Five Email Marketing Practices Car Dealers Should Avoid

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Plenty of auto dealers ignore email marketing altogether, wrongly assuming that this is not the best means to connect with their prospects. Of all automotive dealership mistakes, this one is definitely the most common one. Some believe email marketing is dead; others assume that email marketing is for promoting less expensive products. Both assumptions are equally wrong because an email is a perfect way of connecting to your past and potential buyers — if, of course, you do it right.

Below, we will describe the most common mistakes in automotive email marketing and offer actionable suggestions on promoting your business and boosting sales — all without spending thousands of dollars on advertising.

Buying Email Lists

Paying for email lists is a very common mistake that may get you blacklisted by the recipients and email clients. Ideally, your prospects should share their contact details willingly — for example, over a form on your website.

When working in the auto B2B sphere, you can save some time by using email finders like SignalHire. The logic is to search across relevant industries and companies to create carefully targeted email lists. Still, the same principle applies — you need to make sure that all recipients find your emails useful.

Not Segmenting Your CRM

Even when you have a database of prospects potentially interested in your offers, it still doesn’t mean that all people on your email list will be equally interested in everything you will ever have to offer. For example, there is no use advertising a sports car to a mom who drives a minivan, right? Just like there is no use to promote a new car model to a person who bought a similar make a few months ago. In other words, you cannot ‘blast’ your entire CRM by sending all people (or most of them) an identical message. This would only lead to high unsubscribe rates and blocking.

A solution would be to carefully target all prospects in your CRM. Don’t worry if your segmented groups are not very large — this is more of a plus than a minus. Emailing small groups of prospects with unique messages relevant to them is the best email marketing technique that always pays off.

Sticking to the Same Templates All the Time

Consistency is good when it comes to emailing schedules, but it does not mean there is no room for experiments — more specifically, carefully monitored testing. The success of any email campaign depends on multiple variables, not only on how carefully targeted your offers are. A good start would be to experiment with CTAs, which, in the auto dealership, could be anything from ‘Book a Ride’ to ‘Find out More.’

Another variable that can influence your email open rates and the overall success of a campaign is the time when you send out your emails. Besides, it is always possible to experiment with subject lines, content formatting, and even the way you address your recipients.

Keep in mind that to get the best insights, you will need to test many different variables before analyzing the results. So, it would make sense to carry out the tests on larger groups of recipients rather than on small segments of your CRM. This way, you will get more accurate data that will help you with future campaigns.

Ignoring Mobile-Friendliness

Back in 2019, almost half of all received emails got opened on mobile and, according to some estimates, this figure is way higher in 2021 — up to 65%. So, email marketers simply cannot ignore optimizing their messages for mobile any longer.

Sure, you will be creating all of your email campaigns on a desktop, but you will still have to keep mobile in mind. Sadly, what looks great on a computer is not as visually appealing on mobile. One of the common problems is a shortened email subject line. And since this is one of the most important aspects that define your email open rate, you need to make sure mobile users can see your full subject line.

Graphics and CTAs may also look different on mobile. Besides, images do not always have the same loading speed across different devices, so that is another aspect to keep in mind. Ideally, you should check how your email looks not only on desktop and mobile, but also analyze it across different devices.

Not Using an Opportunity to Grow Your Database

Regularly growing and updating your email database can significantly increase your ROI. You probably have a contact form on your website, but you should also take a more proactive approach when it comes to your CRM. For example, the SignalHire browser extension can pull contact details from Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn in just a click.

So, when you come across someone’s profile and see that this person could potentially become a client, do not hesitate to add them to your database. Anytime someone comments on your social media post and sends you a direct message, make sure their email finds its way to your lead list.

General Tips in Email Formatting

Even though auto dealership is a specific industry, some general email marketing tips do apply — especially when formatting your message. Make sure to:

  • Create an intriguing subject line that acts as an attention grabber;
  • Write your email snippet as the logical continuation of a subject line;
  • Always personalize your emails, from subject to the last line;
  • Keep your paragraphs short so that the recipients could quickly skim through the message;
  • Include graphics that do not interfere with your message contents;
  • Use informal language without jargon.

No doubt, a car dealership takes more time and effort than selling candy bars, but the investment is well worth it in the long run. The final tip would be to always monitor and analyze the results of your email marketing campaigns. See what works and what doesn’t, and use this knowledge in all of your future campaigns. After all, successful marketing is not only about Math and analytics, but also about creativity and keeping an open mind.


Interesting Related Article: “What to Look For in a CRM for Your Business