Text Message Marketing for Car Dealers: Benefits, Tips & Templates

🕒 10 min.

Automobile dealerships have always faced challenges regarding generating more leads and hitting their sales quota every month. A long time ago, radio ads and direct mail did the job. But as technologies advanced and more businesses moved to the digital world, email became the go-to channel for communicating with consumers.

These days, it’s all about SMS. Text messages have created a boom in the automobile industry, helping car dealers reach their prospective buyers and customers anytime. They can send bulk text marketing messages and save precious time while building trust, strengthening relationships, and increasing loyalty.

Let’s see why car dealers should use SMS to connect with consumers, what benefits they can expect, how to get started with massive SMS campaigns, and more.

Why should car dealers use SMS?

Here are the latest text marketing stats to give you a better idea of why you should use SMS:

why should car dealers use sms
  • SMS open rates (98%) are five times higher than email open rates (20%).
  • SMS response rates (45%) are nearly eight times higher than their email counterparts (6%).
  • SMS response time (90 seconds) is 60 times higher than email response time (90 minutes).
  • Over half of consumers (55%) ignore marketing emails because they receive too many.
  • Most consumers (85%) prefer text to calls or emails when communicating with brands.
  • Nearly a third of consumers (29%) never listen to voicemails from brands.
consumer preferred channels for receiving updates from brands

So, email marketing is not nearly as effective as SMS marketing. The same goes for phone calls. Nowadays, most people won’t pick up if they don’t recognize the number, but they will read a text from an unknown number.

According to FinancesOnline, SMS is the preferred channel for receiving updates from brands, coming in at 48%.

Benefits of bulk text messages for dealers

Bulk text messages can provide many benefits to car dealerships. These are the most notable.

benefits of bulk text messages for dealers

Generating more qualified leads

Bulk text messages can help car dealerships convert people visiting their showroom into leads. They can compel them to opt-in by offering discounted prices or an infoline, thus seizing an opportunity to engage them and offer promotions.

Increasing sales

Most people take their time when purchasing a new vehicle. Car dealers can use bulk SMS to help all the prospects make an informed decision and nudge them in the right direction without being salesy or pushy. That’s the best way to increase sales.

They can send attachments with car specifications and other details, automate reminders for test drives, and enable two-way communication to answer prospects’ questions and provide quotes. That way, potential buyers can even schedule a call or a showroom visit at their convenience.

Strengthening customer relationships

Text marketing efforts shouldn’t stop after making a sale. That’s the perfect time to strengthen customer relationships.

You can offer vehicle repair, send reminders on maintenance and service appointments, announce recalls, and send tips like safety measures and ways to increase durability.

You can send personalized bulk SMSs at a specific time after a sale to ensure your customers are enjoying their new wheels and let them know you’re available for any assistance. When you show you care, you build more trust and loyalty.

Sending personalized promotions and new model announcements is a fantastic way to entice customers to come back and snatch an excellent deal, meaning you can drive repeat car sales and increase revenue. 

Collecting customer feedback

Bulk text marketing messages are ideal for gathering customer feedback. After thanking clients for buying from your business, you can ask about their experience with your services and the purchased car. That way, you can improve your services continuously.

Reducing costs

Bulk text messaging helps automobile dealerships reduce marketing and customer acquisition costs dramatically. Sure, email is free, but you can’t compare it to SMS marketing’s effectiveness. It drives more engagement, higher conversion rates, and more sales. That’s why it can help you trim costs.

How much does SMS marketing cost?

It depends on your requirements and the chosen SMS marketing provider. The costs vary by country, and each provider offers unique pricing plans. Still, the prices are quite affordable, especially for bulk messaging.

For example, Instasent is a popular SMS gateway with competitive bulk SMS tariffs. You’d need to pay only €1.2 ($1.38) to send 100 SMSs to US consumers:




No. of SMS 0

Total Price 0 €

Price for each SMS 0 €

Download the complete list of SMS prices according to country


For quantities of more than 10,000 SMS, get in touch with us and we’ll make you a great offer!

What is the best platform for bulk sms?

Many platforms offer excellent features for mass text messaging, but Instasent stands out from the rest for several reasons.

Apart from offering affordable prices, it requires no sign-up fees or monthly fees, and you pay only for what you need.

You don’t need to install any software as this SMS gateway has a web interface. It allows multiple users, lets you schedule SMS campaigns, and provides a user-friendly panel with real-time analytics.

You can customize the Sender text to match your car dealership branding and leverage concatenation to go beyond the traditional 160 characters per SMS. The platform allows you to link up to nine text messages that your subscribers will view as one.

