9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog

Where automotive meets digital marketing.


5 Reasons Your Dealership’s Email Marketing Campaign Isn’t Working

Remember the days before the email marketing campaign, when it was thrilling to hear the AOL robot announce, “you've got mail?” Ah, those were the days. Now, people are opting out en masse with sites like unroll.me, making your job as an automotive marketer even more difficult.

But even in the age of inbox avoidance, 72% of consumers still say email is their preferred method of communication with your dealership. Your campaigns just need to be impeccable to catch the attention of today's audience.

Here why your auto dealership's current email marketing campaign isn't working — and what you need to do to fix it.

Problem: It Wasn't Optimized for Mobile

When you check your own email, it's likely on your smartphone or tablet. In fact, 66% of all email in America is now opened and read on mobile devices. But only a fraction of marketers are optimizing their emails for mobile.

This obviously impacts your dealership's customers.

Emails that aren't optimized for mobile devices simply don't look good on the small screen of a smartphone or tablet. And your leads won't stick around to find out what you have to say. A lot of emails that aren't mobile-friendly go right into the trash can.

In fact, 89% of marketers lose leads because their emails aren't mobile optimized. You cannot expect a customer to save your message and reopen on their desktop at a later time.

Solution: Use Mobile Responsive Templates

Not only should you use mobile responsive templates for your dealership's emails — but you should test the email before you send it to make sure it actually works.

Between iOS, Android and Windows devices, emails can render differently, so it's smart to go the extra mile and make sure your message is clear in all three before hitting send.

Services like MailChimp and HubSpot offer testing and integration, so you can be certain your message will be well received by this growing group of mobile customers.

spamProblem: You Ended Up in Spam

This one really hurts a marketers ego.

No auto dealer wants their marketing to be considered spam, but it happens all the time. And it starts with the subject line.

When people are going through their inbox, they're not even going to risk opening something that looks fishy. Using the words free, affordable, or even incredible deal can get you a ticket straight to the spam box. (Check out this post for a list of even more words you shouldn't be using in emails.)

Solution: Write Creatively and Thoughtfully

The easiest way to stay out of your customer's spam folder is to write creatively.

Those words that will get you blacklisted are all traditional, outbound tactics anyway. There's no need for the ALL CAPS, MILLION DOLLAR DEAL!!!! subject line.

Get creative with your wordplay and simplify the message. It will make your email seem more genuine  — therefore much more appealing to your customers.

Problem: You Didn't Offer a Clear Call to Action

Another big reason email campaigns fail is the lack of a clear message. Did you direct the receiver to a VDP, blog post or landing page? Did you give them a clear next step?

Without a clear call to action (CTA), a user isn't going to interact with your email. Even with a perfectly drafted CTA, we know only a percentage of users will respond, so there's no way you can expect success without a roadmap.

Solution: Always Include a CTA

The solution is really simple here. Don't ever send an email without a CTA.

If you find yourself considering a message without a call to action, you should really question why you're sending the message in the first place: What is it driving leads to do if there isn't a CTA?

The call to action doesn't always need to be sales-oriented. You can direct people to subscribe to your blog or your text campaign or send them to other relevant content about your message.

Problem: It Wasn't Personalized

A lot of auto dealers don't think about personalizing their email marketing campaigns. For years, it was enough to send an email blast to everyone and hope for the best.

But those email blasts aren't effective anymore. Customers are getting selective about which messages they want to see in their inbox. Inbound content is taking the lead over traditional, outbound messaging. Personalization shows your customers that your dealership is putting in the effort to reach them with a targeted, individualized message.

A lack of personalization can also lead to your auto dealership's message getting sent to the spam folder, rather than your lead's inbox. 4 out of 10 marketing emails are marked as spam because receivers find the content irrelevant — an issue you wouldn't have if it was personalized.

Solution: Use Marketing Automation

Your solution is marketing automation.

Marketing automation can take a so-so email marketing campaign and turn it into a success because it allows you to reach the right leads at the right time, using personalization.

A reminder, we consider marketing automation a high-level digital tool. Read up on why it's important to build up your digital platforms before starting automation — then you can start fully optimizing your email marketing campaigns!

Take Your Email Marketing Campaign to the Next Level

Even with the new technologies emerging every day, email is still one of the best marketing channels for auto dealerships. That's why it's so important to address these problems and implement the solutions. You'll see an incredible ROI for your effort.

When you're done optimizing your email marketing campaign, download our eBook on predictive analytics for auto dealers. It'll help you unlock the power of your customer data and double your already awesome email open and click-through rates.


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