With new powersports inventories at all-time lows, and demand at all-time highs, acquiring quality used units is more critical than ever. The challenge is, buying these units at auction is no longer a great option with sky-high hammer prices and low-quality inventory. A better alternative to the auction is to acquire pre-owned vehicles directly from owners looking to sell. In this article, we will cover the key elements of a successful inventory buying digital marketing campaign, and common pitfalls to avoid.

1)   Have a dedicated powersports buying specialist on staff to handle the customers requesting a valuation on their unit.


The experience from a customer’s perspective is paramount to acquiring quality used inventory. Having a dedicated buying specialist on staff ensures that the customer is speaking with someone who is knowledgeable about used powersport valuations, and can give a cash offer quickly. Don’t make the mistake of sending these leads to traditional salespeople. Often a salesperson’s primary focus is on selling  a new unit, and not the acquisition of the customer’s vehicle regardless of if they buy a new one from you or not. Lastly, be sure to structure the buying specialist’s compensation with your goal of acquiring quality boats. Alignment on that front is critical.


2)   Build a specific vehicle buying page on your website to educate customers on what they can expect in the valuation and offer process and capture qualified leads for your buyers.


A primary reason owners sell their vehicles private party is they believe they will realize a higher sale price for their unit versus selling to a dealer. In most cases, there is some truth to this belief; you should leverage your dedicated vehicle buying page to showcase the value of selling their unit to your dealership. By highlighting benefits such as the quick and painless valuation and offer process, the simplicity of the transaction versus selling on their own, and your expert guidance through the process you can show the customer the added value by selling their vehicle to you. To the customer, your website is your digital storefront, make sure your first impression is a great one! There is no point spending money sending traffic to your website if you are not equipped to capture leads and act on them now.


3)   Don’t just target all powersports owners, but owners of the specific types of vehicles you are looking to sell.


Targeting the correct powersports owners from the start will save substantial time and frustration following up on “bad leads”.Additionally, this will help you avoid wasting the customer’s time going through the valuation process just to find out you don’t want to buy their “vintage” 1985 3-wheeler.


Pro Tip: Leverage your 1st party data to buy-back quality pre-owned units you sold to customers. Not only will you know exactly the vehicle they currently own, but chances are you’ll also know how it was maintained if the customer has done maintenance/repairs with you during their ownership.


4)   Write compelling copy to stop consumers thumbs and grab their attention.


Compelling copy is an integral component of all successful digital marketing campaigns. Here are a few examples of compelling copy to deploy in your buying campaigns:


-      Pre-owned values are at all-time highs.

-      Easy, quick, and transparent cash offer experience.

-      If you’re looking to upgrade, custom order your new vehicle for next year now!


5)   Ensure your website is setup with Google Analytics events and goals to track the success of your advertising campaigns.


You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The ability to track lead submissions, text and chat conversations, and phone calls from these campaigns is critical to optimizing campaign performance. Be sure you are setup for success before your campaigns go live. You need to know which channels and sources are driving the best results, and without proper analytics, you might as well be guessing!


And there we have it folks, five elements of a successful boat buying campaign that you can put into action today. If we had the space, this could’ve easily been a list of 10-20 elements, but alas! Feel free to reach out should you have any questions as you explore deploying boat buying campaigns for your dealership!