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Target Your Car Shopper E-Mails

Send OnPoint Target Car Shopper E-mails to Different Customers for Better Value

BY AMY FARLEY

Not all customers are created equal. That’s something dealers know well, and it’s why you use different sales tactics on the different types of car shoppers who step through your showroom doors. Start with targeting car shopper e-mails.

So why treat all email subscribers as if they’re the same?

Email marketing is a critical part of any dealer’s direct marketing strategy, and is incredibly effective as a component of a multi-channel marketing campaign. But if dealers are ignoring the fact that different types of email subscribers should receive different messages and levels of attention, then they aren’t maximizing the effectiveness that email as a marketing channel has to offer.

Let’s break down a few of the different types of email subscribers.

The Loyal Customer

These customers may have purchased a vehicle at your dealership, serviced a vehicle at your Service Center, purchased parts from your Parts Department, or completed any other in-store interaction. They also regularly open and react to your emails. They’re the email equivalent of your best friends.

These customers who visit your dealership regularly and are receptive to your email are yours to lose. They’ve already bought into your brand, and they like hearing from you. You don’t have to bend over backwards for these customers– simply be careful to continue sending them valuable content and offers and they’ll keep coming back.

A great way to keep these customers interested is to create email campaigns that feature content that’s not necessarily always promoting a sale or offer. These types of subscribers will be receptive to content highlighting news about your dealership, updates on your involvement within the local community, information on how to care for their vehicle and more. Offer them content they want to read and they’ll keep clicking through.

The Brand New Subscriber

These customers may have come into your dealership for the first time recently and that’s how they got added to your email list or they may have signed up for your newsletter through a form on your website. Either way, they’ve expressed interest and now they need to be won over.

Try an email campaign geared specifically to recent subscribers. You could offer them an introductory discount on service, or some other type of discount depending on where they are in the customer lifecycle. While you don’t necessarily have to be too aggressive with your offer, it should be enticing enough to compel them to stop by.

You could also target new subscribers with your dealership’s unique selling propositions– if you have a customer loyalty program, or a lifetime guarantee, now is a great time to fill them in on it. This is your opportunity to develop a customer relationship that could last for years. Put the effort in and it will pay off in the long run.

target car shopper e-mailsThe Active Inactive

This customer still regularly visits your dealership– perhaps whenever they need a new vehicle for their family, or anytime they’re in need of routine maintenance. But they simply don’t interact with your emails in any trackable way.

There’s less risk of these types of customers marking your emails as spam, since you know that, on the whole, they’re engaged with your dealership. They may just skim your subject lines, but they keep you top-of-mind and continue to do business with you. Generally speaking, you can safely continue to send them marketing messages without worrying about your deliverability.

But it might also be a good idea to try to win them back. Experiment with different types of subject lines and offers. Maybe they tune out your typical newsletter content, but they’d be compelled to click on a subject line that promises a discount on an oil change. Since you can be reasonably sure they won’t mark you as spam, you can test out strategies to convert these types of customers into the first type– your loyal customers.

The Lapsed Customer

This is someone who has bought a car or gotten service at your dealership before but it’s been awhile. It’s also been awhile since they opened or interacted with an email from you, though they have done so in the past.

What can you do to win this customer back? First of all, it’s more important than usual that you pay attention to the subject line of your message– it needs to compel them to open the email. You can also try a more aggressive offer, one that might entice them to visit your dealership even if they’re no longer inclined to do so. An offer of 10 percent off an oil change might be enough to convince an active, loyal customer to stop by for service, but these customers may need more of a push.

If the subscribers on this list continue to be inactive, though, you’ll want to consider moving them to an unengaged subscribers list. Some marketers recommend waiting for a subscriber to be inactive for six months; others recommend waiting a full year, but either way, if you find yourself unable to win these customers back, you will likely need to purge them from your active mailing list in order to keep it healthy.

The Total Stranger

The total stranger is a subscriber on your email list that has never interacted with one of your emails. You may not even know how they got on your list. They may not be sure, either.

Because they aren’t engaging with your email messages at all, it’s hard to use your messaging to convert them to become a valuable customer. You also run the risk of being marked as spam or of hindering your email deliverability if you continue to send messages to subscribers who aren’t engaged in your emails.

You may want to consider the same strategy with these customers as with your lapsed customers– after a certain point in time, just move them to an unengaged list that you do not actively send emails to. You’ll have a healthier list overall without these types of customers weighing you down.

You’ll be better equipped to have successful interactions with the customers who are interested in your dealership, and to re-engage those who seem to have lost interest.

Amy Farley
Amy Farley
Amy is a skilled writer and editor with a keen interest in digital trends and topics in the automotive industry. She utilizes her knowledge of what is new in retail automotive marketing to help Force – an automotive digital, direct mail and email marketing firm based in Atlanta – with its evolution of the dealer-to-customer shopping experience. Visit the website at Forcemktg.com.

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