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6 Steps to Automotive Email Marketing that Dramatically Increase Sales

A few years ago, with the advent of Social Media and Mobile, many marketers thought that email would take the back seat to these new digital strategies. As a marketing channel, email isn’t disappearing. In fact it’s growing and becoming even more powerful.

In a recent DMA study, 75.8% of marketers said they are using more emails than they were three years ago. According to Forrester Research, investment in email marketing is forecast to grow from $1.3-billion in 2010 to $2-billion in 2014 – an increase of 70% with forecasts to climb even higher in 2015!

As a dealership that needs to make all your marketing dollars count, how can you make sure your email marketing pays off? Use this simple recipe for your email campaigns to make sure you maximize traffic and sales with every campaign you deploy.

1.  Use only a scrubbed, up to date list.

It’s common knowledge you can purchase any list nowadays from a list company. Unfortunately, just because you have a lot of emails, doesn’t necessarily mean the list will pay off.

In order to comply with CAN SPAM laws, reduce bounces, increase deliverability, and increase the chance of driving traffic to your site and showroom floor, it is imperative you use an updated list.

List data should be scrubbed regularly for bad addresses, opt-outs and other updates. The only cost effective way to obtain this type of list is from a data aggregator that compiles the data and scrubs it on a frequent and regular basis.

Purchasing an unscrubbed list or renting a Polk predictor list is a recipe for disaster that will cost you money and can get your IP address blacklisted if you deploy from your CRM.

2. Target Your Competition’s Customers

Target your competition’s customers with a conquest campaign. It’s reported that 95% of today’s shoppers start the purchasing process online. So why not hit them at their Tipping Point in the beginning of their discovery process?

Adding up the lifetime value of your customers will reveal just how valuable this segment is to your bottom line. For example, if your average customer purchases 3 vehicles over their lifetime with you at an average spend of say 40k, their basic lifetime value is $120k. That doesn’t include the money spent on service.

Adding new conquest sales to your monthly goal builds massive back-end returns over the life of the dealership.

3. Target Your DMS and CRM with A Separate Campaign on a regular basis

Target your DMS by reactivating dead, lost and missed opportunities. Think about how many dollars you have spent over the years driving traffic into your show room. There are many prospects in your database who for whatever reason might be in the market for a vehicle. All you need to do is put your message in front of them to get them back into the sales funnel.

If you have several thousand or thousands of names in your DMS and CRM you should create a separate campaign that targets these prospects. It’s important to note that your list should be scrubbed by a data company for any bad addresses. Have a professional company append any postal addresses you have in your data base to emails and deploy the campaign for you. (Don't try this yourself. It's risky and can lead to serious fines if the data from your CRM and DMS isn't handled correctly according to federal CAN SPAM and privacy laws.)

4. Make sure your emails are mobile responsive

An estimated 65% of all emails are now opened on a mobile device. Even more to the point, 42% of those mobile users delete emails that don’t display on their devices correctly.

You need to optimize your emails for mobile. This is what’s known as responsive design. The emails text and images automatically adjust for the screen size they are displayed on.

5. Verify Your Results Using Google Analytics

Metrics are important for measuring ROI from your campaigns. Google Analytics shows you traffic results from your campaigns and allows you to make future decisions based on results.

6. Reanimate Your Dead, Inactive, Lost, Unsold Opportunities

According to NADA™, auto dealers close about 22% of their internet leads. This leaves 88% missed opportunities in your CRM. That data gets old fast and once way to increase sales from it is to use Reanimation. ePush Reanimation™ program scrubs your CRM data, appends missing emails from prospects postal addresses, removes bounce backs and creates a custom HTML creative to put your store and offers back in front of those prospects.

Let’s put this all together

The proof is in your results. If you want to increase the traffic to your website and showroom, Increase conquest sales, reactivate dead, lost, missed opportunities, and leverage your ad spend for pennies on the dollar here are the 6 steps to apply to your next email campaign.

1.       Use a scrubbed, up-to-date list.

2.       Target your competition’s customers.

3.       Target your DMS and CRM with a separate campaign on a regular basis.

4.       Make your emails mobile responsive.

5.       Verify your results with Google Analytics.

6.       Reanimate your Dead, Inactive, Lost, Unsold Opportunities from your CRM.

Get your own customized  analysis indicating who is really ready to purchase in your market.

Eric Thornsbrough
Eric Thornsbrough
As the Marketing Director for ePush! Eric Thornsbrough oversees business developement, strategic marketing and consults with dealer agencies who want to leverage complex data and new technologies.

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