How to Attract Car Shoppers this Tax Season

How to Attract Car Shoppers this Tax Season

Written By Eric Schlesinger

Tax season. A boon to some, a bother to others. 

But as a car dealer, you most likely look at tax season as an opportunity to engage prospective car buyers who now have a little extra cash to spend. 

As you should! A sizable tax return can be the perfect down payment. And with decent incentives, even a modest return can be stretched a little bit further. There is, however, the crowd who broke even or even owed money. Keep in mind: these people might still need vehicles, and definitely still need service as likely vehicle owners, and can be won with a little strategy. 

With the right marketing and messaging mix, you can attract all types of potential tax season car shoppers!

An Offer for Every Tax Season Customer

While getting a small refund (or no refund) is actually the system working as intended, many people view their tax returns as a reward. And, many people rely on them to go towards a big purchase or maybe knock down some debt.

With this knowledge in mind, you can start to strategize how to communicate to these different tax season customers; whether it’s the ones with a big windfall, those who got low to no return, or business owners deliberating on a commercial vehicle for tax benefit purposes. 


3 Ways to Attract Tax Season Car Shoppers

Regardless of your potential customer’s tax season status, each category and situation still has needs for vehicles and services. For the sake of strategy, let’s break down each type of shopper into their situation and needs: 

  • Car Buyers with Large Tax Returns

These might be your easier sells, but customers with large tax returns would still appreciate incentive and encouragement. It may not be beneficial for you to do a matching offer for a particularly large tax return, but you can still point them in the direction of any attractive current incentives that require a minimum down payment they can satisfy. 

Even though they have extra cash in hand, a sense of urgency and FOMO still goes a long way when it comes to special offers. Encourage them to take action by way of a great incentive with a small window of opportunity. 

And remember, even if these types of customers aren’t in the market for a new vehicle, they may still need service or have possibly been putting off a more expensive service. Attract large tax return customers to your service bays with a solid service special and secure fixed ops revenue, too! 

  • Car Buyers with Low to No Tax Returns

As mentioned before, some folks don’t get much money back, if any, and some even still owe. While these people may not be able to deliver a juicy down payment, they still may be in the need of a vehicle or a vital service. As such, they are at a disadvantage and business can be secured by giving them some kind of a break. 

With demand and pricing high, you may be able to give a little more grace on an off-MSRP offer. Maybe provide a break on ordering a vehicle which also gives them a bit more time with financing. And with services, you could secure now and future business by offering special service packages to keep them coming back long after tax season is over.

These customers aren’t going to be bursting through your doors with money bags overflowing, so give them a great deal and aim to foster that all-too-important long-term customer relationship. If you have a carwash, maybe offer a free hosing for their car after their hosing by the IRS!

  • Car Buyers who are Small Business Owners

This is a fairly unique category compared to the previous two, but bear with us. This is more about creating a sense of urgency for small business owners who may need commercial vehicles in time to be able to consider a deduction on their sheets for next year. 

While they may not be in the most optimal position to purchase, you may be able to craft messaging that gets them thinking about the long game with their tax benefits for owning a commercial vehicle. 

Since they can make this decision any time before the new year, you can start to sprinkle a nurturing campaign reminding them to do so. This will keep you top of mind and also start planting the seeds for them to prepare to make the purchase before year’s end. 

ActivEngage Can Help You Capitalize on Tax Season

No matter what offers you put out to entice customers, ActivEngage can help you put them in front of the right shoppers and jump start an awesome relationship right from your digital dealership storefront. 

With ActivTarget, our behavioral offer tool, you can serve tax season-specific offers directly to curious customers browsing your website. Couple that with our Managed Messaging, to engage them and field questions about offers and inventory, and you have the perfect team of enticement and engagement to help ease customers further down the sales and service funnel.

Beyond tax season, ActivEngage has a variety of products to boost your digital dealership's accessibility and seamlessness.  


Ready to discover how ActivEngage helps your dealership succeed?