Five Email Marketing Practices Auto Dealers Should Avoid

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Many car dealerships ignore email marketing altogether, mistakenly assuming that it’s not the best way to connect with their prospects. Of all the mistakes made by car dealers, this is certainly the most common. Some think email marketing is dead; others assume that email marketing is used to promote cheaper products. Both assumptions are also wrong, because an email is a perfect way to connect with your past and potential buyers – if, of course, you do it right.

Below, we’ll outline the most common mistakes in automotive email marketing and provide you with concrete suggestions for promoting your business and increasing sales, all without spending thousands of dollars on advertising.

Buy mailing lists

Paying for mailing lists is a very common mistake that can get you blacklisted by recipients and email clients. Ideally, your prospects should be happy to share their contact details, for example through a form on your website.

When working in the auto B2B sphere, you can save time by using email search tools like Signal rental. The logic is to research relevant industries and companies to create carefully targeted mailing lists. Yet the same principle applies: you need to make sure that all recipients find your emails useful.

Do not segment your CRM

Even when you have a database of prospects who are potentially interested in your offers, it still doesn’t mean that everyone on your email list will be equally interested in everything you have to offer. For example, there is no point in advertising a sports car to a mom who drives a minivan, right? Just like there is no point in promoting a new car model to someone who bought a similar brand a few months ago. In other words, you can’t ‘blow up’ your entire CRM by sending all (or most) people the same message. This would only lead to high churn and block rates.

One solution would be to carefully target all prospects in your CRM. Don’t worry if your segmented groups aren’t very large – it’s more of a more than a minus. Sending emails to small groups of prospects with unique messages about them is the best email marketing technique that always pays off.

Stick to the same patterns all the time

Consistency is good when it comes to sending emails on schedule, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for experiments, specifically carefully monitored testing. The success of any email campaign depends on several variables, not just how carefully your offers are targeted. A good start would be to experiment with CTAs, which at the car dealership could range from “Book a ride” to “Learn more”.

Another variable that can influence your email open rates and the overall success of a campaign is when you send your emails. Also, it’s always possible to experiment with subject lines, content formatting, and even the way you address your recipients.

Keep in mind that to get the best information, you will need to test many different variables before analyzing the results. It would therefore be logical to carry out the tests on larger groups of recipients rather than on small segments of your CRM. This way you will get more accurate data which will help you in your future campaigns.

Ignore mobile friendliness

In 2019, almost half of all emails received were opened on mobile, and by some estimates that figure is much higher in 2021 – up to 65%. So email marketers simply can no longer ignore optimizing their messages for mobile.

Of course, you’ll be creating all of your email campaigns on a desktop, but you’ll still need to keep mobile in mind. Unfortunately, what looks great on a computer isn’t as visually appealing on a mobile. One of the common issues is a shortened email subject line. And since this is one of the most important aspects that defines your email open rate, you need to make sure that mobile users can see your entire subject line.

Graphics and CTAs can look different on mobile, too. Also, images don’t always load the same speed on different devices, so this is another aspect to keep in mind. Ideally, you should check what your email looks like not only on desktop and mobile, but also scan it on different devices.

Don’t use an opportunity to grow your database

Growing and updating your email database on a regular basis can dramatically increase your return on investment. You probably have a contact form on your website, but you should also take a more proactive approach when it comes to your CRM. For example, SignalHire browser extension can extract contact details from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn with one click.

So when you come across someone’s profile and see that that person could potentially become a customer, don’t hesitate to add them to your database. Anytime someone comments on your social media post and sends you a direct message, make sure their email ends up in your prospect list.

General tips on formatting emails

Even though car dealership is a specific industry, there are some general email marketing tips that apply, especially when formatting your message. Make sure you:

  • Create an intriguing subject line that grabs attention;
  • Write your email snippet as the logical continuation of a subject line;
  • Always personalize your emails, from the subject to the last line;
  • Keep your paragraphs short so that recipients can quickly flip through the message;
  • Include graphics that do not interfere with the content of your post;
  • Use informal language without jargon.

There’s no question that a car dealership takes more time and effort than selling candy bars, but the investment is well worth it in the long run. The final tip would be to always monitor and analyze the results of your email marketing campaigns. Find out what works and what doesn’t, and use that knowledge in all of your future campaigns. After all, successful marketing is not just about math and analysis, but creativity and openness as well.

Interesting Related Article: “What To Look For In A CRM For Your Business”