Auto Dealer’s Guide to Outbound Email Marketing
Given today’s economy, consumers strive to shop wisely and carefully, looking for good deals to spend their hard earned money on and this includes buying a car which remains a necessity. Car dealerships may find themselves struggling to generate and maintain their businesses. Aside from the traditional ways of advertising like a full-page newspaper ad, social marketing or any other advertising campaign or channel, outbound email marketing is a must. What is email marketing? Simply said, it is directly marketing your company’s message to people by means of email, and every email sent to them would be regarded as email marketing. It is imperative for car dealers to know how to setup, use, and learn all about email marketing automation and its benefits to keep up with technology which will attract more customers and get them to buy from you.
How to Setup Email Marketing
Here are the basics you need to know about email marketing which will boost your business growth and let you build strong customer relationships:
1. Decide on the purpose of your email beforehand. What exactly do you wish to accomplish with your email campaign? Will it be for educating clients, introducing a new product, offering discounts or promoting your brand? It is important to set clear goals to be able to convey clear messages as well. Think of what course of action you would like your customer to take as the effect of reading your email marketing campaign.
2. It is critical that you choose the right email service provider. There are various email marketing automation companies that would offer a way to send bulk emails and let you manage your email database and campaign as well.
3. Build your mailing list. There are various ways this can be constructed. You may want to have a squeeze page which is a single page on your site that will allow customers who wish to opt in to email subscription to enter their email address. There are also third party services that sell mailing lists. Even if you only get a few, make this small number part of your database to help you get started.
4. Determine which of the two most popular outbound email marketing campaign you prefer to use, namely promotions and newsletters. Promotions advertise your brand, product or service and normally include special deals or offers discounts. On the other hand, newsletters keep your customers updated with your new product launches, offers and informed of company news.
5. Design with your own style for a personalized look. This way, customers will identify with your brand or company even by just a glimpse of your email. You can use a myriad of approaches depending on your preferences. Your email can appear in simple, standard style but straightforward in conveying your message, or you may create a flashy campaign that is eye catching and will stand out from other plain emails. A simple look can be easier to absorb by the mind without any colorful distractions, but a fully designed email will give a professional and modern look, and both styles or any other style would appeal to different audiences.
6. Use the ‘hook’ appeal. A hook would be a truly interesting, short but very powerful title or subject line of your email which will entice customers to open and read it the second they see it. It comprises the foremost part of your campaign and must be able to keep customers scrolling and reading through. Focus on benefits rather than the feature of what you are offering.
7. Monitor your campaign. Set the best time and day of the week you will be sending your email, and be consistent. Include an unsubscribe link and respond immediately to requests. Learn from how your customers respond to the emails you are sending, like which are frequently opened and which gets the most number of clicks.
How to Use Email Marketing
Now that your email marketing is completely set up, here are some proven ways and tips on how to use them to maximum effect for your car dealership business:
Email Marketing for Pre-Sales
Car dealerships regularly obtain new lines of cars in various models and they can leverage this to better their relations with clients. Dealerships would offer customers to sign up for special marketing offers and access to these new products before officially releasing them for sale to the general public. The customers would feel appreciated and special to be given a chance to peek at the new cars and this in turn will increase business loyalty and value.
Email Marketing for Sales and Discounts
A car dealership may offer an online coupon that may only be provided if they subscribe to their email list. Doing so, the dealership may have a unique edge over the other competition and will increase customer loyalty. Any deal can be offered through e-mail and may be directed to the website so that the customers will have an added option to shop or browse the cars online. Maximum store exposure is given since most of the people have access to internet and a computer these days, and they are not afraid to purchase or put down a deposit online for a car that they may like.
Email Marketing for Feedback
Any customer feedback or thoughts is very important in a business, and it is also true for car dealerships. Feedback can be provided in many ways and forms and it helps to improve so many aspects of a dealership. The service that they receive, the prices of their car products, overall satisfaction, what they think of the dealerships’ website and other complaints are just some examples and they can be voiced out this way. A dealership business will be wise to collect the given feedback, collate and analyze it, and make steps in order to prevent future mistakes or to further build up the good things their customers are saying about them. Feedback can be in a form of a survey or an open-letter form. Email marketing may also be used to collect information on which cars are the most wanted and sought after, in which they can use it to purchase additional stock.
Email Marketing for Add-on Products
Once a car is purchased or leased, the car dealership can add even more value by offering various parts and add-ons to their customers’ vehicles by email. The emails are highly customized to the type and model of the car sold, and they may select high-margin products and include them in marketing announcements. Since the products exactly fit the car that was sold then there is a likely chance that the customer will accept, a return business is made with little effort or investment.
TIPS on How to Keep Email Marketing Relevant and Useful to your Business
1. Car dealerships may offer to trade their email list with one another and hope to double the subscribers who wish to opt in for it. They may also offer to include the other dealerships’ products when they send out the marketing emails in agreement that the other dealership will do the same.
2. Dealerships may also test out various email marketing strategies and check which one has the best results. For example, two emails of the same content but with different wordings may be sent to two customer groups. They may then see which group clicks through or opens the email to see the information inside and use it for a more effective approach.