automotive Text Messaging is Versatile

Automotive text messaging can be used in a variety of communicative ways. These include:

  • Discount and promotions: A surefire way to bring in more cars is to offer an enticing deal through a text message. Discounts and promotional offers hold the power to convert.
  • Reminders: Assuming you keep record of customer profiles, you can leverage this data to send out reminders. Any regular auto maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations can be effectively communicated through text message reminders.
  • Confirmations: To avoid canceled or no-show appointments, consider sending confirmations via text message. Additionally, reminders on the days before the appointment can also help.
  • Updates: For those who’ve enlisted your shop for extensive repairs, you might consider sending them text updates. This will help eliminate confusion on when they should return to pick up their car.
  • Review solicitation: Obtaining reviews not only help you refine your services, but it can also help boost your SEO. By asking for reviews via text message and providing a link, it makes it more convenient for customers to immediately take action. 

How to Set Up Automotive Text Marketing

Depending on the size of your auto shop, orchestrating a text marketing campaign can be a lofty task. Not only would a person have to keep detailed records of each customer, but they’d also have to draft individual messages to each customer and monitor their responses. 

Luckily, there are digital solutions. Similar to email marketing, there are a plethora of subscription-based platforms that allow you to create, disseminate, and monitor text message marketing. With that said, the auto repair industry is different than a healthcare or software company. So you’ll want to find a solution tailored to the needs of auto shop owners. 

AutoVitals, the pioneer in digital vehicle inspection, offers a full suite of digital marketing tools tailored to auto repair shops. With an AutoVitals solution, you can create full-scale SMS marketing campaigns, track their performance, and individualize messages to customers. With this tool, you can even implement digital scheduling, SMS appointment reminders, and online review management. 

Solidifying long-lasting relationships with customers starts with communication and AutoVitals makes it easy––before, during, and after a completed service. 


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