in this post, we’ll explain nine steps you can take to use email marketing to increase sales at your car dealership.
As a specialist automotive marketing agency, these nine steps are exactly the same strategies we’re using to push our clients’ sales into overdrive every day.
But before we get started, here’s why email marketing is worth doing right.
Right now, especially with Covid-19 still around, keeping in touch with your customers has never been more important. Reassuring and relevant content in emails can increase website traffic, create leads and send positive messages in times of uncertainty.
Your customers are waiting to hear from you, wanting to hear from you, and how you communicate now will affect your business in the months ahead.
99% of email users check their inbox every day, with some checking 20 times a day. Of those people, 58% of consumers check their email first thing in the morning. (OptinMonster, 2020)
Email marketing is the single most powerful marketing channel for car dealers. Website pages and search engine traffic lag way behind for conversion success. It leaves social media for dust.
What’s more, email marketing is the most cost-effective marketing ROI there is – on average bringing £44 back for every £1 spent. (Campaign Monitor)
So, these are just some of the highly convincing reasons to put your resources into maximising its potential…
1. clean up your mailing list
The number and quality of the subscribers on your mailing list is a key factor that dictates the success or failure of any email campaign. You’re wasting your time sending emails to folks who aren’t really interested in your products or services but haven’t bothered unsubscribing. Yet.
So, you’ll need to do some pruning. Extract the juice from the pulp. Sort the wheat from the – well, you get the picture.
In marketing speak, it’s called Email Scrubbing.
And it’s the first step of your email marketing strategy if you’re serious about sales.
These are the advantages:
⦁ Better open rates and click rates
⦁ Reduced spam complaints – avoid getting blacklisted
⦁ Lower bounce rates – where your email doesn’t reach the inbox
⦁ More reliable data
But more importantly, you’ll be able to get to know your subscribers and what they’re interested in, which leads nicely onto the next step. By the way, if you need any help with building your mailing list, get in touch.
Obviously, this has nothing to do with oranges, even the yummy chocolate kind.
If you have multiple locations, multiple brands or multiple models, you need to segment your mailing list.
Marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue (Hubspot).
But surprisingly, Most dealerships (73%) reported not segmenting their lists in any way and send out the same content to all subscribers equally. (V12 Data)
Would an E-PACE driver be a potential client for a MINI?
Would a customer in Newquay buy a car in Newcastle?
Well, they might. It could be a second car. They may be geographically mobile.
And that’s the point.
If you have information about your subscriber, you can choose relevant content depending on their individual interests.
In fact, every email campaign is a new opportunity to learn more about the real person behind the email address. What do they open? What do they click on? Marketing bods like us are keen on tracking information like that and poring over stats and figures.
We also know that car dealers are more interested in firm enquiries. And here’s where it gets interesting.
3. personalise content
Tailoring content to your segmented mailing list is where you can make some serious marketing gains. Send an email to a Honda Jazz driver with a relevant new car offer that they have previously clicked on and you’ll be much closer to an enquiry conversion.
What’s more, the qualified nature of that enquiry makes a sale potentially easier to achieve.
4. don’t sell, tell
Car buying and customer relationships with car dealerships are changing. For millennials, browsing cars, choosing a car and buying a car are all done online.
Email is now the preferred channel of communication for digital natives. And so that’s the way car dealers should build relationships and brand identity in 2022.
Frequent newsletters, model launches, meet the team photos and how-to videos can raise the profile of your business. Unique and relevant information is a great way to nurture your customers. And if you want your subscribers to actually do something when they’ve read your carefully crafted content, make sure to include a strong CTA (Call To action).
Put informative, readable and helpful emails in your customers’ inboxes on a regular basis and you’ll cultivate conversations.
And if you can pique curiosity with details and spark imagination with stories, your emails take on a new dimension, triggering onward clicks to your site.
Your emails affirm your commitment to and presence in your local community. Then, already at the forefront of your future customers’ minds, your business becomes an obvious and friendly place to come – when the time is right.
No-one likes the hard sell, but promoting your offers to people you know are interested is totally different.
Your well-thought-out email strategy has built authority, confidence and maybe even a degree of desire. What luck that your latest, personalised offer hits the inbox of your potential buyer just at the right time.
It’s almost as if it were planned…
So far, we’ve looked at using email to boost car sales. But every dealer also knows the value of aftersales, upselling and cross-selling.
Recipients of your timely and well-targeted accessories, servicing, maintenance or MOT offer will welcome it as an ideal solution to their current need.
After all, why would they go anywhere else?
7. get mobile
More than half of emails are read on smartphones. Custom coding is a technical term for ensuring that your marketing email is mobile-friendly and appears correctly on different size screens.
Even the greatest content won’t function if readers can’t, umm… read it.
And whatever device your subscribers are using, it pays to keep your email design simple and professional, purge the waffle and use only high-quality, professional pictures and videos.
If you need a hand, we’d be delighted to help you with all this, as it’s not as easy as it sounds.
8. optimise the mailout
And talking of technicalities, the timing of your mailout can be crucial to the success of your campaign. When is the best time to send your mail – Monday morning? Saturday afternoon?
The answer is… well, it depends.
Typically, a good time to send is from Tuesday to Thursday, between 8 am to 10 am, as this generally coincides with good email opening times.
But offers may be different to newsletters. There may be variations between different regions of the country, different brands and your target age demographic.
After all, every subscriber list is different.
And so the only way to know – like any other variable, is to test, which also takes a bit of experience to master.
9. carefully cultivate lost leads
The last step in our email marketing guide is again based on analysis. This time, let’s take a look at your subscribers with the least engagement.
We know sales cycles in the automotive business can be long.
But by carefully targeting and personalising your lost lead content, often you can transform a stone-cold subscriber into a red-hot prospect.
Or as we’d call it an MQL – a Marketing Qualified Lead.
But then we are marketing geeks, after all.
That’s why we’re particularly well placed to help you with your emails. Let’s work together to get your custom email campaign up and running. Schedule a call or contact us today.