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Best Email Practices

Automotive Dealership Marketing: Email Campaigns Driving Sales

A number of factors bear painstaking consideration when embarking on a new email marketing campaign strategy. Unlike many other forms of advertising where the worst that can happen is that no one bothers to visit your showroom, the improper implementation of an email campaign might precipitate a regrettable sequence of serious legal charges.
What would otherwise be an innocuous action such as obtaining a customer's business card in the showroom and later entering it into your email subscriber list can land your business in serious legal trouble with the federal government. You must have a record of each customer's explicit permission to be placed on your subscription list, or you may face a series of serious penalties. Each and every facet of your email campaign must be audited to ensure absolute compliance with all automotive dealership industry self-regulatory standards as well as federal and state law.
Understand CAN-SPAM Completely
The sending of emails is strictly governed by federal CAN-SPAM regulation and the law calls for penalties in the tens of thousands of dollars for each individual violation. Note: that is not for a violation of an entire campaign but for each and every non-compliant email sent from your automotive dealership.
Facilitate Unsubscription
If your motoring customer desires to leave your list, you must ensure that the unsubscribe process is fast, consistent, and precise. There is a myriad of guidelines that need to be strictly adhered to in order to make absolutely certain that every single unsubscribe request is honored quickly and accurately.
Manage Bouncing Emails
There are two types of bounced, or returned, emails: soft and hard bounces. Each needs to be handled in a different manner as unique rules apply to each type. Making the error of continuing to send emails to a hard bounce address can be detrimental to your email reputation and will place your automotive dealership in the same category as the infamous Viagra spammers.
Privacy Policy
Your privacy policy should be drafted by your dealership's attorney or legal team and never simply copied and pasted from another automotive seller's site. Failure to have a specifically applicable privacy policy can also trigger serious legal consequences.
Achieve Segmentation Success
Automotive dealers already know that the market segment that purchases compact, fuel-sipping economy cars is completely different from the one that selects heavy duty diesel engined crew cab pickup trucks. Yet many dealerships simply send their email newsletters to the entire list without the benefit of segmentation, approaching the young, urban sports car buyer as equally as the older, mature luxury car enthusiast.

The segmentation that can be performed on your list is considerably more sophisticated than just trying to buttonhole this customer as a Hyundai Accent buyer, this other one as a Porsche Cayenne, and a third as a Toyota Tundra. The segmentations that can be performed on a list include behavior, lifecycle, demographic and psychographic stratum. This analysis may reveal a completely new way to view your customer segments and you may find that your Lincoln MKX prospect actually has more in common with the Jeep Grand Cherokee owner than the BMW X5 driver.
Switch up the Content
With the dearth of accurate segmenting being performed by automotive dealerships, the sector does not target its content efficiently and has fallen into the mistaken belief that a one-size-fits-all strategy is correct in email marketing. Content should be extensively crafted specifically for particular segments of your email list and exhaustively A/B tested so that you may finely hone your approach for the best possible results.
Collect Personal Information
Motor vehicle customers like all consumers are wary of disclosing too much personal information, but every single byte of data is extremely valuable to the automotive dealer. The key to harvesting this information is to ensure that the customer feels comfortable with your dealership and sees it as a credible and authoritative source of automotive information and assistance. The more data you can collect, the greater will be the effectiveness of the demographic and lifecycle segmentation.
Review the Customer's Activity
Basic email marketing metrics such as open and click-through rates can help you determine the behavior patterns of specific clients and thus boost your segmentation efforts. High level respondents merit greater attention as they are the customers most likely to convert to a sale.
Good Email Practices
There are countless elements involved in properly designing and implementing an email marketing campaign, and they run the gamut from subject lines that need to be accurately drafted to provide the reader with a clear and pressing reason to open the email, all the way to the configuration of a number of different landing pages so that you may adequately proceed with the vital A/B testing.
Email Metrics
Given the relative lack of sophistication evidenced in the implementations of email marketing campaigns by many dealerships, it seems that a considerable number of automotive dealerships need to be better acquainted with the statistical reports that allow you to obtain a perspective on the performance of your email campaign. The actual quanta of measurement are referred to as metrics, and include open rates and CTRs. These figures should be carefully tracked over time to allow a full perspective on the performance of your overall email marketing plan.