Case Study: Open Road H-D®

Eric Pedretti | 12/08/2017



Entrepreneurship was a lifelong aspiration for co-owners Pete & Lori, so when they met at a Sturgis Rally, they began to dream of owning a Harley-Davidson dealership together. They founded Open Road Harley-Davidson in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in 2007 and have been living life wide open for the past decade! Together, they share their passion for riding with the community and have created a place where riders of all ages can come together. That passion shines through in their customer service and has earned them three Bar & Shield Circle of Excellence Awards and has consistently ranked them in the top 10% among all dealers nationally for customer experience satisfaction.


Open Road invited 1,000 of their past customers and 1,500 conquest prospects who ride Harley, live in their backyard but haven’t bought from them to their Iron, Tailgates & Ink Event.  Using a nice mix of active, inactive and prospect customers, they knew they could reactivate customers who hadn’t spent money with them in the previous year, drive some new blood through the door and increase frequency of visits of their existing customers to increase the number of customers spending money with them and the amount they spend in 2017.


The Sharp Shooter Program targets customers with up to 12 different, direct marketing strategies ensuring they receive the message multiple times. By increasing the number of times they get the message, we increase response to the survey site and traffic through the doors on event day. Big picture, this multi-touch approach makes it easy to touch their buying base 52-104 times over the course of the year which puts a fence around their herd and makes them immune to other offers from other dealers. Over time, it helps increase the number of customers spending money with the dealership and on average, how much they spend annually leading to predictable growth for the store.


Focusing the message on the party elements of their event (food, drinks, door prizes, demo rides, etc.) not only attracted the small number of folks who were ready to buy, but hundreds more customers who didn’t plan on buying anything that Saturday, resulting in tons of impulse purchases and pipeline for future sales.



Mary, Marketing Director for Open Road H-D said they, “had a crowd for sure and were really excited about the turnout for the event. The parking lot was packed; showroom too! We ended up doing over $11,000 in MotorClothes, $2,600 in P&A and had lots of new faces show up. Raised $550 for the local food pantry too!” 


The Sharp Shooter Program generated 322 completed surveys, which created a total of 235 sales opportunities in P&A, Service, and riding gear, PLUS 84 responses for a new or used bike turning this weekend event into a month-long sales event for each department following up on the leads generated from the event and increasing their Return On Investment.


In addition to the traffic, sales and leads generated from the event, Open Road Harley-Davidson was able to ‘Onboard’ the 322 customers and prospects who completed the survey.


So what is Onboarding? Think of it this way…every day your website has customers looking at new and used inventory. The problem is that very few website visitors take the time to fill out a quote request or other form which identifies who they are. In fact, only 1-2% of website traffic actually converts into a lead, which means 98% or more are completely anonymous. You have no idea who they are.


Onboarding is the process of connecting customer contact information with their device ID’s so moving forward, Open Road H-D will be able to see every time those onboarded customers are on their website looking at inventory without filling out a quote request or other form. For our clients, this typically generates 3-5 times more leads per month for the dealership.


Imagine if you could know this information on your customers! What if you knew that customer Joe Smith had been on your website 7 different times over the past 3 weeks and that he’s looking at a specific 2017 Streetglide CVO and yesterday he viewed 3 of those models that are in your inventory right now. If you had that data, it’d make a huge difference in your sales. 


The best way to maximize these opportunities is to have Open Road H-D give them the ol 1-2 punch with an email and a follow up call from a sales person to personally invite them to their next event or to schedule a ‘Personal Demo Experience’ as soon as possible. Our Firestorm Email System will automatically email customers who were looking at inventory yesterday, so all the dealership has to do is call and follow up. 


We recently had another H-D Client turn on the automated email and after one week, 280 emails were sent to customers visiting inventory pages with 6 customers replying to the email and 2 purchasing a bike!


What’s next? 

November means Black Friday! The average U.S. family will spend over 70% of their entire annual discretionary budget between Black Friday and Christmas. Your job is to keep your customers out of the malls and the big box stores and give them a reason to spend that money with you. Remember, every customer who completes a Sharp Shooter survey will be onboarded, so you’ll be able see every unit they look at on your website in the future, helping you increase their lifetime value and sell more units! Check out the inserts for some killer campaign options for November and for more information on how the Sharp Shooter Program and Onboarding can help you finish the year with a bang, call me on my direct line 877-242-4472 ext: 112. Happy selling.