Tips for Successful Automotive Email Marketing


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Email marketing is alive and well, and can be extremely effective when done right. If you own a car dealership and are thinking about revamping your automotive email marketing campaign, try these savvy tips:

  • Start with a healthy email database. The best email marketing campaign on the planet won’t be effective if you’re not reaching your target audience. Make sure your email list is accurate and up-to-date with current contact information for your customers and prospects.
  • Add appropriate data. The more data you have about your prospects, the more effective your email marketing will be. Details such as the make, model, and year of the vehicle they currently drive as well as demographic information such as gender, age, occupation, estimated income, and lifestyle are all important. With that type of data, you can create personalized emails that are much more likely to be effective.
  • Make emails mobile responsive. According to the Direct Marketing Association, approximately 65 percent of emails are opened on a mobile device. If your email won’t open or display well on a mobile device, it will most likely get deleted.
  • Utilize triggered email marketing. You can increase revenue per email, retention, program ROI and customer lifetime value by sending emails triggered by customer behavior. Considering that triggered email messages enjoy a 152 percent higher click through rate than tradition bulk messages (according to, developing these types of emails is absolutely worth it.
  • Follow up. Incredibly, Cobalt Group’s National Automotive eShopper Experience Study revealed that 24 percent of email generated leads are ignored by dealers. What’s more, of those who do respond, 30 percent don’t follow up. Simply following up with information pertinent to your email leads will do wonders.

Finally, always proofread and edit your emails to make sure they are free from grammatical and spelling errors. Nothing says “unprofessional” like a sloppy email.

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Types of Car Dealership Incentives


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During the Super Bowl of 1975, car incentives were used for the first time and have been used by car dealers ever since. The two main types of car dealership incentive programs are customer incentives and dealer incentives. Here is a breakdown of car dealership incentives:

Financing Incentives
These incentives are very well received by the public. Sometimes the interest rate offered is as low as zero percent. However, the rate the buyer is offered will depend on their credit score.

Leasing Incentives
Around a quarter of buyers choose to lease their vehicles. Special deals usually offer lower interest rates or cash back. Before accepting a leasing deal, a consumer will consider the down payment, length of lease, allowed yearly mileage and the monthly payment.

Cash Back Rebates
These are used extensively among car dealers and consist of sending cash directly to the buyer from the car maker. Normally, you will not get a check, but the dealer will lower the purchase price of the car.

Customer Loyalty Incentives
Loyalty rewards are offered by car manufacturers for customers who have bought the same brand of car in the past. Sometimes the car maker will offer a reward for first-time buyers to lure them away from the competition.

Cash Incentives for Certain Customers
These incentives reward a certain section of the population, such as first-time car buyers. Other groups may include members of the military or recent college graduates.

Dealer Cash Rebates
These are rebates from the car maker that go to the dealer instead of the customer. Typically the dealer passes on the rebate to the buyer, which can go very high on luxury vehicles.

Dealer Kickbacks
These are rewards for dealers who meet certain criteria, such as reaching a sales goal over a certain amount of time. These support the dealership and help it stay in business.

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Benefits of Email Marketing

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Many car dealers, large and small, use email marketing to effectively drive customers to their business. Car dealerships should incorporate automotive email marketing into their overall marketing strategy. Here are some benefits of email marketing:

Cost Effective
Email marketing offers a big return on your investment. For every dollar spent, your return could be as high as $40 – which is why even small businesses use it as a marketing solution.

Low Cost
There are no costs for mailing or printing, and you don’t have to pay for a billboard or advertising time on radio or television. The cost of sending emails is much lower than other types of marketing.

Less Time and Effort
Compared to other strategies such as postal mailings and telemarketing campaigns, email marketing can be accomplished in an hour or two. All you need is one copy of the approved email and an address list. The time needed can be advantageous for special sales or promotions that last just a few days.

Add a Personal Touch
Unlike the form letters used in the past, an email message can be personalized with a name or other information. Emails can be sent a certain amount of time after the customer made a purchase, or even on their birthday.

Test Which Emails Are More Effective
You’ll have the ability to send one version of an email advertisement to part of your list and another version to the second part. This is an easy way to tell which format works better. Email marketing has tracking tools that can give you information about people’s responses and which emails, font colors or headlines received the best response.

Easy to Pass On
When a subscriber receives an email and finds it to contain useful information, he can send the email to friends with a simple click. This is important if the subscriber is already favorable to your company, since word-of-mouth is a valuable tool.

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