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Do your dealership email marketing strategies have low click rates and poor conversions? Learn why your efforts aren’t working and ways to fix them
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to drive revenues and re-engage with customers. It has continued to change and adapt with the needs of consumers, allowing it stay prevelant in a fast-paced digital landscape.
Here is the rub: your customers’ inboxes are saturated with promotional content. Due to the overload, they have developed a more selective process for opening, reading, and engaging with emails.
Therefore, car dealership email marketing needs constant updates; how you catch your reader’s attention today might not work tomorrow.
If you are looking to learn the basics of effective emailing, explore these top reasons your dealership email marketing is not working, and let us tell you how to fix them.
Big mistakes car dealers make with emails
1. Emails sound, look, and read like a robot (or human clone)
A big problem is not writing in a personal, one-on-one tone. Customers and leads want to develop connections with real people at your dealership. They want to feel like a priority.
If you’re sending automated emails through a CRM, here’s how to make your emails more personable:
- Address your reader by her first name.
- Write as if it were a one-to-one correspondence.
- Tell a quick story. Focus on what she might be experiencing and how you can help.
- Craft the email based on her behavior. Does your system show she has been searching for a specific car in the inventory? Has she downloaded or viewed content about a specific topic?
2. Emails are focused on selling products, not delivering value to the customer
When promoting a special discount or financing offer, make sure the content is focused on the the reader: her needs, wants, desires, pain points, interests, and behaviors.
All dealership email marketing efforts can benefit from understanding one thing: people don’t care about your inventory, they care about themselves.
Most dealerships will list a vehicle’s features: safety, gas mileage, finance options, extended warranty, etc. But how can you tell which feature is important to each prospective customer?
Ask yourself: what can I offer readers that is useful? How can I develop trust? How can my dealership email marketing deliver great value? Then, show value, not specs.
3. Contains too many links and calls to action
Marketing-savvy car dealers may believe more links equals more clicks. But for emails, having less is more. You want to craft each email with one specific goal in mind: what action do you want readers to take?
Maybe it’s responding to a survey, downloading content, scheduling an appointment, or watching a promotional video. Whatever the case, make sure it’s easy for the reader to understand. Don’t bog her down with too many options. Direct her to one specific action.
4. Subject lines are spammy
Don’t try to gain your reader’s attention with capitalized words and exclamation points. Many email hosts have spam filters to catch specific words, phrases, symbols, and formatting.
Here’s an example of a spammy subject line: “Amazing deal ends soon!! Just for YOU!! Click here —> Now!”
These “click bait” subject lines were once very effective. In today’s world, not so much. People have become wiser to dealership email marketing (and every other business, too).
What works today is personalized, value-driven, easily digestible subject lines. Here is an example: “Eric, give me 5 minutes, and I’ll lower your payments today.”
5. Emails don’t target a specific audience
Dealerships often send every person on their email list the same message. In the marketing, PR and advertising world, that method is called “spray and pray.” Aim one message at a bunch of different people, and see what sticks.
Breaking that email list into smaller segmented lists and understanding their specific needs will help produce more effective marketing. Take a look at where your reader sits within with your sales funnel, then ask:
- How old is she?
- How often does she interact with your dealership by email, social media, or in person?
- What steps has she taken to view your inventory?
- What specific vehicle did she spend time researching?
- How much time has passed since her last purchase?
- Where does she live?
All of these questions better define the audience you are targeting. Once all of these questions are answered, you will have a fuller picture of the reader and know what groups she fits into. Then you’ll understand how to pitch the perfect email content.
Do the ground work and automate your efforts
To develop an effective dealership email-marketing campaign, you need to do the ground work and find what works. Test your results with specific groups and record which emails perform best. Once you create a few emails that work well, you can automate them and update as neccessary.
Do you have any email marketing tips to add? Share your comments below or show us with an email of your own!