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5 Tips to Improve Preview Text & Subject Lines for Auto Marketing Emails

subject lines for auto marketing emails

An inbox is often a scary, cluttered place brimming with unanswered emails.

It can be tough to get your automotive marketing emails opened, let alone noticed. When optimizing an email for a higher open and click-through rate, you should consider every detail the receiver sees.

To do this, think about how you approach your own email inbox. Before you open an email, what do you notice first?

Most of us notice a few basic things: who the email is from, what the subject line says, and what’s included in the preview text.

So for today’s post, we’ll focus solely on improving preview text and subject lines for auto marketing emails. Here are our top five tips. 

1. Make It Personal

Think about your mailbox. I’m talking about that physical thing in front of your home.

While you flip through the envelopes you’ve received, what are you inclined to open first? Letters and postcards from loved ones, right? You probably don’t give the advertorial letters and direct mailers much consideration.

The same concept holds true for your virtual mailbox. Most people glance past the marketing-esque messages and give attention to emails from real people, not robots.

Adding some personalization — like a first name field or a seasonal greeting — to a subject line or preview text can increase your email engagement.

This may seem like an outdated tactic, but it still works wonders! People like the sound of their own name and a curated email experience.

Besides a first name field, consider including a location in your subject line or preview text. This will make your message even more appealing to the recipient.

Never, ever, ever use “noreply@company.com” as your sending address. It makes your email less personable — and therefore less likely to be opened.

2. Stay Clear from Spammy Words

Avoid spammy, impersonal wording and USING ALL CAPS TO EMPHASIZE YOUR MESSAGE. Here are some other SPAM trigger words to avoid.

For auto marketers, we often email leads with information about a sales event or limited-time offer. This is good stuff for your leads to know as they consider your dealership along the path to purchase, but be sure you never begin a subject line with “$” since you will immediately get flagged.

Try a subject line like “Save thousands during our Spring Sales Event” or “We have a coupon for you, [First Name].” That way, you avoid the need to use “$” at all, and the receiver is inclined to click to see how much they can save. 

3. Keep It Short

Less is more.

Try to keep subject lines between 38 and 47 characters, and keep preview text (sometimes referred to as preheader text) fewer than 100 characters.

Brevity and clarity are far more important than a complex, flowery message. Short preview text and subject lines will make the goal of your email clearer and less elusive. 

Write a concise sentence and get to the point. Your reader is not going to spend time slowly reading your email word for word, and they won’t do the same for your subject line or preview text, either.

4. Ask a Question

If you’re out of creative ideas for a subject line, consider asking a question to get the recipient thinking. A question will make your email stand out from standard statements.

A question is a great way to open one-on-one dialog. You’re able to pique the recipient’s curiosity and focus their attention on providing an answer. 

Imagine you’re having a conversation with the reader to help you come up with a question.

For example, every vehicle will need service at some point, and if you time your auto marketing email just right, you could catch your contact at the right moment! Ask something like, “Time for an oil change, [First Name]?” or “Could your car use a service?”

5. Apply a Deadline

Sometimes a deadline is just what you need to spark activity.

An end date will give your message a sense of urgency. Using deadlines like “today only” or “24-hour giveaway” will encourage your reader to act now, instead of putting it off until later — when there’s a chance of them forgetting it.

A clear deadline will sway people to not procrastinate.

Doesn’t “Only 15 days left to save on an oil change” motivate you more than “Save big on an oil change”?



Get More Auto Marketing Emails Tips

Your preview text and subject line for auto marketing emails are your chance to make a first impression. Once someone opens your email, it’s up to you to make the rest of the message as enticing as what you promised in the subject line. We can help with this too!

Email has the highest conversion rate of any digital marketing channel. Yes — any digital marketing channel. Although we all moan about getting too much email, the fact is that we still go through and delete every email we get — meaning we pay at least some attention to it.

When used effectively, email marketing for auto dealers will help your store attract repeat customers and upsell service customers to become sales customers. We can help you create targeted emails to spark interest amongst auto prospects and qualify leads for your sales team!