How to create massive SMS campaigns for dealers

To create a massive SMS campaign for your car dealership, follow these tips:

  • Choose an SMS gateway — Pick a reliable platform that will suit your business needs.
  • Select an audience segment — Import a contact list of segmented leads/prospects/customers. For instance, your younger and single customers interested in sports cars may not want to receive offers on family SUVs. That’s why each campaign should cater to a specific audience segment.
  • Personalize every message — It’s possible to personalize text messages even when sending them in bulk. You need to use merge tags, which typically look like this: {{firstname}}. Make sure you choose a platform that automatically replaces the tags with the corresponding names from your contact list.
  • Say what you need concisely — The 160-character limit may not seem like much, but it’s often enough to grab attention and drive action. But sometimes, your subscribers need more information, so choosing an SMS platform with concatenation features might be your best bet.
  • Create a compelling CTA — You want your recipients to take immediate action, right? Then, prompt them to “buy,” “get,” “visit,” or “call” by using these and similar action words at the end of each message. Don’t forget to include a relevant link or contact information (depending on the offer).
  • Offer a quick unsubscribe option — The last thing you want your audience to do is to unsubscribe. However, including a “Text STOP to unsubscribe” at the end of the message will make it easy for people to opt-out if they so choose. Failing to do so could frustrate some of those who don’t plan on buying a new car in the near future and don’t want to receive new offers. 

How to send the first SMS campaign

Regardless of which SMS marketing platform you choose, you’ll enjoy a straightforward process for sending SMSs. But let’s see how you can send bulk text messages with Instasent to engage customers and increase your car sales in no time.

These are the steps to take:

1. Visit the Instasent website and register for free, providing only your email address and creating a password.

2. Check your inbox for the verification link to verify your email and log into your account.

3. Click on the “Send SMS” option on the panel and choose “Send Bulk SMS” from the menu.

4. Create your campaign title. It could be “New Tesla Promotion,” “Annual Service Reminders,” “Routine Maintenance Reminders,” or anything else related to your goals.

5. Choose the target country from the drop-down menu.

6. Import your contacts from spreadsheets or by uploading a TXT, CSV, or TSV file and click on “Continue.” The platform will store them in a secure database so you won’t have to import them for all the next campaigns.

Step 1

7. Introduce your car dealership to brand your business messages. The Sender field has an 11-character limit.

8. Write your personalized SMS. Below you’ll find SMS templates for car dealerships, so you can use any of them for inspiration. You can save each to use as an SMS sample that you’ll customize for different offers. Don’t forget to use merge tags to address every subscriber by their name.

9. Proceeding to the next step will prompt you to a window where you can check for typos and other errors. Once you ensure everything is perfect, click on “Confirm Send.”

10 SMS Templates for car dealerships

If you need additional inspiration to engage your leads, prospects, or loyal customers via text message, check out our SMS templates for car dealerships.

  • Automobile dealership opt-in confirmation

Hello [Name]. Thank you for subscribing to our [car dealership] mobile newsletter. What cars are you interested in?

  • SMS sample for information requests

Hi [Name]! [Name] from [car dealership] here. Thanks for your interest in our [car model]. Would you like to schedule a test drive?

  • New discount deal

Hey [Name], are you still looking to buy a [car brand]? Get [$ or %] off by showing this message to your car dealer. [car dealership]

  • Appointment reminder

[Name], just wanted to check you can still make your appointment on 2024 at [time]. Reply YES to confirm or call us on [phone number] to reschedule. [car dealership]

  • Car maintenance reminder

Hi [Name]! Just a friendly reminder that you’re due for an oil change. Hope you’re enjoying your new [car model]! Let us know if you need anything. [car dealership]

  • Car maintenance tips

Hey [Name], is your [car] ready for the winter? Stop by our [car dealership] to get new snow tires! Drive safely!

  • New arrival SMS sample

[Name], the brand-new [car model] has just arrived! Visit our showroom to get a test drive or reply to schedule an appointment! [car dealership]

  • Survey SMS sample

Hey [Name], do you have a minute to fill out a quick survey about your recent visit to our [car dealership]? We’d really appreciate your feedback. Once you’re finished, we’ll send you a coupon for a free [product/service].

  • Car trade-in offer

[Name], you can now exchange your old [car] for a new one at [car dealership]! Visit our showroom before 2024 and grab a new model for the same or lower price!

  • Recall announcement

[Name], there’s been a recall for your [car model]’s seatbelts. Check your email for the full report. Reply to this message to schedule your complimentary repair. We are sorry for the inconvenience. Let us know if you have any questions. [car dealership]


Bulk text messages are excellent for engaging and converting leads, increasing car sales, and supercharging revenue, as they help you personalize experiences, strengthen customer relationships, and build trust and loyalty. So, follow our tips above, use the SMS templates for inspiration, and take your sales to the next level.

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