Why Email Is Still the Queen of Automotive Marketing
Nineteen years before Al Gore allegedly created the Internet, Ray Tomlinson sent the world’s first email message (to himself) in 1971. Email predates Windows, Apple, and the entire web itself. Today, marketing email is an essential tool for auto dealers throughout the world.
After 49 years of having the technology, the world sends more than 269 billion emails every day. Although this might seem like a firehose of communication, it’s still easy for dealerships to stand out and provide value in the inbox.
Here in the age of Snapchat, email is the most private and most personable medium for dealers to connect with contacts. Unlike social media, the inbox remains a comfort zone of tailored information. It’s the original source of permission-based marketing, where dealerships can not only talk to contacts, but also learn from them in real time.
As Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms constantly tinker with their algorithms, email remains a reliable, direct connection with people in your database.
Email Reigns with Trust
There’s a reason every form you fill out online requires an email address. Email acts as the intermediary between your online experience and your house. With receipts, confirmations, bills, reminders, deals, newsletters, and more — email still fills an important, trusted role in our online shopping experience.
As leads and customers interact with your dealership in real life, that long-term relationship is sustained through effective marketing emails. This is why your dealership needs to have a clear and understandable email marketing strategy.
Sending Opportunities Throughout the Realm
It’s important for dealership managers to stay on top of their own email marketing strategies.
Email marketing for auto dealers isn’t just about blasting out your best lease offers. Especially today, email can allow your dealership to automatically segment, clean, and qualify your database. And even though email is the elder digital marketing tactic, it’s still the best way to send relevant offers to people.
Measuring the Throne
What role does email play at your dealership? In our experience, many dealers are sending:
- Personal, one-to-one emails to active leads
- Lists of regular monthly incentives
- Model overviews
- Blog post notifications (for subscribers)
- Reminders for appointments
These things are all essential to a dealership’s marketing email strategy, but — as with any queen — the real reigning happens behind the curtain. For example, does your store follow up with engaged leads? Do you send model-specific offers to active shoppers? Do you qualify contacts based on website shopping?
Here are a few ideas to inspire your dealership’s email marketing:
- Segmentation emails, which qualify contacts based on what they click. For example, our dealerships often send out emails to unqualified contacts (people who haven’t indicated interest in a specific unit or model) to gauge their interest and learn from their browsing behaviors. We then follow up with more relevant emails specific to their needs.
- Welcome emails, which orient newly converted contacts with the offerings and values of your dealership. In our experience, this is the most commonly missing piece of a dealership’s email marketing strategy.
- Equity mining (trade-in) emails, which go out to people who own desired used vehicles and ask them to request a trade evaluation. These emails not only complement sales, but also help your dealership stock the right types of vehicles at the right time.
- Incentive roundup emails, which allow readers to see all your available incentives in one message. Although this might sound counterintuitive to a personalized email marketing strategy, we’ve found that many email contacts prefer to opt in to see all of the dealership’s programs every month — with a clear option to opt out at any time.
These are just a handful of tactics your dealership could use to better qualify your database over time and provide a more delightful experience for your contacts. (If you’re looking for further inspiration, check out our posts about email templates, automated emails, and more!)
Take Control of Your Dealership’s Email Strategy
With this clear understanding of how important email marketing still is today, you’re probably wondering what the next step is. We suggest watching this webinar, which provides great insights from and examples of successful email marketing for auto dealers.
Go forth, and take advantage of all the potential that email marketing can provide for your dealership.
Long live the queen!