Email Marketing Ideas and Tips for Car Dealers

According to Small Biz Trends, “The average email open rate for all industries in the United States is 18%, and the average click-through rate is 2.69%. However, the average click-to-open rate stands at 14.10%.”

Email marketing can be an effective way to boost sales for your dealership if it is done correctly. Consider the following ideas and tips and implement them in your email marketing strategy for this year:

Don’t Waste Time with Outdated Lead and Customer Lists

In 2019, more than $350 million was spent on email advertising campaigns. Working with an outdated email lead or customer list is not going to improve conversion rates for your new campaigns and will only waste money.

Follow these tips to ensure that your email lead and customer list is up to date:

  • Opt-In — Make sure that people need to opt-in to your email subscriber list.
  • Confirmation —  Make sure confirmation emails get sent to all subscribers.
  • Consistency —  Stay in contact with email lists to confirm the address information.
  • Unsubscribe —  Make it easy for people to unsubscribe if they want to.

Email Checker is a free online tool for identifying the validity of email addresses. You can discuss with your digital marketing strategist which email validation tool and CRM software are best for your dealership to use to save time and only include active email addresses in your campaigns.

Use CRM Software to Augment Email Marketing Campaigns

Working with the right Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is an integral factor in boosting the conversion rates for your email marketing campaigns.

You’re probably already using CRM software. However, if you aren’t, work with your digital marketing strategist to find the right CRM data insights that are ideal for your dealership’s email marketing campaigns.

Consider the following ways to use your first party data to enhance your email campaigns:

  • Vehicle Information — Include information in your CRM system about the make and model vehicles your customers drive so you can personalize emails.
  • Segmentation — Your email marketing campaigns can be more successful when you use segmentation to market to specific customer and lead groups – the riches are always in the niches.
  • Integrated Tools — With CRM software, you can use third party tools to enhance email marketing campaigns for streamlined use among platforms. 
  • Effective Follow-Up — CRM software helps you follow up more effectively because you can receive real-time alerts for opened emails and clicked links.
  • Lead Data — Email campaigns to leads can be successful because the CRM software provides the mechanism to store lead data for targeted content.

Create Mobile-Friendly Emails for Your Campaign

There are approximately 5.11 billion unique mobile users in the world today. If your email campaigns are not mobile-friendly, your customers and leads will be less likely to open the emails and then not click links.

People won’t complete your calls-to-action (CTA), and your dealership won’t be as profitable as it could be.

Implement the following tips to create mobile-friendly emails that get results:

  • Subject Line — Email subject lines should be short. However, for mobile viewing on smaller screens, write 40 characters or less to engage the reader.
  • Simple Templates — Focus on single columns that can be easily viewed on mobile screens. Multiple columns won’t translate well for mobile viewing.
  • Basic Formatting — Keep the email width under 600 pixels. Use font sizes between 13-14 pixels so emails are readable on smaller mobile screens.
  • Image Loading — Not all customers or leads have mobile devices using 5G, so use smaller images to ensure effective loading on devices still using 3G.

Approximately 74% of consumers use smartphones to check emails, and 70% of people will quickly delete emails if they are not mobile-friendly.

Streamline the Email Template for Improved Engagement

According to Social Media Today, “Emails with social sharing buttons see a 158% increase in click-through-rates” (CTR). It is important to streamline the email templates you use to increase engagement with leads and customers.

Improve open rates and CTR by following these tips for streamlining:

  • Call-To-Action — There should be no question about your CTA. The reader needs to quickly understand what you are asking them to do so they can do it.
  • Text CTA — Using images for CTA may seem engaging. However, some recipients may not have enabled image viewing for their email address.
  • Menus & Links — Menus are good on websites, but not in emails since they can be hard to click on mobile devices. Stacked links can be confusing.
  • No Attachments — It’s not recommended to use attachments in your campaigns since that creates an added step and decreases engagement.
  • Specific Focus — Improve conversions by not veering off track from the focus of your email. Stuffing emails with extraneous content will distract readers.

