9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog

Where automotive meets digital marketing.


Why Email Marketing Still Works for Auto Dealerships

Nearly 200 billion emails are sent across the world every day. Scientists say there are about 200 billion stars in the Milky Way, and everyone on Earth is sending that many emails in a 24-hour period.

That's hard to get your mind around.

And sometimes, it can be hard to get your head around email marketing for your auto dealership, but with some successful marketing practices, you can get your head out of the stars and put email to work.

Segment Your Way to Success

Let’s start with the obvious: No matter who your target demographic is, they’re likely using email.

With 200 billion messages a day, the odds are in your favor. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all useful online tools, but those mediums are exclusionary. You’re not going to reach your entire target audience if you’re posting on Facebook alone. Email, though, gives you access to everyone.

Email is the classic social media channel. 

You have full control over your email list, and you can use it to personalize campaigns and get your message to the right people. A lot of auto dealerships don't do that, though. Instead, they send a blanket message to their whole contact list.

Why send an email about a truck special to someone who last bought a Prius?

Take a step back and consider your customers. There’s a huge mix of ages, genders, marital statuses, incomes, interests. One email message isn’t going to speak to everyone’s needs, and when you try to be too generic, you’re actually turning away potential leads.

Instead, dig into your CRM data and segment your leads. You can really find a message that speaks to a specific type of buyer, and then write an email with a subject line and content that works for that person. You are surely going to send fewer emails, but the likelihood of the receiver opening and clicking on the email goes way up with a targeted message.

Write a Winning Message

Spend some time on your message, because that’s the key to a successful email marketing campaign.

Potential customers expect to get offers by email, but they only respond to offers that are useful. Like we said earlier, you wouldn’t want to push a truck sale on a Prius owner.

Let’s look at an example from one of our clients. We sent this email to truck owners who we thought might be in the market to upgrade. We determined this by filtering out owners of certain models and years. Sure, we sent it to only 660 of this client’s 30,000 plus contacts, but it was a huge success.


Forty percent of those people opened the email and half of them clicked through to the client’s website. They in turn, shared information with our client’s sales team about their car-buying mindset. This is valuable information — all from one email artfully crafted to engage a specific group.

In the end, that’s your dealership’s goal with email: To get more opens and clicks. Because that’s the information you can use in the future to better define a lead’s wants.

The best thing about email marketing for auto dealerships is the tracking tools. You can get an in-depth analysis of an email’s success and use it to fine-tune future messages. You’ll know which customers aren’t responding to your campaigns, and you can revise the message to connect with their needs.

Start Small

You can improve your dealership’s email marketing campaigns without a massive overhaul. Start small with a few easy changes.

For instance, you should schedule messages to send at the best time. Research points to Tuesday and Wednesday as the most effective days to send, but you should do some testing with your contact list to pinpoint a date and time that’s best for your leads.

Be specific and clear — and make sure you deliver. If you provide the educational content you promise, your leads will be inclined to trust your word when they’re ready for a sale.

Are you ready to learn how to keep better track of those online leads? Download our free Lead Tracking for Auto Dealers eBook and unlock the full value of your digital marketing.