9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog

Where automotive meets digital marketing.


How to Boost VinSolutions with Marketing Automation

Opportunities are flowing by like a river.

If your dealership uses a VinSolutions CRM, you have an incredibly valuable opportunity to use marketing automation to grow your dealership's bottom line. Like most CRM systems, it becomes more valuable when you understand and tap into the data that is being recorded by your sales and service teams.

VinSolutions Logo.  (PRNewsFoto/VinSolutions)

VinSolutions Logo. (PRNewsFoto/VinSolutions)

Last week, we showed you how 9 Clouds integrates with ADP CRM systems to launch effective automated marketing campaigns that save time and money for a dealership. Today, we want to show you how we've connected VinSolutions to our own marketing automation systems.

Like many automotive CRMs, VinSolutions provides access to several pieces of data, including transaction histories and customer summaries. These “columns” in the CRM database allow 9 Clouds to launch marketing campaigns that rely on sound logic to show the right messages to the right people at the right time.

  • Names
  • Purchase dates
  • Geographic locations
  • Details of the purchased vehicle (model, new/used, etc.)
  • Service information (mileage, descriptions, warranty info, etc.)
  • Lead information (what models the person likes, which salespeople have contacted them, etc.)
  • and much more

With these fields (or columns) of data at our fingertips, we're set to build some effective marketing automation systems.

Hold up. What about the marketing tools within VinSolutions? Why not just use those instead of integrating with a marketing automation service like 9 Clouds?

VinSolutions has several basic marketing tools, which vary depending on your VinSolutions. VinSolutions is a very robust CRM tool. It is best applied to helping sales teams understand the context of a contact. 9 Clouds does not recommend using VinSolutions email tools, however, because they cannot yield the insights nor create the positive outcomes of a well-oiled marketing automation machine.

Good marketing automation systems – like those built by 9 Clouds – also involve several pieces of marketing content such as social engagement, blog posts, email messages, email drip campaigns, lead reporting and more.


VinCONNECT is the dashboard or “portal” that allows a user to access the data within VinSolutions. One unique aspect of VinCONNECT – as opposed to the other CRMs that we've used – is that it allows you to schedule custom reports to be emailed directly to a marketing person or agency. This feature makes it very easy for 9 Clouds to extract the data and build systems in less time than is required by other CRMs.

With this data readily available to us, and with great customized reports coming straight out of VinSolutions, we can leverage the data and help our dealerships effectively market themselves and their products.

Email marketing with VinSolutions and 9 Clouds

Personalized and timely automated email messages can positively impact your dealership's sales. According to a recent study by Experian, personalized email messages can have 29% more opens and 41% more clicks than generic email blasts.

And when I say “personalizing” I'm not just talking about Hello [Name here]. I'm talking about intelligently segmenting your customers to receive the right messages at the right times.

For example, if you can keep a rolling list of your unsold Ford Fusion leads, you can send them your best Fusion offers on a month-to-month basis. Or, if you keep a list of sedan owners who have had recent service issues or high miles, you can gently encourage them to consider a new Fusion.

Integrating VinSolutions data with marketing automation has also allowed us to find equity opportunities for people who might be able to trade in their vehicles for new vehicles at similar monthly payments, and also to encourage trade evaluations at opportune times.

With sales and service data from VinSolutions, 9 Clouds can help you find more opportunities and encourage your customers to take another trip through the sales cycle.

Digital Advertising with VinSolutions CRM Data

VinSolutions data is very useful for automating your digital PPC ads. This method of targeting display advertisements to select people is called “retargeting” or “remarketing” and it can be done with banner ads as well as ads on Twitter or Facebook. This sort of intelligent advertising is useful for personalizing the email message to speak directly to a person.

For example, you're a Toyota dealer and you want to conquest the Hyundai dealer down the street. If you know that a certain used model – let's say a 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe – has high re-sale value, you can dive into VinCONNECT, gather a list of people who own Santa Fes, and then show them ads for free trade evaluations combined with incentives on the new RAV4 at your store. It could say something to the effect of, “We want your Santa Fe. Have you tried a new RAV4?”

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

VinSolutions has created a robust CRM that can provide the data to juice up your dealership's marketing strategy. At 9 Clouds, we not only believe in marketing automation – we know that it works. If you want to know how to unlock the potential of your CRM, whether its VinSolutions, ADP or otherwise, contact us. If you want to see first-hand what 9 Clouds can do for you, try a 30-day demo of marketing automation.


Image: Kool Cats Photography on Flickr.