Auto Dealer’s Guide to Outbound Email Marketing

Marketing Automation for Auto Dealers

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

Email marketing providers

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

Ford Dealership

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.

3. Automation campaigns can handle outbound email marketing and they can do it tirelessly 24/7. It is often advised that once you set up email marketing it would be best left to automation for distribution purposes. This feature will add potential customers to the pool and they will learn more about what your car dealership is and what they offer. Automation can also cut down personnel and maintenance costs that you may use elsewhere.

4. Do not stop growing your email marketing list. Customers and consumers will come and go with the passing of time, and loyal customers may be too few and far in-between. Adding new people constantly to the pile increases dealership exposure and adds to your network. Almost all the world is connected to the internet nowadays, and a dealership should not pass up the opportunity to use various social media sites, online videos, guest postings, webinars and joint ventures to exponentially grow the list and keep it active and healthy.

5. Potential customers and other people are wary of receiving email because of rampant spam and email scams. Car dealership businesses can veer away from these pitfalls by crafting each email with care. A strong headline or title is very important because it will be the first the customer will see. Once they click on through the marketing email, it should provide a good and clear presentation. It certainly does not hurt to be straight to the point in this case. Avoid excessive call-to-action words and graphics or pictures that cram and crowd the email content and make it cheap. The right balance can be achieved through research and careful thought.

Once your database grows, as much as you want to keep in touch with each and every customer, it can be a big challenge to monitor all the activities aside from you managing the entire business. This is where email marketing automation comes handy. It is essential to help build and maintain existing relationships by being consistent in keeping them in the loop of your company activities. This lets customers feel they are valued and important.

What is Email Marketing Automation?

Email Marketing Automation

Email Marketing Automation focuses on the scheduling and segmentation, the definition and tracking of email marketing campaigns. This makes processes that can be performed manually done in a significantly shorter amount of time and makes a business much more efficient. Segmentation would be the process of classifying customers under different factors such as age, sex and education. This makes it easier to come up with a target population and send them the most effective resources. Campaign management makes sending email to a list of contacts with great ease. Some of the most popular and reliable software are Aweber, Mailchimp, or Infusionsoft.

What are the Benefits of Email Marketing Automation?

-Creates a database for existing and potential customers
-Automates repetitive tasks like sending email to new customers, sending updates, or emailing new blog posts
-Develops an automated campaign to boost sales
-It saves businesses valuable time and effort
-It ensures each customer is reached
-Consistency is guaranteed since it will send emails as you programmed it
-Closely monitor your outbound email marketing performance with the detailed reports
-Businesses save a lot of money through the automated system rather than the need for another staff to perform its duties
-Promotes brand presence on various channels such as text messages or social media networks
-Builds useful and highly beneficial customer profiles according to their responses, purchases and many other generated reports
-Customers get a personalized treatment which makes them feel valued
-Communications are more efficient and highly effective
-Gives you control over marketing campaigns, strategies, and have an overview of how all the emails are actually working
-Allows businesses to analyze which prospects and parts of the campaign really contribute to the success of the business
-Frees you up to focus on other tasks that require human expertise


Email marketing automation is the ultimate solution car dealers can have in streamlining their relationships with clients and enhancing their brand to potential customers. It gives you an in-depth, amazing view of your target group by seeing every valuable activity that occurs which play a great role in analyzing statistics. Marketing automation is not automated as it seems, since it even encourages brand building and raises personal relationships to a great extent. In any business, communication is of extreme importance and acquiring new customers is as important as keeping your existing clients. These people in your list may actually be the greatest asset of your company, the most powerful marketing channel made up of loyal customers. It builds the foundation of a successful company, whether big or starting small. Its benefits do not stop here because outbound email marketing automation proves to be a great sales channel as well which would surely boost your company’s revenues.

January 29, 2015 - Written by

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