Improve Your Response Time to Customers’ Replies

According to research reported in Harvard Business Review, businesses that follow up with leads and customers are “seven times as likely to qualify a lead” when they followed up within an hour, as compared to waiting for 24 hours or longer.

Improving response time seems like a basic tip. However, failing to respond quickly could result in lost sales from customers and leads, so follow these tips to improve response time for your email campaigns:

  • CRM Data — Review CRM data for real-time information on opened emails and clicked links to be ready for immediate follow up from those recipients.
  • Action Plan — Implement an action plan to respond to customers’ replies and inquiries to your email campaigns promptly.
  • Analytics — Review analytics for link clicks to landing pages for promoted offers in your campaigns and follow up with those leads or customers.
  • Heat Maps — Install heatmap tools and plugins for your website so you can analyze increased traffic and where visitors looked, clicked, and scrolled.

Use A/B Email Testing to Improve Conversion Rates

If you haven’t been using A/B testing for your email marketing campaigns, you should definitely integrate it into your future digital marketing strategy.

Basically, A/B testing means that you send one email version to a group of recipients and a different version to another group. This allows you to identify reactions to simple changes like a different subject line or call-to-action.

Data is collected on both sets of emails to help you make a more informed decision on which versions leads and customers reacted to better.

Consider the following benefits of using A/B testing in your email campaigns:

  • Conversion — You’ll ascertain which content is actually going to convert leads to customers and lengthen the customer lifecycle with your dealership.
  • Data-Driven — This testing is data-driven and can give you actual insights into which content to use and how it should be displayed to increase engagement.
  • Bounce Rate — Identifying what resonates with customers will allow you to create content that decreases bounce rates and improves click-through-rates.
  • Special Offers — You can pinpoint deals and special service offers that customers like better and continue to provide those to them to improve conversions.

If you want to take full advantage of the benefits of A/B testing for your email campaigns, make sure to avoid the following mistakes:

  • Accurate Testing — Don’t simply test emails sent to segmented groups. Complete A/B testing for transactional and automated emails as well.
  • The Big Picture — Don’t waste time on making slight changes for A/B testing. Test important factors like specials, offers, CTAs, and subject lines.
  • Simple Testing — Don’t make major changes in the A and B templates. Focus on testing one factor at a time. Multiple changes can make the results convoluted, so you don’t know which changed element made the difference in engagement and conversions.
  • Focused Goal — Make changes with a goal in mind. Don’t change features without a reason. This will help you meet key performance indicators (KPI’s) and more easily understand the results.
  • Subscribers — Send these test emails to similar segment groups, such as with the same type of purchasing history or geographic location, so that factor will remain constant, and you’ll get more accurate results.
  • Active List — Only send A/B testing emails to active subscribers or you’ll get inaccurate results. However, if you were completing an email campaign to reengage inactive customer segments, you could complete A/B testing.
  • Numbers Matter — You don’t want arbitrary results. You want conclusive results, so focus on A/B testing for a larger audience from your subscriber list.
  • Testing Schedule — To obtain accurate results that matter for your campaigns, it’s important to consistently complete A/B testing with variant factors. Don’t simply do this one time and think that can give you conclusive results.    

Start Improving Your Email Marketing Campaigns Today

Email marketing campaigns can become an extremely invaluable asset in your digital marketing strategy for boosting profits if you implement them the right way. Work with the J&L Marketing team to implement the ideas and tips shared in this article.

Effectively monitor lead and customer email address lists so you are not wasting time. Use CRM software to improve conversion rates and engage with customers and leads in a personalized manner.

Make sure emails are mobile-friendly and that you streamline templates to display content in a way that draws the reader’s attention to your call-to-action.

Improve response time so leads and customers know how valuable they are to your dealership. Including A/B testing in your email campaigns can show you which content works better so you can improve conversion rates.

Our professional team at J&L Marketing can help your dealership make the most of your email marketing campaigns and enhance your reach with leads and customers.

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