Many car dealers mistakenly believe that email marketing is not the best way to generate ROI in their particular industry. Sure, the return of investment in the automotive industry may not be $40 for every dollar spent (the general estimate across all businesses). However, automotive email marketing remains one of the most effective and affordable promotional means.
When it comes to successful car dealers, most of them combine informative and promotional content in their email campaigns, with 57% of businesses reaching out to their prospects every month and 21% — every three months. But, of course, a successful marketing campaign is not just emailing frequency and content type. Below, we will list the most important tips on making your car dealership campaign worth the effort.
Build a Database of Interested Recipients
Every successful email marketing campaign starts with a quality database of potentially interested buyers. That is why you should encourage people to subscribe to your newsletters over a special form on a website. Sure, this process takes time, but it is way better than purchasing ready-made email lists because their quality is always questionable.
If you want to speed things up a bit, you can use lead generation software that gives you valid contact data of people who might be interested in your product. There are several established products you can make use of — for example, RocketReach. The service provides marketers with a carefully targeted list of verified contacts at approximately $0.47 per lookup. Or, you could try a newer and more affordable RocketReach alternative, SignalHire, with an average contact lookup cost of $0.14.
Follow Cars, Not Just People
When you start building your lead database, it is very important to include information on the car your contact owns. This will help you create narrowly targeted emails that actually appeal to your audience. Besides, you can also follow all cars you sell, even after they switch owners. This is a great solution to expand your database, adding more relevant prospects to your email lists. Besides, when you identify new owners, you can show prospects that you care about your business reputation, can take the car in for maintenance, and, more importantly, are well-aware of the car’s history.
Carefully Segment Your Recipients
Customer segmentation is the key to success of any marketing campaign. You cannot expect all people in your database to be interested in the same info and promotional offers. All of your prospects will have different preferences when it comes to car makes, models, and body types. No use advertising trucks to someone who’s always driven sedans, right? Just like there is no use to promote a new car model to a person who bought from you not too long ago.
On the other hand, if someone booked a test drive for a particular car or has been driving a similar model for a decade, there is a chance these people will be interested in your offer. So, it all goes down to careful, narrow segmentation of your prospects into relevant lists. Blasting one and the same email to everyone will only send the wrong message and increase your unsubscribe rates.
Optimize Emails for Mobile
Even though you will be curating your campaigns from a desktop computer, you cannot forget that most recipients will open your messages on mobile. Right now, roughly 65% of all emails are opened on mobile, but what’s truly important is that 42% of recipients delete these emails immediately if the message is not optimized for mobile.
If you do not want this to happen with your carefully crafted and properly targeted emails, you have to make sure your message looks great across all devices. Pay special attention to a subject line that usually gets shortened on mobile and make sure all content stays in the right place. Once you’re there, check content loading speed, too. All in all, it is always a wise idea to check how your emails look across different platforms and devices — just to be on the safe side.
Use Graphics & Video Whenever Necessary
As long as you don’t overdo it, graphics can seriously boost your email click-through rates. Visual content is a great attention-grabber, and many people would rather take a better look at the pictures than read through the text. Besides, research proves that using video can boost email click-through rates by 200%, especially when videos are of quality and have value for the recipients. Of course, creating great video content is a time-consuming process, but given that informative videos are so engaging, it is worth the time.
Keep Expanding Your Database Whenever Possible
We already hinted that regularly expanding your database is the surest way to generate more leads and increase your ROI. Still, identifying new car owners is not the only way to grow your database. In fact, you should use every opportunity to attract more leads. Social media can be a great tool for that. For example, when you interact with new prospects on social media, do not hesitate to add them to your CRM. Sure, you will not always be able to see the prospect’s email on social sites, but you can always use the SignalHire browser extension to pull this data in a click.
Test Different Variables in Your Campaigns
The most important thing to remember while marketing any product — from a brand new sports car to a budget kitchen appliance — is to monitor and analyze the results of your campaigns. This way, you will be able to figure the best sending times, subject lines, and overall email structures for different groups of your recipients. The more variables you test and the larger your test groups are, the more accurate your data will be. Perhaps, one of the most important variables that need regular testing is the call-to-action you use in your campaigns.
Following these simple email marketing tips should help you boost your car dealership ROI without spending enormous budgets on advertising. So keep experimenting, do not be afraid to use your creative vibe, and, of course, keep an eye on the latest trends to make sure your campaigns are as successful as they can be.