Whether you’re a limo operator or you provide party bus services, converting potential leads into real-world clients is your bread and butter. Marketing for transport operators is an essential skill that can help you scale your business and reduce the costs that may be eating up your profits.
Keep reading to learn why SMS follow-up is the future for successful transport operators and how consistent deployment can help reduce your client acquisition costs.
Need help spreading the word about your transportation company? Learn more about our digital marketing services or contact us for a free consultation today.
Lead Conversion for Limo Companies
Two years ago, I realized that most of the transportation companies I worked with — around 50-60 at the time — didn’t have a lead or lead-cost problem at all. In fact, the majority were getting lots of leads, and their ad campaigns were performing well.
The problem was that transport operators were struggling to convert their leads into sales. To understand why this was happening, I started doing some tests. I noticed that the companies with the best lead-conversion ratios were those with a consistent follow-up protocol, such as making a follow-up phone call after giving a potential client a quote.
Many of the companies I spoke with at the time said they attempted to integrate follow-ups in some form, but not consistently or to great effect. Lead-conversion ratios — and the ability to measure them — matter in a big way, as this affects your average client acquisition costs.
Transportation Client Acquisition Costs
To illustrate how your average client acquisition costs (CAC) can impact your profit margins, let’s break it down:
If your limo service company has 100 leads, and your average price per lead is $20, then your total spend for 100 leads is $2,000. Out of that number, let’s say you convert only 10 customers.
In this scenario, your CAC is $2,000/10 — or $200 per client. Now, if you operate a black car service, your average job might only net you about $200, which means you’re losing money at that rate. Even if you operate a party bus service at an average of $800 per job, your CAC for that client is eating up 25% of your profits, which means your business won’t be very profitable.
Let’s say, in this same scenario, you’re able to increase your closing rate and you convert 30 customers. This lowers your CAC to an average of $66 per client, thereby increasing your profit margin. It’s clear to see why increasing your closing rate is crucial to scaling your transportation business and increasing profits.
SMS Follow-Up For Limo Services
When it comes to integrating a consistent follow-up protocol into your limo company marketing strategy, there are several avenues, including SMS, email, and phone call follow-ups.
The key to an effective follow-up is all about deliverability. While email marketing is easy to automate, domains get blacklisted all the time, which means the emails you’re sending aren’t even making it to the client.
Another factor to consider is that most people don’t check their emails as often as their text messages. While not everyone gets notifications when they get a new email, almost everyone gets notified when a new text message comes in.
Transportation Marketing: SMS vs Email Response Rates
Two years ago, when I saw what most transportation companies were losing in CAC, I decided we needed to implement email follow-ups to convert more leads. We deployed simple email messaging a few hours after a quote was given, asking potential clients if they had any questions and whether they still wanted to book limo services.
The results were decent, with a response rate of roughly 15-20%. While not all of these responses resulted in bookings, it did provide one metric we could track.
One year later, I decided to try text follow-ups instead of emails, and the difference was incredible. Response rates jumped to anywhere from 55-75% and lead-to-sale close rates went up to 50%. In some cases, it even doubled or tripled for anyone using automated text message follow-ups.
Why Tracking Lead-to-Sale Rates Matter
When I’m looking to improve marketing results for a company in the transportation service industry, the first place I look is to ensure SEO and Google/Facebook ad campaigns are on point.
Next, I look to see whether a company is tracking its lead-to-sale conversion rates. This is crucial to your business. Without this metric, you can’t determine your CAC — and you need this baseline in order to improve on this number.
Of course, it’s possible to be successful without closely monitoring metrics like these, but it can make the difference between becoming a seven-figure transportation company in 10 years or in one year. By tracking the right metrics, you’ll know exactly where to spend your advertising dollars. Does it take more time? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. You’ll be amazed at how fast your business can grow if you know exactly where you are getting the best return on your marketing spend.
Grow Your Limo Business With Text Follow-Up
If you’re not currently utilizing automated text message follow-ups, my advice is that you give it a shot. While you can always follow up manually, you likely won’t be consistent enough in your approach, not to mention the time commitment this would entail. Automation is key.
The B2C conversation across many industries has moved to text messages, and I firmly believe this is the future for transportation operators who want to increase their lead-to-sale rates and reduce their CAC.
Do you need help developing a solid marketing strategy for your limo service, party bus company or other transportation business? Limo Marketing can help. Learn more about our services here, take a look at our case studies or consider training with us to level up your marketing skills.
The LM blog provides great marketing resources for operators, and you can subscribe to my Youtube channel for more insider tips and advice based on my years of industry experience.
If you have any questions or would like to request a free consultation, contact Limo Marketer here.