Email marketing is one of the more established digital marketing tactics out there. And with billions of active email accounts, it makes sense that reaching out to consumers via email remains a vital part of many businesses’ marketing strategies.
But not all email marketing strategies are considered equal. Businesses who segment their email list can see as much as a 760% increase in revenue. If you’ve been sending generic, blanket emails up to this point, hopefully that statistic caught your attention.
If you’re ready to leverage targeted email marketing for your dealership this year, we’ve got the tips to help you get it done.
It All Starts with a Mailing List
The first step to creating effective email marketing campaigns is a strong mailing list that’s integrated with customer information. Don’t let your salespeople silo information and hoard contacts. Instead, consider using a client relationship management (CRM) tool for your entire dealership.
By unifying all of the information that you have on customers in one place, you make it easier for your dealership to create lists that are segmented based on demographics, past purchase behavior, and attitudes and beliefs.
If you’ve been less-than-focused on targeted email marketing up to this point, now is the time to begin collecting contact information from all points of contact. Collect emails on your website, in person at your showroom, and from people who come in for scheduled maintenance. Be sure to track where you collected contact information within your CRM, as that information can play a role in how you segment your list.
Create Customer Segments
Now that you have a solid email list, it’s time to start segmenting. You can break down your list in a variety of ways, and it’s helpful to create buckets for different customers based on things like demographics, past purchases, income, and lifestyle. Any factor that can influence someone’s purchase decision when it comes to buying a car should be something that you consider in your segmentation efforts.
Target Based on Past Behavior
One of the easiest ways to ensure that the right people see the right offers is to send targeted messages based on past interactions with your dealership. Someone who bought a base-model car two years ago likely won’t be interested in a luxury vehicle with all the bells and whistles. And the person who bought a minivan probably isn’t in the market for a two-seater sports car.
When you segment based on past behavior, you can send messages that align with moves they’ve made in the past. The cost-conscious consumer would likely be interested in marketing about your maintenance program, which helps them keep their car on the road for more years and save money in the long run. The person who bought the minivan might be interested in hearing about the great safety rating one of your sedans just received.
Craft Messaging that Speaks to Psychographics
Analyzing past behavior in conjunction with demographics can help you market to consumers using psychographic segmentation. Basically, psychographic segmentation takes demographic information and unites it with a measure of consumers’ attitudes and beliefs.
Armed with proper psychographic segmentation, you can sell the same product to different groups of people by tweaking the messaging. Consider something like a mid-size SUV.
Why would someone purchase this product? Some might be single people or couples who need a car for outdoor adventures – something that performs well on rural roads and has room to fit skis, tents, and hiking gear. Others might be interested in purchasing the SUV for ferrying their family from school to soccer practice to violin lessons.
While those two groups could be well-served by the same car, they’re looking to solve very different problems. They need to hear different messaging from you to be sold on the same product.
Follow Up with Hot Leads
You can also trigger targeted emails to send to certain segments based on recent interactions with your dealership. For example, it’s possible to create an email campaign directed at hot leads who haven’t yet made a final purchase. You can set this campaign to send when someone comes in for a test drive but doesn’t sign right then and there.
Deciding what kind of car to purchase is a big decision. Creating an email campaign that helps you stay top-of-mind while prospects are checking out other dealerships and weighing their options can go a long way towards influencing their final purchase decision. Continuing to offer support outside the dealership can help to build rapport and trust.
Reconnect with Prospects Who Have Cooled
Sometimes things don’t work out as you’d hope with prospects. They go cold, and you can only assume they took their business elsewhere. While you don’t want to send these people emails all the time – most consumers today are purchasing cars less frequently than ever before – it can pay to stay in regular, but not oppressive, touch.
Set the cadence for your emails based on their prior behavior and information. Let’s say someone came in to consider leasing with you. They never followed up, so you can assume that they decided to lease a vehicle elsewhere.
As you know, leases usually have set terms. While you don’t know how long this individual customer signed on for, you do know that standard leases run in 24-, 36-, 48-, or 60-month terms. If you check in with messaging every few months and then reach out more frequently around each of these potential lease-end marks, you might be able to win this consumer back!
Staying ahead of the typical leasing cycle gives you the opportunity to recapture their attention at a time when they might be reconsidering their relationship with their current dealership. If they’ve been unhappy with their current lease, you appearing in their inbox at this critical juncture could help you become a contender for their next lessor.
Stay in Touch After the Purchase
Targeted email marketing isn’t just for dealerships who are looking to close a deal. Messages directed at those who have already purchased from you can also be helpful in delighting customers and encouraging cross-sells.
Follow up with those who have recently purchased from you to collect their feedback and offer support. Showing that you remain invested in their happiness even after they’ve signed on the dotted line makes a positive impression.
Plus, there’s more business you might be able to win from these consumers! Staying in touch via email can position you to become their go-to for maintenance on their vehicle. And if you continue to offer great service, they might consider you for another vehicle purchase if they’re a multi-car household.
Targeted email marketing is an effective tactic to help you grow your dealership and maintain existing customer relationships. If you’re looking to take things to the next level in 2020, check out our LOCALiQ AUTOMOTIVE marketing solutions.