Marketing is constantly evolving to fit what companies need, what catches the attention of customers, and what the latest technology is capable of – all of which are ever-changing. With the surge of newer and shinier ways to attract business across a variety of channels, including social media, search engine optimization, and mobile marketing, you might think that email marketing is dying. Who checks email anymore, anyway? It’s just a bunch of spam, right? Hardly, and email is still the most widely-used campaign medium.
Just because everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and filling your customers’ inboxes with email clutter doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of your marketing dollars. Email marketing is one of the most profitable methods in your arsenal – and there are many ways to pack a punch with minimal impact on your budget.
Arguably the most cost-effective method of reaching your customers, email offers more marketing opportunities than you might think. It delivers a high return on investment as it is, and if you have a high-performing marketing platform in your toolset, growing those extra-profitable long-term relationships through email is even more impactful. Precise audience targeting? Done. Email launch limits? None – if you’ve got a decent marketing platform at your disposal. And, assuming you have a user-friendly program, you can see and optimize the results of your emails with ease.
One of the best aspects of email marketing? It’s easily adaptable for your team. You don’t have to be a marketing expert to reap the rewards. But just in case you’re still not sold on marketing through email, here are 4 reasons why you should be.
- It drives the highest ROI.
According to the 2017 DMA Response Report, email marketing generates more ROI than any other media type. It’s the eliminated expense of printing, postage, or other fees that makes email marketing one of the most cost-effective media channels available.
Based on an AutoLoop analysis of over 300 dealers across the nation, you can expect an average cost of 3 cents per email – that’s an ROI of $83:1. With that kind of return, it should come as no surprise why email marketing is, and remains to be, one of the most powerful ways to engage your customers.
- It lends you total control.
The spray and pray approach is no way to blow your marketing budget. With a strong enough email marketing solution, you’ll have full control over your campaigns, allowing you to pinpoint your target audience down to the demographic. This is something you should absolutely take advantage of. Although email is largely inexpensive and easy to launch, you don’t want your attempt at contact to get lost in the sea of emails your customers are already receiving. For example, sending your entire customer base an offer for a $20 oil change might bring in angry phone calls instead of more bookings, particularly if you’re reaching customers who just visited and paid more than your discounted price.
Targeting plays a crucial role in who sees your ad and who takes action as a result. So find a solution that fits your needs; that way, you can send messages and offers that fit your customers’ needs. You’re already right in front of them via email. But having a more handpicked marketing approach is what inspires them to open, click, and ultimately make an appointment for sales or service.
- It gives you a chance to show off.
The inbox has become a crowded point of contact, it’s true. And the addition of promotions tabs and other email routing roadblocks make it trickier than ever to ensure your customers see your exclusive offers.
But rather than diminish or abandon your email marketing campaign efforts, up the ante by using best practices to strategically set your dealership at the forefront of your customers’ inboxes. Explore your customization options to include content that not only represents your dealership, but truly engages customers with it. Email marketing gives you more flexibility in what you want to show: GIFs, video, smart coupons, and sliding header images are a few good examples. It’s this engaging, consistent email marketing that builds brand awareness – and when they’re ready to buy, they’ll be thinking of you.
- It’s immediately measurable – an impatient marketer’s dream.
Even the most eye-catching email campaign will miss the mark if you’re not sending the right message. Email marketing sheds light on your efforts with actionable data you can instantly benefit from. More than just open rates showing how well that subject line did, this data tells a story of your customers’ behaviors and interests. And often, you can find this data in a central place in your marketing platform via widget-based dashboards, schedulable reports, and in-depth drill-downs.
Do some research on the types of insights you should receive from your marketing attempts. If your current platform isn’t up to snuff, consider switching to one that gives you the numbers you need to grow your success. Because the faster and better you know what your customers respond to, the more effective your email marketing will be.
Author: Graham Annett
Graham Annett is Vice President of Marketing for AutoLoop, a leading provider of auto industry marketing and customer relationship management solutions. One of his main responsibilities at AutoLoop is to provide effective and efficient direct marketing strategies, campaigns and marketing consultation for both OEMs and individual dealerships. He has more than 20 years’ marketing experience with respected companies that include Gannett, Thomson-Reuters, and The New York Times and has been recognized over the years for his innovative marketing, including the “20 under 40” award by Presstime magazine, which recognizes 20 industry leaders under the age of 40 annually. Graham was also awarded the “President’s Award for Marketing Excellence” by Thomson-Reuters, and has been invited to speak at the International Circulation Marketing Association and Newspaper Association of America annual conferences.