Article by
Craig hooghiem in Strategy

There are key times when car owners look towards a new purchase and begin to evaluate their own vehicle against a series of real and perceptual measurements. Many car owners already know these moments and are thinking about selling or trading up. Some don’t know yet but are easier to convert. These are key opportunities to market a targeted message and offer. Using data from your DMS or CRM and a tool like Bumper you can do just that – sending the right message at the right time leading to better engagement. But what are some of those moments?

Targeting owners as their warranty runs out.

If you are a car owner, one of the best times to sell a used car is as your warranty starts to run out. For some that is 3 years/60,000km, for some its higher.  There is a key opportunity here for you to offer this customer some great options.  You can get them into a new vehicle with a trade-in offer or you can push an extended warranty to keep them safe and save them money later.

Many vehicle owners don’t understand their warranties and what it covers or the importance of how much an extended warranty can help them later on if they plan on keeping their vehicle for the long run. I know back when I had a Turbo engine on an SUV I wish I had. Dealers sometimes forget the power of information as they push to get new customers and sales, ignoring their current customers. These relationships you already have are more likely to buy again and more likely to trust you. Educate them on what their current warranty covers and what the value of either a new vehicle or extending their warranty can provide.

Target owners when you KNOW their car is worth something still.

By year 5 depreciation starts to set in and mechanical issues are most likely to start to occur. There is a turning point in many vehicles where you can see its value drop rapidly after year 5. It also is a key perceptual change in a car owners’ life. Your car starts to FEEL old. New models and generations are out with new upgrades and technology. Your friends and family have started to buy newer vehicles and you begin to feel dated. Tempting car owners with the newer shiny version of their current vehicle can help drive fresh leads into your store.

You can do this by targeting specific vehicles in that age range with high value that you know you can flip quickly by telling them you are looking for their specific used vehicle. This increases the sense of value in the customers mind and makes the idea of trade in more positive. “Your car is worth something to me the dealer…and I’ll give YOU a great offer on a new car today. But act now before your car loses more value.” The trade-in theme in Bumper is one of our most successful and widely used campaigns dealers use.

Target by the mile.

Edmonds.com1 describes key turning points for mileage on a car. Most cars lose their full warranty by 36,000 miles (60,000km) or 3 years and major service begins as the car begins to wear. The second turning point comes at the 60,000-mile (96,000km) range when they will need new tires, brakes and are more eager to seek a trade in as regular larger service costs become common. The third turning point is the 100,000-mile (160,000km) range. By this point they will still see a strong running vehicle in today’s modern builds but the value or resale has dropped. These cars may not really be worth your time to buy as a resale vehicle, unless you are a large used car dealership, but it’s still worth putting that customer into a new vehicle and then sending their car to auction.

By targeting customers based on their mileage you can start a conversation on what that ever-growing number in their dashboard means and create a habit of them watching it grow. Even if they are not interested now, they may be later when that number gets higher and higher.

Target based on life changes and season.

Marriage, birthdays, arrival of kids, departure of kids, moves into or out of the city. Life changes. And so do their vehicle needs. Theme your campaigns around the time of year and life milestones is extremely effective. It can attract car buyers who buy on impulse as well as practicality based on their needs at that moment.

We buy based on our emotions with 95% of our purchase decisions happening unconsciously before we decide2.  And the best sales staff know they are selling to people, not just moving metal. Your campaign, offers and promotions should be doing the same.

Try sending end of school or start of school offers that focus on cheap cars for college students with discounts and family vehicles for parents. If you track birthdays in your CRM pull out all customers who have reached their late 50s or early 60s and promote a downsize vehicle as its more likely that their children have moved out.

Bumper can do all of this.

Bumper has filtering options to target any customer based on mileage, vehicle, age, warranty and even equity to find these customers and avoid generic messages and spray and pray techniques. Book a demo today or visit to send yourself a test campaign and see what you customer sees. We are here to help you grow your business and market smarter to today’s customer – who expects to only hear from you when you can help them.