In today’s digital world, where everybody is connected to the web, to their email and to their texting every minute of the day, email and other digital marketing channels are as crucial to a dealership’s success as is unlocking the showroom doors. What kind of automotive email campaign to deploy depends on many unique factors such as who you’re trying to reach, and for what you want to accomplish. Here are just a few important questions to consider when planning your next campaign.
What is the goal of your automotive email campaign?
Sure you want to sell more units. However, planning your goal before deployment lays the groundwork for better success and ROI. Are you trying to increase new conquest sales, service RO’s or retain current customers or reanimate lost prospects? Each strategy requires its own approach to data and messaging.
Are you prepared to convert?
There’s nothing more frustrating than investing your budget in a promotion, getting lots of traffic and not converting it to sales. It’s easy to place a majority of the blame on your vendor with excuses like...the prospects weren’t qualified, they just wanted gifts, they didn’t show for their appointments, and we had a lot of traffic to our offer page but only a few sales.
On first glance these may appear as plausible excuses for poor results. But, when you look deeper, you’re likely to find more complex, more meaningful reasons you missed when preparing for your campaign.
Did you target in-market shoppers or just a general list? - Finding prospects who are truly searching for a vehicle is the best approach to converting leads into sales. If you aren’t using behavioral data then you’re wasting a lot of your ad spend on unqualified prospects.
How “clean” is your data if using your DMS or CRM? - Every dealer has outdated data in their DMS and CRM. Best practices demand frequent hygiening and updating of your data to ensure your messages are reaching your prospects.
Did you have high bounce rates on your vehicle offer page? - Just because your website looks good doesn’t mean it converts well. Telltale signs of issues can start with high inventory levels on specific vehicles. Trace those back to your offer pages then review the page load times and bounce rates in your Google Analytics. (If you don’t have Google Analytics on every page of your website, you should do that immediately. Google Analytics is the Gold Standard of web traffic tracking. Don’t trust your analytics only to third parties.) If your page load time is high then you can bet that prospects are abandoning the page before they even see your offer.
Was an omnichannel approach used to reach your prospects multiple ways? - Repetition (frequency in marketing terms) breeds recognition and belief. When your prospects see your offer several times in multiple channels you move to their top of mind awareness. And since you started with a target list of in-market shoppers your chance of converting grows exponentially.
Did your BDC or management team have scripts prepared and follow up properly? - So many times BDC and management teams aren’t prepared to handle the traffic from campaigns. Calls are missed, appointments are lost and follow ups are either done wrong - or not at all - simply because a clear carefully thought out protocol wasn’t prepared in advance. Make sure to have appointment setting scripts ready, tracking number rollovers set and designated personnel to handle the traffic.
Were your analytics from previous campaigns used to tweak your offers and strategy? - You will learn a lot from reviewing previous campaign analytics like dissecting your offers, KPI and conversion funnels. Did you get great traffic and few appointments? Maybe the breakdown was a BDC challenge. Did you get light traffic and ok conversions? Maybe the offer needed to be stronger.
What is your timeline? - Patience, Grasshopper, is the key to better success. Map out your strategy with a timeline that gives you ample deployments for testing and tweaking. You should plan a 3-month minimum timeline to refine your strategy. Shooting from the hip at the last minute then abandoning your automotive email campaign strategy because of poor results doesn’t give you the time you need to evaluate, revise and improve. You’ll get no growth out of shotgunning a campaign that is data-intensive – and the best opportunity you ever had for precise, measurable feedback.. Reviewing your KPI’s and analytics results for previous campaigns gives you the crucial insight that will bring powerful breakthroughs in your results.
As we mentioned, automotive email is an important part of any dealership’s marketing campaigns. Determining a proper strategy before execution lays the foundation for better success. ePush! has the programs and expertise you need to launch a successful automotive email campaign, target the right audience and sell more units.