Gilchrist Chevrolet Triples Internet Sales with Outsell Fuel
Agency 720’s Digital Traffic Generator (DTG), built on the Outsell Fuel customer engagement platform, automates most email campaigns, boosts lead counts and frees salespeople to focus on closing business rather than qualifying leads
“We used to waste a lot of time on unqualified leads. Any lead we get from DTG is already qualified to some extent – the person has responded to a campaign. That means we can turn our focus to moving them along in the sales process and closing the sale.” – Tamie Nuxoll, Internet Sales Manager, Gilchrist Chevrolet
At a glance
• Increase leads, dealership traffic and overall Internet sales with outbound marketing
• Find easy-to-use tool for non-technical staff
• Automate newsletters and other ongoing campaigns – “set it and forget it”
• Tripled internet sales
• Overall dealership lead volume increased by 5%
• Most campaigns run automatically, with no intervention by dealer staff
• Non-technical staff can create and send local promotions in minutes
• Sales staff can now focus on closing business instead of qualifying leads
Based in Tacoma, Wash., Gilchrist Chevrolet is one of the highest-volume Chevrolet dealers in the metro Seattle area. Founded in 1927, the family-owned and operated business is currently run by Gary and John Gilchrist. In 2014, in an effort to boost leads, traffic and overall Internet sales, Gilchrist’s management decided to implement a customer engagement solution.
Gilchrist worked with Agency 720, Chevrolet’s turnkey agency of record, to implement Digital Traffic Generator (DTG), a digital platform using online and offline to keep customers and prospects engaged through customizable, targeted communications. Powered by Outsell Fuel, DTG enables dealers to set up automated, targeted and recurring campaigns. Campaigns are designed by Agency 720, which provides all the content and creative. Dealers can run the automated campaigns as-is, tailor them as needed for local markets, or supplement them with their own locally created campaigns.
Automated campaigns require no work by dealership staff
Gilchrist Chevrolet Internet Sales Manager Tamie Nuxoll explains that most of the dealership’s campaigns are automated. For example, the DTG system is integrated with Gilchrist’s main CRM system and can pull a list of people who are currently looking for Silverado pickup trucks. It can then send out a GM Silverado campaign to all of those people. Any responses go directly to Nuxoll and her colleague.
“These are all either net-new leads or refreshed old ones that we would not have touched otherwise,” says Nuxoll.
The dealership also runs a monthly newsletter campaign, architected by Agency 720, which includes content tailored for each individual customer. Again, the whole process is automated. This helps ensure that customer/prospect records don’t go stale – everyone is touched periodically. Opt-out rates for the newsletter are very low, Nuxoll reports – typically less than 1%. “We don’t even have to think about it – it just runs,” she says.
Creating localized campaigns is simple
Gilchrist’s staff members are also able to create their own local campaigns using DTG. For instance, in the days leading up to Super Bowl 2014, the dealership ran a “12th Man Campaign” that rewarded any customer wearing a Seattle Seahawk’s jersey in the showroom with $1200 off a new vehicle.
“None of us are techies,” says Nuxoll. “That campaign took us maybe 20 minutes to set up and send, and it drove a lot of showroom visits and several sales.”
Internet sales tripled
Nuxoll reports that prior to implementing DTG, Internet sales comprised approximately 10% of Gilchrist’s overall sales. Within six months of rolling out DTG, Internet sales grew to comprise 30% of overall sales.
Overall dealership leads up by 5 percent
In addition, the overall number of leads for the dealership grew by 5%, just from the automated campaigns, which really require no work. “Those leads are gravy,” says Nuxoll.
Sales staff can now focus on closing business instead of qualifying leads
Nuxoll says that the primary value DTG provides is in ensuring that leads are qualified.
“We used to waste a lot of time on unqualified leads,” she says. “Any lead we get from DTG is already qualified to some extent – the person has responded to a campaign. That means we can turn our focus to moving them along in the sales process and closing the sale.”