Lots of automotive shops and car dealerships use email marketing to run special promotions, increase repeat customers and advertise new vehicles. But when everyone else also uses email marketing, and uses the same old email techniques, how do you make your messages stand out?
Marketing automation is one very effective way to make your emails the best ones in your customers’ inboxes. Marketing automation enables you to personalize email campaigns for each customer based on their own needs and interests. It allows you to save time, build customer loyalty and increase revenue.
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your shop and vehicles, and it also has one of the highest potentials for ROI. If your emails are deleted before they are even read, however, it is pointless to send them out. Let’s examine the benefits of marketing automation.
Email Marketing is Impersonal
Mass email is about as appealing to customers as any other form of mass advertising. It will appeal to some customers, but many will simply overlook it as irrelevant to their needs. If you continue sending customers mass emails that simply push all your vehicles and seasonal sales, over time you will notice that many email subscribers drop off. Many will unsubscribe and some may even report your emails as spam. If you’re not personalizing, it’s almost impossible to build a lasting connection with your customers.
Marketing Automation is Highly Personal
A marketing automation solution tracks each customer based on which emails they open, which links they click, which website pages they visit and more. This builds up a detailed customer profile with each customer’s interests, activity, personal information and other relevant data. Using this information, you can create automatically personalized automotive campaigns for your customers. Personally targeted emails get much higher open rates and response rates. They also build customer loyalty and generate consistently higher ROI than mass emails.
Using marketing automation, you can also provide personalized customer service. Your solution will send emails to customers for maintenance notifications, appointment reminders, birthday automotive service specials and more.
Email Marketing Takes Up a Lot of Time
With email marketing, if you want to send ongoing automotive campaigns you have to manually organize each mass mailing. Your email solution will send the messages and will then stop. If you want to send more emails to each customer, you must create and organize another campaign. This takes time, and by the time you send the messages the customer may not even be interested any more.
Marketing Automation is Very Efficient
With marketing automation, you can create a whole automated ongoing email process that you can set and forget. Customers will receive additional personally relevant emails based on which links they click, which actions they take and which emails they open. This functionality enables you to save the time of organizing new emails to be sent. Emails are selected and sent automatically based on each customer’s unique interaction with your automotive marketing campaigns.
Email Marketing Doesn’t Necessarily Show You the Best Leads
Email marketing will show you reports of who has opened your emails, who has clicked through and so on. But not all email subscribers who interact with emails are good leads. Not all these subscribers purchase vehicles and accessories or download your automotive resources. You don’t know which email subscribers are leads that you should focus on and which ones are just curious window shoppers.
Marketing Automation Helps You Find Qualified Leads
A marketing automation solution not only tracks email subscribers’ opens and clickthroughs. It also tracks every interaction they have with you and your website so you can build up a detailed personal profile. This helps you learn exactly what services your customers are looking for, what vehicles they are interested in, whether or not they are truly thinking about making a purchase and so on. You can then focus your attention on these hot leads. Make a personal connection with them through an email or phone call to provide them with more information and answer questions.
Email Marketing Only Includes One Communication Channel
Some customers don’t use email. How can you connect with these customers through messages, advertisements, promotions and service specials? If you only use email for your automotive marketing, you are missing out on communicating with a lot of your clients. Even if they do use email, this may not be the most convenient way to reach them.
Marketing Automation Includes Multiple Communication Channels
Many marketing automation solutions include a wide variety of communication channels such as text messaging, voicemail, surveys, Twitter and Facebook. This enables you to connect with customers who prefer to communicate through other ways besides email. Text messages, in particular, are an extremely effective way to send out your automotive promotions. Unlike emails, text messages are likely to be opened within five minutes of being received.
Try Automotive Marketing Automation for Free
Most dealership marketing automation solutions offer a limited time free trial. Try as many as you can! Testing a variety of solutions enables you to learn which one is right for your needs. Make a list of tasks you want to be able to accomplish and don’t hesitate to contact customer service representatives and ask questions. If you find the ideal marketing automation solution for you, it will save your staff hours of time every day. It will also enable you to connect with your customers on a more personalized level, leading to higher revenue and less customer churn.
Author: Shawn Ryder
Shawn Ryder works with the Automotive Industry to automatically send communication to customers based on their individual preferences and unique dates, vehicle type, service requirements or other available information. Previously, as Co-Founder of training and coaching organizations, Shawn worked with clients to ensure the training and coaching sessions meet requirements for Volvo North America, Ford Motor Company and retail dealerships using a variety of delivery channels, including workshop and in-dealership implementation coaching.