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Ingrassia: Go RVing Leads Spark Retail Sales

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June 19, 2014 by   Leave a Comment

Phil Ingrassia

Phil Ingrassia

Editor’s Note: The following column, authored by Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) President Phil Ingrassia and appearing in the June issue of RV Executive Today, touts the benefits the Go RVing Leads Plus program provides for dealers.

Last month I had the opportunity to dig a little deeper into a recent Go RVing study for some presentations I prepared for the RV Business Power Breakfast and the Airstream Inc. dealer meeting. The study is a sales match analysis conducted by global data and marketing solutions firm IHS Automotive, which incorporated Polk into its business last year.

Here is some quick background on this sales match study. Go RVing provided 208,000 leads gathered from an 18-month period, and IHS matched those names through a registration database of new and used RV registrations through last June. This provided an adequate buying time for the analysis.

The big news out of the study (which RV Executive Today has previously reported) was that in the total universe of U.S. households, the national new RV purchase rate during the period studied was .36%. The Go RVing lead rate of purchase for a new RV was .84% – more than double the U.S. household rate.

Purchase rates for used RVs were even higher among Go RVing leads, at 1.5%. When combined, the total purchase rate for Go RVing leads was 2.34%, which is impressive when compared to the 1% to 2% rate the Direct Marketing Association considers good for lead conversions.

Higher household income

One of the things in the study that jumped out to me was the household income numbers for Go RVing buyers that are significantly higher than what we’ve found for average RV owners.

The average household income for a Go RVing lead who purchased a new unit during the period was $87,246, and for those who purchased a used unit, it was $75,984. This compares to the $62,000 average household income reported in the most recent University of Michigan study. The Go RVing prospects who buy are more affluent, which means they’re more likely to buy a motorhome than other buyers. These prospects buy a lot of travel trailers too, but the mix is heavier toward motorized than the overall RV market is supporting right now.

Follow-up is important

It comes as no surprise that following up with these prospects is important. The study showed that more than 50% of those who purchased did so within 180 days of becoming a lead.

As we’ve talked to dealers and looked at monthly sales data, it’s clear that the RV sales cycle has become somewhat less cyclical, so the Go RVing program has extended its media plan into the fall. This means leads are coming into the system throughout the year.

If your dealership is not signed up for the 2014 program yet, there’s still plenty of time to get good value out of the program. With more follow-up and more dealers participating, we can drive the purchase rates outlined in the study even higher in the future.

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